Crazy Movie

Crazy Movie  words and music by Richard Schulman 

 

Jeff Hocker: Bass Guitar, Percussion 

Tony Sheppard: Lead Guitar 

Debbie Stern: Harmony Vocals 

David Dolnick: Drums 

Richard Schulman: Vocals, Guitars 

 

Engineering: Al Torchia, Speakeasy Studio, Richard Schulman, Dreamwalker Studio 

Mixing and Mastering: Richard Schulman, Jeff Hocker, Patrick Russini 

 

 

Crazy Movie

 

Roll camera two cut the scene soon 

It's a crazy movie 

When we arrived how we survived

Time for inventory 

 

Plot twists time flips 

Life is a crazy movie 

Who would believe? Who could conceive? 

We direct the story 

 

Chorus 1 

Who’d ever know 

Fade out fade in 

People come and go 

You lose you win 

 

Why should I dare? 

Who ever cares? 

Do I edit the part 

When she broke his heart 

 

Spinning around 

Playing the clown 

Jealousy burns 

Love returns 

 

BREAK 

 

Spot of romance then a crash 

Things don’t make sense 

On a crusade he was betrayed 

Creating a mess 

Need a sex scene nothing obscene 

Ya got to sell tickets 

Smiles conceal making a deal 

Offends the spirit 

 

Chorus 2 

What did you hear? 

Through tears and fears 

Love comes and goes 

How? No one knows 

 

If you get into trouble 

Hire a stunt double 

Should I edit the scene? 

When life became mean?

 

UFO lands on desert sands 

He always was a dreamer 

Comic relief is such a treat  

Laughter is the strongest healer 

 

Lifeline fading not worth saving 

He became a leader 

We’re led astray perhaps a replay 

Life is a crazy movie 

There is a joke among psychologists that their lives are crazier than any of their patients. I had a friend who mused, “Do you know why your such a great psychotherapist?” “I had great teachers,” I replied. She said, “Maybe, but that’s not it. You’ve been through so much crap, you’re like a musical instrument. When a patient comes in you just push the right key and you know how it feels.” 

Well, maybe, but this song started with the idea that if I went to Hollywood and pitched my life as an idea for a movie, they would say, ‘Nope, no one would believe it, too crazy.” I thought about friends, family, people I’ve known and loved, and wondered how many of us would have the same sentiment. 

Wouldn’t we all like to edit the part when our hearts were broken? Perhaps, but the crazy movie is our path and how we learn. For millennia, mystics have spoken about the idea that life is a movie or a dream and we must learn to have a level of equanimity towards it. This song sets the tone of the album. If life is a crazy movie, then it’s a pretty interesting one. If it’s a dream, then it’s a pretty persistent one. 

Most of this one was recorded at Speakeasy Studio with Al Torchia at the controls. I mixed and mastered it with consultation from Jeff Hocker, and a teaching moment (more like three hours) with Patrick Russini. 

We had to overcome the experience of our drummer quitting in the middle of the recording process. Most recordings start with drums and bass, and after the foundation is solid, the rest of a song can be built around it. When our drummer blew up the sessions, and demanded we not use his tracks we almost gave up. Within an hour, with the support of Al Torchia, we decided to move ahead and put the drums in when we could.  

I redid demo click tracks for the songs and we began again. Losing our drummer in the midst of recording cost us a time and money, but in the end was a blessing. It was addition by subtraction. Significant negative energy was absent, and we could move forward.

Jeff Hocker began working on computer generated drum tracks. The technology is pretty impressive and we kept some of the tracks he created. Still, we looked around for a drummer and after a few false starts, guitarist Lenny Brooks suggested I contact David Dolnick. He was given the unenviable task of drumming after everything else had been recorded.  David’s good work kept us going while we recruited another drummer. You can hear him on this track. Thank you, David. Later, Pat Russini came aboard, and after learning the songs, rerecorded some of the drum tracks. 

Most of the song was recorded at Speakeasy Studio, with additional guitars recorded by me at Dreamwalker Studio late in the process, when I wanted a wider sound.

