This song was knocking around in demo form for a while before it saw the light of day. It seems weird that I wrote this song about Steve Jobs whilst he was still alive and by the time it was actually recorded he wasnât. The lyrics are based on the story of how Jobs persuade John Sculley to leave his position at Pepsi to become the CEO of Apple back in 1983. Legend has it that Jobs persuaded him with the line âDo you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?â
I've decided to do a little blog article for each track on the album starting with Animal and working all the way through to God's Front Porch. So without further ado here's Animal!
Out of the ten songs on the album this one's the newest. Before we headed into Half Ton Studios every song existed to a certain degree, either in my head or in basic demo form. This one however only existed as a chord structure that we played through in a rehearsals the weekend before recording commenced. The lyrics were kind of written on the fly but the end result was a catchy little pop song that we thought would be a great opener and a cool debut single.
As we all know the beloved Sinclair Spectrum turned 30 this year and in celebration of this rather scary, yet awesome fact, Cambridge ARU played host to a two day event celebrating the rubber keyed technological marvel. I grabbed myself a ticket as soon as I heard about it and headed down their last weekend. It was well worth the £23 to pay homage to the little black box. I actually got to see the inside of the original Sinclair building and walked up the famous spiral stair case that Clive himself would have walked up and down on a daily basis back in the eighties. The highlight of the entire event was a Q&A session with Rick Dickinson; Sinclair's Industrial Designer and the man responsible for the look and feel for many of Sinclair's products including the Spectrum.
It was a fascinating talk from a man who played a significant part in Sinclair's history. It also seemed as if there was a fair amount of comparatives between Rick and Jonathan Ive and indeed Apple and Sinclair in general. Though the success of each company differs wildly. Both put out minimalist design driven products based on the vision of a charismatic leader that wouldn't take no for an answer. It's also interesting to think that both companies rejected compatibility with the IBM PC along with various other standards though with completely different consequences.
Anybody who's listened to our album will be familiar with the song, 'Is It Too Late To Save Oscar Pike' - outside of the band I am a playwright and a (reluctant) actor and this was also the name of my Edinburgh Fringe show from last year. This summer, just after the UK tour with Aidy and Dave, I was back at the fringe with another Oscar show, 'There's Absolutely Nothing Wrong With Oscar Pike.' Ask anybody who performed/produced at this year's fringe and the chances are they'll tell you it was a tough year - there are many theories behind the lack of audiences (Olympics, recession, general cost of the festival), but equally everybody seems to agree it was a one-off, and still - the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is and remains the most exciting arts festival in the world. The song was frequently in the show, thus allowing my musical and theatrical worlds meet in the middle, perhaps for the first time, and strangely enough it suited the mood of the play completely. In fact it worked so well I'm tempted to write a third Oscar Pike show just to use the song again, just don't tell the rest of my production team...
The last few months haven't all been rock and roll. There has been a fair amount of looking at spreadsheets, tracking income, deciding how much advertising would cost us, where to record our album, so on.
So it's a little strange to be talking about a digital version of that. I downloaded Band Boss on a bit of a whim on my iPhone, and quickly got sucked into creating a little fictional version of the British IBM. After naming the manager and dressing the band up, I'm thrown into a screen where I have one option - Arrange Tour. Tap on that, and it starts to get pretty deep.