Mardi, Septembre 23, 1986
It’s my time now to
spend away from you
no sadness not bitter
just changing my views
our memories still with us
and I sense pain
sep-er-a-tion isn’t loss
please un-der-stand I think we’ve gained
well I’ve examined all those words we’ve said
can’t you see you’re on my mind
givin’ way to all the things I’ve learned
needn’t worry I’ll be fine
When there’s times that I don’t know that to do
I hang my head so low and realize it’s true
that’s why I put these convictions in front of you
I want to heal not to harm or be cruel
Don’t we see all this the same
Am I searching for these answers in vain
We must forge on and not be fooled to remain
I’ve thought of you again and again
Well I found out a lot about myself
can’t say I was always kind
I’ve also watched you change and grow
I think you’ve done just fine
but I’m telling you I won’t go back
Hear me out, I believe it time
So you’ve got to listen to me girl
what I have to say is no lie
I must admit there’s times when I don’t know what to do
feeling helpless lonely how ‘bout you
but times like these will teach me to
access the right clues
consider me a friend before and after it’s through
don’t we see all this the same
am I searching for these answers in vain
we must forge on and not be fooled to remain
I’ve thought of you again and again
Dimanche Juin 16, 1990
[Capo 2nd fret]
[Csus aug Am7 Em7 Am – Csus 13th fret – Dm Csus 3rd fret A 5th fret]
A Gift of Heart – Admiration for Misti
When I try to understand this feeling
that’s haunting me
I’ll often listen to just what it says
I’m disturbed and so unfree
This admiration from a distance
there’s no choice – that’s all I can do
leads my mind to wonder about how I’d be
When I’m close to you
I’d like to show you just how I feel
But that’s not always the right thing
I won’t pretend try not to play your second one
Because I don’t want to cause a scene
I’m a prisoner of hope and trust
trapped in this hide away love
can’t you see just what you mean to me
There’s something about you
It compels me to stay
I wait alone for you so patiently
why must I behave in this way
You’re with him today – but that’s okay
Of things you’ve told – I know that It won’t hold
We’ve talked about it and we’ve shared our thoughts
and I think that we both understand
that what we share with desire
we might not really ever have
I know that’s it’s hard to break from him now
against so much – I hope that your courage will win out
Christ you have to escape him somehow
Well you moved in and we tried it out
so much so soon for us to talk about
the love I felt was not so clear
until you left me and I shed my tears
together once not only in lust
funny how we loved before we could trust
I must find out just where I stand
from what you’ve said do I flee or make plans
the way you left nearly broke my heart
when I felt how alone I was with you apart
I still don’t know just what went wrong
I think that we sense that we meant no harm
So why must I torture myself
you needed so much more of my help
don’t give up my love
I must redeem myself
Have you ever listened to the radio when a song you haven’t heard in some time begins to play, and you are suddenly brought back to a time when you formed very fond memories of those around you when the song was popular? The years instantly peel away and you again get swept up in the emotional memories that flood you with every word sung as the melody takes you back transforming your mood.
I remember thinking back to times when I’ve met people in my life that made me notice them and galvanized me enough to remember them with warm heartfelt memories that always leave with me an affectionate smile. We may have parted company many years ago, but they sometimes occupy my thoughts as they are still a part of me to this day. It is precisely these people who I hold dear to me for they have imparted with me a bond that remains enduring due to the connection held. The connection I speak about holds important elements that keep it memorable and are sometimes overlooked in many of our relationships.
For me they included ingredients of trust, empathy, respect, and another emotive quality I cannot really verbalize. Perhaps it is a recognition in the other person that possibly shares a similar attribute that we have. Or it is seeing them for who they truly are with appreciative eyes. The connection does not always mean there was a romance involved, but that something else was factored into the bond when it was formed. Maybe they entrusted you with something very personal that touched your heart and forever changed the way you looked at them.
One of my life’s passion’s was to play music, write and sing songs. I am able to express myself on a deeper level than just by speech alone. The music taps into something profound within all of us when we allow it to do so. I have on occasion written songs for people who meant much to me. The feelings I felt and the emotional connection I sustained drew upon the way I experienced the other person. I found that the music always came first before the inspiration of the lyric developed because the music was the emotive architecture that arose from the heart. Creating the sound scape was essential for me to craft something meaningful. On occasion I would just write the music not yet having any lyrics written. Sometimes I would just leave it as an instrumental. I have tapes and tapes of old material I never fully developed. A complete and well crafted song does sometimes include lyrics when there is a story behind the song to be told.
