Be Here Now

I never had the eyes to see into the present
I never was the one to be here now
I’m forever searching for the place where I am standing
I never seem to set my feet aground
But I’ll get there
When I’m good and ready I’ll be there

You’ll find me living for a future that won’t happen
Reflecting on a past that’s never been
One day I’ll finally find myself living in that very special moment
And I hope that you’ll be there

And I’m dreaming again
What did I miss I’m finding wicked ways to pinch myself awake
I see you screaming again
Cause I forgot to read your lips
I wasn’t listening again
Don’t hold it against me

A holy man once said just be yourself the answer lies within
Do you know the way?
How do I get there? Am I getting close?
I’ve been trying to be everyone and everything that makes me want to stay
And I’ll get there
When I’m damn good and ready I’ll be there

I keep trying to listen for the sound of silence
All I here is a white noise coming from my brain
It seems I just can’t sit still long enough to see what I’ve been holding onto
And let go of the pain

And I see it again that magic dream I once knew
Could it be I’ve been my own worst enemy?
Can I be it again that super hero I once knew?
Back when everybody still believed in me

I lost it and I just can’t feel it
Try to drop it but I keep on holdin’ on
Wide open and I can’t stop bleedin’
Try to drop it but I keep on holdin’ on

 

I wrote this song sometime after The Kenilworth Project was over, and it was the first time I sat down to write with an acoustic in a decade. As such the song quickly became personal and introspective. There are a few songs I’ve written where the words just seem to come out with no effort and this is one of those. It’s as if the song had been waiting to be written. And after years of playing full throttle punk/metal/ska stuff it was probably overdue. I touch on my own perceived shortcomings – hearing loss, lack of focus, using the past as an excuse for not succeeding, all things that keep me from living in the moment – thus the title.

It seems like there’s an unwritten rule about the fact that there’s supposed to be more than two parts to a song. Of course there’s the verse and the chorus, but it’s not a complete song without some kind of bridge or pre-chorus or something that uses a different progression/melody than the other two parts right? Well I thought I’d go ahead and call this one complete without that third part. At some point though I started doing this little two chord thing at the end that was a little different, and words came for that part right away to so I kept it. Once I got the instruments recorded on this one I began the endless process of trying to get an acceptable vocal. Eventually I got something I could live with, but even back in ’07 when I finished it, I knew I’d redo the vocals and saved an instrumental version just for that purpose. I proceeded to shoot and edit what should be widely recognized as the worst green screen video in history. I paid $6 for a green screen over the internet, hung it on a wall in my living room and shot myself in different outfits with the different instruments. I shot on a couple of different weekends so I could get a hair cut and varying amounts of facial hair. It never occurred to me to check and see how the green screen thing was working until I had collected all my footage. You can see the result below. I had a lot of fun though and it was certainly a learning experience.

Fast forward to 2012 and I’m getting ready for An Anthology of Sorts and of course I want to redo the vocals. Back when I recorded the original I was using Sony’s (Sound Forge when I started using it) Acid software to record. I still have those files but I’m using Adobe Audition now, so if I wanted to do anything with the instrumental mix it would mean hours of pouring the guitar and bass takes and trying to line them up again, or buying a fresh copy of Acid to remix this song. There are a couple of things I would have liked to tweak, but not that much. So new vocals over the instruments from ’07 and I’m still not 100% happy with the vocals, but I think it’s ready for prime time.