Monday, January 7, 2013

Snow Blind Friend

Ordinarily I prefer pro-drug tunes to anti-drug songs, but this one written by Hoyt Axton and recorded by Steppenwolf is an exception. Kicks, by Paul Revere and the Raiders, is another one.

Now that I'm recording songs by other people there are a few ground rules I should explain.

(1) No fair listening to the original song before recording. In other words, I must record the song as I REMEMBER it, not as it was originally played. I have most of the lyrics in my songbooks but I'm allowed to use the Internet to get lyrics that I may have forgotten. I'm not allowed to use the Internet to get chords or melodies, though. In general, it's best if it's been at least two decades since I last heard the song.*

(2) Only one instrument besides bass and drums can be provided by Band in a Box. All others have to be played by me.

(3) The harmonizer must be over-used. Over-use of effects is also encouraged.

(4) The goal is to end up with a 3-minute tone poem with a warm, smooth, moist and leathery texture.

* This rule doesn't apply to songs by The Beatles. I have a book, THE BEATLES Complete Scores, with every song they ever recorded accurately transcribed, so when I veer from their arrangements it's on purpose, or from necessity.



  1. I like these self-imposed rules. Nice moist and leathery results!

  2. Decades ago I thought I liked Steppenwolf. Then I didn't listen to any for 20 years. When I spun up their albums in 2013 I discovered that I DON'T like Steppenwolf. Except for this one song. I conclude that my taste has shifted away from screaming vocals and overdriven guitar amps. Thank you for not screaming "he thought he wanted heaven."

  3. My guitar hero when I was in high school was a guy from Durango CO named Gerry Jimerfield. We tried to learn all his band's songs and licks, and more or less succeeded. I still remembered his style when, in the 90s I think, he died way too young. But then through the internet I was able to hear an album he made in the late 60s, not long after I knew him best, and -- it was pretty awful. Scratchy guitars and coarse singing with really insipid lyrics. I think there was a period in 66 - 68 (when I was in the army) when speed took over from weed in CA and NY and the music got rough. It wasn't until late 68 that The Band came along and mellowed us out again.