1963 — Sherman Barry Golden Oldies
For my entire musical career I have kept a record of almost every song I’ve worked on using a high quality cassette machine.
Here is the result. Some of the songs date back to my teen years. My undying gratitude to:
Aeros Theda—awe inspiring concert and jazz pianist
Diane Lindsay—bassist of the highest order
Maryvonne—bassist and Veena player who speaks French and who can write in Sanskrit
Ken Park—the world’s most powerful drummer and percussionist. Xylophone marimba, tree bells, tympani—everything. He plays drums for the world’s top artists.
Devorah—classically-trained singer, pianist and organist
The Provenance Of The Songs
——— NOTES ———
Around And Around
A beautiful finger-picking guitar riff that I haven’t figured out how to turn into a song yet.
Not the same as some other singer’s versions. This comes from a really old blues version. This was recorded LONG before the Candyman that’s in my 1990 page. This has Aeros Theda on keyboards and Ken Park on drums.
The Candyman in the 1990 page is about sex. This Candyman is about drugs. That’s why the chorus is like it is.
Brings you up
Brings you down
Strings you out if he can’t come around
I know you . . .
He knows me . . .
So I’ll ask . . .
And we’ll see . . .
This Candyman was written by me about a friend—Dirk Livingston—killed by drug dealers because he “missed a payment.”
Dirk was found overdosed in a cheap motel room. No way it was by his own doing! We all knew it was a killing. The police were clueless. They mostly said “duh,” or “what” or “huh?” The drug dealers got away. The murderers “got away with it” and we lost the company of our friend Dirk for all time.
The Candyman in the 1990 page (at this website) is missing the druggy chorus. This version has all the words.
As the song chugs along to the end, Ken Park helped us out be accelerating the beat to add to the excitement. The effect is awesome.
Captain Nemo’s Underwater Raga
Because the quality of these recordings may be appreciated only by musicologists, I have put their links in NOTES item 3, above.
There are two.
The original demo I presented to the group.
The version we played as a group.
The original demo is spooky. It has horror movie chords. The Group Version is much less spooky.
The recordings are of poor quality, and my singing performances are terrible, but the message is so spooky and dear to me that I cannot leave these recordings out.
At the end of the demo, you can hear my cats talking to me as I sat trying to “perfect” the demo. Meows are always a welcome sound.
The Group Version has Aeros Theda playing the bizarre chords on her piano just like it was easy as pie. My guitar solo is not very good until the very end. Still . . . the song has merit.
Historical Perspective: When reading Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea we realize that Jules correctly imagineered “compartmentalization” used much later by General Groves when he commanded the development of the first two atomic bombs.
All the workers at Los Alamos (the Manhattan Project) knew only the information they needed to do their work. Same with the sites manufacturing purified plutonium and uranium.
Compartmentalization is now used by all US agencies: FBI, CIA, NSA, Secret Service, Federal “Protective” Police (whose only job is to protect the IRS and FEMA employees!), Homeland “Security” (who invented the 100 mile Constitution-Free-Zone completely surrounding the US—where US citizens have NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS at all), the Border Patrol and all the other agencies we haven’t even found out about yet.
She was a stewardess. I took one look at her. She took one long look at me. Next thing I know she’s visiting me in LA. What a joy! I wrote a song for her. This is it. She was an Angel that flew all over the world. I was in love. What else can I say?
Organist Robert Wolfe helped me with this song. Together, we worked out a way to sync remote recordings directly to the master recordings. The details of this invention is in the “An Invention!” page above.
Another riff that has not turned into a song yet.
Long before the CD1 version came along, this version was recorded with me on guitar and singing, Aeros on piano and Maryvonne on bass. This version holds up even though it is so ancient. There is also an even older NV (no vocal) version I placed at the end of the song list by naming it X Getting Old Demo. This version clearly shows the unusual 3/4 4/4 3/4 4/4 alternating tempo. How or why I came up with this peculiar rhythm I do not know, but I feel the song “rumbles” along just fine even after all this time.
The X Getting Old Demo counts like this:
1 2 3
Bowl me over I’m getting
1 2 3 4
1 2 3
How I miss the days of
1 2 3 4
1 2 3
Life’s still free but not so
1 2 3 4
Bold as I
1 2 3
Recall But I . . .
The Getting Old that’s in the middle of the song list goes more like this:
1 2 3
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
which is NOT true to the original.
The correct version is
1 2 3
1 2 3 4
1 2 3
1 2 3 4
Goin’ Home To You
A song that I wrote while walking back to my home. It’s just a simple groove with my MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) equipped Stratocaster playing lead. The sound the GR-50 guitar synth was playing along with my guitar (with it’s guitar to MIDI pickup) was a horn-like sound. The cool part of the GR-50 system is how FAST the synth played along with what was played on the guitar! If your ears can hear ANY delay between the guitar notes and those played by the horn synthesizer part, your ears are faster than mine!
When I played with Spirit, we visited Boulder, Colorado. I sallied forth on the street looking for some contact with the people there. Nothing. They were aloof, distant and unfriendly. I became dismayed. I went up into the mountains (where there was still a little snow) to repair my spirit. While I was up there I wrote this song.
After the show in Boulder, we had a night off. I went to the movies with the band and saw Jaws. Whew! Wouldn’t you know it? The very next stop on the tour was Miami! I went out into the ocean in the dark of night. The water was as warm as the air! Phooey on the movie! A fish brushed my foot. It was a FISH. So I continued my long swim up the beach, turned around and swam back down the beach to the hotel.
