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MP3 Hugh Hamilton - Home Studio

PIZZA LOVERS, REJOICE. Your theme song has arrived, and it''s on an album full of rockin'' guitars...have a listen to #8.

12 MP3 Songs
POP: Beatles-pop, ROCK: Classic Rock

The songs on HOME STUDIO were written, performed and recorded by Hugh Hamilton, with Dean Sabatino playing drums & percussion on numbers 1, 2, 5, 7, 8 & 10.


HUGH spent a substantial portion of his formative years trying to control his cowlick and attempting each week to be the first student to identify the untitled music written on the Music Room blackboard at his elementary school. He can still occasionally be found staring perplexedly at wrapping paper and coffee mugs with musical notation.

DEAN spent a substantial portion of his formative years living under a pseudonym while gigging, making albums & music videos and becoming known for his clean drums and beautiful hair...visit https://www.tradebit.com to learn more...

The two were brought together by the mighty PHIL SULLIVAN, a unique figure in the music industry: a man who has cried like a baby upon entering Studio 2 at Abbey Road, who has been heard singing Beatles songs in Latin while wiring apartment buildings and sketching mic & amp schematics, and who is often mistaken for Johnny Velour. Hugh thanks Phil. Dean is not so sure.

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING: This is a home-made CD in a slim jewel case. Each 2-sided, color paper "cover" is printed in-house and hand-cut to perfection (well, near-perfection) and each CD is titled and signed by the so-called Artist. Rest assured that all proceeds from this sales effort will probably go towards buying recording gear, pizza, and libations (not necessarily in that order).


1. THE LONESOME ROAD - From about 1993. During its formation, two guys named Dave visited my tiny apartment - Dave #1 wore Ray-Bans and had a giant acoustic bass guitar and Dave #2 had bongos and a djembe. We recorded this originally as a trio, on my 4-track reel-to-reel. I''ve sadly learned the hard way that there are a number of ways NOT to store reels of tape, and I''m afraid that particular recording is history. Cut to many years later: Dean came over for a two-man schmooze-fest...we fired up the CD player and he treated me to some of his current faves while we gorged ourselves on pizza and our favorite ice-cold beverages and tried to answer the age-old question: "To gig, or not to gig?" Almost as an afterthought we headed up to The Office for a quick bit of playing before calling it a day. I don''t think Dean had ever heard the song before - we very quickly laid down the drums, picking guitar & a scratch vocal, then even more quickly dubbed on tambourine and other guitars. I got so excited with the way it was turning out, and was so eager to put a slide guitar on that I grabbed the nearest slide - which turned out to be the end of a MIDI cable (it''s the only thing I''ve ever used that cable for). I especially like this song because it was fun and easy to record, and I like the image in my head of Dave #1 wearing shades and playing his giant bass.

2. AT THE CAVERN - (Warning: Long story...skip ahead if easily bored) - I once bought a used guitar that was destined to be my favorite for a long time: a Gibson ES-125-TCD with a lovely yellowish sunburst finish. I was actually trying to buy one like John''s on the Let it Be album cover, but I had never been a "gearhead" and didn''t realize precisely what his was - or care, really. The 125 was close enough. As I was living in a hovel in Somerville, Mass. and scraping by as a waiter at a Mexican restaurant in Cambridge, the purchase was a major extravagance and I was pleased as punch. Shortly after buying the guitar I took it to a B.B. King concert and finagled my way backstage. In his private trailer, the King of the Blues kindly tried it, signed it and dripped butter all over it (from the post-gig lobster he was eating - wasn''t that a dainty dish to set before the King?). My old buddy, bandmate, and co-waiter Craig & I legged it back to his apartment in Boston''s North End, put the axe up on a couch and admired the signature while putting our feet up and sipping mint juleps (well, ok, it was cheap beer from Latrobe, PA). I didn''t clean that greasy butter off for a long time. Strange the things the star-struck will do. By 2004 Dean had apparently become sick of hearing me play the same guitar for a decade; he showed up with a double guitar stand and suggested I get a couple of other axes out of the closet. He thus successfully shamed me into getting them all out. It was a wonderful idea, but not without its risks. I subsequently discovered and studied the book Beatles Gear and developed a BAD case of Guitar Lust. I cleaned, re-strung and set-up my guitars, and suddenly started craving an SG, a few Ric''s, a Texan and a Tele. But best of all, I learned that the three guitar-playing Beatles had all stripped or sanded various guitars, and discovered George''s statement that the guitars seem to "breathe" a bit if you take off all the varnish and paint...so I ran to the basement and sanded my nasty-looking Strat down to bare wood. I had really loathed that guitar for years - now I love it. "Why?!" you demand, "Why do you torture us with this long-winded hee-haw?" BECAUSE, all this resulted in this song. In the process of taking the Strat apart for sanding I had cut a wire and re-soldered it...then had to plug it in for a test, halfway suspecting that I would blow myself up...managed not to, and immediately started playing what is the actual rhythm guitar track of this song. At some point I had raved to Dean about Sir Paul''s favorite electric guitar - an Epiphone Casino - which is exactly what John had in the pic I referred to above. In reply Dean revealed that his wife - yes, Mrs. Sabatino - has an Epi Riviera - a very similar guitar. He brought it over, and I understood immediately why Paul has loved his Casino. The Riviera''s neck is nice & narrow, the tone is biting - ooh, la-la! I came up with and recorded the lead with the Riviera...if this song doesn''t evoke the famous "dank, sweat-covered wall" atmosphere of the Cavern Club, I don''t know what will. PLUS, I got to satisfy my Guitar Lust free of charge. Wow! What pals! THANKS, DEAN & MELISSA! (Note to Epiphone: Yes, I''m willing to consider endorsing deals...)

