Image: Bella hanging out in Gardena at Light Black Studio's while tracking with TOR during my time at 200 North.
Good morning from LA.
It’s been a rough week for me as my girl Bella has passed away. I’m normally fairly chipper and optimistic about things but it’s been a sad few days. Let me catch you up on some Hadder things.
Bella was a Japanese Tosa Inu. She was my little girl, literally. She gave me a kiss on Wednesday night at the hospital and I said I’ll see you in the morning sweetheart. But the morning never came. I was called back in the middle of the night as her heart stopped. I whispered in her ear as she passed away that night, “I love you girl”. It’s hard to talk about that moment. I remember when she was young, before she weighed 150 lbs, I would pick her up and sit her on the table and she would put her paws on my shoulders and just smile. Later in life I would have to sit in front of her and she would still put her paws on my shoulders drooling on me as she smiled that same smile. She lived with me in the home I lost and then again at 200 North while I was working with the band TOR and also writing Diamonds Hadder music. She became the inspiration for Ezra, the character in my Hadder stories. She was a great companion and I’ll certainly miss our walks together above the clouds. So begins this next season of my life. For now, Bella will live forever inside the memories and songs of my little breakers record. I do believe I will see her again someday.
Breakers Vinyl artwork: Artwork design for ‘Beyond the Breakers” is on a little hold. It’s a good time to sit back and reflect on all the work I’ve done for the “Beyond the Breakers” double vinyl. Just about all the layout design work is done, it’s just a matter of gathering all the photos from the making of the record for the insert inside the gatefold. I’ve gone way back, gathering images from the home I lost, 200 North, TOR days, #408 and the Lex. It was a “Long Road” making the record and I generally always carry around my DSLR camera, so I have lots of images. Rather than rush the artwork, I thought it was much more important to get the images that tell the story of this record. So far it’s looking great but there are more archives I need to go through to finalize the photo collage. Soon enough it will be done. I was really thinking Bella was going to be here through Christmas, so her passing has thrown a little wrench into my initial Vinyl artwork timelines. I was hoping to complete it all before my move, but it’s looking like that isn’t going to happen. Over the next three weeks I’m leaving the LEX and moving outside the city, returning to the canyons that first inspired this Breakers record, to a place I call “The Oaks”. I suppose I’ll finalize the artwork there over the next few weeks once I get settle.
The oaks and New Things: Soon I’ll be in my new tower under the oaks. I’m very much looking forward to this next season of my life. I think I’ll be writing something special there. Perhaps an extension of the Breakers Record. Aside from wanting to complete my Diamonds Hadder novel there and begin the scoring of that novel and record, I think I still have another 8 songs that have been dancing around in my head this year. Songs that could have perhaps been a part of the breakers record. Songs like “The Rock King” which was based on a mediaeval poem I wrote about a king who built a castle of stone for a queen who betrayed him, or “Out of the Black”, “Gone”, “Quiet Places” and “The Den at Orchard Park”, a few other songs from the TOR era of my life. Then there is a song actually called “Beyond the Breakers”, a somewhat haunting track similar to the lost reflection from early Crimson Glory, and “Child of the Sun” a song about a strange child who has the power to move the sun and shape the course of a great battle. “The Red Recluse” is another idea I’ve been dabbling with, I think the name speaks for itself. And last but not least, “Kind Winters”, a song that originally was penned lyrically for the Ramsey/Evermore project but that I might redo into a Diamonds Hadder song, as I really love the poem it was born from. We’ll see how things progress into 2024.
Well, I suppose that’s all for now. The Vinyl will drop in spring on No Remorse Records and a few music videos should start to appear around that time as well. After that it’s rehearsals and writing and hopefully some shows in Europe if I can pull it all together. I had a dream that Ezra came to see me at the oaks. She was running around and drooling all over the place. I was so happy to see her. I think lord Zabble is up to something. I’ll tell you about it later.
Between what we give and what we’re holding
Seems there’s a cost to pay for knowing
Is the play really worth the showing?
Between what we lost and where we’re going"