My upper “goal” in the '80s, was to move to Toronto from the west, and "win" a coveted Recording Contract, based on the demo tracks included on this page. I had hoped to record these demos “for real”; in a dedicated studio with real musicians and release them with the help of the Record Company, to ultimately then be played on the Radio… just like Billy Joel and Elton John.
I didn't know it at the time, but in the 1970s, the Billy Joel band with Liberty Devitto (drums) and the Elton John band wtih Nigel Olsson (again drums) - they were at the top of their careers in that brief time period, one that was lost when both drummers (and bass players) were subsequently "let go" for no understandable reason... their bands had made incalculable contributions to what are now classic recordings that still sound powerful and inspiring... Billy & Elton had something magically intangible going on with their bands in those years that drew me like a moth to their flame... myself and millions of others.
It's most obvious when you listen to the early recordings of these bands and then compare it to the music that is popular now... it's clear in hind sight how fragile and difficult it is to achieve an artistic nirvana while retaining something resembling an intact, unaffected ego.
And I haven't yet mentioned the Beatles; they were "ground zero" for me, and endured the same eventual implosion...
Still, it all seemed financially rational at the time, back in the day… but timing is everything because as it turned out, I was "coming up" through a "golden age" - a time when there was more of a "craft" to Songwriting, music had actual "scarcity" and even (dare I say it) a sense of "purpose".
Eventually the Big Day did arrive; I was offered an actual Record Contract. I was there in the Toronto office of the Record Company and I had read over the fine print in their contract. I asked how I was ever going to pay back the cost of recording, touring and promotion from the few pennies per dollar stated in the contract. He pointed to a pile of paper on his desk and flatly answered; “there are so many more behind you; you either take or leave it”. I left it. It's hard to argue if that decision was correct, because things are so much better now, equally worse, and very different.
By then Robin King at Sheridan College had introduced me to the Internet. No one else I knew had even heard about the internet at that point in the early 80's, and I thought I was in on a secret (!) When I saw this David Bowie interview in 2000, he confirmed enough for me back then to think that artistic independence was achievable on the Internet. Independence was definitely the primary reason GoodMedia was built for… and David Bowie, well, he was awesome… and is still missed.
Not so long ago, the only way to hear the hit recording that totally rocks your world, was to buy it, along with a dedicated audio system to play it on, or wait beside an AM or FM radio for hours until it played on the local radio station's rotation… and if you were there at just the right time, with your fingers on the buttons to record it, you could then play your song until the tape wore out. Sounds a bit crazy, right ? Sure, but it was also a lot of fun and it felt real, like you were catching a wave...
It’s been a very long journey and during that time most everything about the “Record Industry” has completely changed. While Client and Server machines have taken on many forms over the years, audio recording and playback technologies have more radically changed; all the physical recording equipment used in the recordings and images on this page are largely obsolete and irrelevant; now brilliantly modeled and simulated as 64-bit plugins running in Logic Pro, LUNA and Pro Tools on my Apple computer, the same one used to code this web site. Stunning changes.
So instead of recording songs every day, the business goal of my little recording company; GoodMedia gradually had to evolve into building the machines and network infrastructure to independently distribute and sell my own tracks world wide from a Toronto data center, using my own rack of server machines.
Toward that end result, GoodMedia has a huge capacity, but also then; the very same technology has enabled us all to share music files for free… to end all "scarcity"; pretty much overnight, and forever; no way to ever put the streaming genie back in the bottlle....
There are even plugins to simulate the dreaded tape hiss and saturation of the tape recorders that every "pre-digital" artist used.
I now have the processing power and technical freedom to record anything that I can possibly think of, and so too of course, does everyone else, all over the world…
Music is a commodity; Spotify, Apple and the like, now offer over one hundred million songs available to stream anytime, from anywhere, and as many times as you want, with basically zero effort.
That's more music than you can ever possibly experience in one lifetime, even if you were to play their catalog endlessly, all your entire life, and only ever once - no favorites, no "top 100", never repeated...
This change in scarcity has been a massive change; equally wonderful & destructive to the craft of music itself.
1982 was my graduate year at Grant MacEwan University, in Edmonton, Alberta. This was the first year the school offered an 8 track recording course, and the new faculty needed functional bands to test out their shiny new equipment… so I saw an opportunity to start a temporary “pick up band” from the very best players in the school, and since I couldn’t play Billy Joel songs anymore, I wrote and recorded my own charts for this band…
Live To 2 Track were some of the rehearsal tapes recorded as gradual practice for the multitracked versions and live concert recordings, also all recorded as student practice… The “band” was only ever “together” for a few practice days, so everybody had to read charts to remember their parts; and it was a very cool chance to learn live recording for some incredibly cool music students, in the 1980’s…
We rolled a lot of magnetic tape and made a whole lot of happy noise… Blink, and it is all now a fond, fun moment in our past;
Keyboards & Vocals: Scott Goodfellow
Guitar: Len Rosenfeld & Guy Saddy
Bass: Mark Kotaska & Gary Myers
Drums: Michael Sabourin
Sax: Dave Babcock
Background Vocals: Laura McDougall & Pat Lancaster
Words & Music by Scott Goodfellow
At this writing, the entire recording process that once required renting very expensive recording equipment in a dedicated, sound proof recording studio, can now be simulated, synthesized, recorded and mixed on just a simple iPad.
The Beatles recorded "Sgt. Pepper's" using an 8 Track tape recorder.
Current Apple computers can record & playback over 10,000 Tracks, in Apple's Logic Pro.
Music is not all about track counts, of course… however; a certain technical "saturation point", has been reached in just a few decades; where now a lot of current recorded music sounds very similar… to me... like it was recorded on an iPad.
Each must now reach out for their own niche audience, in this Brave New Digital World, and watch for the sign posts up ahead...