3. ANNIVERSARY - Wrote and recorded this in about 3 hours on the morning of our fifth wedding anniversary (perfectionists might say it sounds like it). Gave it to the Mrs. as an anniversary present, very proud of myself indeed. It became readily apparent - abundently clear - that I had better get my butt to the jewelry store, and fast! I did, and we''re living happily ever after...she''s even agreed to make her song available to music-lovers everywhere...

4. BUTTERFLY - Though this song has nothing to do with him, it reminds me of the artist previously and occasionally known as Butterfly Fairweather. If this song ever gets finished and turned into a video, I hope to have Mr. Fairweather ditch his religious garb, drop his ray gun and put on some wings (again) - and buzz like a bee.

5. WE CANNOT HAVE TOMORROW - This sounds like a love song, and it is - but it ain''t what you think. I have a brother who has often lived overseas, and I got into a period a while back when I missed him a lot. So this started out as a manly man''s love song to his bro. But PLEASE don''t tell him - he might want a hug or something.

6. TIME TO REMEMBER - We have an old wind-up clock on the mantle that drives me crazy - TICK! TOCK!! But it inspired a song. Go figure.

7. TELL ME - Ever been cheated on? Still couldn''t bring yourself to hate the jerk? Thought maybe YOU were at fault? NO WAY! Dean kindly went heavy on the cymbals after some mild provocation, including threats of withheld pizza.

8. I WANT PIZZA (RIGHT NOW!) - If this CD has a hit song, this is probably it. And if Dean & I keep up our tradition of music, pizza & icy cold beverages, we''ll eventually have to form a band called "Fatso!" TRUTH STRANGER THAN FICTION DEPARTMENT: I recently read of some Aussies who share our love of Italian cuisine. Seems a days-long prison hostage situation was resolved when the prisoners'' demand of a dozen or so pizzas was met. We''re still wondering why the demand wasn''t "Pizza every Monday night." At any rate, I''ve always imagined a hungry guy behind bars banging his fork & knife in time to the tom-tom (give a listen, you''ll see what I mean). Those wild & crazy folks from down-under know what we''re singing about here, and I''m feeling psychic! Speaking of psychic powers, I''m sensing that Dean would probably like you to know that I dubbed my daughter''s toy tom-tom in...Dean''s toms are always tight...and very clean.

9. OUR LOVE - In response to Dean''s theory of "gigs = sales" I ventured forth and suffered through a few open-mic nights. This in turn provoked an attempt to create some interesting music to perform stark-raving solo. Thought I was having an original idea to use the guitar line as a counterpoint and harmony to the vocal, but eventually noticed that''s precisely what the not-yet-Sir Paul did in Mother Nature''s Son long ago (on the White Album - give it a listen). I originally imagined this as guitar & vocal only - but couldn''t stop there when push came to shove.

10. BABY YOU - Eventually I shifted my gear focus from guitars to microphones. I wanted desperately to splurge on at least one NICE mic. Turned to two studio-owning friends in Beantown who recommended the same one (thanks, Jon & Brian) and after a brief chat with the V.P. of Finance I was able to earmark some funds for the purpose. Since the manufacturer has been coy about an endorsement deal I''ll keep the details to myself. But I love the new mic. This semi-formed song was the first I used it on - I really like the overall sound, though I hope to flesh out the song someday.

11. BIRTHDAY SONG - Bought a child-sized nylon-string acoustic for my three-year old daughter, gave it an open tuning thinking she could hold one finger across it and play the basic three-chord nursery songs, then found myself unable to put the guitar down for about a year. This is that guitar, and that tuning. Recorded this for her fourth birthday, and enjoyed watching the wee ones dance to it at the party. But don''t worry - big girls (and boys) like it too. Songs 5, 6, 7 & 12 were written on the same guitar with the same open tuning.

12. WHAT TO DO - As mentioned above, this was also written on the little guitar, though I used a piano for this version. Had a lot of fun dubbing the electric guitars and bass...

Infinite thanks to John, Paul, George & Ringo...and, if you read this far, YOU!

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