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GaryHale last won the day on March 13

GaryHale had the most liked content!

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About GaryHale

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  1. This is long but it's a very interesting read. Why Rock Died It’s no longer the sound of the street. The initial burst came with the Beatles and the British Invasion, a new sound everybody went wild for. Then came the late sixties free-form FM era, everything from the Doors’ “The End” to Cream’s “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” Sure, some of these tracks crossed over to AM, were single hits, but this was the era, after “Sgt. Pepper,” when you wanted to make an album length STATEMENT! In the early seventies, it was about experimentation and musicianship. Ergo, the prog rock bands. Even Queen. We admired those with chops. Then came the codification and consolidation of FM radio by Lee Abrams and suddenly all the action was on FM and bands being banged on that format went nuclear. Stadium shows were de rigueur. There was so much money involved that it could not be overlooked, ergo, corporate rock, music made to make money. Which punk was a reaction to. But punk got press and little sales and they were both, rock and punk, trampled by disco, which ironically survives, even though it’s labeled something different, and is still triumphant. And then disco records were blown up in Comiskey Park and the music business tanked and then was resuscitated by MTV and the CD. MTV gave a second wind to rock. Especially the oldsters. But then young acts like Culture Club and Duran Duran got traction, but shortly thereafter so did Michael Jackson and Wham! Rock reacted the same way it did a decade before, with hair bands. Spandex-clad wankers singing safe ballads that were supposed to titillate women. But then that crashed, just like corporate rock before it, and there was a brief heyday of Guns N’ Roses, and then the Seattle sound, and then rock cratered completely. Oh, it splintered, into indie and metal and… Rock acts were no longer dominant. Rock survives as country. Albeit too often with lame lyrics. But all those guys and gals with guitars, they’re goners. Just look at the Spotify statistics. Now don’t go all vinyl on me. Don’t build up the niche acts. Don’t say Spotify is not representative. That’s like denying Amazon sales. Denying data in an era where data rules. The Spotify Top 50 are rolling in dough, and everyone else is bitching about streaming, playing to a limited audience, unless they were superstars way back when, or on the undercard at the festival. So there’s a rock-influenced business, it’s just far from dominant. How did this happen? Like I stated above, it lost touch with the street. Everybody can make hip-hop. There’s a constantly changing cast of characters, new people are winning all the time, but rock is self-referential and repetitive. We need a new punk movement, something to shake it all up, but all we have is acts that are repeating forty year old formulas. Or moving off in unlistenable directions. Once upon a time Led Zeppelin was heavy metal. Black Sabbath was seen as tuneless. Now those acts are seen as soft compared to what’s sold as metal today. Which is more noise than music. Hell, I just said that to raise your ire. My only point is today’s metal is not mainstream. Most people don’t like it. As for the Americana acts, the acts that appeal to the intelligentsia, too many can’t sing. Maybe Bob Dylan didn’t have the best voice, but he was THE BEST LYRICIST OF ALL TIME! Except for maybe Joni Mitchell. But we got a pale imitation of Mitchell with Sarah McLachlan, since then… Oh, we got Taylor Swift…AND SHE’S THE BIGGEST ACT IN THE WORLD! Except for maybe Adele. But the point is singing about your life pays, issuing truth pays. That’s when hip-hop is best. But today’s rock is redundant and features mediocre singers singing lame lyrics. One thing you can say about the Beatles…THEY COULD SING! So there’s no harmony and no bridge and little lyrical content and the music is not a great leap forward, this is not Yes after Herman’s Hermits, but just a slight twist on what came before. As for Adele… She too has a great voice, singing songs about feelings with changes. It’s not like it’s a hidden formula. It is about the material, but no one in rock wants to admit that. They just want to sling on a Stratocaster, make a racket and wait for the money to roll in, which it doesn’t. And it never will. Rock has hit a dead end. Just like jazz before it. Oh, rock will never die, but it won’t bloom again either. First and foremost we need a new sound. And there’s none on the horizon and all the fields may have been plowed. This is a problem with hip-hop too, enough of the fake drum/TR-808 sound. I mean you’ve got all the winners of yore complaining about Lil Yachty, and I won’t enter that debate, but one thing’s for sure, to survive a medium must progress, keep swimming, or it dies. Like rock. But there is a way out. Combining the Adele/Swift formula. Be able to sing well about your life. If you’re not an excellent singer, you’d better be the best player or the best songwriter. But in an era where everybody can participate, everybody believes they’re entitled to a trophy. It’s not like this isn’t hiding in plain sight. Did you see the WaPo story about the death of the electric guitar? Sales tanked. Kids would rather use Ableton. And I must say, it seems to be that it’s the electronic sounds that always catch my ear these days. You may despise Justin Bieber, but he works with some of the best producers extant. Diplo and DJ Snake are testing the limits. An equivalent person in rock? Well, we’ve got Dave Cobb, he did a wonderful job for Chris Stapleton. And what happened? EVERYBODY CLAMORED! They wanted the authenticity, not the written for hire songs about babies and church and the rest of the drivel on the country playlists. Proving that people know it when they hear it. But they’re not hearing anything in rock. I know, I know, you’re a believer. But even Pete Townshend got old. And classic stars are dropping like flies. Then again, the Who wrote the first rock opera. Where’s the innovation in rock today? And the Eagles wrote perfectly produced singable songs sung well. The cognoscenti hate the Eagles, but they own the biggest selling album of all time. Who’s right? And before you answer, admit you hated Journey and now you love them. And Journey was a middling band before the addition of Steve Perry. So go back to the basics, vocals, lyrics, harmonies, bridges, songs… Or wallow in your marginalization.
  2. Hi John, A well constructed lyric that presents a clear narrative. I don't object to the numerous use of the phrase "handed down." I read it as a leitmotif, keeping the thread of the story upfront. My main comment would be about not having a wrap-up verse - i.e. about what you are handing down to the next generation - to complete the sense of continuity and history. My feeling is that this would be a valuable addition and would increase the poignancy of the lyric and complete it in memorable way. Nice work.
  3. Oh, no, not John Cusack! Please don't tell me he went off and joined the lunatic fringe. I'm so disappointed. He's my favorite actor. Who could ever forget "Hot Tub Time Machine." Say it ain't so, John, say it ain't so.
  4. You can't make this stuff up! A Time Magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It’s fake. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-time-magazine-with-trump-on-the-cover-hangs-in-his-golf-clubs-its-fake/2017/06/27/0adf96de-5850-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?tid=pm_pop&utm_term=.417fa123e83c
  5. Seriously? Some of these guys are amazingly talented and skilled writers. Whatayou live on an Island?
  6. Good advice whatever one pursues.
  7. Interesting piece on the decline of electric guitars. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/lifestyle/the-slow-secret-death-of-the-electric-guitar/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_guitar-840a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.744813913f5a
  8. I think you'd have better success posting this in the song forum. And the line: I was born a poor American Child sounds a little funky with your English accent. It puts a hole in the song for me. Nice production and all. It's obvious who your idols are.
  9. Ad hominem attacks, rather than facts, seem to be very popular these days.
  10. Just wanted to thank you for the time for answering my questions and share the second of what probably will turn out to be three songs with Ashish. I think this is more commercial.




