From the recording All I Have
ALL I HAVE – The song that kicks off this album starts, atypically, with a fairly big electric guitar sound. Most people know me as an acoustic artist, so I wanted to start, from the very first chord, by blowing up any expectations and letting everyone know I’d be exploring these songs in new ways. Hopefully it sets the tone for what I strove to be a surprising, emotional ride as you travel through the album. I will always remember the moment I wrote this song. It was 6am on a Sunday morning. I’m not usually very productive (or even awake) at this hour, but the events of the previous evening were haunting me, and I couldn’t sleep. At the time, I was promoting and booking shows at The San Diego Sports Club. Along with Tim Pyles (who helped immensely on the booking front), we would put on a show once a month. When we first started booking, things were pretty sparse. But we had been building the night up for quite some time, and it was finally paying off. Sadly, the owner of the bar didn’t seem too interested in investing in this growth. So I was still dragging my own P.A. in for every show. I worked the sound when I wasn’t performing, and Tim would DJ between sets. It was a fairly ghetto setup, but it is what we had, and we made it work. Usually. But this night was by far, our biggest draw. Transfer played, and the place was packed to the rafters, and quite frankly, my P.A. wasn’t up for the task of Transfer’s wall of sound. About the third song in, the first speaker blew. The crowd kept calling for everything to be louder. The second speaker didn’t last much longer. I turned the monitors around and used them as mains, and we managed to get through the set, but it was a pretty poor sounding gig, and my PA was thrashed. I was deflated, and felt like I’d let everyone down. The band, Tim Pyles, the crowd, and myself…in my mind, I had failed us all. The icing on the cake was when the bar owner came to me after the show, positively glowing about the brisk business we provided him with (well over 200 people attended), and fanned out four twenty dollar bills like he was Rockefeller Trump handing us all our share of his immense wealth. $80 dollars to divide between three bands and a DJ (who provided free radio advertising for the venue). Less than .50 cents per customer, to be divided between the 9 musicians and the DJ responsible for his success that night. For me, this was no success at all. It was further embarassment as I handed out an insulting amount of pay to the people who had supported me by helping to build something new and cool. This is the glamour of being an entertainer.Transfer, being good friends, were polite about the situation, but I knew first-hand what it’s like to play through such inferior and shitty sounding gigs where technical details intrude on your ability to give people the best of yourself. It sucked to be the one actually responsible for this. I tried to make up for it by having an after-party, but my credibility was blown for the night. Matty (Transfer’s singer) had met a girl at the show, and the two of them came back with Alison and I, but that was the extent of our party. On the way home, I wasn’t too chipper, but everyone tried to cheer me up, and we talked about getting drunk and hopping in the hot tub. This girl with Matty seemed pretty cool, so I sucked it up, and tried to be a good host. We got home and unloaded my broken and worthless cargo. When we were done, I ran upstairs and put on some swim trunks. But for the second time that night, I was completely out of tune with the room.I came bounding down the stairs in a towel, with my shirt off, yelling “All right, let’s pour some drinks and get in that hot-tub!” Alison glared at me and shook her head. “What?” I replied, slightly confused.“WE aren’t getting in the hot-tub, dumb-ass. THEY are getting in the hot-tub!”This took a while for me to process. What does she mean WE aren’t getting into the….OHHHH! It finally hit me. Not only did I just ruin Matty’s show, I was about to cock-block him in the hot-tub. We all sort of laughed uncomfortably.“You and I are going to bed.” Alison said, sensibly. So I did the first thing I’d gotten right that evening. I followed her to bed.But at 6am, I woke up, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I couldn’t shake the guilt and shame of working so hard to achieve something, finally getting a top notch band and the crowd capacity I knew I was capable of drawing…..and ultimately, fucking blowing it. Literally.I snuck downstairs in search of my guitar. The door to our guest bedroom was closed, which meant the hot-tub had done its job. My guitar was in the living room, so I picked it up, and plucking it as quietly as I could, I whispered out a melody as lyrics dropped from my raw, sleep-deprived and emotionally crushed mind. I pulled out my phone, recorded the results, and slunk back to bed before I woke anyone up. I slept through most of the next day, too embarrassed to face the light. EPILOGUE: The girl from the hot-tub never went away. I mean, she left our house, but from that point forward, she was never far from Matty’s side. I liked her so much, I even managed to remember her name (I never remember anyone’s name. Another personal failing). When Matty and Sarah got engaged, they asked me to perform their wedding ceremony. I was honored. From the ashes of my personal defeat, rose the phoenix of a beautiful relationship. And this song. And so it is, that on their marriage certificate, below the names of Matthew and Sarah Molarius, my signature rests.I’m fairly sure it’s even legal.