Crazy With You I know we live in poverty It’s alright with you, it’s alright with me It seems that times are hard If we stick together, they can’t tear us apart If you say I’m crazy it might be true I just don’t want you to think I’m a fool When you say I’m crazy I’m crazy for you Just wanna spend my life with you Why can't I be crazy with you They said we’re living in sin Tell you something darlin I don’t care about them I know there’s no ring on you hand Please believe me baby I’m here till the end If you say I’m crazy it might be true I just don’t want you to think I’m a fool When you say I’m crazy I’m crazy for you Only wanna spend my life with you Why can't I be crazy with you Only wanna be inside your warm embrace You don’t have to tell me I’m a mental case Nothing seems to matter as we lose control outta be committed granted no parole please don’t lock me up and throw away the key Don’t you wanna hear my final guilty plea Before they come and lock this jacket tight Only wanna hold you with all my might If you say I’m crazy it might be true Just don’t want you to think I’m a fool When you say I’m crazy I’m crazy for you Just wanna spend my life with you Why can't I be crazy with you Why can't I be crazy with you
Thanksgiving Day 1995 I was living In Colorado Springs, Colorado with my ex-wife Iliana. She furiously attended college while I attempted to keep us housed and fed by working for a water treatment sales company.
Three years earlier we moved into a basement apartment in the house pictured above. We were newly-weds. She was fresh out of the army needing a place to live and I was happy to get out of the barracks. We actually spent the first month of our marriage sleeping in separate barracks on base. I was lucky to find this affordable place just as she was discharged. We lived in that cozy basement apartment for a quite a few months.
Sometime after I exited the military in the spring of 1993, we were able to move into the attic apartment. Iliana was attending college by this point and I was working to make sure she graduated.
I’ve never been the most outgoing person, and getting to know strangers has always been difficult especially when they show no interest in getting to know me. For this reason I never really got to know my neighbors those first few years. We just lived our lives privately only interacting with a friend of mine from the Army who had married and moved in with a woman a few blocks from us. Once they moved to Chicago after their first child was born, Iliana and I pretty much kept to ourselves since our other neighbors were considerably older and showed zero interest in social interaction. Besides, Iliana was focused on her studies and didn’t want to socialize.
Eventually a couple of women a just a few years older than us moved into the middle apartment. We got to know them a little but I tended to keep my distance because I hold the opinion that interacting with two single women while my wife was in class could lead to problems no matter how much my wife trusted me.
The house just to the west of us, was another multi-apartment house. Various families moved in and out all the time. In the spring of 1995, two brothers in their early 30’s moved into one of the apartments. One loved to play guitar. He would sit on the front porch in the evenings and on weekends and play and sing for hours.
I was alone in the apartment playing a game on my Sega one quiet early spring evening, when the sound of his talented playing first wafted through my open windows causing me to pause my game. After listening for a few minutes I turned off my game, went outside, and uncharacteristically walked over to his front porch. He was friendly and Charles and I became friends.
Every time Charles would play I’d go over to listen and sing with him and every time he saw me approaching Charles would strum the same chords on his guitar and sing “Robey Robey Robey Robey.
Soon Charles and his brother were dating the two women living in the middle apartment below us. Many evenings were filled campfires, cookouts, and music in our backyard. Charles would play and everyone would sing along. Sometimes we would play spades in the ladies apartment. Other times Charles would bring his guitar upstairs to my place and we would work on something, recording our creations on a portable cassette player. Our “jam” sessions produced a few rough songs that had possibilities. If Charles wrote the lyrics he’d sing lead and I’d sing harmony. If he played something that inspired lyrics from me, I’d sing lead while he would harmonize.
He had this song he’d been working on for a while and we began to fine tune it until we had something we felt good enough to enter into the local PBS stations contest. We recorded it on that cassette player and sent it in. Our little song came in second place and got played on the local public station once.
Thanksgiving 1995. After we got back from having thanksgiving dinner at the local church providing meals for those who could not afford to cook their own, I was sitting on our couch as Iliana wrote a paper for school. Charles was downstairs visiting his girlfriend, he may have moved in by this point. Suddenly the tune he strummed each time he saw me popped into my head. As I sat there lyrics began to filter their way into my consciousness. I grabbed my note pad and ran out to the sidewalk so I could concentrate and sing without disturbing my wife. Twenty minutes later I’m stuck after composing a verse and a chorus. Pondering my dilemma for a while it suddenly occurs to me another verse was not needed by simply changed the structure of what I had already written. I sang the song a few times to make sure it I was happy with it and then excitedly knocked on the neighbors door.
