Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It was 20 years ago this year....

In 1984-85, my friend and songwriting partner, James Plakovic (Artist James) wrote a number of songs, hoping to become working composers and lead lives of exciting dissapation whilst collecting huge royalty checks.

Although the dissaption part may be a reality, we're still waiting on the checks.

One of the songs we wrote, "In Your Arms" was one of those mid-1980's power ballads in the realm of The Scorpions, Def Lepard and Motley Crue.  We toyed with it for quite a while, performing it with just bass and guitar, trying to capture just the right feeling, if not the right sound.

Prior to his wedding in 1991, James found a way to get us into a studio to record a couple of songs.  Our good friend, Kurt Kvandal, could play the drums, and he was in town for the wedding anyway, so he rounded out our little power trio.  We recorded "When Will We All See The Light", an homage to Peace and Love and all things Meher Baba, as well as "In Your Arms".

I'm sure that Kurt had heard us perform these songs in one form or another, but had never played them.  I don't remember which song we recorded first, but I do remember (trying to act like some kind of record producer/arrangee) telling him that "In Your Arms" was "an homage to Def Lepard".  He knew exactly what I wanted, and we proceeded to record this song.

Our first pass was drums, bass, and rhythm guitar, and I don't think we had to do too many takes to get this down.  I added at least one lead guitar (if you could call it lead guitar) track, a lead vocal and probably one backing vocal.

James was the Executive Producer and Mix consultant for the final version.

A few weeks ago, this song popped up on my iPod mix (while I was texting James about something else), and I decided on the spot to post this song on Facebook using their video posting capability.  For the visual portion, I scanned a bunch of photos from our vast and storied past, and also threw in some "after" photos, if only to prove that we turned out okay.  I found some photos of The Who from the period that inspired us most, as well as an older Peter Townsend.  He in no way endorses this song.

We had a buddy who wanted to be in our "band", and he is featured in some of the early photos.  Don't know what happened to Ralph "Lou" Mahkovec, but we're thinking fond thoughts of him today.

Yes, that is Pat Foley, famed Chicago Blackhawks announcer, who was kind enough to stand next to an overserved young man for a 'photo opportunity' before a game in the early 1990's ("Hey Pat, a photo opportunity" was exactly what I shouted at him).

Big glasses and bad facial hair.  Pretty wives who loved us back then (and now, too). 

James is now "An Artist", published, displayed, and galleried.  He has a daughter whom he adores and an amazing wife.

Kurt won a life and death battle with a construction site nail, and has three lovely grown-up daughters to go with his lovely wife.

I continue to live by my wits, with a wonderful daughter and son, and a wife who seems to put up with me.  I look all mature and grown-up on the outside, but we all know better, don't we?