Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Getting That Feeling Again?

I think I'm starting to get that feeling again...the songwriting feeling. 

Creating music is a strange process for me. As much as I'd like to imagine I can write "on demand" (and in a way I can...I mean, I wrote and recorded almost 60 tracks over the course of 13 months for the Single of the Month series in 2015-16), I really do have a sort of creative rhythm that my mind has created over the last 30 years or so. I'm not even sure that I can describe the way it works other than to say that it's sort of like there's a pool of musical ideas and urges in my head that periodically drains itself and then slowly fills up again until it begins to spill over all over again and the process seems to go on year after year after year with few exceptions. I initially fight the urge to begin writing and recording because I know how hard it is to get a bunch of abstract songs out of my head and onto a computer's hard drive or a piece of cassette tape. Eventually, however, the reservoir simply can't hold and I either have to let everything come flooding out through my fingers or face the consequences, whatever they might be. 

It's strange for me to think that one day there'll be the last song I ever write. I hope I haven't already written it!

I would expect George, Garfield and I will get together again next week. It's time to start focusing.

Can you believe it has been ten years since the release of the White Stripes's last studio album, ICKY THUMP? I wish I'd seen that band live. Meg White takes a lot of crap for being a "bad" drummer, but she provided the always steady foundation upon which Jack White could layer his guitar and vocal and that's what's important. I would imagine that folks who take joy in putting her down probably also think Ringo Starr was little more than the luckiest Scouser of all time. (Listening to "Rain" or "A Day in the Life", or "Helter Skelter" will quickly refute that notion.)

"'He was the most influential Beatle,' Yoko Ono recently claimed. When Paul and John first spotted him out in Hamburg, in his suit and beard, sitting 'drinking bourbon and seven,' they were amazed. This was, like, a grown-up musician, thought Paul. One night Ringo sat in for their drummer Pete Best. 'I remember the moment,' said Paul, 'standing there and looking at John and then looking at George, and the look on our faces was like…what is this? And that was the moment, that was the beginning, really, of the Beatles.'" -- James Woodall

"There is little question that the invitation to join the Beatles was the single luckiest thing that ever happened to Ringo Starr. But Ringo’s acceptance of that invitation was also one of the luckiest things that ever happened to the Beatles." -- Jonathan Gould

"I'd be in The White Stripes for the rest of my life. That band is the most challenging, important, fulfilling thing ever to happen to me. I wish it was still here. It's something I really, really miss. There came a point where I said, 'If we're not doing this, we need to put an end to it right now.' And that's what [Meg] wanted to do. I don't know what her reasons are. Having a conversation with Meg, you don't really get any answers. I'm lucky that girl ever got onstage, so I'll take what I can get." -- Jack White