12:09 AM, Wednesday, March 23rd 2005:
The best laid plans…
It was perfect. I wrote this funny parody song of Billy Joel and Ray Charles’ “Baby Grand” that would allow me to show some great cut-aways of my piano – nice, jovial, light – a perfect fun entry to introduce my new baby.
But I guess taking a gander at the past 60 Journey songs and the realizing that roughly 6 of those aren’t horrendously depressing would clue you in that this wasn’t going to happen. My overdramatic ass would just be moved to write a real song. I’m such a pussy.
But you have to blame it on the piano a little bit. And truly, this is the first song that should be recorded on this piano as I wrote it in the showroom just sitting and hearing this monster for the first time. The chord progression came immediately and stuck with me for days. The hook for the lyrics took a little work, and the result is easily one of my favorite Journey songs ever. But I’m ahead of myself…
To say I had second thoughts about this purchase is slightly comical. I had 22nd thoughts about it. I could only put $3000 on my 0.0% card and that left me with a huuuuuuuuuuge chunk of my savings completely decimated. That happy go lucky carefree Adam ceased to exist the moment I handed that money over. A day that was supposed to be exciting and happy – was anything but. I felt like shit all day, I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, and I was mortified that I killed my “happy” alter ego for a purchase like this. That money meant security and sushi, and now I’m back to fear and ramen noodles. And then the piano was delivered…
…very shiny. Very loud. Very beautiful…Adam still feels like shit. It was a whole mix of things though. I couldn’t share it with anyone you know? I don’t like things…just for me. I went through this when I went to buy my first DVD after Jess and I split. This feeling of not having anyone to share it with…so it isn’t worth the buy. Here was this unbelieveably beautiful work of art but it just made me feel alone. So of course while playing it – the “Baby Grand” parody was not going to come out. Those chords I wrote at the store turned into a song telling Jess I jut couldn’t be friends with her right now. I’m either so angry I could spit when I see her, so hurt I could cry, or so in love I have to force myself to be angry and not reconnect. I couldn’t keep interacting every few days and be sick to my stomach before during and after.
So it was a mixed weekend to be sure. Funny though, at the times when I allowed myself to be excited and happy about this masterpiece sitting in my studio – I did a funny thing: I wiped it down. I think I spent the majority of the first couple of hours just walking around it, and wiping down every tiny smudge on what has to be the most beautiful shiny thing I’ve ever owned. It’s like buying a new car and not knowing whether to drive it or clean it. Turned all the lights on so I could see the reflections. Just awesome. Everything was bittersweet of course because a big part of me thinks I’m the biggest idiot on the planet but I did get some enjoyment out of it.
And playing it? Holy shit people – it’s just so LOUD. It’s so…huge. For comparison, my old piano has always kicked ass to me because it has a very bright loud feel to it. You hit some chords and you think – wow, not bad. This can rock pretty good. It sounds like a FISHER-PRICE toy compared to the grand. You open that lid, and the sound just reverberates off the bottom and fills the room. You feel like you’re controlling an orchestra rather than hammerin’ a couple of strings. It is a feeling like I’ve never known. It think I’ve only ever tooled around on baby grands in my life time and the difference is extraordinary. Of course it does pose one problem – recording.
The joy of “The Journey” songs was I threw the camera on a stack of videotapes on top of my spinet and hit and sing. No mics, no separation – my voice always mixed perfectly with the piano because of the set-up of the camera…
…unfortunately with the grand that just isn’t the case – it roars. It forced me to have to mic my voice and piano separately, mix that in my computer, and then match it up with the video. FUUUUUUCK. Not fun. Luckily however this is now a “studio” so I can have those mics set-up 24-7 so it’s not such a hassle. But if this first song is any indicator, it’s worth the hassle. I’m really happy with this song. I’ve been saying that a lot lately, and I’m not sure what it is – but several of these songs are really, really good. And not just if you know of the backstory – they have a mix of maturity and heart to them that I may have had before, but never had the situation to truly capture them correctly. That and I’ve done 25 Journey songs in the past 9 months alone…bound to be some gems in there. I’m rambling but the bottom line is I believe there’s some legitimate “professional” material here that is going to need to be pursued. Time will tell.
And that’s the case with everything. I’m in one of the most surreal moments of my life. I am absolutely longing for the boring domestic moments where the only drama is in the movie my wife and I are watching. That or just my career. To have every part of your life dramatic is such a burnout. Take work for example. With that much money going around, you had better believe that an equal amount of stress goes along with it. The only nice thing is that work is absolutely a role I play by day. I leave it there. Every once and awhile I’ll wake up in the middle of the night thinking about a borrower I have to call or something – but it is so far removed from who I am that it easily stays at work. But then there’s the drama of being single and utterly heartbroken. Guys, nothing beats the past month for being hurt. It’s really unprecedented in my 30 years. The overwhelming feeling of never, ever, ever having that closeness again with someone is very real. It happens in life. You get to an age where you just want to be comfortable and you have a “business” type relationship with someone only based on common goals. All of which is a result of getting so hurt, so bad, that you have to keep the walls up. Something I never thought I would do, but I am now doing with Jessica. I mean you should see me with her. I don’t smile, my words are forced, I’m obviously unhappy, I have nothing to say. It’s a defense mechanism. I can’t talk to her as a friend. Everytime I think of what I’d say to her as an unbiased friend it comes out along the lines of: “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?”. Very productive Adam. And until she can explain the actions she’s taking…how can I even relate to her? How can I be anything more than “How’s the weather?”
Heartbreaking. To have to say “when” to us is absolutely devastating to me. Why so after all that’s happened? Because realistically when she steps foot in Columbus for good in 10 days (finally after they used her for 6 extra months) – that’s it. There’s no mending from 2500 miles away.
And that’s why you buy a grand piano that will fill your heart while it’s completely empty. I’m not sure there’s a price limit on that, but if there is I think I hit it. LOL.