Archive | January, 2016


9 Jan

Recording an album can be the greatest and most stressful experience all at the same time. In my musical career, I have recorded two demo tapes and four albums with my band, four solo demos and 7 solo albums of my own.

Every time I walk away from a “recording” experience in different studios, I only remember how proud I felt with the final product and somehow drown out the horrible memories of crawling through mistakes, failures and the other creative clusters I endured to get there. I can’t remember all of them, but one moment does top my list of most embarrassing of all time.

It was a cool March day in Kansas City and my band, The Sound and the Fury, was recording the album, Another Stage.  We were recording tracks in a very nice studio when Tony Soprano (read my previous blog “Tony Soprano” for the reason behind his incognito mafia name) and I started arguing.

Now, to this day, I don’t know what we were arguing about, but it involved a recording issue we disagreed on and things got heated. I had lived with each of my band members on tour, on stage and in the studio for many years of my life. Every second I spent with them was a blessing, but there were days we didn’t get along. There were days that they hated me and I hated them so much that I WOULD HAVE PAID A MILLION DOLLARS TO RIP THEIR THROATS OUT AND FEAST ON THEIR REMAINS OVER AN OPEN FIRE!!!……Anyway….

Tony and I were throwing insults at each other over this recording disagreement and I was holding my own. I’m not much of an argumentative person, but Tony was a master at it.  On this particle day, I believe whatever we were arguing about, I was more in the right than the wrong. I say that, because the discussion went from arguments about the recording to personal insults–started by Tony.

He went from a professional disagreement  to insults about my personal “style” at the time (which were probably dead-on. I mean, truth be told, I had an earring and use to frost the tips of my hair.  A diva I was, as Yoda would say).  But Tony wasn’t exactly a fashion icon at the time either, so my rebuttal was easy.

I was on a roll. He wasn’t winning the argument on either end and I was being cocky, giving it back to him as good as he was giving it to me. I suggested something about him being a little on the trashy side, wearing “Black Sabbath” shirts all the time–a band that hadn’t been relevant in years and usually were worn by NASCAR, beer-drinking rednecks who were 20 years behind the times.  This upset Tony.

I had a pair of sunglasses sitting on the console right next to him and when the words we were exchanging no longer worked, he picked my sunglasses up and crushed them in his hand.

Now that I’m older, I can think of a lot of things I could have said or done to seal that argument right then and there. His childish actions proved that I had (for once) won the argument with him and he had to resort to immaturity, which only further proved my point. I could have kept my cool, called him out on his inexcusable actions, dropped the mic (as rappers do when they win a rap battle) and walked away the winner. But I’m Jeff Wood. I’m not equipped for the word “cool”.

What I did was let him see how much that hurt my feelings and I found myself in a state of rage. I was furious!  I was outraged and the only comeback to his childish behavior was to act like a child too.

After he crumbled my sunglasses in his hand, my first was response was….wait for it…to tell him that “YOU’RE A BIG MEANIE!!!!”.

When was the last time anyone has called you a “BIG MEANIE”?  Did it really hurt your feelings?  Did it make any impact on your psyche at all?  I didn’t think so……I lost the argument on principle alone.

Luckily, my little brother was in the studio that day too and as I stormed out, he gave Tony the tongue-lashing that he deserved (my little brother has always been one of the most quick-witted persons I’ve ever known–equal to Tony).

I have never exited a studio session before, but that day, I left and vowed to not return. Thankfully, because my little brother had my back and the fate of our album was on the line if I didn’t return, Tony called that night and apologized. All was forgiven and it was back to work the next day.

But if I can impart some wisdom on any of you, it is this….”BIG MEANIE” is not an Insult to your opponent, it’s only an insult to you.