A few songs where written over the years but not enough to make an album, too few even for an EP, and none were really good enough to stand alone as a single.
One day on a Saturday afternoon I sat with my acoustic guitar in my lap and was visited by the acoustic muses. Some with melodies and other with lyrics. One of them brought me an entire song. The album was under way.
The song count quickly passed the EP standard and was now on the verge of a full album but there was still something missing.
I was able to finally polish off the lyrics and the melodies were written but I didn't learn until months later and $1,000's poorer that this unknown component that the songs were missing was called "production."
While my ignorance was blissful, I decided to track and mix the songs as they were (Acoustic Solo) for keepsake and burn some homemade cd's for family and friends. The album, at this point, had no name. I didn't want to name it after one of the songs because the songs were written with a common theme based on my life and one song really didn't encompass the body of the album. Finally I realized that there was a gold curtain that I stared at while I was writing the songs and it seemed to be the only constant that made sense. So the album name became "One Gold Curtain."
After listening to the songs over 100 times, I wanted to kick them up a notch into more of a full band feel or at least add some light percussion, a piano, and a few harmonies. The problem was I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do and didn't have the skills to make it happen. I had never really done anything like this before. I knew I needed to admit incompetence and reach out to the local professionals.
So I sent an email to a local music store owner, Greg Platzer of BCR Music & Sound, to see if he'd be interested in working on this project. He accepted the challenge and introduced me to Robert Richardson of After 7 Studios as well as Corianne Silvers who was willing to sing harmonies. Bob not only owned the studio but was also a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and had released several of his own albums. Greg also is a singer/songwriter who has released his own album and Corianne had several albums she released as well. With all of this talent in one place, what could possibly go wrong?
The answer is me. I was the problem. I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the songs which caused a lot of confusion. Greg stepped up as the producer to give the album some direction. After a few songs, I noticed that the songs were taking a flying leap over the subtle incline I was looking for. It was just too rock 'n roll for acoustic songs. While Greg's production skills were admirable, in the end, we parted ways.
To the right, you'll hear the experimental stages of the songs as they transitioned and there are many others that are floating around SoundCloud. Out of the confusion and chaos, two bonus tracks spawned that made it on the album.
It was time to take a step backwards to understand what went wrong. The answer was in production. I wasn't quite sure what it meant. I ventured out to the interweb's in search of a "producer" that matched my vision. I found one. John Glock from www.werecordyoursong.com. John sent me his interpretation of the first song and it was perfect. I was ecstatic to say the least. I offered John the project for the album and paid him a little over $3,600 in full. I let John know that I had already paid $5,000 for mastering and I was on the calendar for late August. John stated that the deadline would be no problem. Three months and a dozen excuses later, one song was complete. Out of sickness and frustration, I asked for a refund and his response was, "I have your money and now I'm changing the agreement." Click this blue text for the recorded voicemail. Just when I thought things were going to work out, it turns out this guy was a crook and took my money and ran. He was out of state and very familiar with the law regarding these contracts. I have a feeling I wasn't his first victim.
After speaking with an attorney and reporting this crook to the attorney general of both Pennsylvania and Ohio who did nothing (in fact the Ohio Attorney General's Office sent me a letter stating they couldn't find him), it was obvious that I was wasting my time and energy and had no other choice but to take it as a lesson learned. (Although it was tempting to take a roadtrip to Cleveland to kindly shake his hand.)
In the end, I devoted all of my spare time and money into learning song production and building my home studio to release the album on my own. Nearly one year later, it's now on the shelves named "O.G.C.R." which means "One Gold Curtain Revisited."
That was in January of 2016. It's time to get started on the next one.