Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Maybe it is because I have been sick for over a week but I am beat!

I found that a combination of Excedrin Migraine, B-12 tablets and Red Bull help me get through the day when i am ill.

When I am tired(and/or sick), I feel like that is the most honest I can be. I write many songs on the verge of complete exhaustion. That seems to help me be honest with myself.

Maybe that is why I am writing this blog. After a very long weekend and a long drive today, delirious is a better word.

I have been thinking about 1991 a lot lately. There was this band called Guns n Roses. They had changed the rock world 4 years prior. They were rough and honest but on September 17, 1991 they decided to release "Use your Illusion" 1 & 2.

Of course, GNR was Rock and Roll. They decided what was good and what was bad for us. Every record label from 1987-1991 signed every band that looked or sounded remotely like GNR.

The problem was, those bands were nothing but cheap imitations of the real thing.

The 1991 incarnation of GNR was a far cry from the 1987 version. Where they were all poor in 1987, in 1991 they were all millionaires. That change in social class was reflected in the "Use your Illusions".

In the first week of it's release, GNR had sold around 750,000 copies. Thats awesome, right?

Seven days later, an unknown band from Olympia, Washington released an album on DGC(Geffen Records, same parent label as GNR).

The difference was, Geffen pressed a million copies of the GNR albums and less that 100,000 copies of "Nevermind" by that little unknown band called "Nirvana"

Also, "Nevermind" used a different reporting method than other labels used. They used this unknown company called "Soundscan" to keep track of their actual record sales. If you notice the bar code on the back of a cd, that number is registered with Soundscan.

When you see a cd in a record store, it is sold on consignment. The record companies(actually the artists) buy back unsold copies.

So before "Soundscan", record companies would pay "Kickbacks" to record stores to say they sold a ton of records from a particular artist. Many of which never left the factory or distributor and the unsold records would be charged back to the record company.

They would show that a certain artist sold 500,000 copies their first week when in actuality, they may have only sold 75,000.

The record companies would do that so that artist would chart high(Bilboard). The higher you chart, the more radio stations play your music. The more a radio station plays a song, the better the chance someone will go out and buy the album.

In 3 months, Nirvana made GNR and bands like them irrelevant. By January 1992, Nirvana knocked Michael Jackson off the top of the charts. That is HUGE!

Nirvana also made people want more music from their region. So people went out and found a band called Pearl Jam and their album "Ten", which was released 4 weeks before "Nevermind". The rest, as they say, is history.

On a side note, Jimmy Pasquill(the eldest brother of the Pasquills) introduced me to both "Ten" and "Nevermind" on the respective weeks they came out. I listened to both of those albums from start to finish in his Powder Blue 1974(i think) Mustang Fastback.

So why did I tell you all of that? The Excedrin Migraine, B-12 and Red Bull has run it's course and I am exhausted.

Things change, people change, music changes.

Bands like GNR, Winger, Warrant and Skid Row were on top the the world in 1991. One band basically killed them all. One album changed almost everyone's thought process, maybe even the world.

Trends that are hot today are the punchline of a joke tomorrow!

If you are a musician, be honest with yourself. Play the music you want to play.

Don't write a song you "think" people will like.
Don't play a cover song because you "think" people will like it.
Play it because YOU LIKE IT!
Write it because YOU feel it!
Don't follow a trend, start YOUR OWN trend!
Sweet Dreams!

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