I've been around Jason quite a bit, but never realized I had. Back in 2000, when I started doing workshops, I kept hearing his name. I really didn't know who he was. I was one of the first writers that started doing workshops, and before long was joined by Jason, Barbara Cloyd, and others. To this day, most everybody does some form of workshop.
One time, at an NSAI spring training event, He came over to me and said "Do you remember me?" I must admit, I really didn't. He said "I used to Gherm you at the Bluebird." He told me about trying to get to know me and possibly write something, but never did. But we had some things in common, like both having cuts on John Berry, although his was MUCH more successful than mine. Mine, "RESCUED ME" was on John's Wildest Dreams CD, but the first two singles didn't do well and he left his Lyric Street record deal. John's "CHANGE MY MIND" had been a single and his went to top ten.
So that is where I first got to know him. Over time, we have gotten to know each other a bit and he actually recommended me to be a contributor for the BMI newsletter, if I switched from ASCAP to BMI. I missed my last window but may do it next time it rolls around. Doesn't really matter to me. But Jason is a very good writer and very good teacher. And, as it turned out, not a bad singer and guitar player as well.
A lot of people focus on certain things. Jason was very attuned to lyrics and so he generally worked with people who were more melodically inclined. Although, he does some pretty good melodies, it's just not his favorite.
On a side note, for the past few years, John has made quite a bit of money writing greeting cards. He has a company and has done hundreds, if not thousands, of greeting cards, so his lyric style has done well for him. He actually lives in Hawaii, and makes trips back and forth to Nashville. I can never say we are "good friends," but I would say we know of each other a good bit. Nice fellow.
Well there you are ?? I was not disputing him being a Nice Guy according to his book he hired in a guitarist
for many of his lyrics He certainly is a Very Good Singer . I was not aware he could now play guitar , that
was not evident in his Book , and I accept that a beginner could benefit from his book , sadly its not the
same world now , It's Twenty Years since Jason's first book came out , and Streaming has ruined the whole Popular
music scene , And the non performing songwriter is virtually non existent, But your response Marc , tells
me Jason is doing a great job , However for serious wannabe writers I would recommend Tunesmith by
Jimmy Web especially if they Write both the music and the lyrics, At the end of the day most books out
there make essential reading , because too many rush into spending Ridiculous Money on unfinished songs
when they should be re writing to a simple work demo
Like all music, it's a very subjective thing. And it has a lot to do with how you are raised as a musician/writer that affects how you view books. Personally I could never get through Jimmy's book, Tunesmith, because it just got logged down with technical details that I didn't understand, and got stopped about page 8 each time I tried to read it. Jason's book was just easier for me. Don't really know why. I probably should try to go back and read both of them. When I wrote my own book, "FRESHMAN YEAR IN NASHVILLE", I tried NOT to get into the technical aspect and talked more from a layman's point of view, which is like me. I play by ear and feel, and never got a "formal music education." Taught myself from a book of Beatles songs, and from playing in bands and watching the guitar players.
I think Jason did hire a guitar player at first as he was not comfortable playing himself. But he has learned over the years as we all do. Most likely it was the necessity of living in a town like Nashville where so much revolves around song writer's nights and open mics. If you want to get known, you have to perform a little bit. Some will hire guitar players to play with them live, but I don't know how Jason did it. He does fine now.
But oddly I have a Jimmy Webb story too. My neighbor across the street is named FRED MOLLIN. Fred is a well known music industry person, having been a producer, writer, publisher, in town. He often has these Sunday night "jam parties" that fifty or sixty people show up, eat food, hang out, and then go to his living room, where he has dozens of amps, two sets of drums, a grand piano, other keyboards and his guitar collection, which looks like a music store. He has a full studio in his house where he does certain recordings. Very interesting place. Very interesting people. You also get some skinny and dirt on the industry from there, as every one loves to complain about the industry. There have been hit writers, very famous musicians. You're likely to find yourself singing songs with John Oates, from Hall and Oates, on guitar, the drummer for Cheap Trick, Bass player for John Mayer, Piano player for Phil Collins, and a half dozen hit writers singing, playing guitar, percussion, etc. Only rule is NO ORIGINAL SONGS. Just well known covers. It's like "ALL STAR KARAOKE."
During the dinner you also find yourself next to all these people, most who you don't know, and of course NO ONE WEARS NAME TAGS, so you find yourself in the middle of these odd conversations without realizing who you are sitting next to. The thing that is off putting to me, is they are all from the North, mostly Toronto, New York or LA. So they talk about things that if you are not from those areas, you have nothing to clue you in. If you are smart, you just keep your mouth shut. Which I do a lot.
One night I was at Dinner, and sitting in between these two guys who kept talking back and forth in front and back of me. It was kind of weird, like I wasn't there, but the conversation just went on. They were talking about areas of New York City, food, etc. Every once in a while I would nod, grin, and say "That's cool..." about the most of my contribution to the conversation. I love New York and have been there a few times, but these guys were emphatic about things they liked and disliked.
After a while I got up to throw my plate away, and walked over to Fred, who was now cleaning up in the kitchen. "Who ARE those guys? " I asked him.
"Jimmy Webb and Dan Hill."
