Project image
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$2,849
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
35
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, September 1 2013 4:00 PM UTC +00:00
$2,849
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
35
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, September 1 2013 4:00 PM UTC +00:00

About

If you are reading this right now, thank you.

Since just before the start of 2013, I’ve been working hard on what will eventually be the first album I will release as a solo singer-songwriter.  I've been writing songs for my bands for as long as I can remember, and this is the first time I'll be releasing anything I've written as a solo effort.  I'm incredibly nervous, fearful and excited.

I have no idea where to start, so I’m just going to start from the very beginning…

On the day I was born, my father accepted a position as a DJ at W4 Country 106.7 FM in Detroit. He would work for the company for thirteen years, ultimately leaving as their Creative Director. In the meantime, my parents had me singing along to pop, oldies, country and The Beatles — they own their own category — during the day, and falling asleep to the classical station on the radio at night. I gravitated toward drums, and began playing on my own toy kit at age 1 1/2 (I would destroy numerous toy kits until upgrading to a more professional kit at age 11).

For thirteen years, country music put food on my family’s plate, and more. I was able to attend all of the radio-sponsored concerts in the front rows and even have pictures taken with country’s biggest artists backstage! The coolest moment, though — the moment that would inspire me to doggedly pursue a successful career as a performing musician — happened on my fifth birthday.

Every year in May, Detroit hosts an event known as the Downtown Hoedown – a major showcase of new upcoming artists and some very well recognized ones, too. My birthday happened to coincide with that year’s Hoedown, and my dad was to be one of the radio personalities to introduce a band. When it came time to do so, my dad had me join him on stage; I immediately got stage fright. He told the crowd that I was his son and that “today is his fifth birthday!” The crowd applauded and began singing "Happy Birthday", and I was so shocked that I just froze and looked around at everyone. I could see men and women, boys and girls, teenagers and seniors, all smiling and singing together. At the time, I didn’t understand why these strangers were all singing for me. Was it a surprise party?? Did my dad know all of these people??

Before I knew it, the song was over. My dad did a little warm-up introduction for the band, and then had me announce their name, “DERRINGER!!” He said something into the mic (all I remember is “nalb dalb bee ze ball bob”…I was in a daze) and we walked off the stage. When I stepped off the stage, something had changed. I didn’t know what was happening, but I was feeling something I had never felt before. I felt an elation and a joy unlike anything else. I felt fragile. I felt powerful. I felt invincible. I felt the human spirit.

After 30 years of playing drums, 24 years of being in bands, 19 years of songwriting, playing guitar, bass, piano, and performing live, and 8 years of audio engineering...I still feel that same feeling from time to time. I feel it every time I perform on stage as a professional musician; every time I hear a song that stirs me as an avid listener and lover of music; when I help artists make their music better for them as a recording engineer, mixer or producer; when my band's rehearsal sounds just as good as any show we’ve ever played; when a fan tells me they love my music and can’t stop listening; when I’m finally first able to physically play the part I wrote in my head — especially on guitar.

Music connects us and affects us, physically and emotionally. A song as simple as “Happy Birthday” can provide feelings of great joy and comfort, even if we’ve heard it 100 times a year. It’s not just the words being sung, but the reasons they are being sung that give the song and the singer impact on the listener; it’s the intent and the feeling which are communicated.

EXPERIMENT: Close your eyes and imagine 3,000 strangers singing “Happy Birthday” to you right now. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. … Did you smile?? If you did, you’ve demonstrated the impact of music even further; you don’t even have to actually hear the song to receive its impact! You can imagine a song and get the good feelings, anyway!

My new journey is centered around writing, producing, and performing songs based on my experiences in life. Most people learn from either mentors or mistakes — and mentors just point out mistakes they’ve made so that you don’t make them yourself! Through my music I yearn to educate, enlighten and ultimately help people in some way or another. My goal is to communicate and provide to others that same combined feeling of elation, joyfulness, fragility, empowerment and invincibility.  I want to help people connect or reconnect with their spirit, as others’ music has done for me.  My belief is that this album will help me achieve these goals.

The album will be comprised of 10 songs and be entitled — ironically — "NARCISSIST".  The goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to raise the funds necessary to have the album professionally mixed and mastered for its release on vinyl, the manufacturing and packaging of the vinyl records, plus all necessary copyright and publishing fees -- and a music video.  Every vinyl record purchased will have a voucher for a free digital download of the album in all available formats, so "I don't own a record player" becomes a non-issue!

