The very first Valentine’s day I spent with my new wife, we were separated by a terrible snowstorm. I was living in a town in upstate New York, upon which I’ve based a lot of the geography and economic observations of Arcadia. I had a house there, empty except for myself and a couple of Maine Coon cats named Marvin K Mooney, named after the first Dr. Seuss book I ever loved, and Riff Raff, after the Rocky Horror Picture Show character.
The house had it’s charms, though — it had three bedrooms, and as I only had need of one, I’d turned the downstairs room into a studio, where I could play and record and no one would be bothered. There was something glorious about turning my vintage Vox amp up to full volume and just letting an E chord ring.
My wife still lived in Canada, and while we were trying to decide which of us was going to relocate, we lived in separate houses, and I made the three hour drive to see her as often as possible. But that February was full of terrible weather — I lived in a snow belt, which is basically the snowy version of Tornado Alley. You saw what happened to Buffalo a couple of months ago, well, picture that.
Valentine’s Day arrived, and I was supposed to drive up and see her — we were going to go to that wonderful Thai restaurant where we had gone on our first date — but I was snowed in.
I could talk to her on the phone, sure. She understood, and after all, didn’t want me risking the weather. But I wanted to do something for her, and it wasn’t like I was going anywhere.
So, I went into my studio, and I recorded a couple of songs for her. My electric guitar at the time was an orange Ibanez Artcore — a hollow bodied jazzy styled model that I bought because it reminded me of the Chet Atkins Gretsch, only was about half the price. The connector had a bit of a short or something, because when I was recording, it kept crackling. At the end of the day, I left it — it gave the recording a sort of vintage jazz record feel.
Here’s one of those tracks — Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Helena will be back soon.