Posts Tagged ‘#brother’

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I may have some free time for a little bit and I would like to catch up on a bunch of things that have been on the back-burner for a while.  I also hope to pull up old band and other video projects and push them hard into the hi-def age.  It will be a lot harder than it sounds as some of my media is very old tech.  We shall see.

I also wanted to share with you some of the songs my older brother David did in a studio years ago.  I was not involved in writing or recording these songs.  My home studio was meager by today’s standards and I was only set up for one-man songwriting stuff.  I was not able to record an entire band at one time back then.

My brother’s band was doing some original songs and jamming pretty often.  Tom Collins and David had an inspired writing session for a couple of hours before practice.  The band mates were so excited with the new material they made calls and booked time in a recording studio the next week!!##!!

I will detail the studio experience and give the band members and authors their due in future blogs.  Here is a tune from the Studio Ways session that will kick things off well.  “My Dog Loves You Too” is a heart-warming love song with a pleasant twist of humor.  David was faced with a challenge to write a funny love song.  His ex-wife Cynthia came up with a few guitar parts and the song writing took off!  Like this one, all the songs were literally finished and arranged in the studio the day they were recorded.  It gives a great live feel to the collection.  Tom Collins wrote most of the music for this recording and my brother wrote the lyrics.

Please enjoy “My Dog Loves You Too”.

 

Those that have visited my site from the beginning to those that have read my posts and comments over the years will know that I started a musical path early-on in my childhood.  From my parents selecting musical instruments for Christmas and my birthdays to my older brother David writing poetry that I would turn into beat and melody (using whatever toys I had available at the time!).

As my interest in poetry grew I tried to soak up what he already knew.  Younger, I did not have training, but I had a natural feel for timing/rhythm and melodies.  I picked up theory, arrangement, recording techniques and a million other things from people way smarter than me in later years, but early it was just experimentation and the fun in creating.

We shared a lot, critiqued a lot, and bounced around things as they got better and better.  Writing lyrics is funny.  We use them to tell a story or create a mood.  Vocals can put us in a trance or allow us to laugh ourselves silly.   Lyrics by themselves they are often trite or ‘nothing, really’.  But put them in front of the right music and performance and they can become life altering.

Over the years there were countless songs we co-authored in one way or the other.  I often leaned on my strong points in the beginning and created the chord progression and melody, but David learned to play the guitar and we later played piano/keyboards.  It is difficult if not Impossible to know what parts originated where.  I stopped trying decades ago!

I have posted songs that we are particularly proud to have been even a small part in writing.  (I think there might be one or two more I have not posted yet, I will have to check LOL).  In the following weeks I would also like to post a number of songs my brother wrote and recorded years ago.  He and a few friends went into a recording studio and laid down his new songs even as some were being finalized.  As I did not record or perform in his “David K and Studio Way” session, it was great to hear this completed project for the first time.

Here are a few of the favorite songs I posted on this blog.

https://wordpress.com/post/midimike.com/205

https://wordpress.com/post/midimike.com/173

https://wordpress.com/post/midimike.com/116

https://wordpress.com/post/midimike.com/50

I will do a little research and post a few tunes from “David K and Studio Way”.

 

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When I wrote the lyrics to This Moment, I had been thinking about my younger brother.  He died from throat cancer a while back.  He was the funniest and kindest person I have ever known.  Even in the last few weeks of his battle you would never know he was losing.  I spoke with his doctor and stated my brother was exhausted; no money or resources, no physical or emotional strength reserves, no medical options left.  I was told others that were in a better state might be able to hold out longer.  Soon my wife and I got a call and rushed to the hospital as we had a number of times before.  He was in ICU this time and there was nothing to be done.  The next expectation was the cancer would eat through the main artery in his neck.  I will spare you the rest.

As he woke up and looked around, he was puzzled and almost excited at the same time.  He could not talk, so he wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to me.  “Is this real?” was written at the top of the page.  Between the medications and his state of mind, he was not sure if he was dreaming or not.  He had been in hospital rooms many times, but he knew this was different.  I told him that we are in the hospital.  I confirmed he was dying and there was little time left.  His artery would rupture soon.  A moment difficult to prepare for.

The lyrics worked their way from my thoughts to the paper as I recalled that time in the hospital.  How I felt: how he must have felt.  My thoughts wandered to the many times I have talked and laughed with him over the years.

Your thoughts and comments were truly appreciated.  I put the lyrics to music recently. This is not a perfect recording.  This is as far as it goes for me.  Please accept it as it is. For all of us that have lost loved ones and friends, sometimes we just need to share the loss.  Maybe it makes it easier to turn the pain into great memories.

 

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© MSK 12-9-2017

While you sleep

You will lay safely.

I will caress you

I will keep you warm.

 

When the world

Is beyond your touch

I will hold your hand

I will call your name.

 

There is pain

Lost behind the door.

‘Til then embrace it

And the good things in life.

 

This Moment

With all the others

I’ll remember you

And still hear your laugh.

 

Overwhelming

What if it’s not a dream?

I’ll tell you what’s real

As moments remain.

 

This Moment

With all the others

I’ll remember you

And still hear you laugh.

 

In memory of my brother Christopher.

