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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day Everybody

Just getting back to the blog after a flurry of activity. I have been working on  licensing and copyright agreements that I am doing with Paula Darlington.   I am so glad to be working with Paula.  She's an excellent multi-tasker but more than that she injects a wonderful enthusiasm and energy into my music and business.  There will be a new music website which is in development.  I'm looking forward to it's launch coming soon to this theatre. 

I am also thrilled and very flattered to announce that I have been approached to do a book project on my involvement in the music business in the sixties and seventies.   It will describe my travels, trials and tribulations as well as my involvement with many rock stars.  I was lucky to have been there.  Rock n roll wars stories if you will.  I'm looking forward to working with Michael Stein, the author and Fred Cantor who introduced me to Michael.  It's going to be a killer book.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Ahhhhhh!! Remember the good old days when you would be in a record store and fingering through what seemed like a million record albums.   You would come across a fantastic photograph in the record bin. Then you'd ponder over the very cool photo debating whether or not you would take a chance on actually buying a record you had never heard before.   Thinking, thinking, thinking then finally “ah HELL I’m buying this record.”  
The decision has been made.  You step up to the counter, and pay the relative price for the time period which was $4.99 or $5.99.  “Hell, this is going to break my bank account but I don't care anymore.”  A huge added bonus was that you could actually read the credits on the back of the album.   It was four times bigger than today's cd cover.  What a huge luxury.
Now get this! I get the album home and love the music, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  The record is on the turntable, spinning and I notice that my head is spinning also WITH JOY, JOY, JOY. I can't believe that I like the music. For those of you who are younger and were not a part of the dinosauric time of vinyl, which no one would have thought would ever topple just like the Roman Empire.  It is impossible to describe to you how wonderful it really was especially for the artist and writers.  You had to buy the whole album when you only wanted two songs.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Continuing Adventures of Songwriting and Life....from my perspective anyway

Hi Everybody, Charlie Karp here.   So excited about the new blog on adventures in  songwriting and life… from my perspective anyway.    
People often ask me how I start a song.  I always tell them I think about themes or titles first. What’s happening in your life?  I tell them to come up with at least ten of these titles.  It’s the jumping off point.   Then you can get a notebook and dig deeper into it.
Back in the day they used to say there was a formula to songwriting.  It was something like an intro that grabbed your attention, a verse, a chorus, second verse, chorus, bridge with solo then back to the verse, chorus sequence again and fade out sort of thing.   In a perfect world the song would be around three minutes long.  That’s what the record companies were looking for back when they ruled over the industry. Now of course the business has totally changed.  There are no formulas in songwriting.  Everyone is free to write and produce their own 10 minute song.  You can pretty much do what you want.
Early on I had the wonderful opportunity of writing some songs with Artie Resnick.  the great songwriter of Under the Boardwalk and Good Lovin among many others, I used to talk to him about his formula for success.  He had produced so many hit songs.   When I pressed him on what it was that made a hit record he said, “Hell if I know and anyone who tells you they do know are full of shit.”  
Turns out he had hated some of his hit songs when he heard them on pre-release.   He so disliked a few that he tried to use all his power to stop the records from coming out.  To no avail they became #1.  “Isn’t THAT too bad?”  From then on when Artie and I were working on songs I had this idea that if he hated the song we were working on we were doing really well.    If he liked it, I actually worried.  We went on to write Buzz Buzz for Joe Perry and Too Bad on Your Birthday for  Joan Jett among others.
In the end none of us really knows what’s going to sell.  You just have to keep at it.   As long as you want to keep listening to the song over and over again before it's even over, you are in good shape. 

Until my next post, CK