FOR THE ORDINARY MAN
ALL MEN AND WOMEN BECOME EXTRAORDINARY WHEN THEY TAKE ACTION.
I had to decide on the musical arrangement. Tim would offer me
3-6 variations. He was a master.
Adding layers of percussion
“Rock and Roll's simple, don’t mess it up”
Not Tim Ellis’ exact words but his message to me. As I took notes out, songs took off. This song was one of those the band nailed on the first pass. The magic is the musical arrangement Tim and I carved out.
WHAT IS MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT?
How full are the drums? What type of electric guitar sound? How much keyboards, when and what type? This and more was the musical arrangement. Tim would describe it as follows. The artist, me, was the architect. He was the general contractor managing the subcontractors and the interior decorator picking the curtains and carpet and blinds and paint. Many great bands have one guy who knows all the riffs and great licks of all time and how all the greatest musical arrangements were done. And as a result, could invent an arrangement in moments pulling various elements together in his head in an inspirational blink. That was Tim Ellis my producer, musical arranger and lead and rhythm guitarist.
DEVELOPING MY UNIQUE SOUND
Tim Ellis said he wanted to embellish me with the music. He’d say “Don’t change the way you want to sing it, the music will form around you.” Listen to the last note of Tim Jensen’s Saxophone and my spoken word VOTE on the song Protest And Vote. It sounds like I’m the sax because my voice is so low, and the music formed around it. Tim Ellis gave this song a timeless feel of the Byrds folk vibe that’s why it feels so warm. He also matched the music to the emotion of the song. He was a master. He put in and doubled a great guitar riff which makes the musical hook of the song. Troy Welstad on keyboards is like a great Ringo Star, but on piano. He can knock out amazing solo’s but he thoughtfully gives each song what it needs. His piano stands out on this song.
The pressure I was always fretting about which 14 songs we’d prep to make and squeeze in on a two-day band recording session. I was in prolonged agony of eeny meeny miny mo because you never really know which ones will take off in studio production. I always had about 40 songs prepped at a time but had to wait about six months to get a studio band session because Tim was so booked and he didn’t really get the 100 song rock opera zeitgeist until I came up with the opera name REDEEM THE DREAM, The Rock Opera to Save America. At that point, he made more time to help me finish the opera. I loved this song when I wrote it and knew its meaning, but after it came out so well, I realized it was the soul of the opera. Because I made the opera for 300 ordinary hard working men and women that make America run every single day. It captures our daily struggle to make our lives better.
IN THE STUDIO WITH ADRIAN
Making of the Song "For the Ordinary Man"
ABOUT ADRIAN'S SONG: FOR THE ORDINARY MAN
This may be one of the easiest songs I’ve ever written: it just poured out of my heart.
Two recessions ago my family’s economics were hit VERY hard. We were out of money, the cupboards were bare, my wife threatened to leave if I didn’t find a job. I had 3 small children under 5. I had been applying for jobs online and in person for over six months. I was over qualified for many positions and passed over even though I was willing to accept entry level wages. I was 45. I’d walk up the stairs to wake the kids in the morning after being up for hours scouring the job ads online and my 5 year old son would be walking down the steps. We’d both stop so we could look eye to eye. I’d stare into the love pouring out of his heart. His big brown loving eyes would just melt me. I’d think of all the things I wanted to share with him. Staring into those big brown eyes, I promised myself: I’d make it right again, one foot after the other, and I would keep moving forward! I found a job in a city 3 hours away, and had to sleep in my office or car.
After six months of that crazy mayhem, I was able to get a job near my home and be with my family every night. From the day I got that job, my career soared way beyond expectations. I’d never been more focused and motivated in my life.
Still, as the song says “…the worrying never ends, for the ordinary man”. When you have a rigged political and financial system working hand in hand due to their having passed laws which legalized buying politicians, effectively stealing the American dream…you know something is going to give.
Unfortunately, I believe it’s only going to get much worse for the ordinary man over 10-15 years without real action, which is why I spent 5 years producing this opera.
I want to help reverse what I see coming: Pension plans for 100 million retiring baby boomers will take up more and more of operating budgets of States and Companies. Either the services we get will decrease, and taxes will go up, and/ or our out of pocket expenses will go up. Regardless, the amount of benefit from taxes we pay will continue to go down. Of course we could always have China foot the bill with more debt, which only makes the problem worse. Or we could endlessly print money, so that we end up with a 1920’s German economy collapse. At some point the American dollar will be worth nothing.
So let’s all have a little mental revolution I am proposing and have the people take back control of government by getting money out of politics. If we don’t, the ordinary man’s standard of living will continue to decrease and his worrying will never end.
I love this song; my heart’s in it. I feel for the ordinary man. I am one.
What are your concerns for your economic future?
Why are you worried?
What can you do about it?
LYRICS: FOR THE ORDINARY MAN
Words and Music by ADRIAN
So hard to understand, how things fall apart so fast
One minute I'm having wine, the next I'm running for my life
Never got good explanations, for all the economic devastations
Seems to be the Gods shouting, “If you want to live, you better fight!”
And I promised myself, I'd make it right again
So I'm doing everything I can
The worrying, it never ends, for the ordinary man
My lot is what I make it. I can live in fear and hide
Or feel like a lotto winner. All a man’s got is his voice and his pride
It's not a real guerilla war, even though it swings like one
Beating back flying monthly bills
Watching patiently as our Democracy continues to grow ill
Hold-on to the Freedoms we love, cause they’re all on the run
Let’s save America, with both hands, while we still can
So now I play my music loud, loud as I can
You can spot me dancing down the street, cause I finally understand
I might be a modern cave man, in Nike sandals and shades
But when a man’s busy saving his country,
It’s he, it's he, that's being saved