MUSIC

WRITING GORHAM WOODS


I Was on my way to play THE LEGENDARY EXIT/IN located in NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE. THE YEAR IS 2014 AND I had been RAPED IN MY SLEEP, IN MY OWN BED, THREE WEEKS BEFOREHAND. 


Elvis Eyes live at Exit/In

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I WALKED INTO THE VENUE AS IF I WAS A MOVING CORPSE. MY EQUIPMENT WAS BEING SET UP FOR ME. I FLOATED IN A STORMY CLOUD OF DISCONNECTION BACKSTAGE TO THE GREEN ROOM. A MEMBER FROM THE OPENING BAND HANDS ME CHAMPAGNE IN A PAPER BAG. THIS IS HOW I SURVIVED MY PERFORMANCE THAT NIGHT.   

I TOLERATED THE AFTER PARTY IN A COZY AND CLASSIC DARK BAR NEXT DOOR. SITTING WITH MY BAND I WAS ASKED WHERE I WAS TAKING ALL OF THIS. WHAT WAS I DOING? I HADN'T PUT OUT A RECORD IN AGES. I HAD NO DIRECTION. BUT I HAD SUPPORTERS WHO CARED ABOUT MY WELL BEING. NO ONE KNEW WHAT HAD HAPPENED. I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO TELL ANYONE WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO ME. BUT IF I HADN'T BEEN RAPED, I COULD HAVE SAID THAT I WAS BOOKING GREAT SHOWS, WRITING SONGS, AND PAVING A PRETTY PATH TO SUCCESS. BUT THAT DRIVE HAD BEEN STOLEN FROM ME IRONICALLY BY NONE OTHER THAN A VENUE OWNER.

I WANTED TO QUIT BUT I HAD TWO MORE SHOWS TO GET THROUGH, INEBRIATED TO SURVIVE. ONCE THE FINAL SHOW HAD ENDED I SKIPPED MY ENCORE, SKIPPED THE AFTER PARTY, AND WENT HOME TO MY GRANDPARENTS HOUSE IN GORHAM WOODS.

INSTEAD OF GOING BACK TO NASHVILLE WITH MY FRIENDS I CHOSE TO STAY IN GOSHEN, INDIANA. REGARDLESS OF THEIR PASSIONATE REQUESTS, CONTINUING TO TOUR, WORKING ON MY PASSION OF BEING A PROFESSIONAL RECORDING ARTIST AND SONGWRITER, WAS MORE THAN I COULD BARE. I GAVE UP ON EVERYTHING. I LEFT EVERYTHING. I HID IN MY GRANDPARENTS BLUE GUEST BED ROOM AND FELT LIKE I WAS BEING HELD SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH VIA EMOTIONAL SUFFOCATION.

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THE ROOM IS PEACEFUL. THE LARGE WINDOWS LOOK OUT ONTO A WOODed WONDERLAND. THERE'S A GRAND PIANO IN THE LIVING ROOM AND PEACE IN THE SMALL TOWN OF GOSHEN, INDIANA. IT WAS THERE I PRAYED THAT GOD WOULD TAKE MY LIFE. THE DEPRESSION THAT I EXPERIENCED WAS AS IF I HAD FALLEN IN  A BLACK HOLE THAT HAD STRIPPED ME OF ALL EMOTION. I CRIED MYSELF TO SLEEP EACH NIGHT.

I BEFRIENDED ALL OF THE LOCAL BAR FLIES. I TRIED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO CONTINUE ON WITH MY LIFE. MISSION WORK IN UNDERPRIVILEGED COUNTRIES CROSSED MY MIND. I SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED BECOMING A NUN, SERIOUSLY, WHICH WAS UNREALISTIC. I WAS SO LOST THAT I COULDN'T EVEN FIND BREATHe. THE ONLY TANGIBLE WAY TO FIND GRASP AS I FELL DOWN THE BLACK HOLE TO NOWHERE, WAS TO DELETE ALL SOCIAL MEDIA, AND DISAPPEAR FROM THE WORLD. 

I FOUND SOLICE IN A FEW LOCAL MEN. I MOSTLY JUST CRIED WHILE THEY'D HOLD ME QUIETLY. I WAS STILL CRYING MYSELF TO SLEEP. BUT SLOWLY, THE LYRICS BEGAN TO SURFACE. INSTEAD OF WATCHING PARKS AND RECREATION (THE ENTIRE SERIES) IN BED WHILE EATING JUNK FOOD, I STARTED WRITING SONGS. 

I THEN RETURNED BACK TO THE ROOM I  WAS RENTING IN EAST NASHVILLE. I "EXPLAINED" TO MY ROOMMATES THAT I HAD NEEDED A FEW MONTHS OF FAMILY TIME, THAT WAS WHY I DISAPPEARED. 

NOW THAT I WAS HOME, I TRIED TO GET BACK ON THAT HORSE. I STILL AVOIDED GOING OUT WITH  MY FRIENDS EVEN THOUGH THEY WOULD PERSISTENTLY INVITE ME OUT. ISOLATION WAS THE ONLY WAY TO FIND PEACE. I STILL FOUND SOLICE DRUNK-CRYING IN THE ARMS OF DIFFERENT MEN, BUT I KEPT WRITING. SLOWLY. 

FINALLY ONE DAY, SITTING ON THE EDGE OF MY BED, STRESSED ABOUT MONEY BECAUSE I WAS TOO DEPRESSED TO GET A JOB, I SENT A PRAYER UP TO GOD. I TOSSED IT LIKE FRUIT IN A BASKET TO THE HEAVENS. I SAID "IF YOU WANT ME TO MAKE THIS RECORD, THEN YOU TAKE CARE OF THE DETAILS, BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO WORK TOWARDS AN EMPTY GOAL." 

