"Never Forget" Live at Studio 99 in Nashua

It was about thirteen years ago (or so) that a jam in my friend Jon Martin's basement gave birth to the song "Never Forget". I wrote the lyrics, Andy Hicks (now the force behind The Pluto Tapes) provided the chord progression, and the rest of the band joined in. After a few takes, we had one of the best songs I ever wrote for the group.

A couple of years later, after the band had been broken up for sometime, Andy, Jon, and I were driving around the north shore of Massachusetts (at least I think that's where we were—it was dark). Andy had his guitar with him, and for one reason or another, we got around to talking about "Never Forget." He suggested a revision of the chord progression because the original version was too hard to play, and I started work on revising the second two verses (both of which were a little too riddled with in-jokes). It was the last time I'd ever play the song with him (at least so far).

A year or so after that, I set down to record an album for MP3.com under the moniker Pop Bubblegum Trash, and decided that the third verse I wrote on that evening with Andy and Jon still needed work. I rewrote it, and recorded a PBT version of the song that featured the original chord progression as a bassline, on top of which I layered stock guitar loops, a stock drumbeat, and some hastily recorded vocals.

I've never been satisfied with that version of the song, and I've ached to perform it again ever since. Well, this past November, during a Sunday evening of live piano karaoke at Studio 99 in Nashua, New Hampshire, Studio 99 mastermind (and our accompanist for the evening) Elise MacDonald made my dream come true by working her way through the progression while I sang a version of the song that finally lived up to my expectations (at least for now).

Singer/songwriter is one of those hats I rarely put on these days, but I do like the way it fits, and I'm sure I'll wear it again sometime soon.