Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My friend Bobby

My wife Ellen grew up and went to school with a guy (let's call him Bobby) who displayed extraordinary musical talent starting at a very young age. Even in grammar school anyone who knew him was sure he'd wind up as a professional musician.

She and Bobby have a special friendship. They have seen the best and the worst of each other and as a side effect of their relationship, Bobby has become my friend too. When Ellen and I first got engaged Bobby's wife became Ellen's matron of honor and Bobby, Rich (my good friend and Buddy Love's drummer) and Hughie (also a Buddy Love alumni, but he's a whole nother story!) sang at our wedding. Their first child and ours were born one day apart in the same hospital. Leave it to say that we have all been friends for quite a long time.

Today he is the right hand man of a very famous singer/songwriter (who shall remain nameless) and over the years people would ask him for all kinds of favors; tickets for shows, free appearances at their club, help in writing songs, studio time, production or connections, yadda yadda yadda... In all that time my wife and I have made a point of NOT using our long standing friendship with him to further our own agendas, be it for tickets or favors in the music biz.

He has always been very supportive of my songwriting and I easily could have asked him many time for assistance in placing one or two but as I said, I never wanted to use our friendship in that manner.

A few years ago during one of their visits to Long Island he played a song fragment for me which he decided not to finish and left it in my hands. Over the next few weeks I nurtured it and finished it and as time passed I forgot about it. Recently, as the band has been listening to all of my demos that song came up and it was decided that we would work on it. In fact, it is now probably THE BEST DAMN SONG WE DO! So this past weekend during our kid's birthday celebrations I mentioned the song to him and wanted to discuss the legalities involved so it would not become an issue between us. He usually guards his "interests" pretty closely but to my surprise he said he was fine with a 50/50 split and even offered to produce it for us when we were ready to record! Later in the day, while showing us some of the guitars that many manufacturers have given to him over the years and after hearing my son play, he gifted him with a custom made, one of a kind guitar! Later we all jammed, he and I and our sons (his on drums) and we all had a grand old time.

What is the point of this story? Making music is one thing (don't get me wrong, a GREAT thing) but friendship is way more important and in the end it is your friends who matter, not who they are or who they know or what they can do for you.

I'm very happy to call Bobby my friend.

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