Our thoughts turned to ‘Rudderless.’ Jeff told us Macy and his crew had visited JJ’s Saloon recently. He was a little star-struck, like many in OKC, and hopeful that they would shoot some scenes there.
He was crestfallen to learn that the bar where we were filming a scene was in Guthrie, and that it was built from scratch for the movie. We had heard that many technical aspects made shooting in a genuine working bar problematic, from beer labels and brand signs, to composing a scene spatially. Still, Jeff was hopeful he could somehow be a part of the movie, maybe as a bartender or an extra.
After brainstorming, I realized I had written an original song: ‘Be by You.’ A Cajun tune, it was composed back when I was part of Local Honey with my friend Drava. I hadn’t talked with Drava in awhile, and wondered what she would think. I was remembering the process of writing the song. It was a love song idea I had after driving by a place called ‘Bee Bayou.’ What did Drava feel her part in the song credit should be? I needed to find out.
It turned out she wished us the best with the song and to use it, but that if it ended up on the soundtrack she wanted credit as co-writer.
Now we had two options.
That night Casey got a call from the big man, William Macy. While I was hanging up the laundry, I listened to Casey’s side of the conversation. He described the two songs. Casey was looking at me, and I heard him say, “Minna was singing this song back when I first met her…” Then he sang a few lines of ‘Be by You' into the phone. Macy said, “That’s it, I like that.” We went to the studio the next day.
The studio was on the northwest side of town by County Line road. We were both fuzzy that morning; Casey had stayed up all night, and my ear was ringing like crickets in an echo chamber. We stopped for coffee and sat on the tailgate. A goose opera was unfolding in the parking lot. The geese were chasing each other, honking, and proudly waddling along, independent of the cars and people. The coffee and geese were just what we needed to get in the zone for recording.
We didn’t know what to expect of the studio or the owner and engineer, Brad Heinrichs. We turned into a stylish, upscale, but not gated, housing addition. In the driveway we met Casey Twenter, screenwriter for ‘Rudderless.’ We walked to the door together.
The studio was up some narrow carpeted stairs. Brad was finishing up a session. The man singing was playing the part of a businessman at an open mic. His performance was a bit wobbly, but sincere.
The studio was intimate and comfortable. We recorded the bass and fiddle live in one take. Then we overdubbed the vocals. Brad made the process fast and simple. We liked the results. Everyone was happy. We called it a day.
The die was cast. Now we waited for our appointment with Hollywood in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Hope you enjoyed Chapter Two. Here's the rest of the story! Love, HonkyTonk StepChild