A few years back I entered into one of my 30/30 sessions.
That’s, 30 songs in 30-days.
‘Cept I had a problem. The same one I always have…
I get about 4- or 5-days into it, and I can’t help but finish the tunes I’d roughed out.
I can’t get them out of my head. I’m okay with it though, because it’s always turned out to be good sessions.
Come to think of it, this was back after the Great Recession was bearing down hard on folks.
I’d seen some news clips how California was getting hit hard. People were just abandoning their houses, because they couldn’t afford them any longer.
No wonder really. A half-million dollar fixer upper on the west coast, if were moved to these parts would sell for maybe $120,000.
Anyway, the reporters walked in abandoned houses with a video camera.
There were clothes in the closets, silverware in the drawers, and furniture left. All just like the fam went out for a Sunday drive.
In fact, I remember one clip showed dinner on the table.
As if the family gave salute to the house with one last meal, ate what they could, put their napkins on the plates, pushed back their chairs, and walked out leaving the remaining meal for the bank to clean up.
There were reports of contractors tossing furniture in dumpsters. Perfectly good, fine furniture tossed in the trash.
That wasn’t even half of the waste.
They showed bulldozers coming in and leveling perfectly good houses just so the bank didn’t have to try to sell them.
They were over run with property, and I suppose in some cases, land was utilized for commercial property.
So one day I was at my desk, hugging up on my guitar thinkin’ ‘bout the house we lived in as a kid.
I’d remembered the day my mom gave me my first guitar for my fourteenth birthday. I see it right now typing here. I know right where I was when she gave it to me. I was at the kitchen table.
The grain on the neck was gorgeous mahogany, as was the body except the blonde top.
Granted, the strings were probably a quarter inch off the frets, but it built up my calluses good.
Besides, my mom bought it for me, which totally beat out the accordion I got before that.
There were lots of memories in that house.
Like the day my older brother and I were arguing in the garage. He had me down on the ground.
I spit in his eye and he commenced to swing me around by my legs and let me go flying off to who knows where.
Ah, those were the days. RIP bro.
Sittin’ at that desk, reflecting on those days as a kid in that house. Then recalling those clips of houses being bulldozed down, I wondered how I’d feel if they bulldozed my childhood house?
So I penned a tune called This Old Living Room.
It was always a reflective piece for me with bits and pieces of my memories in it.
I played it out, and some folks really liked it, which is always good, right?
But after one particular gig, a woman came up to me and told me how just the week prior, her and her sister went out to their old childhood place.
The reason they went was to take a piece of plaster off the walls, because the following week, it was being leveled.
All their childhood memories were coming down and they wanted a piece to remember them by.
It was almost as if she was straddling the wrecking ball with her hand out as it approached the house, in attempts to stop demolition of their memories as it plowed into the virgin wall.
Standing there with my guitar in hand, her telling of the story, and how the song touched her; meant so much to me as a writer. To affect another human being so appreciatively, is so worth it.
My timing was just dumb luck, and I had no idea anyone would even identify with a song I’d written cross between my own childhood and a news story.
But, isn’t that the beauty of songwriting?
If we write them good, they’ll ring true to others.
Songs can be written with too much information, not enough information, inappropriate information, or just the right information.
And of course, HOW they are written makes all the difference in the world.
And that’s what Tune Booster is about. Find out more here: https://www.tunesmithtips.com/tunebooster/