Hey, I almost forgot, I’ve got a blog. Weird. Have you been here the whole time? You could have knocked Carl.

I’ve been working non-stop on this orchestral piece I’ve written. There’s always a race to finish a song before you start to hate it. I’ve lost the race.

When I first recorded the demo for this thing I knew that it would take a very long time to finish. But I figured that would be fine, I don’t really have anywhere I have to be this year so I’ll just mess with it a little bit at a time and it will eventually get done.

The whole “a little bit at a time” thing doesn’t really work for me. I’m more of an “until Angel stops taking your calls” kind of guy.

With a song like this the sheer volume of it can be intimidating. I try to make myself sit down at the computer, decide on two or three problems to fix, fix them, and then stop with a sense of accomplishment. What usually happens is I sit down at the computer, identify 348 problems that I hadn’t identified the last time I sat down, try to fix all of them all at once, realize I haven’t eaten, realize I have to be at work in five hours, and go to bed frustrated.

So I’m taking a break to “get some perspective” as J. Christopher Hughes always says.

This reminds me of an interview I read many years ago. The interview was with an audio engineer/producer who was working with Eric Johnson on his Venus Isle album. Eric Johnson is known to be a perfectionist to a crippling degree. The engineer said that there was this one lick that Eric kept playing over and over and over trying to get it just so. The engineer (geez I should just look the guy up) decided that he would show Eric how to run the equipment so Eric could work on this lick to his heart’s content without the guy having to be there for the whole thing. So the guy told Eric basically “I’ve got a few Jazz albums I need to go record this weekend. I’ll be back on Monday.” He said that when he returned on Monday Eric was still working on that same lick.

I got to open for Eric a few years ago at The Pageant. Steve Nowles and I did a short acoustic set. I was scared out of my ever loving mind. Playing the guitar in front of a couple thousand guys who play guitar is not my idea of a good time. To make matters even worse, we decided to play Van Halen’s “Take Your Whiskey Home.”

Playing an Eddie Van Halen guitar part while singing a David Lee Roth vocal at the same time in front of a packed house packed with guitar players, 90% of which can play circles around you, is really more than a guy should ever ask of himself. We pulled it off though. The response was great.

But that’s not the point really. The point is that I’ve never seen anybody do a more ridiculously, painfully, exhaustively thorough sound check in my entire life.

He would say stuff like this: “I need you to cut 2dB at 1.5K in the top side-fill monitor stage right.” Then he’d play every blazing minor pentatonic lick in the book. Then he’d say “I need you to boost 4K on the second rack tom 2.5 dB and bring it down .5 dB in my second from the left floor wedge.” Then more pentatonics. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

This went on for what seemed like hours. Then about five minutes before the doors opened Steve and I got our sound-check. It went something like this: soundman – “I need you guys to play like half of a verse of a song.” Which we did. Then he said something like “OK we’re good, thanks.”

Oh the life of a TBA.