No movie was going to alienate a Pisces man from the joy of being in the ocean!
“All’s well that ends well.”—Shakespear
I Wash Away Her Tears In Mine
A love song about a rock star that must go on the road to work and fund his life and . . . and the loneliness he feels for his beloved when he goes.
Keep On Loving
A good love song with excellent harmonies. Ken Park played drums and overdubbed the wood block percussion. Exceptional !
So? What’s so bad about “kal-o ten-ton boat de ban de way?”
What about, “Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.”
What does THAT mean?
What about, “I speak of the pompetus of love.”
What does that mean?
I think “kal-o ten-ton boat de ban de way” is just fine. :)
This line doesn’t mean anything either!
Legend Of Landale
I was into alliteration for some reason. Mystic Mountain? It’s too “muddy” now but soon I will fix this. There are some “odd” notes in the first guitar solo. Sadly I can’t time travel back and fix ‘em.
This song was written by my friend Lars Pointer. I have included it in my collection for a good reason. In 2016, Lars asked me to make a recording of this song for his friends in Denmark. This was so Lars and his Danish friends could hear the song as I remembered it. Lars’ song is soulful, and haunting. It’s about Lars traveling overseas all alone. I couldn’t refuse, so I recorded this demo for my friend and his friends in Denmark.
The second verse’s chorus is different than the other choruses. I explained to Lars, that in my recollection, the verses and choruses went from 3/4 to 4/4 time (just like my song Getting Old). All the verses and choruses in this rendition are in 4/4 except for the chorus for verse 2. Musicologists will hear the song’s beat tumbling on and off the beat in the verse 2 chorus.
This song is special because the lyrics of every chorus are different.
I added some new drum programming today and a sparse string section track.
I traded the robot vocal for a double-tracked real vocal.
Please enjoy this sad but haunting song my friend wrote.
A bed in which to practice playing solos. Aeros did better on piano than I did on guitar, but I did my best.
So one day a friend bursts into my control room at Sunwest Recording Studios and says, “Ringo is looking for original songs with unusual content. Do you have any I can take to him?” Not right this minute, I say. Give me a few days. That’s where Pretty Feet came from. Designed by me for Ringo.
The Banjo Man
A song I wrote. I apologize for the bad English; I don’t know why I used “them hills.” I really don’t.
Children living in them hills
Would seek him every day
And sit with him in the Sun
Just to listen to him play
A great recording engineer and producer volunteered to “produce” me as I worked to complete the song. Gary Brandt was his name. He and Don Landee were my mentors as I learned to be a great recording engineer too. Gary kept me at the microphone for a LONG time. He insisted I get all the vocal parts just right. It took hours and hours. The results are amazing. If I ever record “for serious” again I will insist on having a great Producer keep me working like Gary did! Besides producing the song, Gary graced the track by playing bass on it and did the final mix. Gary also found a glockenspiel in another studio which he also played on the song. Beautiful!
An Ode is a very fine Banjo. The mythical Banjo Man would probably have loved playing one.
The Woman Should Do All She Can (To Please The Man)
OK. Slightly chauvinistic. I get that. Perhaps “The man should do all he can . . . to please the woman” should be the next song? I think this song was written for Linda Littletrees—the ONLY woman ever allowed on the Frank Zappa tour bus. Her voice was like that of Linda St. James (Mc Millan And Wife). The other band members were outraged.
Waltzing Canon In C Major
This has been an on-going project for me for a long time. As I recall someone brought a Synclavier into the studio and let us use it for the orchestra parts.
Talk about being in the right place at the right time! I introduce the sound right up front because it is so compelling.
The next release of this life-long work will probably be named
Tara’s Snowy Waltzing Canon In C Major.
This will be a four-theme piece woven together with authentic parts from the original sheet music. For me it has to be in C Major not D. D is too high for me to sing to.
Tara’s Theme from Gone With The Wind
Jessica’s Theme from The Man From Snowy River
Waltzing Matilda and
Pachelbel’s Canon In D Major
Like many musicians say, “This will be a really great piece once I get around to finishing it.”
A fingerpicking folk-like song with doubled voices. The MBC brought out lots of harmonics that I never even heard before. The MBC for rescuing old cassette recordings—there’s nothing else like it.
Long ago, when I lived in Palos Verdes, California I used to drive down to Torrance Beach. Eventually I joined a group of Sun lovers. They would yell, “Hi Sherman,” when I came down the ramp to the beach. We would talk philosophy for hours, punctuated with “a dip” in the ocean.
Sometimes I would see dolphins coming north from the point. I would get into my wetsuit, grab my fins and Wow Wave boogie board and rush to the water to meet them. You had to swim out a LONG way to get in their path. One time when I did this a group of young boogie boarders asked if they could come with me. “Absolutely not! I’m going out WAY too far for you.” So I rushed in, swam out, put on my best “vibes” and waited. Then I heard a splash. All the children had swum way out with me! One of them smiled and said, “What do we do?” I said, “Say I love you dolphin.” They all started chanting. Then a huge dolphin surfaced right next to the loudest chanter. He only said, “Oh my gosh!” I said, “Keep your arms at your sides.” They all did. Knowing that a single hard kick with his/her tail could easily kill the child, the dolphins tails moved only in extreme slow motion. Once well away from the children, with a couple of mighty kicks, they zipped away and completely out of sight. We all swam back to shore with love in our hearts and dolphins on our minds.