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Saturday, November 23, 2013

How my mind works. Sometimes.

How my mind works.
Many mention this to me so I thought I would blog about it. I don't think that it is any big deal, but others seem to think it is unique and special. I have always done it and it comes naturally and easy to me.
I make connections. Strange connections. Sometimes logical connections. Other times convoluted connections.
Since I write, I know that a lot of other writers do this as well. But I do it with songs quite a bit, and not many people do that.
So, since people ask me about it, from time to time I will go about telling you how I got the 5 pack that I post on my page on Facebook.

Here is today's, with the connections.

All thoughts begin with a starting point or impetus that gets the motor going. Think of it like pulling the cord to kickstart a lawnmower. 
In this case, I picked Road to Shambala by Three Dog Night. I did that because I had to drive my wife to a Chinese restaurant called Shangri-La. Why a song with Shangri-La didn't come into my head I don't know. I don't know why the impetus leads to a certain thought or connection and not another. I don't usually go that deep to figure it out. It is about connections, not why they connect so much. Although, after the first one, I always know how I got to the second one. Something about the first song connects to the second one. In some way. 
Sometimes, it can be a line in the song. Or the title. Or the singer. Or an event the first song reminds me of. Sometimes, I hear the first song and think of all the great songs of that singer. There are so many ways the first song can take me in any direction. I just go with it.

"On a tour of one night stands, my suitcase and guitar in hand."

"And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories." 

The second song is not a connection that anyone else would make or figure out without knowing an experience I had. Three months ago I went to see what would be called an "oldies" concert with some 60's bands former lead singers. They included Gary Puckett (The Union Gap) Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and The Raiders) Flo And Eddie (The Turtles) Gary Lewis (The Playboys) and Chuck Negron. 
Chuck Negron was the main lead singer of Three Dog Night. The first song I picked. The most memorable thing I can recall from that night (other than most of the singers can't sing anymore and are very overweight) is Chuck Negron on stage. Of all the singers, he was the one who still had it. But, he also brought that bad temper he is known for. He didn't like the way the sound was arranged (in his opinion the instruments and back up singers got too much volume and were drowning him out....him being the star) so he took to berating and chastising the sound guy until he fixed it. To say he threw a full out tantrum on stage would be an understatement.
Negron struck me as a guy who really didn't want to be there. Like he was doing it strictly for the money, while the other guys were there to get the praise and glory that they couldn't have anymore now that their talent and star have faded deep into the rear view mirror. They wanted to be there. He didn't.
And that is how I got to the Simon And Garfunkel song, Homeward Bound. The lyric I posted above. Going town to town, on a tour of one night stands. Negron looked like a guy who just wanted to get his money and go back home. 

That led me to the 3rd song, She Believes in Me by Kenny Rogers. A line in that song always struck me. 
If you have ever listened to the song, you will know it is about a struggling musician/writer who arrives home late each late and is barely keeping his dream alive, probably playing dives. 

While she lays sleeping
I stay out late at night and play my songs. 
And sometimes all the nights can be so long
And its good when I finally make it home, all alone

And she believes in me
I'll never know just what she sees in me
I told her someday if she was my girl
I could change the world
With my little songs
I was wrong. 

But she has faith in me
And so I go on trying faithfully
And who knows maybe, on some special night
If my song is right
I will find a way
Find a way

So, while the theme is similar to Negron, a guy out there trying to earn a living so he can live, and at some point doing what he loves (or used to love) to do, in this case the singer still believes in himself, mostly because he has someone who believes in him. 
I sort of lost my train of thought after the third song, as the first 3 came really fast. But I wanted to do something about believe. More specifically about make believe. To me, being a writer and living the life of a professional singer is really about the same thing: Make Believe. It never seems real that you could do that and make money at it.

The first song that came to my head was the Conway Twitty song It's Only Make Believe. I love Conway Twitty. Many don't. He is pure country. So, I know when I post a song like that--for many--I break the chain. But the connection in my mind goes where it goes. So, I go with it. Of all the songs, one guy who rarely comes to my page anymore liked that particular song. That is just how it goes sometimes.

Then I just really picked the next song that came into my head. Sometimes I try to make it a relevant song to tie them all together. This time, the first song that came to me was just that. And only that. So, I finished with You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates.
I could tell you that it meant something like a relation to the Kenny Rogers song about someone else helping you realize your dreams because they have faith and believe in you, or support you through the hard times, like you experience on the road in a song like Homeward Bound. I could tell you that.
But it wouldn't be true. It was just the next song that came to my head. Nothing more profound than that.
So, there you go. A glimpse into how my mind works. Sometimes. Sort of.
I will do this type of blog every so often. 

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