Archive for August, 2009

Bursting My Bubble

August 30, 2009

(In this “column”, anything goes as long as it has to do with a song.)

[Excerpted from our newsletter.]

At home recently, I developed an overwhelming urge to hear, “Baby, It’s You” (Bacharach, David, Williams); NOT the Shirelles wimpy version, but the MOST famous one by Smith. While listening, I browsed YouTube and came across a comment train about those two versions, where I assumed the comments would all strongly favor Smith’s version as the best, when I read, “Not impressed… the Smith’s butchered this hit by the Shirelles from 1962!”

The next response (which was exactly what I was thinking) was: “You’re joking, right?”

“Nope… sorry to pop your bubble.”

All I could think was, “Quit it!”

Another fine example of the wide variety in musical taste, even within the same genre and about the same song. I just wish more of those whose opinions have power (yeah, you know who you are) always, ALWAYS, liked The 15th Floor’s songs. Maybe some day people will be arguing about the best version of, “A World Without Your Face” or “Listen to Me Breathe.” (I would enjoy that.)

As for “Baby”, maybe we should let Burt Bacharach decide which version was the best… but I bet he would guess wrong. 

Ciao

Once and Future Songs (1-2)

August 22, 2009

(In this “column” anything goes as long as it has to do with a song.)

[Excerpt from our newsletter.]

Chicken Go!

My wife, Sherry, has a knack of making any song funny… with the common effect of ruining any serious feelings associated with the song.  For instance, when Emily was deeply ensconced in ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, the latter’s 2000 song “I Want it That Way” (written by (Max Martin, Andreas Carlsson) became “I Want a Milkshake.”  No one in the family ever sang it differently (and frankly, I had to turn to Google to figure out the real name of the song for this entry.)

From a songwriter’s retreat in Colorado, I came back with Bob Hillman’s great song, “Anywhere” and Emily and I started working on it for our repertoire.   The chorus includes the line, “she can go anywhere she wants to…” It didn’t take long before my wife parodied that line into, “chicken go anywhere she wants to.”   After that, we could not perform the song without cracking up (sorry, Bob.)

Final “Sherry says…” (for now, not forever): Hearing Ben Harper sing, “She wears diamonds on the inside,” my wife commented, “He’s just saying that so he doesn’t have to buy her diamonds for the outside.”  (Hey, that idea might work in a country song…?)

Hasta la vista and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

When You Fall Out of the Boat

August 6, 2009

(This is a feature article from our website.)

When Emily was eight-years-old, we traveled to Colorado for a family reunion. (Incidentally, during that trip I finished the song, Listen to Me Breathe, which is on The 15th Floor’s album, From the Dining Room.) My father was undergoing chemotherapy for advanced colon cancer and this was his last hurrah. One of the highlights of the reunion was a river rafting trip.

Rafting

Because of the chemo, my father was not feeling particularly well, but stoically managed to participate fully and enjoy himself—I am sure well entertained by our bumbling rafting expertise. Emily, by far the youngest to participate, was a bit afraid and on the drive to Fort Collins from Estes Park took a lot of convincing it would be fun and very safe. At the rafting company headquarters, all decked out in wet suits and ready to go, we congregated outside for the final set of instructions. The speaker, one of the guides, started with these words: “When you fall out of the boat…” Emily heard no more. Totally freaked, she headed toward the changing rooms, feeling tricked and betrayed.

At a point, when I had resolved to stay behind with her, our friendly neighborhood river rafting guide took over and performed a miracle. He made an eight-year-old distraught girl trust him and willingly go where no one in her family thought she would ever go—into the boat. She did not fall out of the boat. As a matter of fact (and pride), ours was the only boat that did not capsize, i.e. tip over, dumping everyone into the raging river! So it goes. She trusted the right guy.

This became a song, but has since been forgotten. Oh well.