Smokin’, smokin’, we’re cooking tonight just keep on tokin. Smokin’, smokin’, I feel alright mama I’m not jokin’, yeah.
-B. Delp & T. Scholz ‘Boston’
I’m going “to pick you up and take you away” into my world of music and life. Let’s start with this awesome video of Boston performing their song ‘Smokin.’ Once you listen to it then come back here and read on.
As a child of the 70’s, bands like Boston hold a special place in my heart. Like many of you, I am often taken back in my mind with every song I hear. Some good times and some not so good, none the less the journey is made all the more possible by a song from the bands of my childhood.
I especially like Boston and more specifically this song ‘smokin’. My spell check keeps telling me that I’m not spelling ‘smokin’ properly. I guess that it didn’t grow up in the 70’s and has probably never head of Boston.
Bostons songs have a way of taking you for a long and emotional ride because they’ve mastered the art of a never ending refrain and crescendo.
The next video is Denis Ronchese on YouTube and he has broken down the over two-minute organ solo from ‘Smokin’. Before we get to the organ solo I must say that Boston absolutely mastered the art of making a Hammond B3 organ sound awesome on a rock and roll song. Aside from that they even added a harpsichord! Who would have ever imagined that we’d be begging for more organ! Nice job Mr. Scholtz. This organ solo is a masterpiece you have to see and hear to appreciate. Just watch the awesome finger work Deinse displays as he nails Tom’s masterful organ solo.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed these videos because it clearly illustrates what I’m about to lay out here.
In a previous post, I mentioned that when you say yes to something you say no to everything else. Artist like Tom Scholtz and Brad Delp, who wrote this song, said yes to the art of music and lyric composition and no to just about everything else that came into their life. As a result, they produced some of the greatest rock songs to date and they did it with just seven albums from 1976 to 2013.
Tom is a master of the organ and in the organ demo by Denis Ronchese we can see how Tom just kept on adding more and more organ and just when you thought it was over he adds even more! Then to add more spice to the guacamole he has the band stop playing for a full measure while he keeps playing the organ and he does this not just once but twice! For a few seconds, you’ve reached the peak only to have the organ soar past the highest height and come back down to pick you up for another go-round.
So what’s all this have to do with us?
Gee I don’t know…what do you want it to mean to you? What are you doing in your life that you can say you’ve devoted everything to? What are you good at? What do you like to do? Do you even know? If not you better get searchin’ (word play intended.) because life is short. I think Ferris Bueller said that once.
Whatever it is you’re doing just do it well whether at home, work, or play. If you don’t know what you do well then work at finding what it is that you do well then add your own style to it and mike it your own. That’s what Brad and Tom did. They weren’t the first musicians to put an organ on a rock and roll album. They’re just the guys who pushed it to the next level.
Brad Delp is gone now but he left a legacy of music and emotion that will last for generations, if not forever. We may never stand on stage before thousands of screaming fans, but every day we perform for many people who could be…if we say yes to what we do best.
Thanks to Denis Ronchese for his awesome keyboard skills.