Gullahorn and Ben were both out of commission for the last two days, so no recording happened. I did, however, comp the vocals for "Windows in the World" and "All You'll Ever Need", from the comfort of my own home.
There's this little device called an Mbox that was one of the most justifiable musical purchases I've ever made. It cost me $400 about five years ago (I think), and allows ProTools to run on my iMac. All you really need is a microphone and/or a guitar cable and you can record and edit whatever you can think up. The possibilities are endless, and the excuses are eliminated.
When I was a kid, I saved for months to buy a TASCAM four track recorder. I remember buying it used from this music store in Gainesville with money I had made stocking shelves at the local grocer. Finally I had the means to record everything that was bumping around in my head. Those first weeks I spent in musical gloryland, reading the manual and learning the subtleties of multi-track recording, playing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and Skynyrd's "Simple Man", then trying to sing them, making tapes to force upon my friends on the drive to and from school.
My senior year, my buddy Wade's grandpa died and left him an old single-wide trailer out in a field. Wade managed to talk his dad into letting him stay out there some of the time, and we turned that old trailer into a studio and rehearsal space for our non-band. It could not, in the furthest reaches of your imagination, have been more redneck than it was. It was sweltering, dead roaches lay about on their backs, the weeds were waist high and crept up on the perimeter of the trailer like confederate soldiers, and my trusty TASCAM sat on a water stained bureau in the corner, daring me to make good music with it. I did not. I most certainly did not.
I would drive straight to Wade's trailer after school and goof around with his electric guitar, my acoustic, the bass that we hijacked from Trey, studiously avoiding whatever homework I was supposed to be doing and mumbling to myself quite often about how much fun I was having. My crowning achievement, my grand experiment, was learning all the parts to the Garth Brooks song "The Dance" and recording them on the TASCAM. I played the drums (which beggars belief), the bass, the pretty, sad piano part, the acoustic guitar. And then, to my embarrassment even as I was doing it, I sang it: "The-uh-uh-uh-uh dayance..." I have often wondered what happened to that tape, and have in equal parts wished I could find it and hoped that it is forever lost.
When I think about that kid I was in high school, I imagine how blown my mind would've been to have had the nearly limitless possibilities of ProTools at my fingertips. I would never have slept. I think about that old TASCAM almost every time I work with my little Mbox and my computer, and marvel that some fifteen years later I'm still tinkering around with tracks and sounds and songs, though I'm thankfully beyond covering Garth (that song is still a guilty pleasure of mine).
The only bad thing about those limitless possibilities is that, as I said, I'm out of excuses. In the old days I'd complain that if only I had more tracks or better equipment, then I'd make some music. Now I have the cool, simple little program, and I seldom do anything with it. Sure, it comes in handy when I'm making a record, because I can bring the hard drive home, plug it in, and edit away. But the rest of the time, the Mbox gathers dust. I'm not a multi-track recording genius. I'm not oozing with musical ideas the way I might've thought I was when I lacked the means of expressing them. Music comes either after much struggle or like the crack of a whip, and it comes without all the bells and whistles of computer programs or nice guitars. You're sitting at the piano and the Idea descends. The Idea doesn't trouble itself with what you don't have, but what you do. The tools at hand are part of the final form, however much it changes between the points of creation and completion.
When I was in high school, I loved the TASCAM. I am now more thrilled at the thought of an empty page in my composition book, or a quiet night while the family sleeps during which the creation process embraces me rather than spurns. First I find the song, or the song allows itself to be found, then months--sometimes years--later, I blow the dust from the Mbox and give the song as much love as possible, to give it a fighting chance to be loved by those who will hear it.
Tomorrow we're starting up at Gully's house again, and I can't wait.
Listening to: David Wilcox - Guitar Shopping