I have been into music for a long, long time. I used to listen to WHB out of Kansas City when I was really young. This was long before FM radio got popular (and mouthy right-wing assholes took over AM), and they had what was probably the most popular AM station in the area (you DO remember AM, don’t ya?). There were a few other stations that I wandered through in KC; another AM station or two (I remember “Bleeker Street” on a station “skipping through the atmosphere” out of Arkansas and another station out of Chicago (maybe WGN) making its way to my radio every once in a while when the conditions were right), then off to the wonderful world of FM.
Even as a youngster my Uncle Tom played in bands and was an influence. More on him later.
I started to play guitar early on, then dropped it for a while, then repeated the process throughout the years. I eventually ended up writing some rudimentary songs in the 80s, jammed with friends at times – Jim and Bill in a garage in Olathe working up a few good hard rock originals, on bass for the first time ever live at a wedding reception for a friend in Colorado way back in the early 80s, a band I was in for a short time, somehow I ended up on a stage again in the late 80s at a bar for one song with some band. I got sidetracked again with other things in life for a few years and picked it up again and pretty much stayed with it this time – maybe not as much at times, but for shorter lengths of time playing less.
I got into doing concert/stage work in the early 80s, which has many frustrated musicians in it and a few that actually are great musicians and freelance in the industry to keep food on the table. I went to work for The Statler Brothers for a year in the mid/late 80s doing their stage lighting for their concerts. During soundchecks I would sometimes get up and jam with the band for a quick song on stage before the doors opened. I met many artists and other celebs during this time. What an experience those years were. No regrets.
I stared listening to more complex music the last few years. I went from being a metal head to listening to Progressive Rock. I like the odd tunings, time signatures, subject matter, lyric construction… it is just more interesting and challenging to listen to and has influenced some of my songwriting techniques.
In the last few years I got more serious about writing and playing and started writing better, more complex and interesting songs (well, at least I think so) both by myself and with my neighbor (in Colorado) and good friend John. We came up with some really good songs and recorded several of them. We both have songs posted on http://www.SoundCloud.com. I have many ideas in rough stages that I will get recorded soon, but the few songs I have posted are at http://soundcloud.com/shawn-flaherty. All songs are copyrighted and have credits as to who did what. We had many good jams many late, late, LATE nights (whew!) and we were good at writing together. I do kinda miss that.
The reason I write this post is that I finally played one of my guitars tonight. It has been about five weeks since I have played and it felt pretty good to pick it up again. I cannot wait to get my recording rig together in the next week or two and finish the song ideas I have started on and lay down at least some demos on the Mac. Then, if they turn out okay, I will post them on my SoundCloud page.
Some of my music is quite personal and is more like a musical diary. The song “Man in the Mirror” was a collaboration between John and me – he had the music and I wrote the word for it. It was a point in life that I was yearning for a change in my situation, and my youngest daughter (and his oldest) was leaving home to go to college. It is ironic that the main idea of the song actually has come to fruition in a sense with what has gone on in my life lately.
Anyhoo, music has always played an important part in my life on way or another. I am quite sure that it always will.