Each contributor who donates $10 or more will receive a Kickstarter-exclusive digital download of "Not Too Proud to Apologize", a B-side from the NARCISSIST sessions that is sure to get your mouth smiling (and your booty shaking, ladies)!  There are a bunch of rewards to choose from, and some of them even include spending quality time with me!  :-D

ADDED BONUS PREVIEW!! I have the rough mixes of the songs on my SoundCloud page for you to hear in advance!  Click here to link to my SoundCloud page, and be sure to "Follow" so you'll get an update when I add songs in the future.

Bottom line: your contribution matters and I appreciate YOU!!

Thank you so much for reading this, and I hope to meet you along the way.

/high five

:-J


And now...THE SONGS (and their chorus lyrics)!!

Side A
1. Dealing With People
Why is it so hard dealing with people?
Why is it so hard talking to you?
Can somebody tell me what you really want me to do for you?
Why is it so hard to make you happy?
Why is it so hard working with you?
And all my best friends say they have this problem, too.
Well, how 'bout you??

2. Jericho (by Rufus Wainwright)
This is a cover tune that spoke to me; it's how I feel about Detroit.  Rather than reprint the lyrics to the chorus here, feel free to look up the song on YouTube.

3. Nobody I Love
Nobody I love would ever treat me this way, ever
Ever
Ever

4. I Don't Call You (You Don't Call Me)
We both hurt, but hey, we're okay
We're better off now
Don't you agree?
Oh, what a wonderful life it will be
When I don't call you
And you don't call me

5. Say Goodbye to Rock & Roll
Rock and roll won't die
But it will kill me if I
Don't leave it behind
In the dawning of my life

Side B
1. Wait For Me (Bottle Of Wine)
Wait for me
It'll take time
To understand your beautiful mind
I'll relax
You'll chill out
And let's have another bottle of wine
Here you go, another bottle of wine

2. Pedestal
I'm gonna put you up on a pedestal
You're gonna knock me down from mine
You've got my heart this time, girl
I'm gonna knock you off your pedestal
Any time you're out of line
You've got my heart this time 

3. Haters
HEY! HO!
Haters have got to go
They're taking up too much of my time
Inside my mind
DON'T! GO!
I'm here to let you know you're beautiful
And you are gonna find
Your peace of mind


4. Bartender, You Deserve a Song
And she keeps me drinking all night
And feeling all right
She insists on feeding me when I start to sway
She keeps the regulars on ice
And if somebody's not nice
She tells me subtly to shoo them away
She'll pay every single tab for me
And won't even have to leave gratuity
I'll tip her just by being me

5. Collide
But when we collide
We can find ourselves for the first time
And when we collide
We can see inside for the first time

Risks and challenges

I've had an experience before where I had to send back every single copy of a brand new album because of a manufacturing error. The delay in receiving the replacement units caused them to not be available for the release show, which was quite embarrassing. Quality control is my responsibility, and the album will not be released until I am completely satisfied with its overall production. Moreover, the release date will not be announced until I have the physical copies in hand.

This will be the 10th professional album I've released (1st solo release), and I've learned something new to watch out for each time. If you can foresee something I may not have thought of, please feel free to contact me and let me know! :-J

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    THE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD — Digital download of NARCISSIST upon its release in .WAV lossless format; digital D/L of B-side, "Not Too Proud To Apologize" (***exclusive for Kickstarter contributors!***); imaginary high five

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    THE BLACK ALBUM — 12" 180g black vinyl LP of NARCISSIST upon its release; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; imaginary high five

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    THE T-SHIRT — Exclusive NARCISSIST t-shirt; black vinyl LP; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; imaginary high five

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    THE DEMOS — Digital download of demo version of NARCISSIST; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; thanked publicly on all related social media; exclusive album t-shirt; black vinyl LP; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; imaginary high five

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    THE WHITE ALBUM — Limited-edition, hand-numbered 12" 180g white vinyl LP of NARCISSIST, with signature and personal hand-written thank-you note from John Kay; free entry for you and one guest at album release show; a copy of one of John's elementary school report cards; an autographed pair of John's drumsticks; digital D/L of album's demo version; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; public thank-you on social media; exclusive album t-shirt; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; in-person high five (high five reasonably ships within the US only)

