When we first started working together, Ronan was nine years old. At our first meeting he said he wanted to write a three-part song called “Snakes Versus the Earth,” which we did.

Wanna hear it? Maybe we’ll make it a music NFT down the road. 555

[To explain “555,” the “LOL” of Thailand, “ha” is the Thai word for the numeral five. Learning how to count in Thai has been quite useful to me these last few years. Thai language also has words that change the multiples to 1M and beyond, but because I have little occasion to use them in everyday language, they’ve not yet stuck to my brain.]

We also wrote some other songs, “Elliot Brand (Order of the Time),” and “Fake Tornado” come to mind. The predictably juvenile “EAF” concerned a near-disaster involving an airline pilot that was “extremely allergic to farts.” There is an unfinished sequel to that as well.

Our creative process was a little different back then. Ronan would come to the music school for his regular session, and always have some kind of story or drama to unfold, excitedly or matter-of-factly, it did not matter. I took notes, and the next week came back with a recap of the story he’d told in more or less song or verse form. That’s usually about as far as it went. I recorded a few things on my mobile. We performed a couple of times at the monthly student showcase.

At that time, I also hosted “Exceptional Saturdays,” a music circle for special needs youth. Ro was a bit too shy to put himself in the midst of that group, which is why we began private lessons. He may or may not get over his reluctance to perform. Time will tell, I suppose.

It seems more likely to happen as the Josephmooon songs become a bigger part of his life. I know he practices them because he sings the finished versions word for word. They are his words, after all, despite the editing and song-ifying that happens after he sends them my way.

Now, of course, he is able to use his iPad to write lyrics himself, and email them to me. I put each one in a folder and review them for song potential. There are four WIPs (works in progress) on my music stand at the moment, and it’s probably not sharing too much to offer up the titles – “Her Smile,” “Just Do It,” “Why Did We,” and “Can’t Be Beat.” Looking forward to hearing how they turn out!

So, 30 days before the official release of “So Far So Good,” we’re already thinking about what music critics love to call the “sophomore effort.”

In the meanwhile, there is still a lot of promotional work to do. Like asking you to pre-order. 555

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Published by billpaige

Interested parties are first directed to my memoir, “Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars” (Eckhartz Press). While I have taken music therapy classes and read extensively about music’s effect on the brain, I am NOT professionally trained -- just a music lover who recognizes that everyone benefits from music. Giving that gift to special needs youth is highly rewarding, but again, my process is intuitive, not academic. I draw largely on personal experience. I’ve spent most of my 67 years observing a wide world of music, from working as a music critic professionally for 20 years, and holding positions in music companies in the 1970s and 1990s. Since 1990, however, I have focused on learning more about music and improving as a singer, guitarist, and performer, both solo and in ensemble settings.

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