Updated: Sep 8
As we near the end of the album, we hear Outta Da Blu. This was actually the 2nd song I wrote for the album, and was always planned to get stuck at the back. The reason for the melancholy is it's a soft landing after so many ups and downs on the CD. I wanted to give you the chance to reflect on what you just heard. A chance for peace.
When I started writing, I wanted a different musical approach beginning with a piano rather than just guitar. The piano riff was something I had plunked down about 6 months before I wrote the song. Matter of fact, I was just trying to learn how to play piano, and record it in GarageBand. [GarageBand has limits. Those limits simply force me to get better.] Somehow, I liked the piano riff, and tried to noodle around to find a melody in it. After about 25 minutes of noodling, something like a melody popped out of my fingers.
I then hit the looper in GarageBand, and played it 50 times until words came to me. The words, "Your ghost keeps chasing me around" came into my head. So, a song about a lost love became the story. But how to relate to the universe? I didn't know.
But then, something strange happened. A friend of mine, Steve Attaway, died of a widow maker heart attack. Steve and I had many discussions on computers and parallel processing he invented in the 1980's, and how to make things better. It was a huge personal loss to me in February of 2019. And then, Jack Riegal died in September, just after I saw him in July for a conference in SanDestin.
As I sat down to write the rest of the song, it dawned on me I hadn't written anything because I was too sad. I would literally pick up the guitar and just stare at it. My heart just wasn't in it. So, I wrote, "Yesterday, my old guitar stared at me. I tried to play and nothing came of it. Your ghost keeps chasing me around."
Then, I reflected on myself and I wrote, "It's funny how it all plays like TV. Sights and sounds, and every little memory. Precious times are all slowing down."
And then, after my mind began wandering, I snapped it back to what was going on right in front of me, "There's your face, right out of the blue. Any little trace brings me to the truth. When it's all said and done, what it all boils down to: the only thing that's clear is you."
The next verse touches on looking at the meaning of loss, and the fact we take life for granted. And maybe we should. We were put here to live life, not to live in loss. Our long lost relatives would likely only want us to be happy. And so we should be happy. It's that warmth that keeps us all glued together.
In the end, the song is about gratitude, and irony. Having warm memories, and questions about how you feel during loss, it becomes a song about not being able to write a song because we get stuck in time.
I end the tune with no instruments. It's supposed to leave you haunted, And make you re-listen to the entire CD one more time.
I'm not sure if my plan worked. You tell me. There should be a video out soon.
When I said writing an album was hard, I meant it. I just thank God I have the talent that I do. The rest is hard work.