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    LET'S DO LUNCH — Have lunch or dinner with John Kay at one of Detroit's coolest restaurants (ask him anything!); 3 copies of NARCISSIST on black vinyl (Pass 'em out to friends. A perfect way to tell someone "I love you" or "You are very special to me"); your name in the album's liner notes; limited-edition album poster; white vinyl LP w/ signature and thank-you note; John's elementary school report card; signed drumhead; signed pair of drumsticks; free entry for you and one guest at album release show; digital D/L of album's demo version; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; exclusive album t-shirt; public thank-you on social media; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; in-person high five (high five reasonably ships within the US only)

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    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    I GOT THE HOOKUP — Free entry for you and one guest at all performances for an entire year, beginning with NARCISSIST release show; autographed photo of John Kay from album photo shoot; 3 copies of black vinyl LP; your name in the album's liner notes; limited-edition album poster; white vinyl LP w/ signature and thank-you note; John's elementary school report card; signed drumhead; signed pair of drumsticks; digital D/L of album's demo version; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; exclusive album t-shirt; public thank-you on social media; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; in-person high five (high five reasonably ships within the US only)

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    PARTY CRASHER — John Kay and his band will perform at your house or a friend's house -- they'll provide the entertainment, you just throw a party for your favorite people; free entry for you and one guest to performances for a year, beginning w/ NARCISSIST release show; autographed photo; 5 copies of black vinyl LP; your name in the album's liner notes; limited-edition album poster; white vinyl LP w/ signature and thank-you note; John's elementary school report card; signed drumhead; signed pair of drumsticks; digital D/L of album's demo version; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; exclusive album t-shirt; public thank-you on social media; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; in-person high five (high five reasonably ships within the US only)

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    LET'S MAKE A RECORD — John Kay will engineer, record and mix one of your best songs (under 4 minutes in length, please) for you or your band at his personal recording studio, Stu Stu Studio (Livonia, MI), and have it mastered professionally; free entry for you and one guest to performances for a year, beginning w/ NARCISSIST release show; autographed photo; 5 copies of black vinyl LP; your name in the album's liner notes; limited-edition album poster; white vinyl LP w/ signature and thank-you note; John's elementary school report card; signed drumhead; signed pair of drumsticks; digital D/L of album's demo version; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; exclusive album t-shirt; public thank-you on social media; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; in-person high five (high five reasonably ships within the US only)

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    GET YOUR AUDIO ON — John Kay will spend 2 days educating you in the fundamentals of audio engineering at his personal recording studio, Stu Stu Studio (Livonia, MI); free entry for you and one guest to performances for a year, beginning w/ NARCISSIST release show; autographed photo; 5 copies of black vinyl LP; your name in the album's liner notes; limited-edition album poster; white vinyl LP w/ signature and thank-you note; John's elementary school report card; signed drumhead; signed pair of drumsticks; digital D/L of album's demo version; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; exclusive album t-shirt; public thank-you on social media; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; in-person high five (high five reasonably ships within the US only)

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    I'M WITH THE BAND — John Kay will join your band for 2 days (Quick, book some studio time!); free entry for you and one guest to performances for a year, beginning w/ NARCISSIST release show; autographed photo; 5 copies of black vinyl LP; your name in the album's liner notes; limited-edition album poster; white vinyl LP w/ signature and thank-you note; John's elementary school report card; signed drumhead; signed pair of drumsticks; digital D/L of album's demo version; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; exclusive album t-shirt; public thank-you on social media; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; in-person high five (high five reasonably ships within the US only)

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    IT'S ALL ABOUT Y-O-U — John Kay joins your band for a month (Be ready to work HARD!!); John will write and record a 4-song EP entirely about YOU; you and John will go get matching outfits at the mall and make everybody very sad; lunch or dinner with John; free entry for you and one guest to performances for a year, beginning w/ NARCISSIST release show; autographed photo; 5 copies of black vinyl LP; your name in the album's liner notes; limited-edition album poster; white vinyl LP w/ signature and thank-you note; John's elementary school report card; signed drumhead; signed pair of drumsticks; digital D/L of album's demo version; "Not Too Proud To Apologize" bumper sticker; exclusive album t-shirt; public thank-you on social media; digital D/L of album (.WAV lossless format); exclusive D/L of "Not Too Proud To Apologize"; in-person high five (high five reasonably ships within the US only)

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Funding period

- (31 days)