Recording Journals: The Making of the No Schedule Man CD

Recording Journal Vol. 48 “Kevin on the Ground”

By June 12, 2010No Comments

Hello from the floor of my living room. Having received some advice from my physiotherapist (as we work to improve the herniated disc in my lower back), I am typing this journal while lying flat on the floor, stomach to the ground, chin on a pillow and hands out in front of me to reach the computer. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But it puts the least amount of pressure on my damaged disc, so I’ll deal with it.

Speaking of discs, we’re only 2 weeks away from releasing ours. I sure wish I had it ready. Instead, we are biting our nails as we’ve had a computer failure at the studio that has set back KG’s plans to do the final mixing and mastering this weekend. Truly, just about everything else (except my back) is ready to go.

We just need the bloody songs done!

You may remember that today was to be the original release date of the “No Schedule Man” CD. But my recent hospital visit set us back. In my mind, the CD should have been long completed by now. But it’s never that simple. I guess we set deadlines for a reason, and that’s so we can go right up to them. Without deadlines and goal-setting, perhaps we’d never get anything done. Still, it’s frustrating.

You should have a couple weeks (ideally) turn-around time to have the disc duplicated up in Toronto. The artwork for the CD itself is already there and waiting. The CD inserts/cover, etc, have been approved and printed. The first run of souvenir t-shirts and hats and such have been ordered. The merchandise display has been built.

But we’re still waiting for the songs.

14 days left.

I debated whether to write about this or not. I don’t want to appear negative in any respect. However, I promised that I’d write a realistic account of what goes into preparing a project like this, and what’s happening (err, not happening) right now is about as real as it gets.

There’s another reason why I chose to write about it, and that is the fact that I know we’ll be ready, one way or the other, come June 26th. I’ve been through situations like this many times before in my professional life. And I’ve learned that when you encounter these unforeseen setbacks, you must press on, keep a positive attitude and remind yourself that every “problem” is really just a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is obvious. I am trying to keep myself open to recognize and pick up on the opportunity.

We’ll find it.

I’ll site two of my favourite pop culture examples that have helped me learn:

Example 1. In the film “Back to the Future Part 3,” Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) has the time machine DeLorean at an old drive-in theatre. He needs to get the car up to 88 mph so that he can be transported back in time to save his friend. But in the path of his proposed travel is a wall with cowboys and Indians painted on it. He recognizes the fact and protests to his scientist buddy, Doc Brown, that if he drives straight for the wall, he’ll run into the (painted) Indians.

Doc Brown says: “Marty, you’re not thinking fourth-dimensionally. You’ll instantly be transported to 1885 and those Indians (wall) won’t even be there.”

I think of that scene often as I prepare for an event. I like to think “fourth dimensionally.” We may not be ready now, but as long as things are in place by the time we hit 88 mph (June 26), we’ll be all right.

The wall won’t even be there.

Example 2. One of my favourite books is “Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway. I open it often and re-read passages I’ve marked with yellow highlighter.

In that book, an old man finds himself on the ocean with little more than a small boat and a fishing line he has in his hands. He ends up hooking a large fish; too large for him to be handling with his meagre provisions, really. He recognizes the opportunity (and the challenge) and desperately wants to land the great fish, but he’s struggling.

Next comes a line I often repeat to myself. The old man thinks, “What I’ll do if he (the fish) sounds and dies, I don’t know. But I’ll do something. There are plenty of things I can do.”

There are plenty of things I can do.

Try to remember that the next time you get tossed a curveball. There are always options. It’s just that some are more appealing than others. But you always have a choice.

Meantime, I’ve got all this other great stuff happening, including a support program based around my music that will honour some people very close to my heart and will help a very worthwhile community group help other people. We met this week and agreed to work together and I’m just so very excited about it. We should be announcing that program this coming week.

Our rehearsals are sounding better and better so I know it’s going to be a good show when we land at the London Music Club two weeks from tonight.

I’m thrilled with the merchandise display that my friend Howie built for me. I’m happy with how the merchandise is looking. I’m ecstatic to see the graphic design of some of my song concepts coming to live. I love the way the CD artwork looks.

All I need now are the songs.

So as I finish up, lying on my stomach because I can’t stand for long or walk far without the help of a cane, I think again about this computer-related headache we’ve been presented with, and how we’re going to have to find a way around it here at the eleventh hour. And in so doing, I’m reminded of another one of my favourite lines, from Jimmy Buffett’s book “A Salty Piece of Land.”

It says: “There’s a strange sense of pleasure being beat to hell by a storm when you’re on a ship that is not going to sink.”

Sail on, sailor.

Leave a Reply