Diamond Filled Bouquet

Diamond Filled Bouquet  words and music by Richard Schulman 

Jeff Hocker: Bass Guitar 

Tony Sheppard: Lead Guitar 

Debbie Stern: Harmony Vocals, Keyboards 

Patrick Russini: Drums 

Richard Schulman: Vocals, Guitars 

 

Engineering: Al Torchia, Speakeasy Studio, Richard Schulman, Dreamwalker Studio 

Mixing and Mastering: Richard Schulman, Jeff Hocker, Patrick Russini 

 

Diamond Filled Bouquet

 

Late in life I realized 

Had a situation keeping me compromised 

Not good with details 

Unsure of time 

I can get lost in tangents 

That take me off line

 

CHORUS  

Give me something that I love  

I’ll learn everything about it  

Like a cool hand in a velvet glove  

I’ll warm up to it  

If you can interest me with the words you have to say  

I’ll cling to every one like a diamond filled bouquet  

 

I love Billy Pilgrim 

Because he understands 

Being unstuck in time 

Playing out that hand 

If I didn’t have a schedule 

I’d never know where to be 

What day it was 

Or who I had to see 

 

CHORUS  

Give me something that I love  

I’ll learn everything about it  

Like a cool hand in a velvet glove  

I’ll warm up to it  

If you can interest me with the words you have to say  

I’ll cling to every one like a diamond filled bouquet  

 

BRIDGE 

Music clears a path 

An equation of perfect math 

Vibrating strings on my guitar 

My thoughts will travel far 

What to you might seem bizarre 

To me are just the way things are

 

Attention deficit? 

Dylan Thomas, Michaelangelo? 

John Lennon, Lenny Bruce 

Vonnegut, Van Gogh? 

Would you put Mozart 

On Ritalin today? 

Limit Shakespeare 

To what he had to say? 

 

CHORUS  

Give me something that I love  

I’ll learn everything about it  

Like a cool hand in a velvet glove  

I’ll warm up to it  

If you can interest me with the words you have to say  

I’ll cling to every one like a diamond filled bouquet  

If you can interest me with ideas you have to say  

Is this affliction could it be the artist’s way?  

If you can interest me with the words you have to say  

I’ll cling to every thought like a diamond filled bouquet 

 

I’ll bet you didn’t know there were six kinds of attention deficit disorder (I’ve started calling it Attention Different Disorder, by the way). I have the kind where I can hyper-focus on what is of interest to me, but can’t figure out what day it is for anything else. Fortunately, I love psychology and music, so I got through grad school and never gave up the guitar. Didn’t figure out what my problem was until later in life, hence the song. 

Many years ago, I met the author, Elie Weisel. Someone asked him what his vision of the messiah was. He poetically replied, “The messiah is a bouquet of sparks.” That phrase stayed with me all these years. I was writing something I called the Attention Deficit Song, and I was about to let it go. Wolfgang Koehler insisted I finish the song. He said, “the song is great, the title sucks.” So, the glittering, alluring, diamond filled bouquet that words of interest seem like to me, became the title of the song. 

I despair of how many kids are placed on medication because they cannot sit still in the confines of a classroom. Maybe kids aren’t supposed to sit still all the time. There is such a great financial and societal pressure on physicians to prescribe the meds, and for parents to force the kids to take them, that at times, I think we are creating a generation of zombies and are squeezing all the creativity out of our children. (Would you put Mozart on Ritalin today?) 

It occurred to me how many great artists would be classified as mentally ill by today's standards and would be squashed by our system and treatments. By the way, Billy Pilgrim is a reference to one of my favorite books, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. The first sentence in the book is "Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time." I said, "That's me."

The ending of the song reflects the quick change of attention that can bedevil the person with this kind of mind. We’ve always had fun playing it.

You May Be The One

You May Be The One  Music by Tony Sheppard, Lyrics by Richard Schulman 

 

Jeff Hocker: Bass Guitar, Percussion 

Tony Sheppard: Lead Guitar 

Culynn Murdock: Vocals 

Debbie Stern: Harmony Vocals 

Richard Schulman: Vocals, Guitars 

 

Engineering: Al Torchia, Speakeasy Studio, Richard Schulman, Dreamwalker Studio 

Mixing and Mastering: Richard Schulman, Jeff Hocker, Patrick Russini 

 

You May Be The One

 

Surfing waves of time 

Magic appearing in different ways 

Acts of kindness change the world 

How do you wish to play? 