As I look back on the songs and projects I have been involved in I also want to share with you projects from the core of artists I grew up with that influenced me to do more and get better in my craft. I have a good number of writings to pick from.  Here is a set of lyrics from my older brother David.  I have mentioned him a few times already so I wanted to give you some examples of his writing.

This is a song called “Singing Wheels”.  It was written in February of 1977. We have a lot of themes about driving and being on the road.  We often contrast between city life and nature as we are drawn almost equally to both. The song has beautiful chords and the melody is haunting with a fluid motion that fits the lyrics quite well.  I will post the song in the future.  At this point, the boy is able to see the man he became!  Perspective is amazing from decades later.

Singing Wheels”  © 1977 C David Kennedy

The lights of the city spread like stars below me

Traffic swirls around me as I leave.

And time moves slowly in a car that’s moving swift

I guess you call it relativity.

 

If the boy I was could see

The man that he became

He’d be pretty happy I suppose.

But the best things about him

Were just ballast for the flight

His hopes are dim and his dreams are tame.

 

And while Singing Wheels spin over whispered lullabies

My car eats the highway in the rain

Windshield wipers tell a tale rhythmic and serene

And thunder mourns the crying of the skies.

I have pointed out on more than one occasion that I have a difficulty remembering names and dates.  This took its toll in my History grades for sure, but also had dramatic effects growing up and through adulthood.  For this I do not apologize other than try to work on ways to reduce that block.  I also acknowledge it and inform others that it is not intentional.  In two minutes I will forget your name.  It is nothing personal.  If I had a pen and paper I would write it down and if I can discretely enter in my cell phone I do.  If not, your name is gone.  I will remember your voice and the conversation.  I might be able to remember your face, but that is not guaranteed either.

Fellow bloggers’ names I will trigger more by the Picture/logo/Avatar and tag-line than the personal name.  From time to time I will post songs and lyrics from members of the center core I mentioned earlier.  I will feature other artists I have worked with as well. For many, I simply do not know the names of the many band members I have recorded or worked with.  I hope they will contact me so I can give them credit for all their works and talent.

To that point I do not overlook or diminish the writing partnerships I have had.  In the early years we did not think of copyrights or co-authorship.  We never discussed mechanical licensing or royalties.  Digital rights weren’t even a dream in the Product Development plans.  Pay-per-Click (PPC) wasn’t until years in the future.  Yet, here we are.

I feel I need to mention that my brother C David Kennedy has been referred to in a number of my posts while relaying the earlier years of poetry and song writing.  He is especially proud of his involvement in a few songs I have previously posted; “Red on Your Blue Suede Shoes”(c), “Quiet Nights”(c), “The Pleasure Tax”(c) and “Miracles in Your Hand”©.

Believe it or not, MTV started off as a media outlet for – VIDEOS!  It was not what it is today.  Music videos were still relatively new and there were not that many out there but they started being produced in numbers once MTV provided an outlet for them. The Chicken or the Egg thing all over again.  I did not own any video equipment, but I was familiar with photography and music, so it was a natural interest for me.  Back then, cable companies were starting to set up monopolies in various cities throughout the US and we were in the Warner Amex territory.  As part of their agreement with the city to provide cable and other services, Warner Amex made some of their equipment and channels available to local citizens. They provided training and allowed non-profit citizens to go through camera and editing training and once completed you could schedule use of their equipment to create content for viewing on their Public Access channels.

I was one of the first (my card was # 000090!!) to sign up for the training classes.  I would borrow their equipment and film bands and live performances, family growing, along with a number of other projects.

My first project was to make a video that introduced the idea and benefits of the Public Access program, (we hoped if we had a complimentary message it would be good for PR and relationships with the people that administered the program, (we were right). and a music video idea we had been working on.  This is by definition low-budget and is dated by equipment and resources available today. But it was a learning experiment and was a lot of fun.  To do a lot of what we did it took a bunch of planning and trial and error.  I had been playing keyboards for a very short time and there are a bunch of mistakes, I was new with the video editing and production, but not this was not bad for the first release.  Usually, I am also the cameraman, but filming my own band required additional operators.  I edited the video from the collection of raw tapes and a live performance of the song.

This video features my younger brother as the narrator and the music is from the duo I was in at the time called, “The Personal Touch.”  The intro theme is a musical piece called “The Big D Jam”.  The video is based on a song the guitar player wrote called “Transaxle“.   We took vague ideas and filmed them all.  Then edited them into something semi-cohesive!  There are a bunch of funny stories that went into the making of Walking Man but I will spare you for now.  The end credits use a song of mine introduced earlier called “The Pleasure Tax“.

As with many of these blasts from the past, there are lots of good memories and a number of painful ones.  Looking at this video again so many years after, I see my youngest brother Chris in his healthy days doing the narrative part introducing the musical video before health problems including throat cancer took their toll.  This is when we thought we would last forever….. there was no end in sight.  We do not last for ever.  For him, the end was so close to the beginning.   We all have our vices, but with legal ones like tobacco and alcohol killing people every day, we all know someone that has been affected by the results. Here is the real message we should be sending; These drugs may not kill you.  You will not lose ten years of your life.  You will survive – and grow old – and suffer – for decades, with a disease that is eating you from the inside out. I am glad I was there to help him a little as he faced the end.  I would have given anything to find another path for him, but he knew where he was going.  It did not stop him and neither could I.