Posts Tagged ‘#thanks’

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Fortunately, when I have too many things on my plate and never seem to get to putting some of my best lyrics to music, I have many talented friends that bail me out.  Often I write poems – but almost as often I begin writing lyrics intending to put music to them at some point.  Today I will share the lyrics and the original live recording to one of my favorites.

I found myself thinking of musical relationships and what, to some, becomes a long path that never gets close to ‘stardom’, whatever that is.  The late-night conversations with many friends – musicians reflecting on the efforts and rewards involved in the lifestyle we have chosen – became metaphors in these lyrics.

The title “Stainless Steel” refers to one type of guitar strings.  I also use silk and stainless steel strings on my Ovation 12 string guitar, but Stainless Steel captured the feeling I was surrounded by when writing the lyrics.  There is a certain pride creative people get when sacrificing for their art.  So many things are put on the back-burner or postponed indefinitely to accomplish turning a dream or idea into a treasure; even if it is only for a select few to enjoy.  No one else may ever know what gems were created, and it appears to many that you have nothing to show for your time and talent.  Only a few will understand the trade-offs you have made; those sitting around with you late at night, year after year.

In this recording my good friend, the late Mark Kelsey, plays guitar and sings.  He is accompanied by Ann Ellis from my band “The Personal Touch”.  Mark has worked through the arrangement a few times and I believe this is the first time Ann had heard the song.  He quickly recorded for me to listen to and was later to record a final version in a professional studio where he lived.  This is my favorite recording and I will always think fondly of him when I hear this recording.  While the living room quality is easy to hear, the mood and inspiration comes through clearly.

In our busy lives, it is all too easy for us to overlook the efforts our friends and loved ones make for us.  Sometimes it takes far too long for us to fully appreciate those acts of love.  I have let many go unrecognized – unappreciated – unacknowledged until it was too late.  Looking back I find myself humbled to realize how much my life would have been uplifted and how many friends deserved my  – – –  I do not know the correct words, but ‘praise’ seems as close as any I can think of.   It may also have uplifted their lives in a time when they needed it most.  It can be sad and joyous when time finally reveals the reflections of our lives.

Stainless Steel”                         Lyrics by MSK, Music by Mark D Kelsey  © 1984

 

Stainless Steel Shining Bright

Broken Glass Shattered nights

When we talk, What we feel

Lights the fire Turns the Wheel

Turns the wheel

 

Stainless Steel Sharp and cold

Day by day Bought and sold

Take my hand Close your eyes

Say a prayer Throw the dice

Throw the dice

 

Waiting for a Miracle is like waiting forever

When there’s nothing else to do

I hope that someone’s out there waiting for me baby,

The way that I ‘m waiting for you

Oh Stainless Steel

 

Stainless Steel Deep within

Who we are What we’ve been

Reaching out Find ourselves

Kiss goodbye, What the hell

What the hell

 

Stainless Steel Never bends

No one blames Or defends

Smiles will fade Tears will fall

Memories of Nothing at all

Nothing at all

 

Waiting for a Miracle’s like waiting forever

When there’s nothing else to do

I hope that someone’s out there waiting for me baby,

The way that I ‘m waiting for you

Oh Stainless Steel

 

 

 

I enjoyed the response from my poem “Eight Letters”.  Thank you all so much. (https://midimike.com/2017/07/25/eight-letters/)

The poem kept rattling in my head all day long and I found them fitting a rhythmic pattern.  Then a melody jumped in and I headed up to my studio to get it all down.

There was a mood inspired by the groove and I layed down the guitar tracks to a metronome.

The drums came easily as I followed the rhythms in my head.  As I mentioned earlier, this is fun and simple for me.  The chorus just jumped out, and I like the changes coming back into the verse.  The 6 string acoustic guitar sounded great to me and fit the song perfectly.

From there it was add the bass sound on my MIDI keyboard and it was ready for the Lead and harmony vocals.

It took me a while to sing this one to match the mood and I am glad you didn’t have to listen to me learn the melody and fit it to the music, but I think it came out as intended; short and sweet.

