Sometime around 2001, I took on the persona of “Bob White”. At around the same time, I became aware of 8 track digital machines and this crazy new toy call a Line 6 POD. I made a commitment to myself to build a “proper” home demo studio. I sold all kinds of junk on eBay and before too long, I’d put together enough cash to buy the 8 track, the POD, a new bass, an Alesis drum machine, new studio monitors and a fancy Rode NT1 mic. Woo! A big expenditure, but none of it was coming out of the household budget. As the day approached to start spending, I got this awful feeling of trepidation. I was stupid, throwing my money away; I would undoubtedly get all excited for a minute, record a song or two and then let all the equipment get dusty, thousands of dollars down the toilet. Jean stepped in and said, “Hon, even if you don’t use it for a year, or two or three, when the muse returns, the equipment will be waiting for you”. Ah, what a woman!
Finally, the day came where I headed off to the local music store to buy my POD. Only one hitch, they only had one and it was the demo model; weren’t expecting another delivery for a week or two. Hmm. What the hell, wrap it up. It’s still under warranty. Nothing’s gonna stop me now!
As I headed home, it started to pour. And these awful feelings of buyer’s regret crept in (the bastards!). What was I doing?! My new toy was “used” and before I got it in the front door, it would be soaked and ruined. I was a freakin’ idiot!
What was wrong with me? Was I incapable of spending money on myself and feeling good about it? And then the most amazing thing happened. Would you like a sign? A wonder? A clear signal? When I walked in the house, there was an envelope from BMI, my performing rights organization. In the envelope was a royalty check for a song I’d written called My Car, His Car, that had appeared in a movie 14 years earlier! Mind you, I had never before received a check from BMI. There was even a small deduction for BMI’s cost of finding me. The balance matched the cost of my POD almost to the penny (somewhere in my archives, I have that check stub. I need to find it). Long story short, I knew I was on the right path.
The first song I recorded was I Know. Armed with all of these empty tracks and great new sounds, I piled layer upon layer of overdubs on that 8 track and when I was done, I had seven minutes of wonderfully self indulgent, Pink Floyd infused bliss. I don’t care how over the top it may be, I love that tune. It was the birth of Bob White, the artist who would be come bobwhite and it had a message I was proud of and guitar sounds I have not produced before or since. Two years later, as I was finally ready to declare that I had finished recording an album, I wrote the song Putney Bridge and suddenly, my record had a new 1st track and a new name – bobwhite the White Album.
bobwhite – I Know
words and music by bobwhite ©2001