Bob Sellon - Fourth Of July - Notes
Bob Sellon - Fourth Of July - Notes
Bob Sellon - I had never written a song for a specific holiday before but at a friend's suggestion, started working on one while in my car using an older Palm portable computer I was using at the time. This particular model would record audio at the press of  single button which makes it easy to do while driving. The song actually took several months to get to it's current form but I a lot of the important bits came to me in the car.

The Palm computer imports its sound recordings as "audio notes" in Outlook so I started organizing the song fragments on my computer and transcribing the lyrics. I really didn't have a story yet so I started to piece together the ideas from the car recordings and collect new ones. I probably used less than a quarter of the lyrics I came up with for the song but the pieces I used seem to make sense as a story (I wiched I could have gotten that sheppards pie bit in there). The phrasing of the vocal melodies is what I was really focuaing on. I wanted something that was fun and interesting to sing.

I was not playing with a band at the time so I ended up playing all the parts on the recording myself. My son Todd kicked in on the "Take it off" part but otherwise, everything else is me. This demonstates some of my better electric guitar work. I'm really a folk-electric guitarist (in that I suck) but there is some guitar work on this that I like a lot. The main solo was the last thing I recorded for the entire CD and took quite a while to get right.

The main melodic hook in the song didn't emerge till I started working on the bass line. The original bit just followed the chords but there were some great spaces available in the song to add melody so I did. The new bass line helped shape the drum part which is nearly good (I'm hoping to record this song again some day with a drummer who can really pull off the groove). Finally, the organs pull it all together. When Kim Cooper showed me the first drafts of the cover art, I went back and redid the lead vocals and totally remixed the song. Kim is amazing.

I've played this song live with bands (the original One Gig Pony band), live acoustic and live with backing tracks with good audience reaction but I always imagined this song being a framework for a larger piece. I've been playing mostly piano the last couple of years and have found some very interesting stuff hidden in this song. The backing-track version of the tune which I play against live is a tweaked mix with vocals and acoustic guitars pulled out.

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