Category Archives: Producing

rip it up

When John Lennon released Rock N’ Roll it threw me for a loop. I liked his solo records and his previous record, Walls and Bridges, was only a few months old, surprising another new record came out so fast. At that time in my younger life, I couldn’t stand the sound of 50s music, it seemed hokey but Rock n’ Roll was a revelation. The horn sections, the unexpected percussion on every track melding with the Jim Keltner kit, José Feliciano on guitar and Lennon’s voice in it’s best shape. Sort of ironic the record I admire most by him is just a bunch of covers but at the same time totally transformational. To this day I can’t enjoy the original Stand By Me compared to the other worldliness where John Lennon placed his version. The little chugging upstroke at the 5th fret does so much more for whatever part of my brain buzzes when happy.
Peggy Sue is as interesting as the best Buddy Holly work but that rendition has a psychedelic aspect that propels the idea of the singer’s infatuation into surrealism. It made me think differently about the power of music. I could gush forever about each track. The cowbell on Bony Moronie, the nonchalant voiceover jokes to the intro of Just Because, the off mic whisper at the end of Be Bop A Lu La, the crazy compressed piano sounds everywhere, the echo congas on You Can’t Catch Me and the way the horns align themselves with the drum kit or with rhythm guitar tracks and still reserve moments to punctuate ends of phrases. Sometimes I think that whole record is a reference for how to think about using horns in popular music because they are so creatively placed whether supporting or soloing.
Later, I realized for Lennon the music of the 50s was his adolescence and for Spector it was his 20s. They brought such punch and insight and hilarity and respect to those songs and I think on some level this is part of what they hoped, that people like me who didn’t get it, would be awestruck and grasp something else, maybe inspiration.


seeking original solo for acoustic song. no cliches need apply. electronics will be considered but we do have some reservation. effects are also possible but if its all about the effect that won’t do. acoustic could work but as stated at the front, no cliches please. no worries about experience or eduction, just an original sound that lifts this song up a few notches.


Lose all objectivity making a midi drum track. In isolation I might believe the kick or snare even a cymbal but once I play it repetitiously it never holds up on playback. The peculiar thing is if I listen to anyone else doing it, there is a higher probability I am ok with it. Even when I hear horrible drum samples in popular music it doesn’t annoy me half as much as if I do it. There is something about the difference of attention.