These links take you to the songs with links to related blogs and podcasts.
- Blow the NRA Away
- I Really Gotta Know
- Insanity, Bobbity Boo
- Polly’s Song
- One of These Days
- The Prophylactic Song
- Veterans’ songs
- When Donnie Goes Trumping Home
- Zoloft, It’s Been Good To Know Ya
What Is a Song Demo?
When I first picked up a guitar and stumbled into music in the late 1970s at the ripe old age of twenty-nine wannabe songwriters who were not performers were common. Working in the Tin Pan Alley/Brill Building/Nashville tradition, the goal was to get a song “cut” by a famous band or artist who could turn it into a hit. Writers back then were expected to provide demo tapes with simple arrangements, presenting only the bare bones of a song because artists’ managers, music publishers, and record company honchos did not want demoes cluttered up with unnecessary harmonies and instrumentation. They wanted to use their professional “ears” to hear the song in their own minds as they or their artists might do it. In the digital age that approach has completely changed. Nowadays, when you go to “song screenings” the honchos want full-production demoes they can download. Most of these tunes were recorded back in the day under the old bare-bones demo premise.
WANTED: Future Grammy Winners
Many of the tunes are part of my lifelong attempt to change the world through ridicule and satire. I also felt compelled to get a couple of my Vietnam songs up out there before my time is up even though I doubt they have any commercial potential. Others are weepy love songs, on-the-road country.
I seem to average about two songs a year, and I’ve got about sixty kicking around in my files–mushy love songs, country weepers, hard rockers, folky ballads, children’s tunes–most of which have never been recorded or heard outside my circle of friends. When I get the You Tube thing going the production will be even more basic than what you’ll hear here, just me thrashing away in my primitive folky style and trying to sing on key. To hell with the full production demo crap! I want these tunes out there, and I want them out there NOW. I am not a performer, I’m a writer. I’ve done my job. Now it’s up to YOU, the future Grammy winners of America, to cover the songs in your own style and make them hits. Pretty simple.
Thanks for listening.