14 months after the debut of Wanderer Awakening, David's 'rock opera' for our time, 17.99 gets you many of the best songs -- and you won't be disappointed!
WANDERER AWAKENING SELECT
While I work my tail off cranking out the last of my 2012 book this weekend, you can rock out to seventeen of the best songs I've ever done -- in a project I co-wrote with multiple Grammy-winning musician, composer and engineer Larry Seyer!
I never could have imagined an opportunity like this would come along. With Larry's talents, having produced over 500 different top-selling recording artists for the music industry, I could literally create any sound I wanted, from any genre, any song, any style, and have it be the best it can possibly be.
My tastes in music are very eclectic, and I am a tremendous stickler for quality. My mother is a performing musician and voice teacher, and my father writes about rock and blues music, and introduced me to many of the top recording artists of the 1980s backstage.
A BIT OF BACKSTAGE BACKGROUND
I've mentioned that I met various recording artists many times, but rarely try to bring up the details, because it's just a lot of stuff to sort through.
I did meet the Grateful Dead, and am too young to remember seeing Jerry Garcia. He probably didn't remember seeing me either.
I do remember my parents putting me on a parked motorcycle at that same concert, which was great!
I did get to meet the Grateful Dead's drummer Mickey Hart later on when he was on his Planet Drum tour. That was a wild experience, and I had a great time getting to know all the other top-notch drummers.
I remember meeting the B-52s before they got famous, at a nightclub called JB Scotts in Albany, when their only hit was "Rock Lobster." The lead singer was just as flamboyant and crazy off-stage as he was on-stage, and the women were very nice to my brother and me!
I got a big kick out of meeting Thomas Dolby when he was touring off of the hit single "She Blinded Me with Science." He was quiet, reserved and super-intelligent.
Pat Benatar was wonderful, and treated me like I was one of her own children. Truly a marvelous memory.
I actually smuggled in a camera over my crotch to Metallica, and met James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Jason Newsted, though the lead guitarist Kirk Hammett was shy, and avoided the whole backstage area.
Some hot girl in the front row had gotten drunk and they let her backstage. I was admiring her naked breast through a hole torn clean through her already-ripped-up Iron Maiden shirt (come on, I was fifteen years old here) when she suddenly hurled everything she had into a big gray plastic trash barrel. I stopped looking after that.
I've seen boobs get signed with black magic markers, naked butts the same way, banana-sized marijuana joints that filled the room with a pungent haze, (OK, that's a slight exaggeration,) exotic new ways of drinking shots, an industrial-sized 48-ounce tub of sex lubricant amongst all the other food buffet items at the Faster Pussycat show, (one of their trademarks), and all manner of backstage acts of hedonism.
You could always get cold cuts, bread, mayonnaise, mustard and other sandwich fixings backstage, arranged in a huge, spiraling platter where every slice was folded up into a tube -- as well as soda in a big bucket or cooler of ice water.
You usually had to go through at least three levels of security to get there, the last of which would often be one or two very attractive women. This was all very, very standard stuff.
I remember talking to Lars Ulrich about his drumming, and was surprised when he told me that he had only started drumming a few months before he joined Metallica. It turns out he had been working towards being a tennis pro, but didn't quite make it. All that running made him a whiz on the double bass pedals, a real staple of heavy metal.
Jason Newsted admittedly seemed to be totally blasted. His eyes were beet-red and never blinked, nor changed expression, but in his dazed way he was hilarious, and by far the most approachable of the bunch. Good times!
James Hetfield, the lead singer, was clearly drunk and animated -- and gave us a loud and obscene-smelling belch when I snapped a photograph of my brother next to him. The thrashing movement of his head blurred out the image of his face a bit -- but the memories are what really count!
A FEW OTHER NAMES I CAN REMEMBER
Let's see -- Def Leppard, Dokken, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper, Stryper, Frehley's Comet, and many other hair metal bands whose names make you laugh when you hear them if you grew up in the 80s -- like Queensryche, White Lion, Slaughter, Cinderella, Ratt, Poison, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Accept and Kick Axe.
My brother and I once made little gifts for David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and the rest of the Talking Heads that they really appreciated. They were one of my father's and brother's favorite groups.
On the jazz front, it really tripped me out to meet drumming titan Dave Weckl -- and I personally inspected his kit to make sure there were no secret pieces of hardware that gave him such an edge. I also met many blues legends, including Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.
We got close to meeting Roger Daltrey from the Who, as well as KISS and Motley Crue -- but in each of those cases, it fell through at the last minute, which was always frustrating.
