Quick and Dirty

Most of you know that I work at Sweetwater Sound for my good ol’ 9-5. Well, this week a coworker of ours who has worked there for around 7 years passed away from cancer. As is common when someone you know passes, you start to reflect on your own life. You get consumed with a “live every day to the fullest” mentality. You want to leave no regrets if your time comes sooner than you may have thought. The truth is, and this is in no way me bragging, I feel like I’m doing pretty well at that. Many people wish they had spent more time with family, but I spend every hour outside of work with my family. We play music, work in the garden, play games, go on roadtrips, rock a slip n slide, have G-Rated Dance parties with the kiddos, and do whatever else comes to mind. Many have personal goals that they wished they had achieved, but honestly my goals in life were to find a great wife, and raise awesome children with her. The children are still in progress I suppose, but so far I think we’re doing well at that. Some may wish they had seen the world. As boring as I may sound, I could take or leave seeing the world. I’ve been a lot of places, and honestly the people I’m with have always been more crucial than where we were.

So what is my one regret? What is the one thing I’d be left wishing for if my number were called? I thought it through and even acted it out in my head last night.

- I’m there on my deathbed, in a hospital or maybe at home and I’m surrounded by my wife, and my children. The doctor says I’ll be going any day now and my wife asks me what I’d like to spend my time doing. The only response I could think of in this imaginary world is to play my music. Presumably though if I’m that close to the end, I won’t be up to slinging a guitar around the ICU so the only other option is listening to recordings of said music, and watching my kids sing and dance along as they love to do. Then it occurred to me that of the 150+ songs that I have written, I have only recorded about 2 dozen of them. We’re talking strictly my songs, not projects I’ve played on or recorded for others. Some are just simple demo recordings, while some are full productions on an album. So that brings me to the final regret…I didn’t record all of my songs. My family will be left with scrawling on pages with cryptic notes about chord changes and melody that no one but me could decipher. Having a grandfather who was a musician and a songwriter and not having a single recording of any of his music after he died, I know how much of a void that might leave for my family.-

Because of this, I’ve decided to hunker down with 2 mics (1 on guitar, 1 on vox) and record each and every song that I’ve ever written. I’m going to be keeping it to 1 take per song (assuming there are no broken strings, gear malfunctions, etc), and just get these things laid down so that if I go tomorrow, my music doesn’t also leave my family when I go. Even with such simple recordings planned, this will be no small or quick task, but I’ve been procrastinating on recording many of these in lieu of work, or spending time with family, etc. It’s just time to do it, no matter how quick or dirty.

I know this is a bit more introspective than we normally get here on Beards and Gear but it’s where I’m at so I thought it suitable to post. I’m hoping to get back to frequently posting gear reviews and shootouts (many of which are already tracked) but these have been the busiest 5 months of my entire life and I’m struggling to find time to get things done. Thanks for reading as always, and if you’ve been putting off any recording, for any reason, get it done! Even if you just track it into your own answering machine, or on an old microcasette, get it done.

Until Next Time

The Bearded Man

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~ by beardsandgear on May 31, 2012.

7 Responses to “Quick and Dirty”

  1. Good for you! And while I’m sure everyone in your midst wishes you a long, happy and healthy life, your children and perhaps even your grandchildren will be very happy to have these archives. Who knows? Maybe one of them will use some of your work as a springboard of their own. The possibilities are endless. As a cancer survivor myself, I find this very inspiring and I think it’s a great way to honor your friend’s passing, too.

    But, please – don’t forget to tell us what mics you’ll be using :D

  2. Beardman, I love your reflection. Powerful and wholesome.
    My condolences on the loss of your co-worker.
    It seems to me that you KNOW what is important. In the end, the only thing that remains is LOVE, all else stays behind, and it appears that you have a good grasp on that.
    Enjoy your kids’ growing up. My ‘one-and-only’ (hoped/wanted at least three) is about to leave high school. Time flies!
    Regarding the song-writing, I have the same issue, 100-200 songs or pieces of songs partially recorded or scribbled in storage for over 20 years. Some on 2-track reel-to-reel that no longer works, cassette, paper… I have been thinking about that stuff lately also. Being a member of the procrastinator club does not help me either.
    I did not know you were a Sweetwater guy! Jeff Green is my man there.
    Keep up that balanced outlook in life.

    • You’re lucky to be working with Jeff. He’s a super cool guy. Awesome basketball player too. Now get to transferring those old 2 tracks before there are no working tape machines left!

  3. Way to go Luke – I like your perspective.

  4. Oh man, here I am sitting on the couch with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t image life without you, but if you were chosen to go the greatest gift you could ever leave us with is a recording of each of your songs. I would play those recordings every day all day pretending that you were just sitting in your studio singing them. One of the greatest memories our kids will ever have is the nights where you pull out your guitar and we would dance, sing along and listen as you sing. I’m gonna keep you to this…….you better be planning on starting tonight! =)

  5. So sorry for your loss. I definitely think that you’ve got this figured out. My wife has an uncle with cancer and I’ve begged him to come over and play his guitar and sing and let me record it but for some reason he is reluctant. I’m hoping he changes his mind. I think the music would be such a wonderful thing to have.

    Keep up the good work with raising the kiddos and good luck on getting your songs recorded.

  6. […] per my latest post I’ve set out to record every song that I’ve written as a sort of living memorial for […]

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