Oh cool. "Witchita Lineman, and "Sometimes when we Touch." Two of my favorite songs. And I didn't even know who they were. Proves that in Nashville you never know who you're sitting next to. But also probably the reason I didn't get as much out of Jimmy's book. I just don't speak his language. But a LOT of people have gotten a lot out of it, so that is the most important thing. I've seen them both again at different times, but never really find myself talking to them. Oh well.
At the same party a year or so later, I met this guy with bright purple hair, and all purple clothes. Had the look of a former Rock Star. And we hit it off well. Turned out he was Jim Peterek, who wrote HOLD ON LOOSELY, ROCKIN' INTO THE NIGHT, and EYE OF THE TIGER. Did end up getting to know him and have written three songs with him and our mutual friend hit writer, Joie Scott., one of which, "BLUE STORM RISING" Jim has recorded for his "FIFTY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM for his band, IDES OF MARCH. (Vehicle)
Never know where you end up with this stuff.
YES you are talking about Jason Blume Today Mark,, The one I was talking about wrote that book about
Twenty plus years ago I always knew he could sing , But his guitar playing was then virtually non existent
back then ; in fact he mentions his father told him he would not write successful songs because he could not
play an instrument. I am sure he has put together a Very Good Personal Class Teaching lesson , but that
was not my point; I rate Jim Web's book Tunesmith very highly he really goes into how to construct
original melody as well as refreshing lyrics Back when Jason wrote that book like many others the
word PROSODY was never on the lips of most Pro Writers ; It was something referred to by the likes
of ALFRED HITCHCOCK re the Film sound track to Psycho referring to the scene of Janet Leigh in
the shower the words songwriters used was ('The Marriage between the Music and Lyrics )
I am positive JASON is a decent guy, but like you I have difficulty you remembering any of his Co Writes
including any written for Britney Spears
All I was judging was the quality of the book he wrote, back then it covered too many subjects and nothing to
any real depth , where as Jimmy Web has the benefit of memorable hits that have stood the test
of time well produced and sung by the Late Glen Campbell Like Yourself I have worked with
many household names who have been the most horrible persons you would wish to know
some of whom were vastly over rated ;
Jasons book would certainly help a beginner , but it was written in a time that does not exist today
Poor quality streaming being preferred by many- on top of poorly written rubbish that gets into the
country charts writing mainly about BEER and TRACTORS written in many cases by singers who
would not have even been considered for a major Deal back in the days of quality Hit Songs
re Roger Miller, J Cash Kristofferson and Kenny Rogers
There we are, just my point of view on things as they stand today --Yesterdays are Dead and Gone
Back to today ; I am a fan of Taylor Swift and I understand today's market there is always room for
singers who can be a little different than those of the good old days of County Music, as well as every
I think we are talking about two different things. Your point is that you like Jimmy's book better than Jason's and that is fine. It is all about personal preference. I AM actually talking about Jason's book from 20 years ago, and getting to know him since. At that time I also tried to read Jimmy and Shelia Davis' books and found them totally worthless to me, having been written in that upper educated point of view remincent of the Berklee Conservatory of Music that I simply do not like. Some of that is personal, due to having to deal with a LOT of over-educated, undertalented people from music colleges, so I don't respond to much of that. And 20 years ago, I was hardly a beginner, I was actually writing my own book at that time. I'd been around.
Just differences of opinions. You have your preferences, I have mine. Actually neither make much difference. Writing actual songs are the real key. And regardless of abilities, quality of songs, etc. it is the PERSONALITIE'S and RELATIONSHIPS that allow people to exist in this business and always have been. And that is something you don't get out of a book. If I were to suggest books to new and upcoming writer and artist wanna be's, I would suggest more books on personal behavior, and courtesy, than any songwriting book. That is going to be more important than anything they ever write. If you don't have a good personality and are not easy to work with, it doesn't matter what you write. It will never get off your smart phone or computer.
NO I read JASONS BOOK years back and enjoyed it , I read that book because I
look, from every perspective , I don't prejudge any one because of any titles, Brought up
U K I was giging before The Beatles took off and they frequently came SOUTH of England
long before they Took Off Paul and John had none of what you and others offer in learning the Art of Song
Writing and John never realised money could be earned from Song Royalties Every song break from
verse or chorus they called a middle 8 despite it could be any odd number of bars, you would possibly
know that from the books written about them
Paul and John studied American songs that was their library and besides singing them they started
writing there own I have known Paul over the years and from time to time we see each other
at his Sussex home Sheila Davis's books in my mind are a must and she often quotes the genius
of John and Paul in ways I would never have known about, She is not over fond of Country Music
but speaks highly of The great American Song Book, amazingly American Country Music started
out via musicians from Scottish- English and -French Cajun Immigrants Incidentally My Great Grandmother
Florence May Carter was a cousin of A P Carter OF THE CARTER FAMILY myself I write in many genres , and have
performed and sung in many Sixties Seventies and Eighties outfits mainly in the UK and Europe
as well as a Stand Up Comedian. I enjoy song writer biographies as well as Music Hall Traditional
Still Giging and Writing along with occasional Jams with my two sons Kristian and Jason best wishes from
MARC If we are here we can show you the sights of Normandy we are usually too busy in august with
family visiting us Stan Good was the last to stay with us Stans Top Poster On J P F despite being dead a few years
We are 25 K from the sea Arromanches - Bayeux - 16 k Caen twinned with Nashville 23 k Swiss Normandie One hour away