You feel things deeply 

Take things very hard 

It’s just the way you run 

Don’t like suffering 

Feel everybody’s pain 

You may be the one

 

Chorus

Flash of light from heaven  

Try something new  

Life is creating yourself  

Believe in you  

Patterns of vibration  

Take the risk of life  

Don’t stand still  

 

Move from head to heart 

Through Karma’s tragedy 

So temporary why are we upset? 

When there is cosmic comedy 

Revealing the sacred space 

Where heavenly dreams come true 

Who says it can't be done? 

The special soul who sees it through 

You may be the one 

 

Flash of light from heaven  

Try something new  

Life is creating yourself  

Believe in you  

Patterns of vibration  

Take the risk of life  

Don’t stand still 

 

I have a friend who lost a child due to a prescription drug overdose. Instead of crawling into a hole and never coming out, she dedicated her energies to raising monies for teenagers to receive drug treatment. Thus was born the Brandy’s Wish Foundation. We speak from time to time, and one day she told me of her immense pain that comes from the idea she is helping teenagers, but could not help her daughter.  This is not the full story, for of course, she went to the end of the earth to help her daughter, but in the end, addiction is a terrible disease, a terrible foe. 

As a good Jewish Buddhist who loves Jesus, I really like those bibles that have what Jesus actually said in marked in red. If you’ve never seen one, I suggest you get one. Ignore the other stuff. Jesus says over and over again in many different words, “You can do what I do.” My friend, Lisa Brandy is a great example of this idea.

I’m remembering another story. My older boy’s mother was quite an amazing artist. At one point she began to make these incredible line drawings, but they were coming fast and furious. One weekend she literally did 200 of them. At one point she said, “You have to make them stop. You don’t understand, they are everywhere, on the wall on your shirt.” I didn’t really know what to do, but I decided to try some automatic writing with her. It’s a hypnotic technique where someone in trace writes from their subconscious. 

Once in trance, I asked her subconscious to connect me with whomever was sending the drawings. She wrote, “Truth” “Love” and then the Hebrew equivalent of “God”. Now my anxiety was rising, but I kept it together and said, “The energy is too high, the vessel can’t take it. Please, one drawing per day.” She did one more drawing while in trance and then no more that day and the energy quieted to one drawing per day for several months.

She was relieved and I was freaking out. I called my friend, Jim Meade, a hypnotist in Phoenix, Arizona, who calmed me down. I asked him if I was really talking to God. He said, “There’s a little bit of God in me and a little bit of God in you. When I talk to you I talk to God, When you talk to me you talk to God. If we remembered that we’d be nicer to each other. 

My friend’s quest to help in the face of enormous personal pain is the essence of this.  Every action has the potential to be life changing. If we remembered that we’d be more mindful and probably nicer to each other. 

I started writing the song about a year before we played it as a band. Sometimes songs cook in the unconscious and I didn’t really connect with it until one day I heard new words in my head. The writing took about 20 minutes and  it was done. The only thing remaining was the “flash of light from heaven” chorus. 

As some of you know, I’ve been taking guitar lessons from Tony Sheppard for several years. We get together and jam as well. One lesson, he began playing these cool chords. I played a few more and thought we were onto something. I went home and fleshed it out a bit, but he had another idea, vastly improving the bridge section. In the end, it’s really his music, but I was the sous chef. 

Culynn Murdock sings lead on this song. I remember being in the room at Speakeasy while she was recording the song. Immediately, I knew she had knocked it out of the park, far better than I ever heard it in my head. The emotion in her voice literally brought me to tears. 

As we were about to lay down the guitar tracks, Al Torchia, said, hey try this pedal. It was a feedback, reverb and chorus pedal that gives the background guitars the amazing flowing sound. Good call Al. Later that afternoon we recorded Tony Sheppard’s brilliant lead guitar. Tony nailed it. I guess it was the day for brilliance. 

Jeff Hocker recorded the wonderful bass solos and his bass line in one take. I think it was pretty ballsy to start with a bass solo, but it works, and Jeff does a magnificent job with it. Debbie Stern’s beautiful harmonies complete the picture.

Who knows? You may be the one.