Backstage was always a delicate affair, and you never knew how the security guards would handle it. Sometimes they were just bored or didn't care, and forgot about you, leaving you standing out in the cold. Other times they simply needed to flex their muscles and tell you off even if you had every legal right to be there.
Worst of all, I once stood two feet away from Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin -- but when he saw the size of the crowd, which was bursting with over-enthusiastic radio contest winners, he said in a thick British accent, "We've gotta get out of here. I'll be bloody eaten alive!"
I didn't want to bother him, as you always want to stay cool -- so I watched him turn and walk away without ever saying a word.
ORDINARY PEOPLE IN EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES
So yes... I was the little kid who got sneered at because he had that delicious, brightly-colored Backstage Pass on his jacket while he walked around the auditorium. I could touch the Gods of rock and roll. This gave me a very interesting and unique childhood, I must say.
If you want to see a movie that really captures the essence of it beautifully well, I highly recommend Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous.
My main experience through all these years was in consistently finding out that these were ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
If you approached them like they were stars, you got dismissed in a hurry -- but if you stayed cool and didn't bombard them with your enthusiasm, you could have a great conversation.
We never met the lead singer of Judas Priest -- he didn't go backstage with the rest -- but I remember having a long conversation with the lead guitar player.
He wanted to inspire me by letting me know he didn't even start playing guitar until he was an adult -- so it's never too late to learn an instrument and get good at it.
I laughed when he asked me if there were any good places to go fishing in the area. He was definitely tired of being on the road and longed for a vacation -- so I painted up some nice pictures for him of various camping trips I'd been on and lakes I had visited.
All of these experiences helped shape my own musical tastes -- of course. Don't worry, I never was a big fan of hair metal -- I knew they were all imitating Led Zeppelin, which has held up much better through the test of time.
FINALLY GET THE CHANCE TO DO IT MYSELF
I first started playing a drum kit from my mother's rock band that was set up in my basement when I was in sixth grade. I studied professionally with three different instructors, including the full range of formal jazz training at a university level while I majored in psychology.
Sometime soon I want to film myself rocking out, so as to permanently silence those voices who think I can't actually deliver a mind-blowingly delicious and intricate drum solo, with all the flash and thrills, while still remaining musical.
For me it's not that hard, particularly if I practice and keep my 'chops' nice and tight. I have a really nice Roland V-Drums kit that allows me to practice without disturbing the neighbors.
It was kind of weird that I could have totally jumped onto that timeline as of 1996. I probably would have been as broke as any other professional musician. Even the very best ones are usually starving artists.
Then everything changed and opened up for me in a whole new direction -- when I gained direct contact with my Higher Self that November, and began a direct two-way relationship with the Source.
I do have a solid background in rock, but also love to hear the jazz flavors in there as well. I listen to music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, et cetera, and have favorites in all categories. I also like the older stuff -- Early Music, Baroque, Classical, et cetera.
I DID OTHER STUFF IN THE PAST -- BUT NOT LIKE THIS
I wrote songs in the past with my own equipment, but I invariably hit a variety of brick walls in terms of technology and talent.
I could hear the ideas in my head, but I couldn't actually make music that sounded like them.
That all changed -- dramatically -- when I got Larry working with me.
I was stunned when he first called me back in 2005, while I was still at the tail end of doing client readings. I was admittedly intimidated to propose we do vocal music for years afterwards, where I was the lead singer.
Working with someone like Larry is akin to trying out for the Olympics and being expected to take the gold on your very first run.
Even though I have perfect pitch by ear, thanks to having a musical family, I went through a substantial transformation of my entire singing talent in the studio that really allowed me to discover my true sound -- in several different musical genres we composed in.
This was some of the most challenging work I've ever done, because I did not go in having all the experience I needed -- but Larry was amazed at how fast I picked it up, and how well it finally sounded.
If I hadn't been able to sing my ass off, the project would have never gotten made.
QUITE AN ESTABLISHED SOUND
The simple fact is that you can play someone this record and it does not sound like some Internet wannabe who is trying to do a music album when he really should just stick to writing fascinating articles.
In fact, we've had a variety of people say their boyfriend, girlfriend or parent got interested in our work by playing songs from Wanderer Awakening and having those people go, "Wow, who is this?!"
My mother and father both can be brutally honest -- and have been -- about their opinion of songs I'd done in the past. I felt great about what I had accomplished, but had no idea how they would react. Both of them were utterly blown away by it, which was quite a relief!