Prior to creating my music, I (as many others) have a soundtrack to life’s special moments. These moments would usually occur by association, having certain songs bond to my memory, and of course having an affinity to the songs would touch me allowing for the deeper connection to occur. Whether it be the music, the words, or whether it be both, these songs will forever imprint their charm upon my memory. We love many songs, and appreciate the immense catalogs of music in our lives, but for me, there are few such examples of truly enchanting songs that are very close to my heart. When you can again experience and touch the positive energy that is created from these happenings, you will find that these connective forces vibrate similar positive frequencies existing in the universe. This may sound something disseminating from a new age philosophy, but it is in alignment to what the ancient mystics and Quantum Mechanics purport. These disciplines have a different language to express their principles, but they have very similar semantic structures that are more alike than not.
When these songs are heard again, they can bring me back to an immediate experience that is both profound and nostalgic since they are bound to fond memories that again live in my mind.
I ask the reader; what are the songs in your catalog that takes you to another place, brings you to another time, or replenished your soul with the joy in the memory of another person close to you or once close to you? We can form these memories and bonds that take on a life of their own. I believe we have an ability to make associations with people with kindred spirits, and I believe the ability to connect to this essence within them just may be responsible for our remarkable and curious closeness to them. Songs can touch us in some very enigmatic ways for reasons that our logic cannot give any clear answers for. But in the heart, there is no need to explain any reasoning, we just feel it, and that is all that is needed to calm our vexations. It matters not to us because we are complete in the experience we receive when these feelings arise. We are better for having them, as they lead us to some cherished moments from our bygone history.
A song in the heart can mend a thousand thoughts. So I say to the reader, think on this…..No, I redact that…. let your heart sustain and maintain your being!
The heart of the fool is in his tongue; the tongue of the prudent is in his heart.
“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”
The year is 1998, the place is an old office above my drummers work (later dubbed: “Toxic Music Studios” or simply just “The Studio”); then known as superior pool supply in an industrial complex in El Cajon which we rented out every month. A place where we practiced and recorded, for the band that was astutely named “Intoxicated”. The name stuck from playing around pubs near San Diego State University, as the students would often give us their enthusiastic salutations under the influence of their favorite pints. Thus the name “Intoxicated” became somewhat of a Trademark for us. The “studio” we practiced in was across from a trolley station which enabled us to play as loud as we wished at all hours of the night due to the lack of anyone complaining about the music from the street below. We would sometimes get visitors from the trolley station patrons that entered the stairwell below and walk up to peer into an opened door where we played and get a glimpse of where the music was coming from. Our musical sets were diverse for that time, sometimes playing very loud as mentioned, but many times we had a quieter side, a melodic side that did not need a large volume of amplification. It wasn’t the standard list of songs bands would do during those years. We took some risks, but stayed mainly close to the songs we thought we could do fairly well. We played what we liked, and really the “top 40” that commercial bands at the time would play, as we diverged by playing songs that many bands did not play.
Part of the fun was playing loud. It is something that cannot easily be accomplished these days due to the places where a band can play. Unless you have a sound-proofed garage, a studio that you rent in a sound proof complex(expensive), or some other remote area to perform (without any objections from neighbors), then you could bust loose and play without fear of noise pollution. The amount of time to set up and break down takes effort, and if you rented a place you wanted to make sure it was secure, that you did not have to move any equipment every time you wanted to play, and that you had no restrictions to play after regular business hours. So the idea of playing in a converted office above a commercial building in a remote area with no residential inhabitants sounded like the perfect place to set up. Even if it was only once a week, we had a great time.
We had gone through several band member changes for the years we were together. Some moved out-of-town, got new jobs and could not commit to the time any longer, and others just moved on to different things. But overall we just loved to play. When recruiting for other players we lost, I found other friends that also had a passion for playing music. Personally I became a better guitar player, a better songwriter, and a better singer after playing with these guys. From the beginning we may not have been the best at our instruments at the time, but we all showed a great deal of improvement through the years. I think that has something to do with our passion and love of playing. Having quality instruments was also huge. The instruments we accumulated also seemed to trend with our enthusiasm. At one time we had a complete organ, not just a keyboard that could emulate the organ sounds, but an actual Hammond B-3 organ. Man that was a pain in the ass trying to move this from gig to gig, or even up and down the stairwell of our studio every time we had to move it. I can say it did start some controversial conversations between why we needed a Hammond B-3! I started with an Ibanez Artist hollow-body guitar, only to buy a Gibson ES335 studio, a Paul Reed Smith custom 22 top, and finally an American Fender Fat Stratocaster with Seymour Duncan pickups. Not to mention all the guitar effects, P.A. equipment and sound system effects along with my Peavy 212 renown and finally my Mesa Boogie Mark IV amp. Man I guess I was in it for the endorphin release. My favorite outlet was music. It was how I could express myself.
