One Hell of Story is the first album recorded in my new home studio. It was a $5000 labor of love built by me and watched over my audio guru Dave Pericone. The process was a solitary one as I played everything on the album and programmed all the drum tracks myself. Every song was written pretty much as the idea hit me.
I was sick a lot throughout the album with the flu and that seemed to push me forward for some reason. No one wanted to be around me so I had a good bit of alone time. I love these 11 songs. I hope you will too. Please feel free to grab them here. If they bring you happiness then I've done my job.
Now, here's a quick story behind the writing of each tune.
Too Many Notes (Instrumental): I have always loved the Oasis song, “F**king in the Bushes” since I heard it in the movie, “Snatch” and I always wanted to write a song to rival it. Well, I had the main riff of the song and played it a lot as a warm up before band practice. My fellow guitarist said that I ought to do something with it. I just set up the system, played the riff for about four minutes listening to a drum track and then added stuff attempting to build it up the way Oasis did. The “Too Many Notes” drops come from me watching “Amadeus” a few nights after it was done and thinking it would be funny to put it in. It also gave the song its name. (WAV)(MP3)
One Hell of a Story: There's a David Lee Roth song titled, “No Big 'Ting” that says, “Now they're Polaroids and Drinking stories. And I've got some good ones now. It's getting harder to ignore me.” I always liked the sentiment of that idea and after a year of rolling it around in my head, it became the chorus, “It's getting mighty hard for you to ignore me. I have got one hell of a story.” The riff was written on an acoustic and the lyrics are once again about the lovable loser character I like so much. We all know Charlie Brown and we all like him. Charlie has some great stories. The verse about the hundred types of peppers has a root of truth about it. Yep. it was me. (WAV)(MP3)
What Kind of Sin: My wife came home with the title and the chorus lyrics. When she delivered it to me it sounded like something a baptist choir would perform so we created a choir in church to start off the song. The second part takes place in many people's church – a bar – with a man preaching from his chair. Basically, keep talking to me, keep listening to me and keep buying my philosophy and I'll keep buying you drinks. C'mon man...wha'd you do? Is it a country song? Sure. Does that bug you? It shouldn't. Country helped start Rock and Roll. (WAV)(MP3)
Superman: Ugh! This song drove me crazy. I had the music done for at least a month and a half before I found lyrics for it. I must have written seven sets of words. Nothing fit. Finally, I landed upon the idea of saying, “I wanna be your Superman” in the chorus which is silly to me because I don't even care for cartoon heroes, but then the lyrics just fell together. The first verse is wanting to be my woman's Superman. The second is about wanting to live forever and beating a heart problem. The third is wanting to punish evil in the form of some idiot at work. I knew for a fact that I had the right idea when the “Superman” audio dropped right into the bridge perfectly. There's not one edit on it. Props to Dave Pericone for making it a stereo masterpiece. Check it out in headphones. I love the way the guitar solo blasts out of the audio drop. (WAV)(MP3)
What Have I Done to be Remembered: You will not believe this but I thought up the idea and chorus for this song at Motley Crue's final concert tour stop in New Orleans. Truth. Earlier that year, A friend from high school died. I guess his death and the fact that a favorite band was saying goodbye all came together. You tend to look at your own mortality when other parts of your life go away. My father is still alive so as I grew up, I watched him do the same. He will at some point in my life cease to be so I need to know that I will leave as big a footprint as he did, sorry, will. This song just represents my five minutes of thinking it through. We're all going to go. What will be left of us when we're gone? You can transmit or you can receive. Which do you you choose to do? (WAV)(MP3)
Life: Yep. Life is going to bite you in the a**. For every success there is a price to pay. Yin. Yang. You cannot focus on one over the other. So have a blast. Because when it's all over...life's gonna bite you in the a**. There's no beating it. I do want to point out though, the acoustic guitar solo...was done in one single take. I'm pretty proud of that. Then the electric took forever. Yin. Yang. (WAV)(MP3)
A Little Different: Welcome to the idea of communication. You say one thing but reality is always just a little different. Social media has made us all experts. What we say is the God's honest truth...until we're presented with the facts. Then we find out...it's all just a little different. (WAV)(MP3)
Hallelujah, Start Today: I guess like many people, I go through bouts of thinking about changing my life for the better. I wrote and performed this song in a single morning when I was just starting to feel better after having the flu. I was home from work, still with a fever and while doing finger picking exercises on the guitar, came up with the riff. I dragged myself into the studio and five hours later, had this on tape. I set out to write a Gospel song and that's what I did. (WAV)(MP3)
Nobody Cares That You're in a Band: If you've ever played in a band, you know how true this is. I got the idea when I was prepping for one of my radio shows. I was interviewing a local band about being working musicians. An article talked about some funny topics about being in a band and one was that no one really cares that you're in one. Not two days later, my 12-year-old son really said he wanted to learn to play the guitar because he wanted to be a rock star. It fell together from there. (WAV)(MP3)
Someone to Hate: This is an anti-bullying song. I hope people get that. The lyrics are meant to be nasty on purpose against bullying. My daughter was being bullied and as a father, I wanted to go and smack the kid but I knew I couldn't. I had to let her work it out or defend herself personally. It ate at me. The guitar riff is one I've had forever and one weekend, after a couple of beers, I put together what you hear, writing the lyrics in the studio. The breathing at the front is odd, I know. The song had a much different drum pattern when it was first written and the breathing fit much better. I still like it – and it comes in at just the right time during the solo - so there it is. (WAV)(MP3)
So Damn Cute: I wrote this song when I was about 28. I'm now 52. It's almost exactly the same lyrics, riff and guitar solo as the original which was recorded on a four-track cassette machine all those years ago. (remember those machines?) The woman with the big green eyes and the long black hair is my wife. This is another of my lovable losers. It had to be. Had I wrote a song about succeeding in picking up the other woman, my wife would have never believed it was her and would have surely suspected something was afoot.
Make a point of listening to Dave Pericone's 1950's remix of the tune. He made me re-record the entire song a second time with a clean guitar sound which he could then mix with a 1950s tweed amplifier digital plug-in and neat-o drums. I like it but you need to remember that it's something that would have been done long before all the equipment of today. Believe it or not, people use to record songs live - no overdubs or dropped-in effects. Reverb was plopped in by a big plate or just simply recording in a square room. That's what he was going for. (WAV)(MP3)
Dave Pericone's 1950's Version: (WAV)(MP3)