When you’ve written twenty songs with a partner who already can sing 800 rock classics on any given night in his live performances, the question arises: where do you start? Justin and I have created a pretty astonishing range of material, all from the heart and ever-inquiring, some might say over-stimulated, mind of an old poet. Some, like Beautiful Angel, are specific responses to the stuff of life. Someone close to you dies, you have to write about it; that’s it, no questions asked. You need to share the well of emotions you’re swimming in and hope the ripples will make sense to other mourners, other copers trying to sort out their own confusion and grief. Other days you might be feeling a tad, let’s say, cynical over the greed and avarice blaring nonstop on your TV or arriving unsolicited in your inbox and you write a lyric called Charity (Begins in the House) and it’s all about blaring back. You want my money? How about this: send a tax-deductible donation to a little hedge fund called the Proceeds All Go To Me.
Other days you’re so joyfully, irrepressibly in love with your lover, you want everybody to know what you know: that she (or he; it’s your lover; we don’t judge) is the Reason You Exist or that she (or he; we encourage love in all its fabulous forms) has Rehabilitated your soul and given your days and nights new meaning. Some songs come unexpectedly. You might find yourself thinking about the passage of time and where you are now, as opposed to all those bizarro stops along the way, and you find yourself writing Page By Page. “Remind me not to be seventeen,” the lyric begins. Or 21 or 33. It’s like the antidote to someone else’s Glory Days, as in, whoa, glad we got past those low-water marks. And that might lead a silver-haired writer to variations on the theme. Virility might come into the conversation (with himself). You might think, hmm, what can an old dog bring to the party that a young pup can’t? And suddenly you’re writing Old Boys Rock and you know you’re onto something every old dog’s gonna relate to. And that sense of absolute abandon and freedom might put you in a motorcycle-kinda mood and the blue highway opens to your newly-remembered sense of independence and rebellion. “Come on, baby, be my Harley chick. Wrap your legs around me, let’s go quick.” Nuff said.
If you’re lucky, these won’t be merely the idle musings of a madman. You’ll give the words to your equally-tormented composing partner and say, “Here. Make ’em sing.” And, the next thing you know, your own personal madness has become a song everybody can sing along to. That’s how it goes with Justin and me. If you’ve had the good fortune to hear him in person, you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about one of the great and unforgettable voices ever to grace a stage, fill a room, rock the rafters. If you haven’t been in one of those rooms, now you can hear him – and me, in absentia – on CD. The answer to the question is you start with a two-song EP called Harley Chick; you put “Old Boys Rock” on the flip side, you assemble fabulous musicians like current bassist for Vanilla Fudge Pete Bremy, pictured above with world-class guitarist Randy Roos, and New Hampshire’s own brilliant Jared Steer on drums and also-brilliant Gardner Berry on keyboards, you record and master the CD in Randy’s Squam Sound studio, you launch it during New Hampshire’s famed Bike Week and you announce to the world that the party has started. Whether you come to it by motorcycle or Amazon or iTunes, here’s your invitation. Come dance with us.