We were a democratic band, but I must admit that if one of us wanted to do something, we all usually just went along. Playing a particular song for instance, or playing a party gig we would usually support. We started with some very modest means in terms of the equipment we used. We slowly upgraded through the years that we were active. We never really made any money when we played in public, but we were able to drink all we could drink along with a fair cash payment on services rendered for bringing in patrons to the local bar we happened to play in at the time. I have to say that somebody suggested we call ourselves “In it for the P*#@y”! A name we laughed at but did not employ.
Its interesting when you think of a band and the influences they have on you. Playing songs that others would suggest that you wouldn’t have thought to play without their comments. Or maybe its the politics that develop over a time when a band of people come together to perform a united love and past-time. Sharing musical influences that you like with influences they like doesn’t always sync together without some discussion of what we should play and what we should not play. Thought must be placed in these decisions. Just because we liked a song doesn’t mean we could necessarily pull it off given our talent level and our equipment limitations to emulate it, or even give it our own spin. We found that after we became a tighter band, we were able to read each other better musically, and we could put our own “sound” upon a standard classic. But there were times that we did not do the song any justice at all, even though the song itself was a great song. Bands have to be their own critic’s before they try to perform a song that may not be right for them. What would be a crowd pleaser and what would be very questionable for us to try had to be decided. Could one of us sing it like them, or would we sing out of range? It took some time to develop just what kind of band we would be.
My vision narrowed us down to playing more originals and the ranges when we did do covers, and for the most part I wrote original songs that I was happy to play with the band because they became our songs! They defined us in more ways than just being able to play a popular song well, but playing a song we wrote ourselves. Most of the influential music I liked was blues-rock based and had a huge impact on me when performing. I was very passionate about some of the material we played. Simply because I was proud of it. Sometimes Clarke my keyboardist and rhythm guitar player begin a riff that he used while trying to do a blues jam, I would spontaneously come up with lyrics while jamming to it, and later we would turn it into an original song. Other times I would introduce a song I had written playing it alone for them while they got the idea. We would then all come together with our parts on the song as it took shape and form. A team effort with everyone including the Bassist Dan, and the drummer Tony filling in with their parts they created.
I’ve held it all inward
Lord knows I’ve tried
It’s an awful awakenin’
In a country boy’s life
To look in the mirror
In total surprise
At the hair on your shoulders
And the age in your eyes.
Amanda light of my life
Fate should have made you a gentle man’s wife
Amanda light of my life
Fate should have made you a gentle man’s wife.Well the measure of people
The pleasures of life
In a hillbilly band
I got my first guitar
When I was fourteen
Now I’m crowding thirty
And stillwearin’ jeans.[Chorus]
The song above reminds me much of those times. I refer to the parts in the main lyric in each verse. The pleasure of playing in a band can be very rewarding. Singing a fair number of songs in this band I somewhat worked myself up into an alpha role within the band. Writing the originals, singing the stuff I liked gave me a very enthusiastic performance level when we did it well, and placed me into a forefront place inside the band. Only Tony was in the band before me being an original founding member. I came into the band’s second generation a little later after they formed. I was the “new guy” that could sing in higher ranges than some of the other guys and could play decent lead guitar. As time developed, we changed players, and my role increasingly became more central as our song base featured more of my vocals.
Most of us were family men who on a part-time basis played for a few hours every week at the studio. The rest of our free time was devoted to the wives, girlfriends, or children depending on the time we had all known each other during the later part of the decade and the earlier part of the next.
The commitment to play under these conditions can be taxing on one’s life. Sometimes we could not arrange schedules to play that week. But when we made it, we made it. We were hobbyist’s anyway. There is nothing like performing for other people. Playing songs you enjoy as well as others, seeing them appreciate what you play is second to none.