On this Beastie Boys new album release day, today’s links are about gratitude—proper respect to early supporters of TheBasisPoint, and proper appreciation for artists who’ve inspired my work ethic and creative drive for 25 years.
I already posted their entire new album stream, and I’ll comment after I buy the album in an actual store. But today I offer Gratitude, a song from 1992’s Check Your Head. Punk delivered as funk, a song 12 years in the making, with lyrics written in my NorCal homeland. Back story and killer video below.
SHOUTS TO THEBASISPOINT’S EARLY SUPPORTERS
–Alex Correa: Architect, voice of simplicity 1
–Dennis Pettigrew: King of UI, voice of simplicity 2
–Vance Hickin: Creative advisor, living embodiment of “Come With Tech”
–Rob Santwer: Creative advisor, voice of simplicity 3
–Rob Chrisman: Former mortgage banking colleague, current writing partner
-Jamie and Joy: Glue of our branch team
-Brandon, Dan, Dick, Brian: Core of our LO team. Also Dick is a writing partner.
–Bob Dadurka: Consigliere, mastermind
–Rob Hirt: Heart and soul of retail mortgage banking
-Ben, Jim, Jenny, Elise, Jen: Five-person marketing army
-Caitlin: Wife who makes it (all) possible
–Sugarleg: Sister and tireless supporter
-Brad R: Market version of Genius Bar 1
-Greg F: Market version of Genius Bar 2
-Dan B: Market version of Genius Bar 3
–Blair Swedeen: Musical and sales advisor 1
–Bondo: Musical and sales advisor 2
-Nancy G: Creator of BookBuilder, the OG financial services marketing machine
–Andrew Berman: Editor, National Mortgage Pro. Early appreciator of my random pop culture references.
[Originations is daily, I’ll shout you out if I forgot today…just let me know]
ADAM YAUCH ON CREATING ‘GRATITUDE’ (from Anthology liner notes)
The bass line was something that I had made up early on as I was learning to play the bass, maybe around 1980. I think it grew out of a pedal that I’d acquired called a “Super Fuzz,” and the tone of the box begged the line.
In late ’87, in the aftermath of Licensed To Ill, we decided to take a little break. I bought a Fostex reel-to-reel 8-track and started writing songs with a friend named Tom Cushman. Tom reminded me about the old bass line. I fount the Super Fuzz, and we wrote a song around it. The song was called “Gratitude.” That version was over an 808 drum machine that had me signing on it.
One day at G-Son, around ’91 or ’92, as we were working on the Check Your Head album, Adam H. was running late, so Mike and I started jamming. I had the Super Fuzz plugged in and began to play the “Gratitude” bass line. I showed Mike the arrangement and we recorded the basic structure of the song.
One nice thing about G-Son was that we had all our instruments lying around, and Mario had mics everywhere. So there was a certain spontaneity about recording there. If something sounded half decent, Mario would mix it live off the board to the DAT. If it sounded good he could start rolling the 24-track.
The arrangement of “Gratitude” got taped on the 24-track. Horovitz came in later and put down the guitar parts. I tried doing the lyrics that I’d done on the 8-track demo version, but they didn’t sound right. The song got put on the shelf with about a million other half-finished things.
About a year later, we began to realize that the problem with the album we were working on was that although we had lots of interesting music, there were little or no lyrics on anything. I guess in the process of deciding that we wanted to say more positive things in our lyrics, we’d inadvertently cut out the band’s tongue.
We decided to go on a lyric-writing excursion. The thought being that if the five of us (Mike, Adam H., Mario, Mark and I) were separated from our individual lives, maybe we’d get the ball rolling. Mario put instrumental versions of all the songs we were hoping to write lyrics for on cassette. We packed up a portable cassette 4-track and a microphone and flew up to San Francisco. From there we rented a mini-van and drove north along the coast. We help up in a secluded beach house. (It was winter, so there wasn’t any swimming).
During that trip Horovitz played the instrumental version of “Gratitude” several times. He had an idea, that he wanted to try singing on it, a flow for the words to fall into, and song began to take shape.
A few days later we drove back to San Francisco. We were staying the night in a hotel before catching a plane back down to LA. We received a phone call. David Scilken, a good friend, was dead.