It was 1983. Star Wars peaked and my mind never came back from space travel. Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” music video changed the chemistry of my brain the instant I watched it. Michael Jackson was becoming legendary as “Beat It” tore up the charts with a little riff his buddy Eddie Van Halen supplied, making me realize just how cool Michael Jackson really was. The A-team and G.I. Joe we’re my TV/cartoon heros and recreating those scenes with fake guns in the country was a daily ritual. This led to my favorite toys of all time…..the 3 3/4″ GI Joe and Star Wars action figures started an obsession that hasn’t stopped after almost 30 years!
Somehow all these youthful and naive memories remind of a good time. A simple time. A time never to be had again but to be cherished. I’m lucky to have these good memories. Recently I found myself in writing mode, and decided I wanted to write a new musical piece that had a great energy to it. I needed a theme, but lacked an idea until it hit me. Go big. Go for a great feeling. What’s a good feeling? Well think back to a good year, a great year, no the best year. Where did I land…at 1983.
So here I am, brewing up something really cool when my good friend Jamie Ray Wright gives me a call. Its perfect timing. Poetic and incredibly fanciful this connection is. It always seems to be that way with Jamie, and thats truly what working with someone professional is like. Someone dedicated to their craft and willing to sacrifice almost everything to see it to the end. Jamie is a choreographer in SF and we’ve worked together on three great projects and this will be our fourth in five years. As creator and Artistic Director for the Dance Wright Project in San Francisco, Jamie has built up a strong group of dancers that share that same passion for dance that he does. I started working with Jamie in 2008 for his piece “Sacred Femme” out of chance. Selected by a company that puts dancers and musicians together, I was to collaborate with other choreographers. And I did. And it sucked. They were horrible communicators, and honestly I believe they didn’t have it together and sure enough, they dropped out of the event. As fate would have it, Jamie was given a bad connection as well. As alternates we were connected and it couldn’t have worked out better. As a musician and fellow rocker, I was able to connect nicely with Jamie and him with me. When you have an idea where someone is coming from, its much easier to get to the same solution I’ve found. “Point of Parity” was selected as the music for “Sacred Femme” and my introduction to ballet began.
So what does this mean for the song “1983”? Well after talking to Jamie, I knew just what type of song I needed to create. It has to have that great epic feel with a good vibe, AND just be a more dramatic in parts. I thought what would be a cool song and a cool theme for Jamie and the dance he creates around it? It was a very easy process. Before I could even think I spoke “Heavy Metal ballet”! And the rest came quick. The “chuck-chunk-chunk-chunk-chunk” parts. A cool rhythm guitar. Cool little leads. A very cool tapped solo. A nice bass underneath it all with a little synth here and there. Then I change it totally up and go into something really pretty and beautiful just to mess with you. Jamie has been very happy with the song and has set the choreography already, and the piece already looks amazing in this early process I must say. We’re all going big. And different. And oh yeah, I’m busting out my new white alpine Flying V on this performance. My song “1983” is already one of my best songs and I can’t wait to debut it Sept 14th and 15th in SF@Dance Mission Center with the beautiful choreography and story by Jamie Ray Wright performed by the talented DanceWright Project!
“Burning the ground, I break from the crowd , I’m on the hunt I’m after you”
For more information about Jamie and his dancers you can go to his website at: