This is what happens when my bro comes to visit. Here's another episode of The Basement Sessions featuring some t-swizzle, and my brother Russell!
I love when I actually write songs that I like! Sometimes I write songs that I don't like that much, but that is not the case with this one! And since I'm convinced I like this one, I want to dedicate this song to Jack Marchione, who donated the most notes for my Stage-It show! Thank you so much for all your support Jack!!!! This one's for you!
This song came about when I got together with my friend Troy. It was our first write together and we were tossing around some ideas and titles. Troy had a title called "Last Night In Memphis." I have a weird fascination with Elvis, Memphis, and all things blues, so I loved the thought of writing a song about Memphis. We started writing it and it became an i'm-getting-over-you song. However, when we got to the last line of the chorus, our title wasn't really making sense with what we had written, so we changed it to "I'm leaving you in Memphis." Then, my weird fascination about Elvis came out of the closet, and we started incorporating Elvis song titles into the lyrics--hidden gems for the Elvis fans out there!
Below are the lyrics, and I will underline the Elvis song titles! After you read the lyrics, check out the link to hear the demo!
Leaving You In Memphis
Pedal on the gas down I-40 west
Trying to get my mind off of you
Neon lights light up a Beale street sign
I pull up to the Home of the Blues
It's midnight but that's alright
I got a lotta heartbreak to heal
The guitar man raises his glass
Says I understand (just) how you feel
Echos of an Elvis song
Remind me only fools fall in love
Memories of you followed me here
But I'm leaving you in Memphis
Headed out to the Graceland grounds
Where the king is buried and free
Wish my spirit could fly, be no longer tied
To your unchained melody.
Echo of an Elvis song
Remind me I've been loving you too long
I'm checking out of the heartbreak hotel
And I'm leaving you in Memphis
Click here to listen to the demo of the song!
Troy engineering and mixing the song while we put vocals on the track!
Me doing some sangin! I just drove 4 hours from Atlanta and went straight to this demo, but despite how tired I was, I think it turned out OK!
Let me take you back to a time when I lived in New York City. I moved to New York City to do BROADWAY!!!! (And you have to sing the word BROADWAY like Liza Minnelli in your head) And let's be real, that's about the only city where you can have a sustainable musical theatre career! So, like every actor in the city, I was getting up at 5am for auditions to put my name on the list so I could get "seen." Getting "seen" is what us actor folk refer to as "actually getting to audition." What you may not know is even though you show up for the audition, you may not get to audition. They may "type cast" you. Type casting is where they stand everyone in a line and pick people out of the lineup purely based on your looks. And then those people get to audition. I know- we thought type casting would only be some Hollywood shenanigans...but nope, it happens to us poor musical theatre kids too.
One day, I was auditioning for a company that was doing Anne of Green Gables, among a few other shows. I was psyched out of my mind because I knew I was perfect for this role. Anne has red hair, a sweet demeanor, and a sassy flair--I mean c'mon! Who could do this role better than me?? So, I "got seen" and sang my song for them. The directors liked it so much, they called me back into the room to read from the Anne of Green Gables script, as Anne, of course. (Cause, duh!) After I left that day, I felt great about my audition and assumed I would get called back a second time.
The next day, I did get another call back. I was elated! All my hard work and 5am mornings were paying off!! THIS WAS MY BIG BREAK! WOOOOOOOO
So, a few days later, I go to the call back. I get to the front desk and tell the monitor my name and she hands me a script. It says, "Harry the Dirty Dog." I incredulously look at the girl and say, "What is this?" And she says, "They want you to read for Harry, the dirty dog."
..................................................................... (fill in the blanks with every thought imaginable here).
I could not believe it. I bombed the call back in the worst way because I was so upset that I was reading for a dirty dog and not my dream role of Anne of Green Gables. I cried to my mom on the phone afterwards and all she could do was laugh because I kept saying over and over, "They want me to be a dirty dog!"
So I think the moral of this story is: When you see yourself as Anne of Green Gables, and other people see you as a Dirty Dog...well... you gotta cry to yo momma, then move on and keep singin'! (or dancing, or painting, or joking, or whatever you do!)
(*Footnote---any casting directors out there? I'm still open to performing the role of Anne of Green Gables!!!!!!!)
Sometimes I think I'm crazy. But sometimes, I think I know exactly what I'm doing.