Tuesday 19 January 2021


four and forty blackbirds, singing daydreams

volume up, 720p

old friends
the story behind the song

home - homeland
throw your worthless coins into my case

The title track from the album that was never released commercially.  Old Friends (the song) was recorded after I moved to Toronto in January 1980 after a 2 year hiatus from the studio. I was 23.  Acoustic ballads had no appeal to record companies back then, so it wasn't submitted as a possibility for my first album (later on) but I always liked it. No synths/samplers, computers or drum machines back in those days - just my guitars and now a recording studio at my disposal.  I barely slept in the 16 weeks that I was on that government grant.

I got into Kensington Sound, Toronto as an intern of sorts, through a program called OCAP which allowed me a short window to do something in the field in which I was educated.  Best part, is that I was given keys and security clearance, so I went in at night and spent several weeks playing with ideas on my own and this was the first song I recorded.



One thing that's really cool about being in a studio at 4 am, during yet another cold, late Canadian winter storm in Toronto recording voices when everyone else is asleep, stumbling home at 6 (sun rising) - for a noon callback - beyond that?  ... is that one comes up with ideas that would never have appeared if others were present - making it all more intimate. 

The high voices were recorded at half speed (15ips) on the 24 track analog recorder and then I put them through a Marshall Time Modulator (the vibrato effect), after bumping the speed back to 30ips.  This song was remastered in 2010 with Wave plug-ins and pulling it up recently, inspired to put some pictures to it in October 2015 - 35 years later.  

My best work has always been done in a relatively short period of time.  I wrote this song in a couple of hours before recording it that night in 6 hours (Feb 1980) and mixed it the following night in 2 hours.  This clip was assembled here in Final Cut on October 06, 2015 in 4 hours.  

A 12 hour project front to back.

Turns out I was hired on at Kensington Sound that April, where I continued as an engineer until that June before moving on to another studio ... Captain Audio in Yorkville, freelancing Eastern Sound then Amber Studios on Queen West.  



Friday 15 January 2021


change your heart - look around you

"the only language men ever speak perfectly
is the one they learn to speak in babyhood
when no one can teach them anything"

Maria Montessori


algebra?  why?
there's gotta be a reason
to learn this shit
because this whole 'reward' vs 'punishment' crap
just isn't working and

I'm not a numbers guy

chaos and confusion envelopes us early on
and we are filled with 'ideas' that throw us off course
ensconced in the world's insipid ideologies
handed down first by our parents
then our teachers/schools 
employers and so on
and on we go 

quarter century later
gravitating to the big city
because that's where we need to be
to be "in the loop"
a place where we can BE

today's special
flavour of the week
employee of the month
pushing forward because
that's what you're supposed
to do

it's no wonder why 
we need to 'medicate' 
in a jar

ah - all those precious memories

back to the days when young students - boys mostly
were strapped for misbehaving (boner, I mean bonus)
for their unwillingness to 
be compliant

I need your lovin' ... like the sunshine

in an abstract absence of empathy and humility
deliriously distracted denizens

 harassing those who are independent thinkers
for being unwilling to learn 
how to play the game

it is a simple message
play by the rules and you'll be rewarded
question them and you'll be punished
plain and simple

truth is

we learn to 'adapt' to our surroundings
at an early age - reprimanded for rebelling
when in fact challenging the system 
is what all great thinkers did/do
to this day

only all too often many (most) of us are convinced 
early on that what we ultimately want
is something not possible

fear is instilled, then 
the waiting game begins

waiting for something better to come along
and release us from the cage
only it never does

accepting our fate, our chosen destiny
chosen by others - quietly coming to terms
with the crappy hand of cards we've been dealt because

that's just what you do
go ahead, have your way with me

I surrender

change your heart - look around you

I'm in heaven - I mean
ok, maybe I'll get lucky some day
maybe God will come down and give me a lap-dance
but only if I stick to the plan
and never question
the truth 

creature comforts
in the pleasure dome
glued to our sacred sacraments
in HD on our soiled screens


it's just a theory
that makes a lot more sense
to me 


as an artist/composer looking back
my favourite musical compositions are always
those created and conceived (and recorded) 
in a very short time-frame (minutes/hours)

thinking about it too much
just made it more elusive, distant
it's like it just arrives 
out of nowhere

with a simple invitation 

are those who see light in the darkness and quickly harness it
instead of ignoring the signs and signals

embracing them
turning nothing into something

change your heart
it will astound you 

if you care for your children
keep their environment uncluttered
free of useless gadgets and distractions
keep your conversation honest and straight-forward
free of control and manipulation
free of hidden agendas
free of fear

keeping one's decisions fair and generous
free of punishment and shame

and (most importantly) - free of blame

because fundamentally
we are all guilty 

of nothing

dedicated to Maria Montessori (1870-1952)