© 2020

Before and After

I am trying something new with offering my songs: Before & After

Let me explain, and then give you an analogy:

On one side are what I call song demos. Just me and guitar or piano, simply recording a song in my living room, trying to get a complete take on a 2 or 4 track cassette without any mistakes or misperfomances. I took these songs down to Hollywood to play to producers, managers and A&R executives at record companies. As Owl’s bio states, I drove up to the Bay Area intent on cutting a record. On a recommendation, I arranged a meeting with Jeff Wood at a coffee/book store in Mill Valley, an afternoon I’ll never forget. We sat down at an outdoor table and he spread out a dozen CD’s like a card dealer. All were major labels; Columbia, Warner Brothers, Sony & RCA; All had printed in large letters, “Produced by Jeff Wood”. He was the real deal! He took all of my song tapes and took them into Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, one of the few major studios in Northern California. Recording my songs with Jeff was one of the best experiences of my life.

There’s a concept of “turning it over” and that’s what happened. Jeff choose the songs for my record, hired the studio musicians and engineers. He listened to my simple songs, and in his head he heard a complete production and arrangement. He took control of the whole project down to the final mix. So you can hear what a good producer can to with a song, put his vision into it, you can now listen to the “before & after”, from what I started with and what a producer can do in the studio.

I like describing things with analogies, so here it is:

Let’s say you write a play, run off several copies and rent a small theater for a reading. All you have is a bare, empty stage with a single lightbulb overhead. You get three actors standing there, reading your script. Sprinkled through the audience are a few friends & relatives, who warmly support your step forward, the actors reading your new play…except…sitting in the back row is a mysterious man in the shadows, wearing a trench coat and fedora…It’s Steven Spielberg (sorry, Mr. Spielberg, not being a Hollywood insider, you’re the only director/producer whose name I can think of). He walks up to the stage, and tells you he likes your script. The next thing you know, your simple script is now a feature film, with all the beautiful cinematography, music score, period costumes and sets; a complete movie! This is what it was like for me to go into Fantasy Studios with Jeff Wood taking my simple two-track songs into 24 track production. He was always respectful of me, asking my opinion as we built this product, but he completely took control, and I turned my music over to him and his experience. This is what he did, turning my simple songs over, into his vision. You can hear the before & after yourself on this website.