Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Seven Guys Named Vinnie

I am gonna have to pepper this blog with some "Stories of The Internet", cuz, well, they just keep on a'comin". We use the Internet so much at our house, for research, pleasure, vocations, avocations, shopping. We have high speed broadband, which helps me tremendously with my music, uploading songs, photos, etc, and all three of us do a lot of surfing. So it stands to reason that, beyond receiving an occasional funny forwarded email or two from friends, interesting moments and stories pop up, and we love to share them.

I have been writing songs since I was a child. I can remember telling a lie to my younger sister Elaine, when I was 9 or 10, as we drove down Hawthorne Boulevard in Portland, in the back seat of Mom's big blue Buick. I told her that I had written the song "Running Bear" when it came on the radio, since I was already wishing to be and envisioning being a songwriter. Writing songs, through all of it, grade school, high school, marriage, child rearing, divorce, learning to trust myself to survive, and finding Marie, has been a constant. And these days, with my own little studio and some talented friends, I can let song ideas blossom.

So I listen. When a lyric or line or title comes through, I write it down. When I hear a melody, I record it. Or I pick up the guitar and turn a little snippet of an idea into a complete song.

One way it happens for me is that I will get a line in my sleep. If they are interesting enough, I wake up. I keep a pen and pad by the bed, and scribble them down. Later, I take a look and try to make some sense out of them. Or I might get a line and a melody together, as was the case when I first heard the chorus to "Forever Marie.

One morning in 2003, when I was just rising, the line "seven guys named Vinnie" popped into my head. Of course it would take a complete idiot, or a songwriter, to actually sit up and write that down. So I did. Later, I found it scrawled on my yellow pad, barely legible, on the nightstand.

The next day, maybe a few days later, I saw it lying on the desk by my computer, and decided to go forward, what the hell. So I bring up the browser on my Mac and type in "seven guys named vinnie", just like that. I am stunned to get an exact match, on a website dedicated, by some webmaster car enthusiast, to the Ford Thunderbird, in all it's incarnations. In referring to one model year, he says, "This car looks as if it was designed by seven guys named Vinnie". I tried it today, and that page is still on the web.

Of course, when I googled for "seven guys named vinnie", I was awarded some millions of other sites that included "Vinnie", in the results list. So I started to click on those other Vinnie sites, and found some truly interesting guys named Vinnie. I began to write them down, who they are, what they do. When I felt I had gone far enough, I stopped. I still have those notes.

I sat with my guitar next, and banged out the song that some know and love today as "Eighteen Vinnies". The song appears on my "Regards From The Roombar" CD. Without the Internet, this song would never have been born. I wrote to one of the Vinnies, famous glam band rocker "Vinnie Chas", who sent along a nice note with his approval. A clip of "Eighteen Vinnies" can be heard at CD Baby. Click on the "Buy" link of my website, and you will find links to CD Baby.

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