My mother said the only other band she'd ever heard where the lead singer was this fully developed on the first record was in the debut of Cheap Trick from the 1970s. Usually it takes a few albums before a vocalist really hits their stride, but not here.
My father inadvertently paid me a tremendous compliment. When he heard the first song, You're One With Me, he said, "This sounds like Avalon!" I knew he meant the legendary Roxy Music album -- which is one of his all-time favorites. That was quite an honor.
Some of the songs we wrote from scratch, and I gave detailed, exacting instructions on precisely what I wanted them to sound like. Others were hand-picked from the very best of Larry's own collection of unreleased material, dating back to the early 1970s.
I got to be ridiculously choosy and perfectionistic, and rejected many, many potential contenders, focusing only on the ones I felt sounded immediately like they were chart-topping hit singles.
Then, we modernized them, rewrote the lyrics (in most cases) to fit our story, added new sections, and just had a blast with it. I am still blown away when I listen to it and realize that's me!
A lot of research went into this project. I listened to all the chart-topping songs of the 60s, 70s and 80s, and analyzed them for all those stylistic touches that just work, but most people don't really think about.
Certain key things emerged. Unique chord changes that change it up without being too esoteric. Excellent bridge sections you don't expect, but are really nice. Prodigious, tasty guitar work without being a 'note blur'. Drumming techniques most rockers couldn't play. And lush, multiple-harmony background vocals that really give it that epic production value.
All these elements made it into our music. I wish there was more of this in contemporary releases, but honestly most of them could be done on a home computer with a software synthesizer and a basic MIDI sequencer.
A LITTLE MORE DETAIL
We've had Wanderer Awakening available for a year now, and priced it as a premium product -- 50 songs for 39.99 gets you the basic collection, for a solid two-and-a-half-hour musical adventure through metaphysics, spirituality and the deep, inner work of soul transformation.
We sold a good number of copies, particularly when we debuted it in April 2009 -- and not one person who actually bought and listened to it has ever complained to us about it.
A good number of the songs are rockers -- so when someone hears one song that's a ballad, they may jump to a conclusion far too quickly and think they know what we've got.
There are a total of 50 different songs in the musical -- 25 of which are musical interludes with voice-over (which have some very unique and wonderful pieces in their own right that could be further developed into vocal music), and 25 where I'm the lead singer.
Everything is held together by a consistent metaphysical story with a beginning, middle and ending -- describing the glorious journey of the One Infinite Creator from unity, through separation, back into Unity once more -- through the human soul's journey.
It was wonderful to have my music 'timeline' come back around and merge with the metaphysical 'timeline' -- and with such class!
MANY POWERFUL INSIGHTS
I put many of my most powerful insights about emotional healing into this project. These are absolutely necessary stages we move through in order to be able to open ourselves up to the Higher Self. You can't avoid this work, only prolong it.
On the surface, many of the songs appear to be about a romantic relationship -- and take you through the full range of experiences that can happen.
I also encoded deep symbolism in them that only becomes clear if you also listen to it as if the female interest is the hero's own Ego.
We've been brainwashed by contemporary pop music into expecting way too much out of our romantic partners -- as if they can somehow fulfill the needs we have for a connection with our own Higher Self.
There's just no way that a relationship can survive under those pressures. You either have to heal these deep wounds within yourself, or find another partner who will play out the same drama with you over and over again.
Even though I was very well developed in many areas of spirituality, I kept having problems in these other areas. Once I really figured out what was going on, and how to heal myself, I put it all into a grand, epic musical -- so I could use my insights to help you move through this stuff in your own life!
WE SLASHED THE PRICE BY OVER 50 PERCENT!
The economy has put us all through a rough time. Our orders here have suffered because of it, as I am sure is the case with many other business owners.
Investing in our products is a great way to entertain and enlighten yourself, while also providing us with vitally-needed assets so we can stay afloat.
So, what I've decided to do is take seventeen of the 25 songs on Wanderer Awakening where I'm actually singing lead vocals, and put them all into one collection with a competitive price of 17.99 -- Wanderer Awakening Select!
We've also thrown in another great bonus. In the original version, these songs were encoded as 128K mp3 files, which some people complained was too low. Now, every collection is encoded at 320K, which is considered high-definition CD quality for all but the most obsessive audiophile listeners.
If you decide to upgrade to any of the other packages, you get a coupon code that allows your 17.99 to contribute directly to the purchase price -- so you can exercise that option in a one-time transaction if you so choose.
