Moving forward with the concept of stealing in music, doing it effectively and adding you’re own twist on it…
Today I’m going to look at a song I wrote called Days of Our Lives. There’s a plethora of things in it that came from multiple sources. The concept of the lyrics came from hanging out with a couple of cats in Hollywood named Chad and Kim. Due to their influence I started listening to Chris Whitley. Chris had powerful lyrics in many songs. Chad had a very cool song that was influenced by Chris, both of whom in turned influenced me for the words. Granted it also came from a combination of events in my life, but nonetheless I got inspiration from all that.
Musically the chords were not inspired by anything more than my goofing around one day. However, the riff that is a staple to the chorus is directly stolen from Jimi Hendrix and then twisted and modified in my fingers. Learn from the elders and take it elsewhere is a good motto. The solo is a combination of all the lessons I had at school from cats like Dan Gilbert and Nick Nolan and also stealing directly from Jeff Beck. The closing downward run is very much a Jeff Beck lick from Because We Ended As Lovers. A fantastic song if you’re never heard. Extra points if you can pick apart my solo and his solo to know what I stole and where. Of course I didn’t do it verbatim, but it’s very close and as of now no one had ever noticed it. You’re the first to know.
The drumming was a combination of drum loops and a badass named Donny Gruendler. But even working with me, I threw Donny a curve. That curve came in the bridge. What I asked for was something very musical to the drums. Something that’s practically impossible to accomplish physically. Though I knew it was possible. Once I explained it to Donny, he asked me for 15 minutes of think and practice time. So I went for tea while he did his thing. When I came back to the studio to hit record, he was ready and nailed it in 2 takes. The inspiration there: Terry Bozzio. One of the all time greats of drumming. Donny did a great job as you can hear.
The end result was a song that I love to play live. The feel the vibe and the fun. People love it and so far no one has come back saying hey, you stole that song from someone. Of course part of that is due to the number of influences and my own personal twist going into it.
What have you stolen today?