A friendship made via Mac, Internet, and Beer.
Back in the late 1990‘s, we were running OS 8 and 9 on our Macintosh computers. There was Kaleidoscope (a little system altering app that would change your system icons and window colors); well I downloaded a few schemes named: Hannah‘s Super Grey, 1984, Cecil - Episode I, Cecil II - The Revenge, CECIL III - Final Consequence, and MadMac, along with many others, but these schemes were made by an author named Geoffrey Hamilton.
Now understand most of these creations were done by people in Japan, New York, and other far away places from my little spot on this large planet, but if there is something that I see that I know has some greatness to it I would let the company or individual know, whether it is software, a product, service, or even written; I would find a way to let them know my appreciation for it — I am a huge Shareware fan. Now with that in mind, I looked at his bio of information that came with the scheme and saw he had a website (no longer there), and browsing the content I notice that he mentioned that he hung out at Borders in Roseville. Was that Roseville California? Yes it was.
I contacted him and he came up for the brewfest and we became good friends.
Hour of Life
© 1999 Geoffrey Hamilton & Gerald Martin Davenport
Gerald‘s Story: updated December 14, 2013
I though this would be the perfect opportunity to work with Geoffrey, since I wanted to write a song with him for quite sometime. Although he never actually wrote or recorded a song before, he agreed to try it.
Since Geoff worked odd hours and lived in Sacramento, it was hard for us to get together; therefore, his first draft, that was sent to me via e-mail, fit so well with the music that I had started writing. I told Geoff that was perfect and enough to write two songs, he still sent me more. The first draft was basically the song with a little rearranging. He wanted to hear it; writing lyrics to a melody and rhythm that you have not heard is tough, although I have never tried it, Geoff did well, very well in fact. We only had one minor change in the chorus.
I am proud and honored to have been able to write with Geoff, we have written other things together since. He his quite talented and a very good friend.
The song is 3:20 long and was a hit in the movie and added another dimension, it is like they were made for each other. Sean cut it in several places and the visuals were stunning with the music.”
Geoff's Story (August 28, 2002)
“Gerry asked me to say a few words about writing Hour of Life. I hadn‘t done any song writing prior to this, which is the reason this little project interested me. I approached the writing the same way I‘d start a poem or short story — I wrote every thought that came into my head. A few pages later, I stopped to sift through the endless ramblings and garbage. One phrase, “…for another hour of life…” stood out. We eventually crafted the song around that phrase.
I have a problem with songwriting — the rhyme and meter expected of a pop song often leads to a songwriter trying to satisfy musical requirements at the expense of storytelling. Compromise is the only real solution for a hack like myself (after all, I‘m not Sting) but finding that level of lyrical compromise is a difficult thing. I could easily write a song with a powerful story and no musical sense, or a nice ditty with no meaning.
This is where Gerry comes in. He prevented me from wandering off into musical badlands with frequent suggestions and critiques. In the end, I think the song works well for the movie it was written for and is highly listenable. Gerry's music suprised me — I had no clue as I wrote lyrics what the finished song would sound like. Now, after a couple years passed, I still like hearing it and playing it.
© 2001 Geoffrey Hamilton: Poem & Gerald 'Gerry' Davenport: Music
“Sometime ago, while Geoffrey and I would drink, play video games, and write music, he said to me, “Gerry, I'm going to put my CD Evil Breakfast together of poetry, and I want to put music to it.” I thought that would be interesting but never thought about it until he called me and said he was coming up, and wanted me to put music to his poem called “the movies.”
The day was long, but fun. He recorded his poem first so I could get an idea of what it was about and the pacing. He talked about what he was thinking of, but it was up to me, since I was the musical director.
After it was all put together, we were just messing around and I said that we should do an audio commentary like there is on most DVD‘s. I hit record and the rest his history. It took us several tries to finish it because we would die laughing. Geoffrey was the one who kept it together, I was the main one who couldn't keep a straight face.“
Geoff's Story (August 28, 2002)
This was an easy poem to write. Earlier in the evening, I had taken a lovely young woman on a ‘movie and dinner’ date. I teased her relentlessly the entire time. When we arrived at the movie theater, I pulled my truck into a parking space, killed the engine and waited. She sat, waiting patiently for me. I turned and said, "We‘re here, get out of the truck!" She spun around in her seat yelling what became the first line of the poem.
The poem has never been edited for content, only spelling.
oh no you don‘t
I know how this is supposed to work.
when the plane takes off
it takes off without you!
we watch it climb
into the evening sky
from the tarmac
and when the sun sets
we ride into the flame
and when the car leaves the reception
tin cans trail on the strings in its wake
a bell rings and an angel gets its wings
you tap your ruby slippers together
and come home to me
my horse talks us into marrying
a ship rescues us from our lifeboat
we save the world from the evil super-genius
we vow to rebuild our town after a natural diaster
I shoot the corrupt sheriff and you reopen your whorehouse
Laurel and Hardy make a cameo appearance
the whole town is here
everyone from the lab
some secret agents
and all our freinds are here
and they're smiiling
patting our backs
and when we embrace
the musical score crescendos
The Movies: Commentary