Music About Music

Little later than usual but still before the deadline. We are watching you, Alleged Artist…

In late 1987 into 1988, I was working on the last non-holiday (silly qualifier) Velvet Cockroach album, “Is Anyone Listening?” If you are one of the two real and 600 million imaginary people who have been reading every one of these posts, you’ll recognize that album as the venue in which “Echo of the Rockies” was released to the world. That was the first track. The second track was called “Here’s to Music”, and it was even more egregious in its overuse of delay on the vocals. It was also my first song heavily impacted by the possibilities of MIDI.

As cool as “Here’s to Music” sounded to me and a couple of my friends in 1988, it didn’t age well as a production. But given the fairly obvious importance of music to my life, I felt I needed to give it a second chance someday. That day came in early 2005, as I was throwing darts at what songs should be on “A Little to the Left”.

Here was the challenge: the original sounded kinda cool in part because of its ridiculousness. So I didn’t want to lose all of that. And there were two major contributors to the ridiculousness: over the top vocals and way too much robotic use of MIDI. I did my best to preserve them both:

For “Origin Story”, I again isolated the vocals so I could give them a little more punch and definition. I think the result is a reasonable anthem to both Velvet Cockroach and Tastiera.

One thing I did with this song on “A Little to the Left” was update the lyrics. I’d say about 85% of the original lyrics are still there. But like George Lucas, I determined I could not refrain from mucking with the original. Yes I just compared Velvet Cockroach with Star Wars. If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities. For example, both have two words.

Anyway, perhaps in recognition of my advancing age, the final words in the song were among my updates: here’s to music, it shall live on, even when I’m gone.

And with that, I’m gone. Until tomorrow.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay


Life might drag you to the ground, love might get you farther down
Knock you over and all around and hang you out to dry
Then in it comes out of the blue, a melody and words so true
A kindred heart laid bear to you, singing a lullaby

Do you think the first brave soul to sing, beat a drum or pluck a string
Realized they’d given wing to a bird that would never die
I wonder if their eyes saw that eagle light the sky
That makes us sing and dance when we really want to cry

Musicians fade away, but the music death-defies
And floats your mind behind another’s eyes

Oh, here’s to music, may it live on – here’s to the sweet everlasting song

It tears you away from the shackles of your hide
It lets you find out just what’s inside

Oh, here’s to music, may it live on – here’s to the sweet everlasting song

It flies you away on the wings of a melody
It shows you everything that you can be

Oh, here’s to music, it shall live on – here’s to the sweet everlasting song
Oh, here’s my music, may it live on, even when I’m gone

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