The last time I teared up – actually cried- was watching the Carpool Karaoke segment on The Late Late Show where host James Corden drives Paul McCartney around where he once lived in Liverpool.
Watching all this, ironically enough, had a John Lennon song playing in my head- “In My Life”. The intercuts, however, were all Paul- pretty much the Days In His Life, and one which could belong to those of us who have grown up, down, sideways and gone to the bottom to get back to the top with his music. And what a songbook it is- “For No One”, “Lady Madonna”, “Golden Slumbers”, “Blackbird”, “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “You Never Give Me Your Money” and then all the REALLY big hits.
There were the Beatles, there are the solo albums and how all these individual recordings related to their personal lives then and still does today. It’s how we got to know them. Or, at least, thought we did.
Everyone who writes songs writes for different reasons and writes differently. The process, especially, is something very personal.
For myself, it’s almost always a musical journey starting with a blank canvas and a vague idea of what I want to say and where I wanna go. The days of trying to write a hit song are gone. If it happens, it happens.
This song- “Wanna Go Back”- was about the Hong Kong I knew and where the city is today. It’s snapshots of memories.
“We used to listen to music and decide whether we liked what we heard or not. Then came the music video and viewers- I wouldn’t really call them music fans- decided that they liked what they saw and this opened a new door for selling music. This was a good and bad thing”.
It was a now-retired senior music executive I have always respected talking to me about where he feels music is now- and where it might be heading.
It wasn’t a broken sleep. It was a deep sleep but with no warning signs for detours into where one should not go. Even if there were…Somehow though you get there because someone else is doing the steering and you end up going into some very dark places in your mind that you never thought existed. It’s not unlike checking into Hotel California and being held hostage until the ransom is paid.
Don’t know about the new normal, but this is like the new acid- a different type of LSD that feeds your head with everything and nothing, but which never provides any answers.
In this locked down, upside down pineapple fruitcake world where many of us are trying to make some sense of things going around, sleep is one of the only sanctuaries left to get away from it all. But, this is done with trepidation as going to sleep can often take you to a dreamland made in hell. Reality and the unreality of it all clash.
Those who know me- really know me- know that I kept well away from what is known as social media. I had no use for it.
When with two different music companies, I had seen, first hand, this social media morphing into something eerily similar to the man eating plant in “Little Shop Of Horrors” ordering Seymour to feed him.
This was after the digital world starting life fairly innocently as MySpace and the illegal music file sharing site that was Napster.
There’s often the feeling that musicians go so way out on a limb to make their music different that they end up some place that even they don’t recognise.
If it’s a band or artist known for always trying to create brave new worlds, when listening to their music in 2020, there’s often the feeling that they might have lost direction of home in recent years. But with fans being fans and not knowing what to think of this new music, it’s accepted without question. Loyalty can be a curse.
Terry and I first met in Singapore when he was Terence Leong and heading up a young local hip hop group called Urban XChange. I was Executive Director with the Regional Office of Universal Music Asia based in Hong Kong at the time. I had heard the group’s demos through Terry’s aunt, who was then head of Human Resources at Universal.
I met Terry and the rest of the group over lunch. There was a press conference setup later that day to announce that Urban XChange were to sign with EMI Music Asia.
To cut a long story short, I used my skills of persuasion and nixed this deal. Urban XChange signed to Universal. Later, when becoming Executive Director of EMI Music Asia, Urban XChange had morphed into Parking Lot Pimp. This helped sign them up to EMI as a “new” act.
This new song started life as poem about how kindness matters, something the entire world needs to embrace and share with everyone they meet. Guess it’s no different in subject matter to “What The World Needs Now Is Love”. But there is.
The big difference is making kindness matter, especially in these troubled times where everyone has to deal with their own problems. Many can’t cope.
Different things and feelings inspired the song which was written together with producer Phil Turcio and vocalist Judd Field in Melbourne. The song is a baby step towards something bigger.
Other than very personal feelings about the subject, inspiring was watching the Hong Kong film “I’m Living It”.
He’s always mixing it up, ready to bust some new moves, and at Shatin on Sunday, trainer Caspar Fownes, aka “Casibah” to local racing fans and five star hotel car park attendants everywhere, went into overdrive after watching his very impressive young galloper Sky Field with the Brazilian Magic Man aboard demolish a pretty good Class 3 field. This baby is going places!
Unable to contain himself, big daddy Cas broke it down-and without injuring himself- to a unique victory dance.
Personal tastes have changed so much in the past year. Of course, there are the constants- for myself, Audrey Hepburn, the Beatles, Fred Astaire, The Far Side and a couple more on the personal side of the hurdles of romance. But the one-time buffet spread laid out has been streamlined.
Taste is becoming more exclusive. Not everyone is invited to the party. There are no more free lunches. At the end, someone has to somehow pay the piper. Words that matter are not for everyone. Maybe this was the way it was meant to be.
No regrets, but was there too much wasted time? The Eagles sang about it. Wasted time. Not bothering to see this while living what were outwardly good time. But despite Grandfather Time ticking away, when, what and who mattered was allowed to slip away. Fools were allowed in and entertained.