The Story of Happy Every Day

I promised some people I’d make a post about my song, Happy Every Day. So here it is.

I was at Stanford, attending to my shiny new lungs – aka getting my regular check up. Oh yeah, as it happens, I had a lung transplant in 2013. July 4, 2013 to be exact. No big.

Whenever I go out there to check out my lungs, I book time in the recording studio on campus – because well, I have a key for life – seeing as how I did my master’s there – in a time of utter privilege I’ll always remember. I was doing my sessions one Saturday, and because it’s lonely locked up in the room all day by myself (I’m not always by myself, but in this case I was) – I went down the hill in the sunshine and wonderful greenery to the student union building (known there as “Tressider”) and got some lunch.

While I did that, I called my friend Sebastian, and as you do, asked him how he was doing. He replied, “I’m great man! I’m happy EVERY day!”

I said “THAT’S AWESOME! That’s a song!” – to which he said do it, to which I said “I’m serious, I’m going to go back up the hill in the studio and do a song called that RIGHT NOW!!”.

So I dashed up the hill and got my moleskin notebook out and sat in loungey fooseball kitchen area in the building, and I wrote out all the lyrics boom slickidy boom – then I went and found a big ‘ol grand piano (remember when I said privilege…that place is so awesome) and I banged out the chords and little melody that became the melody you hear right at the beginning…

Harry Potter and the Ridiculous Privilege – Here’s the piano I wrote Happy Every Day on

Then I rushed downstairs into the actual studio and set up to record the – other grand (privilege!) – piano and banged out the song structure bloop dee doop – then went in and did all the vocals.

That was all I had. But I took that home, sent it to my friend Nathan Menhorn who is an insane drummer drummed on other tracks of mine, and he sent me drums. Next I called my friend Rodney Bowe, an amazing bass player I’ve known for nearly 30 years since college, and he came to my house and played some bass. I mixed it all together and boom…

But it wasn’t quite right yet so I added a fourth verse at the end…and then I went around and performed it at various places including the Lyrics for Life competition at the Transplant Games of America, which I won silver in – woo!

But then a few years later…

I submitted the mix to an A&R rep at a licensing company. And he rejected it! (Don’t worry that happens A LOT). But he actually offered feedback. He wanted the song to lean in to the latin vibe more…so in 2021 (that’s the year I’m writing this)…

I got another person – Paul Croteau – who I know from a music industry Facebook group – to add some latin style percussion and horns. Then I got excited, re-arranged the piano, fixed a word in the chorus I never liked, fixed that fourth verse because I was never sold on the rhythm…

And BAM AGAIN! The Happy Every Day Leaning Latin Mix was born – which I think should be the only version – but the other one is out there so let’s let them both live!


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