SHORTLY AFTER THAT, I RECEIVED A LARGE CHECK IN THE MAIL. IT WAS FROM A supporter OF MY MUSIC. I HAD PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED WITH HIM ABOUT MAYBE WANTING TO PRODUCE ANOTHER RECORD at some point the summer before. I WAS IN SHOCK AND SO GRATEFUL. BUT GET THIS! SHORTLY AFTER THAT CHECK arrived, ANOTHER PATRON, TOTALLY UNCONNECTED TO THE FIRST, SENT A LARGE CHECK TO SUPPORT ME AS I PURSUE MY MUSICAL ENDEAVORS. MORE CHECKS WERE GIFTED TO ME BY THE SAME PATRONS AND A FEW NEW ONES OVER SEVERAL MONTHS. I HAD MY FUNDING.

AFTER THAT THE SONGS STARTED POURING OUT. PEOPLE WERE CONTACTING ME TO BE A PART OF MY PROJECT. INCREDIBLY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WAS my dear friend and HALL OF FAME MEMBER CHARLIE MCCOY. CHARLIE ENDED UP PLAYING A LARGE ROLe IN THE 'GORHAM WOODS' PROCESS AS A CO-WRITER, FEATURED ARTIST, AND MULTI-INSTRUMENTAL MUSICIAN. I THEN BOOKED HOUSE OF BLUES STUDIOS IN NASHVILLE, HIRED A-TEAM SESSION PLAYERS, PRODUCED THE ALBUM THE WAY I WANTED TO, AND HAD IT DOCUMENTED ON FILM. THE FINAL GIFT DURING THE CREATION PROCESS WAS AN OFFER TO BE ENDORSED BY EPIPHONE GUITARS. I now proudly endorse their Pro-1 Acoustic guitar.

WE TRACKED 'GORHAM WOODS' LIVE AT HOUSE OF BLUES STUDIO A, WITH A FEW OVERDUBS FOR CREATIVE PURPOSES. I WAS SO PLEASED WITH THE FINAL PROJECT. 

"Pale Pink Sky" features behind the scenes footage of the 'Gorham Woods' recording session.
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Afterwards, I took A HIATUS TO New York City TO SEE A HOLISTIC MD as my health had began to plummet due to a chronic auto-immune disorder. DURING THIS TIME I WAS ABLE TO LINK UP WITH THE ONE AND ONLY MARC URSELLI IN SOHO. HE MIXED A FEW OF MY SONGS ON TAPE IN THE FABULOUS EASTSIDE SOUND.

MARC THEN INTRODUCED ME TO SWEET-HEARTED WILLIAM SEMERARO WHO SHOT THE ALBUM PHOTOGRAPHY. HE WAS SO KIND AND GENEROUS. I HAD SO MUCH FUN  SHOOTING WITH WILLIAM IN THE FABULOUS BROOKLYN GRAIN STUDIOS IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK. THE Brooklyn Grain team were ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL PEOPLE. EVERYONE THAT I WORKED WITH IN NEW YORK LEFT AN IMPRINT ON MY HEART.

EVENTUALLY AFTER MY MEDICAL TREATMENT HAD ENDED, I HEADED BACK TO NASHVILLE TO ADD THE FINAL TOUCHES OF POST PRODUCTION. MY creative FRIEND LOGAN BUERLEIN HELPED ME CREATE THE ALBUM GRAPHICS TO MY PARTICULAR LIKING WHILE FRIEND AND  LEGENDARY NASHVILLE ENGINEER GLENN MEADOWS MASTERED THE RECORD AT MAYFIELD MASTERING. WHEN ALL WAS SAID AND DONE, WE SENT THE FILES OFF TO BE PRESSED AT a very COOL ANALOG STUDIO, WELCOME TO 1979, DUPLICATED THE RECORD ON VINYL BY GOTTA GROOVE RECORDS, AND DUPLICATED IT ON CD BY COPY CATS MEDIA

'GORHAM WOODS' WAS finally finished. WHAT A RELIEF!

But before the product could arrive I underwent an insurmountable amount of pain yet again. I was numb. Why was being halted at every turn? Unfortunately I'm unable to share the details AT THIS TIME.

BUT TIME pasSED AS IT DOES SO BEAUTIFULLY and wounds began to heal. I was THEN given a stroke of bitter sweet luck.

HOLLYWOOD WAS BEING EXPOSED. WASHINGTON WAS BEING EXPOSED. THIS WAS MY TIME. THAT WAS ME.

I WAS READY. I WAS ANGRY, EXCITED, SAD, MOTIVATED, AND PREPARED TO FORGIVE ALL OF THE PERPETRATORS WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY RAISING AWARENESS FOR A CAUSE SO NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART. 

SO I WROTE AND PRODUCED AN ALBUM FOR YOU. YES YOU. YOU WHO FEELS SILENCED AND SCARED. WELL NOW IS THE TIME. JOIN ME IN THE THE FIGHT AS I PERFORM THESE SONGS AND PROMOTE MY CREATION FOR HEALING AND RESTORATION. WE ARE ON THE HORIZON OF A BRIGHT NEW DAY. WE ARE WARRIORS OF LOVE! WE WILL SURVIVE WITH LOVE! AND WE WILL WIN WITH LOVE! 

MAY WE EVOLVE WITH LOVE,

BETSEY LONG, CREATOR OF VEVOLVE


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GORHAM WOODS 

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