Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A New One-Man Show

"On September 8, 2004, just weeks before the presidential election, CBS News anchor, Dan Rather had the proof that George W. Bush had a dubious military past. The documents he used as proof turned out to be fakes. But instead of apologizing, Dan blamed the Republicans.
"I'm Neal Fox, co-writer/producer of the theme music for the CBS Evening News With Dan Rather. For 13 years every time you would hear (plays theme) — cha-ching! Money would go into my pocket. Good money. I came to expect that money. Thank you, Dan."

These are the opening words of my new one-man musical revue, Thank You, Dan Rather.
For 15 years I was a partner in the company, Patterson, Walz & Fox. We did music for hundreds of commercials as well as themes for NBC, CBS, Fox and others.

I co produced the music and wrote some of the "bumpers" for Dan's show but my partner Rick wrote most of the main theme. We all went down as co-writers. That's the way we worked it. No matter which of the partners did the actual writing, we all shared in the BMI (airplay royalties).

So for 13 glorious years I got big fat checks from BMI four times a year. What a gig! Till Dan started making some big anchorman no-nos.

For the most part, I always hated writing music for clients. From the age of 16 I wanted to be a rock star. Write and record my own music. Sell albums and do concerts. By an unfortunate stroke of fate I ended up in the jingle biz. Then the checks started rolling in — and that's how they got me!

Now I could buy the computers, synthesizers, guitars and software I craved. Now I had the tools to make all the music I ever wanted to make. Except now I was working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, writing for CLIENTS. A real trap. I've got all this stuff—but no time to use it for me.

So, now in my 50s, I quit the jingle biz and decided to change careers. Back to my original dreams. Dan, however, got himself... let's say, he "left" CBS. Now the stakes are raised. The big checks will stop very shortly. That will leave me with almost zero income. Everything depends on succeeding with my new career. Will it be a success, or will I be looking for a job as a Greeter at Wal-Mart?

Stick around. This blog will chronicle the adventure from the beginning: selling our house, moving to Florida, looking for a theater and all it takes to make the show a success.

Click on the link below to hear the opening song and get familiar with the show. Then read the posts in order. Hope to see you at the theater in a few months.


(Next Post)

(Click here to hear "Dan, You Da Man", the opening song from the show)