Sunday, April 10, 2005

Songwriting 101!

It's a beautiful Sunday morning - sunny and cold - and as I look out of my hotel window at downtown Boise, there are just a few vehicles on the street and no pedestrians. There's nothing like the quiet of a Sunday morning.

The show last night was a lot of fun for us, and according to the fans I talked to afterwards, they felt the same way. Once again there was great appreciation for us just coming to town. That we performed with passion made it all the more special.

Dominic and I joined Sting at Boise State University yesterday afternoon, where he gave a master class to students majoring in musical composition.
(Josh would have joined us, but he had traveled home and back on our day off.)
There were about twenty students present and Sting talked about his writing process, his influences and inspiration, and we played several songs - Dom and me on acoustic guitars and Sting playing bass. The class lasted for an hour.

When Sting first called me about the tour, this was one of the first things he mentioned - that the thrust of the tour was to play colleges, but also to give these classes and share his/our experiences with the students. Even at that juncture, the intent was that we would hopefully participate as a band.

At various times, people have asked me to teach them something about the guitar, and only in the relatively recent past have I sat down and done so with anyone. I used to wonder what there was that I could teach another person.
Dominic remarked afterwards how when he was at music college, though he had a wonderful teacher, nothing like this ever occurred, and how incredible it would have been for an established artist to have come in and done what Sting did yesterday.

In the same way, in the front row at the concert last night, there was a little boy pressed up against the railing. He was maybe nine years old. At the end of the show I reached out and shook his hand.
I remember when that was me, watching The Hollies in concert near my home in London, and Tony Hicks, (an excellent pop guitarist) was looking out and vibing with us in our "section". It was so personal and I have never forgotten how special I felt.

This young boy will remember this show for the rest of his life. These students will never forget Sting coming and speaking to them.
And likewise, these people and events are now part of my life - our lives.

Just another in what's becoming a long line of wonderful experiences at the present time.



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