I was at Dragon Con 2018 in Atlanta. One morning, still in bed and half awake, this song arrived in my head. Sometimes a song does that and goes away. Other times you just know there is only one way to make it stop. So I did this.
I wanted to make the tie between Bruce Wayne and Zorro, the movie he saw with his parents the night Joe Chill shot them. Both verses have to do with the parents, of Bruce and Diego. And the break shows how Bruce thought of Diego dealing with the man that usurped his Father. It would ultimately be the way he dealt with Gotham Crime.
It took me a little bit to learn the guitar. I found a video on YouTube, the guy used a capo to get the sound right. I don’t like capos so used bar chords instead of the open chords the Eagles use. I’m not totally happy with the two guitar parts as the song builds. They are a little out of beat with each other and it bothers me. Also, the beginning is too slow. It is the same tempo as the original song, but the Eagles had more instruments to keep the listener’s ear busy. No such luck here. I had to add the lead guitar to keep things interesting.
I used my Les Paul for this. It is easier to play and doesn’t hurt the finger tips like the Strat would have. I haven’t been practicing so don’t have calluses. Bad Gerry.
My Bat Books for Beginners partner Chris Karnes and I recorded the Batgirl Rising episode last Sunday and for some reason I got the idea I’d be able to whip together a Stephanie Brown song super easy. I’d always thought the song Brandy would be useful for a parody but couldn’t work “Bat Books for Beginners” into it. So it made sense to use it to describe the character points that I thought were the best part of the comic.
The guitar is using the Strat, a touch out of tune. I used the neck pickup which is a Duncan Vintage humbucker in a single pole package. I wasn’t really fussy about the guitar sound. There are two pieces that I Frankensteined together.
The vocals were trickier. I had recorded them and over dubbed a few parts. It was just too fussy so I recorded four takes real quick. The last one was the best. I probably should have tried a few more times. LOL.
This is what happens when music is allowed to be played in public. I hear these songs, they obsess me, and then I do bad things like this. It is the world’s fault. I’m the real victim here.
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You is a great song off Led Zepplin’s first album. I always considered it a warm up to Stairway to Heaven, they are both even in Am and have a lot of structural similarities. And I’ve only heard this song a thousand times rather than the twenty thousand for Stairway. It is not as played out. Yay.
I played this on the neck pickup of my Les Paul. It is the combination of two takes, the split between the takes is right before Jimmy Page’s ‘Spanish Bit’ in the middle. There is only one guitar at a time, there are some fingering tricks to make the opening sound like several guitars.
I use the trusty old Boss DS-1 for the distortion on the back side. I have several distortion boxes but none of them give such a sweet even wave distortion like the DS-1. It is my go-to box.
Smooth Operator by Sade came over the radio on the way to Cape Cod. As it played I ran it forward in my head so I was ready for the chorus, to BBFB-It. It sounded good in my head but you have to actually hear it to know if it works.
Smooth Operator is a very simple song to play from a technical standpoint. The crucial thing is to keep that slinky vibe going without making the song sleepy. The guitar is my main Fender Hiwy One Strat with the bridge Vintage pickup selected. Now that I think of it, I could have used the Les Paul for the rhythm since it would probably have a slicker sound. Oh well.
The I tried to make the vocals as smooth as I can. They turned out just at the edge of sloppy, there are two places I wanted to redo but I decided to let genuineness (laziness) rule the day. For the lyrics I wanted to match the mood of the song, kind of sad and tragic, with the story of Bruce Wayne’s tragic early life. I used ‘Batman’s Toys’ as a link to Bruce’s childhood. He is eager to stop other tragedies, in a doomed effort to stop his own.
This song was written and recorded in the time it took to make a two-bag shopping trip. I had figured out the chords earlier this morning from watching a guy on YouTube. I didn’t want to do all 4 bars of the opening lick that the sax player does on the album. You have to keep these songs as short as possible. So I had to make something up for the second bar that was in the spirit of the sax but worked as an opening to the vocals. I improvised the little base line before the chorus. I think it is right, but not 100% sure.
This is a parody of Bachman Turner Overdrive’s ‘Taking Care of Buisness”. I never learned this song before, there is a little history behind why. I was in a band in High School and we played a talent show, also in the show was a rival band. They played this song and beat us. Grrrr.
My Podpartner Chris Karnes’ twitter handle is @BTOandBatbooks. BTO is the initials of a podcast he does a segment on called Batgirl to Oracle. People jokingly say that he is a big Bachman Turner Overdrive fan. So, I figured I would suck it up and do this song.
The tune is all played on my Les Paul which is unusual. The rhythm part isn’t hard but it is relentless and I thought that it would be easier to play on the LP than the Strat. Also, the LP has a nice crunchy rhythm sound I like very much. I figured since I had it set up I’d use it for the leads as well. I am happy with how the sound turned out.
The tempo is faster than the BTO song. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It made for some weird sounds in the leads because I had to play them fairly quickly and there are a few unwanted open string ringing, but the ethos of this parody work is to leave in some mistakes and move on to the next song. Mission accomplished.
I did this parody for some friends that have a food podcast, We Like Food. I did a guest spot on the show and had a great time. In one episode they jokingly asked their audience to come up with a jingle for their show. You know how that ends. lol