Here is the song mixed down.  The whole process took me about a week, but this was before I started working over 50 hours a week!

 

Fact or Perception

As an update and a gentle lead-in to the title of this post, I recently put in a job application at the Sam Ash Music Store in Cincinnati.  I worked for years at a local instrument music chain a while ago (not records or CD type of music store…) and I also worked at an electronics music store called ICB Audio.  I thought that and my decades of management, sales and customer service experience would make me a good candidate.  I started working at Sam Ash about two weeks ago.  For me, it is like being a kid in a toy store……. because I AM!

So, do I feel like the employment situation is getting better because I now have a job?  In reality, unemployment rate is very low, and has been for a while now.  There are people still looking for work, but there are also companies that are looking but cannot find qualified workers in their field and/or location.

Do we feel that food insecurity is a myth because we do not see it in our neighborhood or town?

Everyone we know is well fed and has no difficulty getting their next meal.

Do we refuse to believe specific facts or national statistics because they do not apply to us?

I am glad to be working again doing something I love.  I will probably spend more money than I make as I have done in music stores in the past, but I will hopefully meet a lot of new talented people driven by their passion to make music for all to enjoy.

It is tough when you are unemployed.  For those of you still looking I wish you well in 2017!

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Here is the thing;  IT happens.  LIFE happens.  Doors open.  Doors lock.  Time is too short.  Reinforcements too late.  People are nice.  People are mean.  Nature Is beautiful.  Nature is deadly.  You can look at this post as poetry or preaching.  A waste of time or a gold mine.  These events WILL happen.  They will happen to you.  They will happen to someone you know.  Each will occur during good times and terrible ones.  The optimist and the others have their answers and their advice.  Here is mine; These events will happen – prepare for them.  That means back up plans for the back up plans in some situations but also taking advantage of the opportunity.  I am an opportunist.                  

To follow our past conversation, we all want those that have succeeded to reach out and help struggling artists.  I am suggesting here that we are helped all the time, but too often we are not prepared to actually hear or understand the message.  We need to be prepared and look for the opening door, because it will happen.  It happens all the time. As I read great articles and poems, learn of projects and accomplishments and all the comments from this blogging community I KNOW people are encouraging others all the time.  We share struggles and that helps others prepare, because it will happen.  I just wanted to give you some idea of how impressed I am with so many intelligent and caring people I hear from every day in comments and your posts.  I count my blessings.  Cheers!    

Thank you, thank you, thank you! For the next few days I’ll be offering all of my blog friends a free download of my song Miracles In Your Hand off of my upcoming EP, “Before The Chase.” I have been struggling to find a proper way to thank you all for your support and encouragement over the past year. I was very close to throwing in the towel, but I started this blog and thanks to all of you and your kind words, I’ve been motivated to keep pushing forward.  As I watch this year’s calendar fill with major events and milestones, there are usually small celebrations here and there.  At each one I am not only surprised at the positive response and friendships created, but also by the amazing amount of talent and creativity this community produces.  Please stop by and add this original song (Click here – Miracles in Your Hand) to your personal libraries as part of my continued appreciation for all you have done to support and spread my works.

After a break-up some of these lyrics just poured out.  Seeing the same thing and coming to opposite conclusions.  Having an early exposure to poetry first, I try to keep those ideas reflected in many of the songs I write.  The chorus was an idea I had been playing with lyrically for a while and it seemed to immediately fit with the loss described in the verses.  What would you do if you held a miracle in YOUR hand?  What if that couldn’t save you?

“Miracles In Your Hand”  (c)  MSK

A reason is such a small thing,

Can’t you give me one?

Seems to me you were holding out,

Were you really just holding on?

The things we did won’t mean a thing,

The memories drift away.

The things you said hang in the air,

Like a light that will not fade.

CH:  You’re alive one day with miracles in your hand,

Then you’re heading for a wall, drivin’ fast as you can.

I settled down uneasy, I’m just waiting for tomorrow to come.

When the answers seem so distant,

Questions lose their fun.

You thought that I was shutting up,

I was really just shutting down.

