Interlude: a song revisited after more than 20 years.
Everyone on the planet who pursues a creative path for love or money has a trove of old ideas. Some are unfinished, some are crying out to be rescued and revised, some are better left behind for good.
Back in 1987, I wrote a song with my friend Jeff Tuttle that I have been wanting to revisit ever since. We originally recorded it in our garage/studio in San Francisco, with me playing all the instruments and supplying my trademark, over-busy drum programming, and Jeff doing the singing, along with a co-worker of his. Truth be told, the original version has a lot of charm for Jeff and me, because of the memories it brings back. But I always wished the playing were better, the drums real and the lyrics a little more polished (we wrote them after smoking a bit of pot, a rare thing for both of us, and the words suffered for it)
Jeff and I have stayed best of friends over the years, and every now and then, usually after a glass or four of wine, we’d muse on digging up “that old tune”, which was aptly titled “Indecision”. Well, just the other day, Jeff was in town and he stayed with Catherine and me over the weekend, giving us ample time to finally act on our musical musings. Instead of going into Hyde Street Studios, we kept things casual and used a yoga studio for recording new vocals. I’d already worked with Tim Young and Andy Korn on re-doing the rhythm tracks, so all Jeff had to do was belt out the latest lyrics. We’re both English majors, so the lyrics got one more pass, but I am happy to report that after more than two decades, an old idea finally got it’s due.
The session, however, was not without a requisite recording freak-out. Jeff and I had just arrived at the yoga studio and gotten set up, when I plugged in my fancy new microphone. I hit record and… nothing. I had purchased the mic on ebay, so I was worried I’d been had – to the tune of $450! Angry and worried, I plugged in my old Teac mic for test purposes and it worked fine. But my Teac doesn’t have a wind-screen, so it’s not good for vocals. ARGH. I decided to drive home to get my trusty Shure SM-57. Man, I was so peeved and very, very depressed (the week prior had been especially rough). Back home, I read the owner’s manual for my new mic and learned it needed a certain kind of power supply. I called Guitar Center to ask if they had one in stock and the guy on the phone, sounding a little confused, asked me about my gear. I explained I had an MBox 2 Pro, to which he replied, “Just press the 48V switch on the front and you’re good to go, dude.” He was right.
I’ll post both versions of the song when the new one is fully mixed. Stay tuned!
PS - I'll finish for For love or money series soon.