Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Haunted Palace


    In the greenest of our valleys
    By good angels tenanted,
    Once a fair and stately palace—
    Radiant palace—reared its head.
    In the monarch Song’s dominion,
    Holding forth beyond compare
    House of Quill Repute and Vision 
    Muse and Poets mingled there

Kris Kristofferson & Bob Beckham - Combine Music

Banners rippling, glorious, golden,
    On its roof did float and flow
    (This—all this—was in the olden
    Time of craftsmen long ago)
    And every gentle air that dallied,
    In that sweet and tuneful day,
    Grew in spirit those who gathered,
    Guitars twanged for servant’s pay.

Frank Trainor signs publishing deal with Combine Music
Group of Nashville, home of the Kris Kristofferson
and Larry Gatlin catalogs. – Music Scene

   Wanderers in that happy valley,
   Through two luminous windows, saw

   Spirits moving musically
   To each guitar’s well-tuned law,
   And round about a throne there, sitting,
   Well befitting, 
   The ruler of the realm was seen.

Frank Trainor & Bob Beckham - Combine Music

All with gold and platinum glowing 
Was the open palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
And sparkling brightly evermore,
Troops of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king. 

Combine Music songwriters Frank Trainor & Mel McDaniel

    But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
    Assailed the monarch’s high estate;
    (Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow
    Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
    And round about his home the glory
    That blushed and bloomed,
    Is but a dim-remembered story
    Of that old time now entombed.

   And travelers, now, within that valley, 
   Through the stain glassed windows see
   Vast forms that move fantastically
   To a discordant melody;
   While, like a ghastly rapid river,
   Through the pale paneled door
   A hideous throng rush out forever,
   And laugh—but smile no more.

“I don’t sign someone just to sign them. I have to
believe in their long-lasting talents.” – Bob Beckham

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Desperados Waiting For A Train

Hey Guy...what's goin’ on man...?

You must be waiting for a train…

I know it takes a lot to laugh...

Naw…I'm just wonderin' why every well I've drilled has gone dry.
I'm always snappin' at the dog & cryin' at the Andy Griffith Show. Whoever said the hand is quicker than the eye has never tried to brush away a tear or ever had his hand burn for a Randall Knife.

Hmmm...I believe you…and trust it’s true

But in the meantime...

I'm gonna start my pickin' right now...

Just tell me where you'll be...

Desperado pointed down the road and said, Eternity!

Eternity…? said Frankie T with a voice as cold as ice.

That's right, said Sam ...Eternity!

Though you might call it Paradise.

I don't call it anything, said Frankie T with a smile.

All right, said Blake, I'll see you after awhile.

What kind of house is this, I said, where I have come to roam?

It's not a house, said Beckham. It's not a house, it's a home.

Chris Gantry, Tony Joe White, Billy Swan, Bob Beckham, Dolly Parton,
Kris Kristofferson - Combine Writers Reunion - photo credit CJ Flanagan

But what was really cool was our CMA week open house...hanging out and diggin' in to fresh New York deli trays flown in special for Sir Charles Koppelman and Marty Bandier...lot of silver limos on the row that week...anyway, we're all hangin' and who walks up to join us but Mickey Newbury and Billy Joe Shaver...and then Stewart Harris asked if I was from Canada and it turned out that he had actually spent an entire summer in the early 70's playing a steady gig in my home province. He worked every other week-end alternating with some other singer who - as it turns out - was me.
We never met because our paths had never crossed but I always wondered just who that other dude was who worked those other week-ends I was off. We met for the very first time 15 years later standing in that Combine/SBK parking lot talking with Guy Clark, Mickey Newbury and Billy Joe Shaver. How about that for mystical coincidence, eh...? Even Robert Earl Keen Jr. thought that story was crazier than Copenhagen. I even played a few of my songs for Billy Joe in the Combine studio. He said; "'re tough...!"
Yeah…well, there ain't nobody tougher than you brother Shaver.

And how about Tony Joe White rockin' the house in Belle Meade at the Cockeyed Camel with Steve Cropper & Duck Dunn settin' the hook in the swamp with TJW & his Lightnin' Hopkins that's what I'm talkin' about...later that week we threw down with a "crappie fry" at Leanne & Tony Joe's out in Franklin. Great gigs up in Louisville also with songwriters Alan Rhody and Don Henry.

Nashville is a songwriter's sacred ground...

I was the pilgrim wasted on the sidewalk...

I was also Billy Dee
…17 when I turned 21…

It’s a long tough difficult story but I had to beat the devil...

So I jumped a greyhound in ’72 and set off to find Kristofferson.

15 years later, I set my suitcase down at Combine Music.

Music City Row. To keep the chilly wind off my guitar.

Did I sign my contract in Kris Kristofferson's office...?

Is that some kind of a trick question...?

Ain't you come a long way...