It’s time we found the meaning,

In the games we have made.

And a reason makes the difference,

When the last trick must be played.

CH:   You’re alive one day with miracles in your hand,

Then you’re heading for a wall, drivin’ fast as you can.

I settled down uneasy, I’m just waiting for tomorrow to come.

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With your help and a lot of other social groups and individuals, we have helped raise money to help my friend John try to recover from the house fire that happened while he was away.  He still has not been able to get home to see the damage and to make plans for the immediate future.  I really want to thank all of you for great comments, spreading the word and financial support.   My guess is a number of people that do not know him offered support in a number of different ways.  I am frankly proud and grateful of the way this blog community responded.  Thank you again!

As many of you know I have been a musician for many years and met John when he was hired to work at the same music store I worked in.  It is kind of funny as you get older you can talk of personal experiences in terms of DECADES!!   Just saying.

Back on track, I wanted to give you an idea of the damage from the fire and the amazing group of local friends that organized without instruction and worked extremely hard to recover as many personal belongings as we could – and the restoration work that continues; and frankly, is really just at the beginning of that phase.  I wanted to give you a picture.  But we all know that is impossible.  You cannot describe the lobbies in Las Vegas hotels or what it feels like in the middle of the ocean to someone that has never been there.   We try.   We get close.   They get the idea, but until you have similar experiences it can be hard to know what those and many other things in life are truly like.

I have been to his house but I still do not have the big picture.  The closest I can get is reliving the feeling I had when I came home from one of those rescue missions…..  I walked up to my front door and as I started to put the key in the lock I thought;  what if all of this is gone?  In the difference of a day…….  Memories gone.      Pictures gone.      Music gone.        Furniture gone.     Everything.   Gone.

With those thoughts in mind and my keys in my hand, I wrote this song.  I thank all of you for sharing, in so many ways.   And while I am at it, thank you for allowing us to share with you.

http://www.gofundme.com/johnvaneaton

https://midimike.com/2015/07/11/please-help-spread-the-word/ 

I wanted to give everyone an update on my musician friend John (whose house was damaged in a fire).  Lots of effort and a lot of good news, even in this sad event.  John will be in town soon and will be able to look over the damage and take inventory of the surviving furniture and gear.  Until then Alisa has organized the gofundme project http://www.gofundme.com/johnvaneaton which has raised $10,000 so far in less than a week.  I think that is going to make a big difference in the next few days and weeks.

There are a number of people still working on cleaning and restoring items that were rescued in the search and recovery phase. Once John gets to look at the various projects, he will have a better idea of how to get back on his feet.  We hope to have information from the team that is working on organizing a benefit soon.

https://midimike.com/2015/07/11/please-help-spread-the-word/  this is the original post about these events.

I’m also in the process of writing a song about the events using some guitar chords my wife was playing with recently and a little jam I was working on. Thank you all for getting the word out and helping as much as you can.  I have come home from those salvage missions and realize everything that I have could be gone in moments.  I am not rich, but the music and memorabilia would be irreplaceable.  I will need them when memory loss really kicks in!

This song is for John, everyone who donated money and time to help him and all of you really cool bloggers.  I’m going to post the lyrics first while I polish the song, but it will be up shortly.  

A Very Long Night”                                              © 7-13-2015  Lyrics MSK    Music MSK/ELK

Traveling for business

He is often out of town

From country to country

One city becomes the next

It wasn’t until he got the text

With pictures from the news

That he knew this was the beginning

Of a Very Long Night

He wasn’t home when the fire started

Everyone says it could have been worse

As we watched, broken hearted

Each tear became another verse

Unable to return any time soon

All my friend could do was watch

Phone calls and e-mail

The news from home was grim.

Some say it was best for him

Being out of town.

Some say it was best for him

He didn’t see it burn down.

Some say it was best for him

Not to see the damage from the flames

Some say it was best for him

As all that water did the same

It was a good thing he wasn’t home that night

It was a good thing he wasn’t home that night

It was a good thing he wasn’t home all right

It was just the beginning of a Very Long Night.