I must say that there was a lot of magic around me when I put this new collection together. I didn't plan on having it fit onto one CD, but it absolutely does -- with barely a minute to spare!
I also feel very good about every song in this collection. Some of the eight pieces I left out were sorely missed, and definitely deserve to be heard -- but every one I left in is strong enough to stand on its own as a single.
I arranged it so you can still get an intuitive 'feel' for the story, though you will get a lot more detail and insight from the full collection.
THE BASIC BREAKDOWN
Wanderer Awakening Select is 17.99, where you hear many of the most powerful vocal songs without all the intertwining story points.
Gold is 39.99, where you get the full musical as we originally wrote it.
Platinum is 59.99, where you get the full 50-song musical AND an additional 25 songs -- all the interlude pieces mixed without the voice-overs. These stand up very well on their own, and allow you to enjoy and explore those pieces much more once you've heard the voice a few times.
Then, when you go up to Galactic at 99.99, you now actually get a total of 100 songs. Larry remixed 25 of the songs for the Graham Hancock video, and took out many of the instruments -- creating a simpler, more organic 'Unplugged' version. You also get a 20-dollar credit towards our other premiere audio product, Science of Peace.
Honestly, one of the main reasons why I'm doing this is I really want you to hear this music. It's a shame that so many of our readers haven't discovered this yet, as it really adds to the overall experience of my work, and helps you connect with my soul on a much deeper level.
Less than ten percent of the number of people who visit our site in a single day have ever actually heard this music! Hopefully this will change all that.
In addition, hearing it in 320K sound is like a whole new experience for me as well. Previously this was only available in the 99-dollar version, but now that's what you get in every package!
One last thing... no matter how well it is produced, not everyone likes this music. They haven't yet written us directly, but sometimes they complain to others -- or at least someone is complaining.
This is a very personal thing for people. My appeal is admittedly far more universal in writing about metaphysics than it can be in doing music, which invariably divides people's opinions.
If someone personally does not like the style, or the sound of my voice, or whatever, that is their opinion. That does not make it a definitive statement about the quality we've attained -- which has a very wide level of appeal, and which Larry is happy to stake his reputation on.
If 17.99 is a lot of money for you, there are videos you can watch, linked from the order page, to give you an idea of what some of our music sounds like. And we thank you for doing your part to keep the pages flowing on this website!
GOING INTO THE 'ZONE'
Anyway, yes... this is a big fat commercial! That's all I've really got the time to do right now -- and I didn't want to release a new product while discussing the oil spill and Disclosure, since those stories deserved to stand on their own.
Things are really in the final "implosion point" with finishing the 2012 Enigma book. It's coming together amazingly well, but it's also a staggeringly complex amount of work to do -- and I'm definitely going to exceed the number of pages in my contract by at least 50 or 60.
I did speak to Brian this week and he said "More is Better than Less" -- so here we are!
The only way I can finish this on time is to go totally into "the zone" and do nothing else -- so I am not going to try to crank out another new research article until I get a finished manuscript, hopefully by the middle of this coming week.
On a practical level, I've also been challenged for just over a week now with another very nasty case of poison sumac that has ripped through my right leg and under my left knee. I have significant rashes that burn like fire. Thankfully it never spread anywhere else.
It's on the way out now, but I'm currently in the worst part of it -- the peak before it eases off. I've tried all the remedies and so forth, but there's still a finite and agonizing process you have to go through to get there.
I have had a mild but annoying cough / fatigue summer virus as well -- so this has really been quite a challenging week. My body seems to love to manifest my physical challenges with a huge deadline as health problems -- infusing my writing with even more passion and drama. Oh well.
ONE MORE THING YOU MIGHT LIKE...
Jochmans wrote a very influential paper called "Earth as a Crystal Planet" that discussed Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus' groundbreaking NOAA paper, showing that the Earth expanded through different geometric phases as it grew.
It started as a tetrahedron, moved through the cube-octahedron phase, and is now in the icosa-dodecahedron phase. These represent different levels of geometry that are increasingly complex as you go.
I always wondered what happened to Jochmans, as his work was quite stunning. Now it turns out he has resurfaced with a great website that is loaded with all sorts of hard-to-find, utterly original esoteric information -- including a variety of things I've never seen before!
So check it out -- and let him know we need to track down Spilhaus' original NOAA paper, which he directly read and wrote about!
Arggh... the itching is coming back because I know I'm finished here. Let me go get back into another creative headspace to keep the fires down!
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