I’m in this highway rest area, right?
A dude’s standing at a vending machine.
Pretty close to a Top Gun haircut.
Six-foot tall or so.
Khaki and cammo threads. Civilian style, not quite military garb.
The lady who filled the machine was in the background and saw the dude was having some hesitations and asked…
“Can I help you, sir?”
The dude turned around with a dirty look and rolled the eyes.
It wasn’t a dude.
I mean everything about this dude was dudely.
Very masculine features.
‘Cept… he, or she, had a bit of a chest.
Either that or a bra-worthy case of man-boob.
Anyway, the vending lady immediately said, “Oh I’m sorry ma’am, can I help you?”
The dudette ignored her, made her purchase, and walked away.
The vending lady, said, “Thank you and have a great day.”
Which the dudette grumbled, “yeah… right.” Walking out the door.
There’s a good lesson in songwriting, and in life here.
First, people have the right to be who they want in life. They live with whatever that might mean to them.
But, the world is also used to seeing things a certain way. And if you volunteer to change it, expect to meet up certain surprises.
It’s just going to happen.
I mean, if someone fixed you a hot dog…
Piled on the relish, kraut, ketchup, mustard, onion… the works…
You bit in, and found it was a tube filled with peanut butter and jelly.
Not a hot dog at all. Whatever they are filled with.
It’s not that this sandwich is wrong, but it’s disguised as a friggin’ hot dog.
Then, if you expressed any surprise, would you be wrong?
Not in my humble, but accurate for me, opinion.
This is different than Bob Seger’s tune “Turn the Page,” where he talks about walking into a room with long hair and good ole country boys loudly asking their buddies, “Is that a woman or a man?”
But don’t blame me if you’re wearing a knight’s suit of armor, and I don’t laugh because I don’t see the jester’s outfit you’re wearing under there.
It might not be wrong for you, but it’s confusing to me.
And the same can go for your tunes.
Don’t disguise it up as one song, then get mad because someone didn’t get it.
Many times this occurs in the song’s structure.
Look, there are certain things people are just used to seeing and hearing.
And, there are times when you can cross the lines a bit in self-expression or what feels right.
But, if you dress your song as a dog, and it meows, don’t blame the listener for pulling back a petting hand.
What sorts of things do writers sometimes do to cause confusion? What not to do, and how to meet a listener’s expectation?
Stuff like that is what Tune Booster is all about.
Getting to the gritty of your tunesmithing.
First edition coming in June.
Keep writing from the hart!