I need help.
I come up with good ideas. Sometimes. And a lot of the time, they stay that way. Individual ideas that don't go anywhere. Much of the time, that's my fault. Sometimes I don't recognize the good idea when it happens, and I move on by. And then it's gone.
Recently, I've been working with a producer friend, Pat Hundley. How we met is one of my favorite stories ever. I was playing an outdoor gig a couple years ago, at First Friday. (First Friday is an event where traffic is blocked and travel made inconvenient so people can walk around downtown and not get run over.) I played my set, which I thought was OK. The next day I got a message on Facebook from Pat. He had been running sound for another band around the corner from where I had been playing, and he heard something that he couldn't figure out what it was. "What the f--- is that?!" were the words he used, I believe. Now, pretty much my goal in life is for my music to make people say "WTF is that?" (Preferably with maybe another exclamation point in there, but whatever.) So I was really happy. He said he'd love to record me in the future.
Now, I didn't really know who he was, being as I had just recently moved back to Las Vegas after a nine year stretch on the Army. Turns out, Pat is a really accomplished producer, proficient in many genres encompassing rock, hip-hop, and all sorts of stuff in between.
Time passes and we finally get to work together. Then I get a job and can't. Then we can again. Here's how it works: I set up my mountain of guitar stuff, Pat gets the levels, and then I randomly start playing. Pat is listening; maybe not so much for the notes, but for the vibe. He's taking in everyone's conversations in the room (if others are present). I'll stumble across something and he'll brighten, and say "That. Keep doing that." Or something like that. So I have to remember what I had just played, which was probably off the top of my head, and start looping it. And then we'll build it from there.
Last night was one of those moments. When I get discouraged, wondering why I keep doing this when nothing seems to be working, we create something that moves us, and maybe eventually you when you hear it. My hands were aching, I wasn't always able to keep holding the chords I was playing because my fingers wouldn't obey. But we made something.
And that's why I keep doing this.