Some songs are born from a little riff, a lyric or a group of chords, but my favorite songs are the ones that come out of a spontaneous jam. There really is nothing cooler than the ability of a group of musicians to all be on the same page and be able to work out what could almost be a completed song through a single jam session. Such is the story with this week’s Flashback Friday.
A New Year had just begun. It was now 1991, and I was now living in the city of Hacienda Heights, in California. After leaving the band New Day, and my latest band attempt, Fable, had not been as successful as I would have liked. The group couldn’t seem to find a bass player, or a lead vocalist. Where the band did flourish was it’s music. Dave and I stretched the boundaries of our songwriting with a number of pretty interesting tunes. But we weren’t able to keep the fire burning. So it was decided to end the project. We would walk away on good terms, but there would now be a musical void in my life.
With no official projects at hand, I spent most of my time just writing more songs, and trying to teach myself to sing. Then one fateful night, a chance viewing of my favorite cable access TV show, Hollywood Showcase for Bands, would change everything.
My first band, New Day had competed on the show, “Hollywood Showcase for Bands” the previous year, and had somehow managed to make it all the way to the show’s top ten a year later. These final ten bands would compete in a sort of ‘battle of the bands’. With the winning band taking home over $12,000 in cash and prizes. Unfortunately, there was no longer a band called New Day. I had left the band a while back. Then the band itself just dissolved. I didn’t have a band any longer either. Fable had also seen its demise. So watching the show. I laughed at the irony. All that work and no band to compete in the showcase.
It wasn’t until the next morning when I thought, if I didn’t have a band to compete in this showcase, why not put one back together. I would call Dave, Rob and Xavier and see if they would all be willing to be the ‘New’, New Day. Their answers were a resounding, yes!
The reunion was pretty cool initially, and out of it was born a number of new tunes. One of them was the song ‘Winter’. The song was literally created in a single take.
We had all gotten together at my place (now in Claremont, California) for our first rehearsal and a bit of a reunion.
Once we finished working on some of the old tunes we would perform for the battle of the bands showcase. It was after the rehearsal, Rob had left, and Dave, X and I continued to jam. Dave was messing around with sounds on his effects unit. He found one patch that ignited instant inspiration.
Dave would give the song life with his cool guitar lick. The song had a very ‘Yes, 90125 ‘ sound. Xavier feeling the song began playing some pretty cool drums to it and I would layer some warm keyboard pads. The song just fell together and would eventually be completed by the whole band and be moved into our music setlist.
Sadly for the ‘new’ New Day. The fire would not last for long. After only two performances as the band would again part ways. We unfortunately would not compete in the showcase finale after all. Personalities and creative differences would be the band’s demise. But we did leave with a few cool tunes in our pocket, and one of those is today’s Flashback Friday. So without any further ado. I present the ‘new’, New Day, song, Winter.
The three tracks below include: the first original rough take of the song ‘Winter’. The second track is an additional take of the song. The last track is the actual reunion of Dave, Rob X and Ed.
*Also included is my 1996 re-imagined studio version of the song.
- Winter (Reunion Talk) Ed Melendez 0:38
- Winter (Jamm 1) Ed Melendez 9:40
- Winter (Jamm 2) Ed Melendez 4:56
- Winter (ReImagined) Ed Melendez 5:30