Viewing: Inspiration - View all posts

Steve Goes Back "Home Again"! 

Well, I guess I'm "going home again"!

Hotel California - A Salute to the Eagles is set to play in my hometown, Downey, CA on January 25, 2019 at the Downey Theatre! The last time I played there it was for the "Way Outer Broadway" Talent Contest.... in the 70's! And I have the photos to prove it! (Different hair color - same guitar)

Check this out...

Stevie Ray Satin Pants!

 

 

 

My musical journey brings me back around, full circle. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are You Doing...? 

I’ve changed home my morning routine a bit (at least at home) that has been a little more fruitful in the songwriting department. It’s real easy to sit back, sipping coffee, relax, and read whatever in the early hours, then get to the real work. 

After opening my Bible app to the living words therein for a spiritual realignment, instead of letting emails and social media fill my head with all kinds of stuff (not all bad but still “stuff”) during my second cup of coffee, I get out my yellow legal pad and just start writing – anything. Without an expectation of how good it’s going to be. 

(I use the Masterwriter app as well for writing. But by using a yellow legal pad first, I feel sort of like a painter on a canvas. Good old pencil and paper!) 

I’ve got a assorted lists on paper and on just about every electronic device I own full of song titles, one line descriptions of “life scenes”, paragraphs, newspaper articles, the list goes on. I just pick one idea and start writing something underneath it, even if it’s bad. And most times I get something I can build upon in the coming mornings or whenever it’s lyric writing time. 
(In the photo on the right, Duff has no idea how brilliant I am!)

After my morning idea brainstorming, I continue on to a physical workout of some sort.

I guess you could describe my "workout" routine as follows:
1. Spiritual
2. Mental
3. Physical

A recent example that got me all excited and I felt like a songwriter again. It started with something I wrote down, at least a year ago if not more, “Came home to the Santa Anas, whipping up a tune”. True story. (Around where I live, we can get some strong winds - the Santa Anas.)

That’s it! 

As an embryo of a lyric formed, when I got to scribblings for the second part of the verse – What rhymes with Santa Anas? Well…Pollyanna. Okay, this is getting interesting I think to myself. 

What ends up happening, a place, a story, etc appears, and then it seems I have a lyric slowly being wrapped inside a melody. 

Then the second part of the verse with the word “Pollyanna” in it develops a life all it’s own and seems better now as the chorus; the hook of the song. And there’s my song title: “Pollyanna”. And off I go to Wikipedia for "Pollyanna" references.

The thing about these songwriting exercises as I’ve described above is, for me, building the discipline to sit down and just write without expectations opens up my eyes, my ears, and my heart to life around me as I go about my day. I feel I could write a song of just about anything or at the very least, write down one line to use later. 

It almost becomes a welcome “sickness”. I’m a words hoarder! 

The Humble & "Amazing" Legacy of Huell Howser 

PBS TV host, Huell Howser was known and loved by many Californians as well as myself. You could watch his slow-paced, down-home, totally family-friendly program and suddenly all was right with the world. He passed away sadly in 2013, so this past Summer I went to visit his archives all donated by Huell himself to Chapman University in Orange, California. Loved it. Many of the quotes about his creative process, how he found his stories to present - spoke to me about songwriting as well. 

Huell Howser Archives - Orange, California
Feel free to scroll through the photos.

Along with many musical types, he's right up there on the creative inspiration scale for me personally. 

ThrowBackThursday - On being inches away from Picasso and others 

A quick photo before melting in the 102 degree NYC heat

ThrowBackThursday Post- Looking back on a blog post of recent yesteryear (and bringing it over from the old website for further reference).
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Reflecting on my recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, it reminded me of a game I used to play with the kids that used as playing pieces little cardboard squares with tiny prints of world famous paintings.  They were merely just that - nice, little cardboard replicas.
 


Well, it was a different story being just inches away from such works of art. Suddenly, this was the real thing, close enough to touch (though I dare not!!) .  It gave me the chills.   I Never thought I would enjoy it so much!
 
"Good artists borrow, great artists steal" ~ Picasso
The majority of the time I spent in the special Picasso exhibit and paid for the audio headphone tour (which I highly recommend-I got tired of reading, especially because it was really crowded and hence distracting) (Did you just see that?  The beginnings of art-snobbish-ness).  When it came closing time, there was sooo much I DIDN'T see!
 
I'm definitely going back and when I get home I'm going to have to pay a visit to some of those museums in LA.
 
Do you enjoy art musems?  Can't stand'em?  Share your thoughts below.