Bridges Album Cover

Bridges Album Cover

Monday, July 25, 2016

Let Me Get Struck By Lightning

I wrote this song in a different way. I was sitting on the front porch of my parents’ house in Watchung, NJ, watching one of those dramatic summer thunder and lightning storms that come up quickly in the suburban rain forest, when the entire lyric came to mind. I ran upstairs and wrote the whole thing down on a yellow legal pad, and then shortly after came up with the music on a Gibson Dove that I had bought used from a guy in Albert Einstein’s old neighborhood in Princeton. (BTW the song isn’t a death wish- it’s about inspiration.) I remember recording a simple demo on my friend Alan LeBoeuf’s 4 track reel to reel Teac 3340s (the first popular recorder of its kind that could record 4 tracks- he later sold it to a fellow cast member of the Broadway show “Beatlemania,” Marshall Crenshaw, who presumably used it to record the demos that led to his signing with Warner Brothers.) The song was short at this point, and my producers were somewhat underwhelmed by it. During the course of the sessions I was playing the piano one morning before I left for the studio, and I came up with the intro figure and over all feel that ended up opening (and lengthening) the song. I played it for Spinozza in the quiet of The House of Music’s beautiful Studio B (which had a great little Yamaha baby grand, little brother to the bigger one in Studio A) and he got excited by it- he suddenly heard the song as a record. Chris Palmaro contributed ideas to the arrangement- tightened it up. We recorded it at night, Spinozza dropping his pants and running around during the up-tempo part…I saw normally business-like studio guys literally fall out of their chairs with laughter. I guess it loosened them up a little!

It’s probably the one song that turned out most differently than I had envisioned it- I thought it would be harder rock. Of the three guitars, my gold top Les Paul rhythm part is the most distorted. I played the two solos; I had originally imagined that the outro would be a guitar dialogue between me and Spinozza (certainly not a “duel,” as that is one duel I would have roundly lost), but as I started to record it the phrasing turned out to be better for one guitar. I “produced’ the mix as both David and Al weren’t available, and by that time they trusted me to know what I was doing. In those days, that was the beginning of my lifelong love of mixing. I have musician friends who hate it, as all the final decisions have to be made, but I liken it to when an artist has all of the colors of their paintbox at their fingertips.

BTW when the execs at London heard it they decided they wanted it sequenced first on side one, but I always thought of it as a jam tune and so changed it to where it is now.

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