In August 2012, I started writing a song about a hero of mine. It was a kind of love letter, it was slightly irreverent, and I liked it. This icon of modern music had gone quiet, hadn’t released any music for almost a decade and the song was kind of asking where he had gone, what he was doing and whether he was coming back. I had just about got the bare bones of the song together by the time he released a new single and album in 2013. I was ecstatic that he had returned but slightly miffed that I hadn’t finished my song. I shouldn’t have been too hard on myself. Anyone making music knows it takes an extraordinary amount of time and effort and I only ever have so much of that to give once the day job has had its way with me.
I had worked with a friend of mine, Tim Charlton, on previous albums and we agreed to get together in the spring of 2016 to look at a new set of songs of which ROTCK was one. [I remember listening to loads of Prince one night with him as it was just after Prince had passed away - quite an evening]. Somehow, Tim heard something in my very basic demo of the song and set about rearranging it. Gone was the elaborate, over-busy chord structure of the chorus and gone was the middle section to be replaced with Tim’s alternate version. He turned into some kind of creative whirlwind and in the short space of an afternoon he had created something very close to what you hear now. The middle section transformed and indeed transformed the song too, it sounded quite amazing.
I came home with the work we had done on this and another couple of songs and…
…the day job got in the way again.
And time passed as it loves to do.
And I was sat at home with the idea of a second volume of Imaginary Songs but nothing finished.
And so I started again.
But before I got anywhere the unthinkable happened.
I was in the bathroom getting ready for work on Monday 11th January 2016, when I was told that David Bowie had died. it’s a funny thing, even writing about it now makes me well up. I had become a fairly devoted fan since Heathen and was full of excitement for Blackstar and what the future may hold musically from this amazing musician and although I never knew him, well, it’s the power of art to move you, I guess. And he was quite an artist. I was absolutely devastated. That day at work still has painfully memorable moments, like when someone said to me, ‘I guess you’re pretty fed up today’ and I couldn’t reply.
And something inside me said ‘time is running out’ and so I took the inspiration of what we had already done and recreated the whole of Seven Imaginary Songs, Vol. 2.
I think I’ve lost count of how many times my friend Paul Pavely was there, encouraging me, discussing the art of sound, mixing, taste, whether that shaker should be louder by 3dB!! Another person without whom this album would never have gotten made.
And then somewhere near the end of last year, I finished Seven Imaginary Songs, Vol. 2. And I felt this was the song to play to everyone first.
It’s made with love for the great man and we really hope you enjoy it.
Happy birthday Mr Bowie x