A couple of years ago I was asked by a friend of mine if I would play his birthday party. He had two conditions, there were going to be a list of songs that he specifically wanted to have performed at the show and that some of his friends would be getting up to perform some of those songs with us. There was only a week to get the list of songs together. The nice thing was, he allowed me the freedom to also do a bunch of my songs. So I approached the guys who were playing with me at the time and asked if they were up for the challenge of playing a bunch of stuff from the 80’s and if they’d allow people to use their gear. They were all game for it.
Colin, my friend with the upcoming birthday party finally got his list of tunes to me. Then came the task of learning them and rehearsing the band. One of those songs on that list was this song you’re listening to now. I wasn’t familiar with Berlin, not directly anyway. I might have had a vague memory of this tune from seeing a movie or something. Why he chose this song, or any of the songs for that matter I have no idea. Especially when Berlin’s bigger hit was Take My Breath Away. That I know from watching a Jerry Bruckheimer film called Top Gun.
Mind you we had to do all these songs with bass, drums, guitars, and vocals. There was no way to do a backing track for the synths in such short time. Thus this song ended up being a bit more rock flavored when we got around to performing at the party. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to sing all of it as Colin had a female friend who had it in her to do the singing. Though she couldn’t remember all the words and I had to coax her along.
The party itself occurred at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach. What was interesting about it is that afterwards, one of the managers of the place came up to me saying we put on one hell of a show and that it was the best thing he’d heard in 4 years – minus some of the people that got up to join the band. That was a pretty cool compliment. It nearly floored him to learn that we had put all those songs together in a week. And there was a pretty damn wide variety of songs we had on that list.
Actually the version we came up with for the Metro was quite fun.
As a side note, I spent a little time last Saturday night talking with a friend that took a trip to Russia with me a few years back. I remember that we weren’t allowed to take pictures of certain things. I also remember exploring Moscow with a few of the people on the trip and we ended up in their version of the subway, or T, Tube, or Metro. Being that I was born in New York and had experience with that as my Metro, I couldn’t resist attempting to get a picture of the most pristine Subway station I had ever seen in my life. It was marble, and spotless. No trash, no graffiti. I got my camera out and as I was about to snap off a picture the Russia police stopped me. Told me no. Asked if I had taken the picture and were ready to confiscate the camera. Luckily I was able to convince them I hadn’t taken a picture, but I sure wish I had.
(** Disclaimer: If Berlin’s label decides to sick the Russian police on me again, I’ll have to ship the audio off to siberia. The post will remain to show how a birthday party can connect to a trip to Russia. **)