My Crazy Love

The theory of solipsism holds the following as truth: All that can be known to exist is the self. Everything else is subject to interpretation. Hmm. Sometime ago, I got a lyric from my buddy Frank Grant and while it interested me, I felt it needed some sort of twist. To me, a key line in the chorus, “In a room without a view” started to suggest a certain egocentricity and self containment. Self love, even. Now, before any of you holler that as Americans, we’re all living out one man’s journey through just such an impairment, let me state for the record that “My Crazy Love” is a song, nothing more, not a statement of policy or historical record. That said, it does seem to chronicle a side of life I think we’ve experienced a time or two. Click here for the YouTube video, and thanks for taking a look. My Crazy Love






My father, David Donald, was a vet but never talked about the war, even though the experience had molded his world. He met my mother while both were on active duty, and in fact, they were married in Germany just after V-E Day. But like so many other GIs, he hurried home to start a family and put everything else behind him. World War II, like the Depression before it, was a distant memory. He became an ad man, and together he and Mom raised my sister and me. And life seemed all he hoped for. But Dad’s last years were not kind. My mother had passed, unexpectedly, following a failed procedure, and he spent the ten years hence a lonely and frightened old man. When my friend Brandon Butrick sent me this lyric, it reminded me of my dad, and his realization of just how far he’d come from that US Army recruiting station in Akron, Ohio. “Time to Kill” is a sad song, to be sure, one that explores the complexities. and the universalities, of a father/son relationship. Click here for a listen: Time to Kill

Queen of the Hop

My dear Aunt Jean Pagnard of Strongsville, Ohio turned 101 the other day. What an accomplishment. What a grand lady. Among other gifts, I’ve been producing a song each year; popular tunes from back in the day, which in her case has been quite a number of days. Last year I crafted up a rather dour-sounding version of Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me,” but this time around I decided to lighten things up a bit. A favorite choice at sing-alongs has always been Bobby Darin’s “Queen of the Hop,” which along with “Splish Splash,” represented his boisterous, rock-n-roll era, before he turned crooner. And so, as the saying has it, Aunt Jean, this one goes out to you. Click here for a listen: Queen of the Hop

You and me and Tommy D

Embarrassing moment in the Nashville airport security line this morning. You know how stuff happens on a phone without you knowing–especially loud kinds of stuff. That was me. Just standing there in my socks waiting for the gentleman ahead of me to get his ample self through the scanner, when “Bop Baby” busts out from my iPhone rolling through the machine. A loud, intrusive “Bop Baby.” This track had been my first go with Tommy Dunbar, seven or eight years ago. He played all the instruments (except that Soul Survivors organ in the break, an achievement of which I’m proud to this day). Apparently, this sort of thing happens from time to time, and the TSA people were nonplussed. I was mortified. Couldn’t reach the phone, and the damn thing just kept going: “You and me, boppin’ baby.” I looked around sheepishly, but realized that at least a couple of folks in line seemed to be enjoying the spectacle, and possibly even the song. So I did something I rarely do, at least not in public. Started boppin’, admittedly in a restrained, 72-year-old manner. Got through the scanner and with a little skip step over to the line, I retrieved the damn thing. Somehow had the presence of mind to execute a manual fade with the volume controls, and then danced over to the bench to put my boots back on. Could have sworn at least one person applauded this display. I turned and bowed ever so slightly, then proceeded to Gate A-8 as if nothing had happened. Click here for a listen: Bop Baby

Time to go

Nashville, we hardly knew ye. Actually, we know you pretty darn well. You’re a complex, confounding (at times) and yet thrilling city. The issues confronting America are on full display here, but so are the attributes we’ve always cherished, and that make this country home. Every time I walk through Gate A-8 here at BNA, I wonder when I’ll be back. Likely, sooner than later.

We have a winner

As it happens, most readers of this blog are what used to be called “creatives.” People who make stuff. We’re driven to express ourselves in one way or another. The product of said exercise is art, and it belongs to us. Until it doesn’t. So don’t give it away. Don’t let promises or even offered compensation sway you. Necessarily. Whatever you’ve done is yours until you decide otherwise. Not suggesting you hold out for spite. Or because you dislike the system. Everything in this world has a value, including your art. Figure out what that is, and then don’t take a penny less. Your copyright is a human right.

Rose & Denny

The Nashville power couple. Rose Knight has a voice that can shake rafters, and when Denny Knight slams into a chord on his six-string, everyone in Belcourt Taps (or anywhere else) knows he means it. I love these two, always have, and not just because they both adore my wife Mitzi (the feeling is mutual). They’re the embodiment of what makes this town so damn curious, and so compelling. Rose wields her sensuality like a whip, and Denny is a studio-owning-songwriting-producing dynamo. And the son of legendary country songwriter Carl Knight. We’re all going to hang out on Friday night, eat Thai food and talk shit. No better way to slide into that long westward flight the next day.