25 years after losing Jon, I had a crazy dream about playing a song that was dedicated to him. Over the next year that dream became reality.
“Jonathan“ words and music copyright 2017/2021 by JD Walker. Registered BMI. All rights reserved. Not to be used, duplicated, or shared in any public or private way without prior written permission of the author.
The Inspiration Behind The Music
In the Fall of 2016, my then 2- 1/2-year-old granddaughter, asked me to play a song for her on my guitar, which I had not picked up in almost 25 years, we fiddled around and made some fun lyrics up and she clearly was enamored by it.That same night, I had a vivid dream that my old Orange County band was playing the Hollywood bowl, and for my solo I had an old neighborhood young lady singer come up and sing the song that is now "Jonathan.", I had helped her buy her first guitar at 13 or 14, and she became an amazing vocalist - Casey Campbell.
The dream was extremely real, and I woke up at 2:30 AM, went straight to my desk, and penned the lyrics completely, knowing exactly how the song should go. It was unreal.
I spent several months trying to find people to record me, and met a young man through my young lady singer friend Casey, ( Who was the singer in the dream), this young man, Tyler Mount, was 24 or 25, and going to school to be a recording engineer, and he agreed to record me. It was awful, I never recorded acoustically before, only electric, and I choked to death on everything, but Tyler finally helped me put it together, although I could not get Casey to sing this song in the way I envisioned, with a Janis Joplin/Melissa Etheridge tone, although she did sing it and did it well.
We found a country singer named Andee Hale, who came in and just killed it, she was spectacular, and Tyler ended up playing both drums and bass on the song as well - and brought the song to life. Listen to the "Andee" take, which was the original recording, and listen to her amazing fill-ins and tonal abilities.
A year later, A crazy thing happened, I literally lost most of my eyesight overnight and became what I call "optically challenged". It actually happened in three stages, but in the end I could see virtually nothing out of my right eye and my left eye was very very poor. I lost most of my depth perception and cannot focus on anything at all, needless to say this was a life-changing event. After getting over the whiny, "why me" and then feeling sorry for myself, and finally realizing this was not going to change, I started playing my acoustic really hard, writing new songs again, good ones, based on my experiences, friends, and family.
I had written a few tunes, especially one near and dear to me inspired by my then 2 yr old grandson Connor, and we called it "baby boy" after him, but it's really about having my own children, but Tyler was committed and could not help me, and a search for a new engineer began. A jumping buddy of mine, Aniz Rasslan, (he has 16,000+ jumps, military special ops free fall trainer) by chance was talking with another father at a kids event and found out he was a drummer, Greg Rodriguez. He agreed to help me, after finding out about my vision issue, and through Greg I was turned on to another amazing musician, who had his own studio, Troy Storm. Troy and Greg both could play for anybody, and I mean anybody. It's impressive and very humbling to be able to have worked with them!
It was painful psychologically trying to play with my vision and my depth perception issue, which was still pretty new to me, in front of this incredible musician who agreed to help me, but his patience saw it through and we recorded the song, and the young lady singer I had found, Kirstin Plambeck, came in the studio and blasted it out in like 30 minutes. Both Troy and I were blown away, she was the voice I always wanted, and I am absolutely thrilled with her vocal on Jonathan - listen for yourself, its on the music page.
I struggled with back and leg pain and numbness from my old accident with Jonathan, and finally on June 3, 2019, at the end of recording "baby boy", I had a major surgery which opened up 6 vertebrae in my mid back and had 2 - 10" rods installed across 6 vertebrae, to say it was nothing short of a major bitch is an understatement. The initial recovery was awful, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I could not move, even breathe, for weeks, and wore a back brace for almost 4 months. My poor wife went through hell through all of it, she is the toughest woman I know, and as I write this I am just starting to become somewhat mobile again.
My mission now is to share the music and continue to write and hopefully play, I could not have done any of this without these incredible musicians who helped me do this, to me they are true saints. I can't say enough about these incredible, classy people......bless you all.
Watch for more music and videos to come as I work to find ways to fund studio time and equipment.