A couple times a year I meet someone at a party, a show, or even here here in the Halls of Rock, get into a deep conversation about music, and then get around to asking this music lover what instrument he or she plays. “Oh, I can’t play an instrument,” the person tells me, “I’ve got no rhythm!”
I usually don’t say much, but inside I’m blown away that this person who knows so much about the music he or she loves, maybe even knows some of the music theory behind it, claims to have absolutely no ability to play any instrument, not even poorly. You’ve got hands, I want to say, you’ll find some kind of rhythm! Maybe I shouldn’t be so idealistic, or presumptuous, but I’d like to hear every music lover take a crack a playing an instrument. I’d like to hear ever music lover’s song, or if not actually hear it know that it’s out there. File Under “Freak Flag.”
Earlier this year Townsman sammymaudlin told me about a new design project he was kicking off for a friend’s album cover and website. The story behind the debut album by Chris Amodeo was like something out of a Hollywood adaptation of an Oliver Sacks book: middle-age Master Rolfer (a body-centered form of psychotherapy) and voiceover artist buys his first guitar at a fundraiser for the dying son of his friends, begins playing Beatles songs to his own kids, is encouraged by his wife to write a song for their son, and soon thereafter is flooded with the gift of songwriting. Song ideas invade his activities of daily living. Less than two years after first picking up a guitar Amodeo is playing his songs for friends at some Oliver Stone-worthy shindig, where it is determined he must enter a studio and record an album of his songs. The resulting album, Homo Luminous, is not just an inspiring testament to a middle-age dog learning new tricks but an accomplished, melodic album of songs expressing the spirit and hopes of a grown man.
In anticipation of his November 20th show at The Coach House, in San Juan Capistrano, CA, I spoke to Chris about his latent awakening as a musician and songwriter, the making of the album, and his recent success in turning our mutual friend, The Back Office’s sammymaudlin, onto the elusive charms of Be Bop Deluxe. We concluded our chat with a round of Dugout Chatter and by looking forward to the completion of voiceover work this VH1 Behind the Music veteran is doing in support of a future Rock Town Hall initiative.