Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rocket Ship, Oh Rocket Ship

One year ago today, Michael, wrote the rough draft for the lyrics of the song "Rocket Ship," below. He recorded it the next day and made a movie of himself playing it a few days later. I'd like to post the movie to UTube, with Kevin's help. It seems like an proper anniversary for the song. It is a heart breaker, but a great song. It speaks to his strong will to fight and to win his battle, "If I can't beat then I'll out-run it." Would that he could have.

I found this image with the music. It is the Bracket Park Rocket Ship, as it is today. It has been moved from its original location, enhanced and is now an art object, but it was originally part of the children's playground at Bracket Park, in south Minneapolis.

In 1970, Michael's father and I looked at and decided to buy a house in the Seward Neighborhood. We took Michael, age 3, and Kevin, age 4, to see the new house, which they loved, and on our way back to our rental in Bloomington, we drove past this rocket. We stopped and made our two children very happy by letting them explore it for what seemed like hours. It seemed a good omen that the home and the neighborhood would be a good place for children to grow up in. And it was.

Rocket Ship

©Michael Matheny @1/31/12
Key of D (Mandola capoed in 2)

            D                       G         D
Rocket-ship, rocket-ship

        G                             D       A
Just close the hatch and hit the switch

D                            G        D
Rocket-ship OH, rocket ship

G                       D              A
Carry me away, fly me a-way

D                            G        D
Rocket-ship, rocket ship

                G    A    D
Take me far, far a-way


(X) (X) (X) (X)  -  -  -

D                             G           D      
Out past Mars, and out past Ju-pi-ter
D                                A          D
Faster than light and gaining speed
D                                G        D
If I can’t beat it then I’ll out-run it  ^
D                         A              D
I’ll go so fast, it can’t catch me

I’ll fly round the earth, Just like Superman
Spin it ‘round, turn back time
Rocket-ship OH, rocket-ship
Send me to a better time

They say I can’t change, what I can’t change
What’s done is done and set in stone
(But if)  I can go back, I’ll make them see   ^
I’ll grab a chisel, and shatter that stone

(Lead (S))

                    G     C           A
But what if I -- came --- back (…)
                   G        C      A
And it was all…  the… same (…)
                  G         C    A
I couldn’t make it go away (…)

Would you still
                  F#m (?)
Would you still
Would you still (…)
love me


(Possible Acapella chorus)

Possible 3rd Chorus

End:  (X) (X) (X) (X)  -  -  -

P.S. I shared this with LoJo Russo today. She made me aware of the significance of the date. Thank you for that, LoJo, and for your love and support. She too, thought that we could handle seeing this now, I truly hope so. He changed the lyrics somewhat in the movie, making it even more poignant. I hope it is a good thing for all of you to see and hear him and remember how much we miss him. I'd love to hear your comments.

Posted by Marilyn (eclector2), Michael's Mom

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

El Dorado posted to Youtube

I've posted Michael's recording of El Dorado to Youtube.

It's hard to watch. He looks good, and he sounds good. It reminds me of what I have lost, and it makes me cry. It's beautiful, and I am so glad he recorded it, because at least we still have this.

Michael's Music Legacy

Just before Christmas, I was exploring Michael computer and I found the following note from him to us. It was dated February 20, 2012:

Faced with the harsh reality of a serious cancer diagnosis in 2010, I began to realize that none of us will be here forever. In early 2012, while undergoing chemotherapy and taking advantage of good days and nights as they came, I slowly began working on cataloging and archiving all the songs and tunes that I have written. I also include a few covers (obscure and not so obscure) that I play. I will note which songs are mine and which I have covered. 
Some songs also appear on various recordings here and there, and some are seen here for the first time. Many of these are songs that no one -- not even those closest to me or my bandmates -- have heard me play. I thought it would be nice to get them down, just for the record. 
The video is terrible, and is captured using the built-in iSight camera in my Mac into PhotoBooth. The audio, which is all that matters anyhow, was captured using a Zoom h4n stereo recorder, linked via USB to the desktop. The recordings will not be perfect, and are usually single takes. 
I retain copyright to all of my own songs, and likewise I also copyright the arrangements of my covers.

His movies and the recordings were not new to me, but now I understood them. It was really important for him to capture his music, to have it live on, and to share with us. There was already plan for a CD that was nearly completed, but with these new recordings there will be enough music for perhaps 2 CD's. 

Ray and Jen and Kevin and I are greatly motivated to help Michael see those dreams realized. Ray will do his sound engineering magic with the recordings that Michael has left and other musicians, like Matt Ogden, will help and there will be soon be more Michael music recordings that we can all enjoy.

And it is a joy, I made a CD of his new recordings and played it all through Christmas and New Years. It was a balm to my sad spirit. I had a wonderful moment while napping on the day before Christmas. Mike S. played Michael's CD for me as I was dosing off and I thought "Oh, how wonderful, Michael is here." Almost, but not quite. But it was beautiful and I was so happy for a moment.

There are several of his movies that Kevin and I want to share on You Tube. The first one we will put up as a present to all of us. He is singing "Eldorado" and he looks so great, the way we want to remember him.

Best wishes to you, his friends and family, in the new year and thank you for loving him and helping to keep the sweet memories of him alive.

Michael's Mom