  11. Do you mean adieu restaurant as in goodbye? I don't know what Au de means? John, based on my experience and years in the biz, there is a very limited market out there for the type of music you are promoting. Your best bet may be the Christian market. Rock has pretty much died or become a greatest hits endless tour. Breaking in to the market at your age demands ceaseless energy and self promotion, networking and more self promotion. You need to be persistant, brash, respectful and a good judge of where your strengths are and what unique skills you bring to the table that no one else may have. I listened to the song you posted. I could barely make out the lyrics due to the singers presentation. (It's an interesting and humorous lyric and it reads well. Where it fits in today's music I'd be hard pressed to say.) A typical publisher will give you five to ten seconds to "wow" them before moving on. Do you think that link truly represents a professional presentation of your songwriting and production skills? Is that your calling card? Would someone who listens to literally hundreds of songs a day be knocked on his or her ass listening to what you did? You be the judge of that question. Reality is the best teacher in a case like this. Any professional will tell you that the music business is a very difficult business. There is no shortage of talent - and most of it is under 25... or even 20. However, if you truly believe your skills, craft and talent can compete with the best out there I would encourage you to pursue your dream single-mindedly and never be discouraged by the endless soul crushing rejection that is part of succeeding in the music business.
  12. Hey John, The easiest way is to hook up with a reputable publisher, and that ain't easy. I have a friend who is head of synch & licensing with one of Sony's divisions and we were talking the other day and he flat out said unless you are an amazing talent, it's all about social media and how many website, youtube, Instagram, etc hits you have. All of the major companies have scores of interns that do nothing but troll the sites looking for artists who have big followings. What genre is your music and lyrics?
  13. Joey, Not to confuse you, I know you've been working on this for a while and have received lots of good suggestions, but to me, the reference to texting and cell phones seems out of place in this lyric, as if it’s an attempt to “modernize” the lyric, which honestly is about as 1960’s a country ballad as can possibly be. I’m not saying this in a cynical way - your lyric style tends to resonate pretty strongly with standard old school Country. In keeping with that old school style I might suggest a chorus that refashions the lyric along these lines... just something to think about. I’m standing on the corner Down on Memory Lane Wishing you were here To ease this hurtin’ pain I walk these lonely streets But I know it’s all in vain Cause broken hearts never mend Down on Memory Lane
  14. Mississippi John Hurt, one of the absolute all time greats! I can hear this played and sung in his smooth and plaintive style.