Only Love Is Real

 

Only Love Is Real  words and music by Richard Schulman

 

Jeff Hocker: Bass Guitar 

Tony Sheppard: Lead Guitar 

Debbie Stern: Harmony Vocals, Keyboards 

Patrick Russini: Drums 

Richard Schulman: Vocals, Guitars

 

Engineering: Al Torchia, Speakeasy Studio, Richard Schulman, Dreamwalker Studio 

Mixing and Mastering: Richard Schulman, Jeff Hocker, Patrick Russini

 

Only Love Is Real 

 

Life’s energies ebb and flow 

A sweet soul passes, we feel alone 

Nothing is permanent, we all will need to heal 

Of all around us, only love is real 

 

Strong memories begin to flood the mind 

Can’t move ahead, won’t stay behind 

The pain is paralyzing, it’s everything we feel 

Try to remember, only love is real 

 

Only love is real 

Only love is real 

Only love is real 

Only love is real 

 

Life comes and goes like the morning dew 

Sunset’s shadows grow long in one’s view 

We stop to pray and bow down to kneel 

And in that moment know only love is real 

 

All things pass, all go away 

Only one is certain to stay 

Life moves along, be assured of the deal 

The heart knows only love is real 

 

Only love is real 

Only love is real 

Only love is real 

Only love is real 

My sons are big hockey fans, just like their dad. So for Dan’s 11th birthday, I purchased seats in the “Ice Box”. . . the four seats in between the benches of our beloved Tampa Bay Lightning and the 'stinkin' Florida Panthers. The seats were right on the ice. We had an amazing time. I really got the sense of how fast and violent the game is, and the spectacular skill of the players. It was almost too intimate, as one of the Lightning players had a dust up with the coach right next to me. 

The following Monday, it was Dan’s actual birthday, and I called him to wish him well. I was surprised to find he was irritated. He said, “It’s my birthday and you are not here and mom’s not home from work. I’m all alone on my birthday.” I said,” Don’t you remember what a great time we had during the weekend?” “He said, “Yeah, but that was then, this is now.” Good point , I thought. 

I said, “Remember when we all lived together, your mom, your brother, you and me?” “Yes,” he replied. “Me too, and there’s something to learn about life. Nothing is permanent. If thing are going well, they may not always be going well. If things suck, they will likely improve. Only one thing will not change,” I said. “What?” He asked. “That I love you. I’ll love you always, even after I’m dead I will love you.” 

I seem to have the ability to connect with and treat angry male adolescents, patients other therapists run from as if they are in a burning building. In any event, one of my miscreants asked me to write a poem. He wanted to impress a girl whose mother had died. I told him to write his own poem. Still, he badgered me, and when he finally said, “Hey you can write poems, I can’t,” I figured I’d give it a try. Reflecting upon the challenge to write a poem about comforting someone who had lost a loved one, I remembered the conversation with my son, and the words seemed to fall out of the sky. 

Most of the track was recorded at Speakeasy Studio, with Debbie Stern’s keyboard work done at Dreamwalker Studio and Patrick Russini recording the drums in his home studio. I love the interplay between the instruments. Tony’s lead guitar is heartfelt and is interspersed with swells of sound he created through his electric guitar. Debbie’s keyboard is the perfect counterpoint to my acoustic guitar. Jeff’s powerful bass along with Pat's tasteful drums create the foundation of the song. 

Peace, 

Dr Dreamwalker

Dolphin

Dolphin written by Jeff Hocker 

Jeff Hocker: Bass Guitar, Rhythm Guitars, Percussion 

Tony Sheppard: Lead Guitar 

Jay Stevens: Keyboards

 

Engineering: Richard Schulman, Dreamwalker Studio

Mixing and Mastering: Richard Schulman, Jeff Hocker, Patrick Russini 

 

Dolphin started as a bass riff inspired after a surfing trip to the East Coast. Dolphins were riding the waves amongst a group of us surfers. For over two years, I had been playing a combination of chords I resonated with but didn’t know where they fit. Magically, they aligned perfectly with the bass part and I knew they had found a home. The rhythm is in 12/8 time which feels to me like waves rolling through the ocean that find a shoreline to break on and release their stored energy. When I first recorded it I was happy with everything except the solo guitar part I played for it. When Tony recorded his solo part it reminded me how great his playing really is. 

Jeff Hocker 

It was only due to changes in the band I was assigned to play keyboards on this song for our live gigs. During my learning of the keyboard part, I truly began to appreciate how wonderful this song is. There is a magnificent flow to it, not unlike the way Dolphins swim, or Jeff plays bass. 

Richard Schulman