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Left Over Blues MP3

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Item Number: VWPC-12-009-M.mp3


(Patrick von Wiegandt)

Left Over Sample

Patrick VW vocals, drums, bass, electric guitar

"Haunted" Harry Donahue B3 organ

Duane "Jean Luc" Padilla - violin

Recorded By: Patrick VW, Pierre Grill

Mixed by: Don Corrieri


This is the newest piece on the CD. I made it up over the 2011/2012 winter holiday in Hawaii. It's about a surf spot, on the North Shore of Oahu, called Left Overs. I surf there a lot during the winter months. It's been my favorite spot for the last few years. There's also a spot called Right Overs where the waves break to the right.

It's not crowded like a few of the other popular spots, mainly because you have to climb through a bunch of rocks and paddle around a reef so it looks like a pain in the butt to get out and I think people just pass it by. That's fine with me.

Left Overs is a really fun wave. It comes out of deep water and it takes both a north and a west swell. It's not one of the famous spots on the north shore and it doesn't get really big. It's ideal at 4 to 10 feet. I imagine some of the more regular guys who surf there might have different views. At any rate, I love the spot and the guys and gals who come out there are a good group. We have fun and are not aggressive with each other. There are plenty of waves to go around. The spot isn't really scary either but if you get stuck in the wrong spot on a bigger day you can get whacked around or held down. This get's your attention real fast and get's the blood flowing.

The line up is about 200-300 yards from shore. It's a nice easy paddle around the impact zone. When you get out there. The view is amazing. You can see the mountains to the west and the Waimea Bay churchtower to the north. The shore has all these beautiful homes and long sandy stretches with great black lava rocks spread around. Green hills sit right in front of you and the sky is usually an electric form of blue. I love to go very early, right after the sun starts to rise. Then, to top it off, there are many turtles out there and they pop up all over the place. If that ain't enough, there are many rainbows that appear regularly. The view alone is worth the paddle. The combination of the sights, sounds, smells and feeling of the warm water is overwhelming.and this is without event catching a wave. When I sit out there I sometimes think I am hallucinating and I always thank GOD for all the beauty He has splashed out on us.

Now... the waves. It's called Leftovers and Rightovers because, most of the time, the swell will break both ways and both sections can give you a really good ride. When it's bigger, the lefts usually are very fun and empty out into the channel so you can get away from the reef and paddle back out easily. The rights offer a great ride with a few really fun sections, but. The great big fat butt. But. If you take the last section (and it does call your name and beg you to enter) you run the risk of getting stuck inside when you finish. As you attempt to come back out, you can get stuck in front of the next set of waves and take a few on the head as they say. If you get really unlucky or dumb you can even end up in front of a section of reef just as you are about to get pounded by a set of waves. Now, short board riders would laugh at what I am writing because they can do a duck dive and basically dunk the wave. Us older guys, with longer boards just can't duck under and out the back of the waves so we are tied to an anchor that helps drag us down, backwards and slows everything down. As you are getting whacked on the head and diving under and dragged, you get more tired and worn as each wave pounds you, so if you have made the mistake of getting stuck exactly in the wrong spot at the wrong time well then, you can get whacked around for a while and it ain't fun. You also have to be careful not to get dragged into the reef. All of the older guys I know who surf there, have a story or two about getting the shit beat out of them on the inside or getting run into the reef.

So, my tale of woe is this. It was a good size day about 5-10 feet and I had surfed earlier and caught a lot of waves and had a blast. Late in the afternoon, I went back and looked and it was bigger, but very good shape. Very tempting. So I says to myself "even if I go out and catch only one wave, it would be worth it." I paddled out very easily through the channel and sat way outside waiting for the next big set. When it came, I turned and went on a beauty about 10 feet high from top to bottom. What the locals would call a 5 foot Hawaiian swell. I rode it for a long time and was weaving around - then I saw the last section and it was calling me and I quickly thought that if I went for it, I would get stuck inside and either have to go in or struggle to get back out and since I said that I was only gonna catch one, I decided to go for it. I rode into the next section, had a great ride and pulled out. It was an amazing ride I thought I was Kelly Slater. It's a wonderful high. So... being a junkie... I didn't even think about going in and instead turned to go back for more of the drug. And all was going well until I got nearly outside and a huge set, bigger than what I had just ridden, came rolling through. Of course, I was now right in the impact zone, tired from paddling hard and in front of the reef section.

Here they came. I've included a picture of me here about to get pounded at another spot called Flys. The waves at Leftovers look very much like this and are even a bit thicker. This photo shows me at exactly the wrong spot at the right time and this is what happened to me on this day just a bit bigger.

So I dove off the board, went down and got dragged a bit. No big deal. Then I got it again for about 4 or 5 waves and I'm getting dragged towards the reef and my surf shirt got wrapped around my head as I was under so I was getting a bit rattled. I finally got dragged inside and got out of the zone and got wisdom. I went in. But I was rattled and bothered that I had put myself in that spot. I know that It comes with the turf but every time you get a beating, you think what went wrong and how could I have avoided it hence the retrospect and long, drawn out dramatic story. In every surf horror story that I hear you are always alone. You know it and realize that you are at the mercy of the ocean for those 45 seconds. None of your friends can help you even if they are watching the whole thing unfold. It's a powerless feeling and it's also a great source of hilarity when you see your friends getting whacked while you are sitting a few yards away watching them scramble. We all get it.

Ok, enough set up? The song aint that good or as dramatic as my lies.. I mean my tale.

So, I was spending the winter at a friends home on the north shore and would surf a few times a day, come home, have lunch, take a nap, play music, go surf again. It was a very rough and demanding schedule. I had a guitar and was noodling around with a few riffs and the line came to me. "I got rainbows to the right of me and turtles to my left. A monster coming from the north, another one from the west. I better get outta of here or learn to hold my breath or get the Leftover blues again."

Could John Lennon, Dylan or Lady Gaga had written anything as profound? I think not. Now, this song was beginning to breathe. So, every time I'd go out there, I'd sing this to myself and I'd look for more inspiration hoping a turtle, dolphin or whale would swim up to me and sing a few lines. Well, a few of them did and I wrote it all down back at the house. Some of the other lines are taken from what people said to me in the water and others came from the spheres. I added the "tiger shark from the west" after a guy had been bitten there not too long ago.

I thought I should make the music sound watery and creepy so I cut a guitar track with a phaser sound that made it swirl. I then added bass and drums and brought it to my pal Harry Donahue and he added this creepy organ sound. I loved it.

Now I started recording vocal tracks and I wanted to make it sound like a narration/ poem not a real song lyric per se. I added the flange/phase sound to my voice and the whole thing sounded like it went underwater. Perfect. It set the tone.

I then called the Duane Padilla again and asked him to help out. He asked what the motivation should be (being the fine classical player that he is) so I said drowning and horror and he smiled and said ok he'd be happy to. He then played some wild stuff and Pierre added a lot of echo and delay and it reminded us of the great player Jean Luc Ponty - so we called Duane Jean Luc Padilla and had a blast. He said he would also add some whale type violin sounds (you know the kind that whales play in the symphony.) Well, he went nuts, we went nuts, the whale went nuts and I loved it. One of the weirdest and creepiest sounding pieces I had ever made.

I played the track for my friend Don Corrieri. He is a very good producer, engineer and mixer. He loved it and asked if he could do a mix of it. I was thrilled and he worked on it for a few days and really captured the magic I thought. I hope you enjoy it too. A few friends have said that it conjures up all sorts of images and the lyrics can be applied to a lot of different situations. Now, ain't that art?

So, that's the simple story. Someday. I'll tell you the long version.

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