Recently I was asked in comments (The Observer) if a song I posted was recorded at home or in a studio.  I replied but thought I might expand on that a bit and also introduce another version of “The Pleasure Tax”.  As my brother and I got older we kept writing poems that were now almost always designed to be lyrics.  We got better.  Instead of playing the bongos, I played the toy organ I mentioned and everything else from there.  Here is where I get to also blame my parents again.  For Christmas we all got cool toys, but many of mine seemed to be music makers; recorders, tiny piano ‘tinkley’ toys, little ukuleles and eventually guitars with plastic strings and a drum set that was made for a three year old, but you get the point.  So we got better and we played instruments and my brother started playing guitar as well.  We had more toys to create music so when we wanted to record them (I was probably fourteen or fifteen by the time recording was a possibility) we wanted to add the various instruments and record them all together.

Through the years, we met other musicians and became great friend – or as I seem to recall – we met great friends that were also musicians.  Eventually there was a central core of serious song writers.  Sometimes there would be around eight or ten core writing members.  It would seem there was a competition going (and there always was!) to write the coolest or most clever or the most groovy song.  And we would have friends that would stop by and jam once in a while or would write lyrics and were willing to turn them over to a group of people that would fit them , with force if necessary, with a musical arrangement, melody line and harmonies.

The rambling link to all this is when we often played a collection of each other’s songs, we more than likely played with different performers supporting a few core members.   Those were exciting days!  One time you would sing the song and the lead vocalist was not there.  So you let an ‘orbiting member’ do the vocal melody and you sing the harmony part.  Most of us played instruments and sang – especially if we wrote the song as you can guess – so if the lead vocalist also played guitar, we filled in as a ‘core member’.   On one visit or jam session you performed and sang your song all by yourself to the group.  In other visits you were surrounded by full instrumentation and a choir of vocalists!  So here is an example of all that tied into a version of this song by a full band I toured with.  You heard us play live to an audience in Texas when we played the original song “Our Bodies Move” posted earlier.  We also played other original songs and snuck them into our sets.  One of them was “The Pleasure Tax”.  We called ourselves The Personal Touch.  Ric and I were a duo and when we decided to add a female vocalist as recommended by a booking agency they decided to sign us up for out of state gigs.  We got some studio time when signing up and we performed some original tunes and some cover stuff…. done The Personal Touch way.  “TPT” by TPT!

So this is rare original song of mine that was recorded in an actual studio.    We are a trio and there was a studio drummer.   Everything else is The Personal Touch with a very new vocalist.


  1. David Kennedy says:

    Exciting days, indeed. Lots of great songs from a community of writers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patrice says:

    Funny, I posted on my blog today a writing ‘I Journey To My Home’. Then listening to this song of yours, I journeyed back once again – to my home. Loved it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David Kennedy says:

    And you look so young in this picture, you were quite the dude!


  4. othermary says:

    The collaborative/competitive songwriting sounds exciting. And I like your ‘official studio recording’ version; the guitar bit is especially nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Hello! Some times in our life things seem almost magical. It would be almost impossible to create that kind of environment. In future posts I will introduce readers to works from members of the core group and creations using orbiting members’ material. Ric did the lead guitar work on this tune and it fit so well it is the one I think about and hear on my head. I think it is a great compliment to the energy behind the song. You have a talent of understanding how things fit together and can find the gem in the mountain! Greatly appreciated and good to hear from you AS ALWAYS!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tom Robinson says:

    The “TPT way” was bold and inventive. I have my own illustration of this group performing in Dayton Ohio. As far as I could tell, composition and arrangement were Midi Mike’s job. But the talent pool of three swept wide as a continent.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] Posted: August 10, 2016 in Opinions and Observations Tags: #audio, #band, #creative, #death, #friend, #love, #lyrics, #music, #musician, #personal, #recording, #singer, #song, #songwriter, #story, #writer 0 […]


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s