top of page

Entry date: 8-13-2022 - More Song Chat - Letters to My (annoyed) Friends

Dear Friends,

This business of picking a favorite song has messed me up. For the past few days, every song I listen to is getting judged more severely than the next. I give up. I can’t do it. I can’t pick a favorite song.

The first song I ever wrote, at least the music, was a simple little thing around a G. I played that thing over and over and over on the first guitar I ever bought. It grew as my guitar skills grew but was never something I played for anyone except Ben and Alexa. I could probably play it now, but I don’t think anyone would want to hear it.

What it did, though, was get my fingers ready for playing bass. It was basically a bass line, but I didn’t play bass yet. Once I started playing bass, the riffs and songs came quickly. As I mentioned in previous blogs, the early days of Hillbilly Devilspeak featured a lot of time in the practice room. More often than not, I would start a bass line and if Terry and EJ liked it, we would jam on it for a long time. Most of our early songs came from this style of songwriting. Hell, not just the early songs. Hillbilly was a jam band.

Very few of the HD songs came from me sitting at home with my bass or my acoustic guitar and coming up with a riff. I loved spontaneously creating music with all the people who played in Hillbilly over the years. It was just fun. I do have a few favorites of those songs.

“Revenge of the Micronauts” was a simple bass line that Terry put a killer riff full of harmonics over. It was the first song we did that people took notice of and seemed to really like. I suppose that’s why it was the first thing of mine that ever came out. On that first BGR Records 7”, three songs that I had come up with on it and one that Terry had come up with called “Hillbilly Devilspeak.”

I was super proud of “Micronauts,” though, and it is a favorite of mine from those days. I also loved a song that was on our first CD, Colorized, called “Second Cousin.” It was sick and wrong, lyrically, but the riff was super fun to play. It’s a bonus track on the CD and not listed on the cover anywhere. Alex had recorded some songs with us on James and Chris’ from Les Payne Product’s DAT and those got put on as the “bonus tracks.”

All those bonus tracks are favorites of mine. The others were “Koresh,” “Rodman Vs Soul” and “Karen, You’re Lip-Syncing Again.” The latter is probably my favorite of my “Fuck You” songs. Listen and you’ll see why.

I loved “Casa Bravo” and “Head Cleaner” off that first CD, too. Hell, I love them all. I can’t even pick a favorite HD song. I can give you a top 5, though.

1. “Karen…You’re Lip-Syncing Again”

2. “Revenge of the Micronauts”

3. “Yeah Yeah Yeah”

4. “CIA Cancer Theory”

5. “Rockstars and Hypocrites”

The fifth one, “Rockstars and Hypocrites” was an early song that was never recorded except on early demo tapes. I have a cassette of it somewhere. My favorite song title was “Rough Kitchen Sex” and we played that song a lot for a while but I don’t even remember how it goes and it was never recorded.

With Son of Crackpipe, I would have to say that “Mary Poppins” was my favorite and I’m still proud of the record that came out in 1995. It’s a fun one and a fun riff to play, too. Most of those riffs were pretty fun to play and Alex’s guitar work made them that much better.

When Pinky rolled around, we had a lot of fun songs. I really enjoyed playing the vast majority of the songs, to be honest. We had so much fun writing them and, for the most part, they were a collaborative effort. I don’t think there were many that were written by just one of us, riff-wise.

If I had to choose a favorite Pinky song, though, I would choose “The First Time The King Tried Newcastle.” The opening riff was one of mine and I think we all collaborated on putting it together. It just flowed so well. Fun riff to play, for sure. Lots of the Pinky riffs were fun to play, though. I can look fondly upon them at this point. Other than messing around in the house, I doubt I will ever play them again and I’m okay with that.

I haven’t really told that story yet, but I shall.

When I joined North Side Kings, I was just the bass player and I was really happy about that considering I was shouldering a lot of the load with Hillbilly and Pinky. I did get to suggest doing a JFA cover (“Guess What”) and I loved that. I loved playing “Fueled By Disappointment” probably the most. Such a fun bass line to play. My fingers got to fly around that bass a bit on that one.

There are two songs off the first record by The Father Figures that I truly love playing. The first was “Caviar” which was one of my riffs. I can still remember the day I came up with that one. I was noodling around on the acoustic guitar in the front living room of our house and the song just spilled out.

In a similar way, one off our Heavy Lifting album, “USS Destroyer” kind of came the same way. Both of those just sort of happened and when I took them to the practice room, they stayed pretty much the same. Michael and Bobby, of course, added their flair to the songs and made them way better than I could have by myself on an acoustic, but they just sort of were born awesome.

I really love a riff we recorded a few months back, too, called “Funny Hats.” Sadly, I don’t think that will ever come out, but that’s okay. I play it on the guitar all the time. It’s a lot of fun and maybe my favorite of them all. So many of The Father Figures songs to choose from that I like. Another riff I love playing is one of Bobby’s and it was also on Heavy Lifting. It’s called “Borrowed Records.” Super fun to play.

Once again, I have not chosen a favorite. I’m also not doing a playlist. That feels too much like shameless self-promotion.

See you tomorrow.

I stopped making computer art for a reason.

7 views0 comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page