When I walked in the apartment, Charles already with guitar in hand started playing and singing his greeting tune. I asked him to play it again. When he did I began singing…
If You Say I’m Crazy I know we live in poverty If its alright with you It’s alright with me Chorus If you say I’m crazy It might be true I just don’t want you to think I’m a fool If you say I’m crazy I’m crazy for you I just want to spend my life with you They say we’re living in sin I tell you something baby I don’t care about them Chorus I know that times are hard If we stick together They can’t tear us apart Chorus I know there’s no ring on you hand Please believe me baby I’m here till the end Chorus
Charles and I worked on that song for three hours that night. Never changing a word just fine tuning the notes and accompaniment. The next day we recorded it on that sturdy little recorder. I had that cassette for years but it eventually broke down past the point of any humanly repairs.
Time passed. Within a few months, Iliana and I moved into a cheaper quad-plex a few miles away. Charles and I lost touch. Even more time passed. Iliana earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology then decided to stay in school and earn her masters. Over time our schedules had us growing farther apart. In 1997, I suggested it was time for us to get a divorce and me move out. She agreed and we parted amicably.
In 2013, I’m living in Odessa, Texas. My future wife (Joan) and I are living in different states. With all the free time on my hands, I finally decide to pickup my guitar and get serious about creating music for the 10 or so songs I have written over the years. I bought books and watched videos, practicing each day until my fingers were sore. I never got good but I started to understand basic guitar theory, open chords, and was able to passably strum simple patterns.
The news that I was soon to be a father came early in 2014. This development brought everything else to a screeching halt
January 2019. Joan and I are living in our new house with an extremely healthy, rambunctious, and stubborn four years old Corwyn who survived being born 1.9lbs -7 weeks premature. She is working nights and I spend my evening trying to be a good daddy. Corwyn was finally getting to the point where he was independent enough he didn’t need constant attention.
After years of listening to Kevin Smith and Chris Hardwick tell me to just create something I once again decided to get off my ass. I pulled out my laptop and started working on the short stories that had been percolating in the back of my brain for 30 years. Last month I sent my first submission to Analog Magazine.
I started this blog for two reasons. The first was as a way to get my creations out in the world. The latter was for my son. I’m almost 50 years old. If I’m lucky I’ll live for 30 to 40 more years and Corwyn will have a chance to get to know me. On the chance that something happens this blog will be a way he can learn things about his father he is too young to understand for a few years. For now I’m just going to spoil him and give him as many good childhood memories as possible.
Congruent with the stories and blog, I pulled out the guitar and got serious about writing music for my lyrics. You can see my last Blog post Always With Me for the first part that story. What I didn’t talk about was how I created the song.
Using a voice recorder on my phone I recorded a rhythm acoustic guitar track, I then transferred the track to my computer played the track over the speakers and recorded myself singing along with the guitar. This recording was then transferred to my computer and edited with a basic audio program I had been using for years. This is the point where I wrote my last blog post. A friend of mine heard it and asked if he could add a lead and base guitar track. He also told me about Audacity which would allow me to record different tracks.
My original plan had been to just have someone play guitar while I sang and record a video for YouTube. Suddenly possibilities began swirling around in my head.
I bought a cheap Walmart keyboard and taught myself the basic of playing piano chords; which was actually easier if you understand guitar. At Best Buy I found a USB microphone that would allow me to record directly into the computer. A quick download and tutorial of Audacity and I was ready to go.
I picked a rhythm track in the tempo I liked and recorded it by placing the mic on my keyboard. For the next track, I put on my headphone listened to my rhythm track and played the first layer of a piano track. I followed the same pattern of recording adding more piano tracks, a maraca track for sizzle, and an acoustic guitar track. Next I rendered all the tracks together, mixed and fine tuned my recording in the old audio program. I then took a copy of it to the karaoke bar Basin Nights during off hours and played it over the sound system while singing trying to perfect the song.
I ‘ve probably rerecorded that song 5 times using the same method each time. I’m still not happy enough with it to record a video. Meanwhile I took two other songs and recorded music for them using the same system of creation. I Don’t Wanna Sing & Crazy With You.
This version of Crazy With You is nothing like the original version musically or structurally. The rhythm track I used for this version dictated a different style of song and the bridge was an inspiration that flowed out of me late one night as I was working on the piano tracks. I think it’s better this way.
I decided to record a video of me singing Crazy With You first, because it was the one I thought was ready. I uploaded that video in March 2019, but I wasn’t happy with it. I didn’t like watching myself standing on stage singing a song, It seemed boring. Soon I came up with an idea for an official video and reached out to family, friends, and people on the internet for photos to use in new video. I used the few I got back and supplemented the rest of the video with free range pictures from the internet and my own family. I am happy with the video uploaded Dec 2019.
In the last month I have bought a Midi Keyboard, a computer interface, a mixing board, a new microphone, an electric guitar, and a DAW program that will allow me to take my creations to the next level. I will rerecord all three songs and many others as my experience grows.
You can find all of my videos original songs and Karaoke Covers on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/Iyebor1