Spider-Man (click to listen, right-click and “Save As” to download)
Sometimes, believe it or not, people ask me if I have new music of my own coming out. The current answer is that I don’t (although the new Sugar Ray record is one of the best things I’ve ever played on), but for those who are interested, I’ve decided to put some of my demos and outtakes online for your listening pleasure. Although I may rerecord some of the songs for official releases (and some of these are alternate versions or demos of songs from my records), I’m certainly not going to release these versions officially. I figured that someone, somewhere, might get some enjoyment out of them. Some of the tracks are very rough, but I hope they’re worth at least as much as you paid for them.
On to the track at hand: my son Joaquin is great. He’s a huge, obsessive Spider-Man fan, and I decided to record this as a surprise for him. The original theme from the 1967 cartoon is on heavy rotation at the Welch house, and it’s formally a blues, so two and two weren’t that hard to put together. I went for kind of an Albert Collins organ shuffle feel here, like “Left Overs” (which was Albert’s version of Jimmy McGriff’s “All About My Girl”), but I was surprised listening back to it how much Jimmie Vaughan’s approach to the same style influenced my take on it. The stops toward the end are a quote from the “Spectacular Spider-Man” cartoon theme by a band called the Tender Box; it’s another of Joaquin’s favorites and a great little rock and roll tune that pays homage to the feel of the original cartoon theme, so it was easy to fit in.
Appropriately enough, I put the track together like a big nerd. The drums are chopped up and pasted from Toontrack’s Blues MIDI drum loops and played through the Vintage Rock kit in EZdrummer, and I wrote out the organ part in ProTools’ Score Editor and went back to add dynamics, Leslie, and drawbar settings with the DB-33 organ sampler. The guitar is my Fender Muddy Waters Telecaster with Lollar pickups, and I’m running through the Fender Pro Junior and Reverb Unit in the AmpliTube Fender software plug in.
I find overdubbing solos kind of hard. When playing live or live-in-the-studio with a band, there’s a lot less second guessing after each phrase, because the moment and performance are more important than perfection. I have to force myself to play that way in overdubs, and not treat every note as a first draft to be improved later.
I hope you enjoy this; there’s much more to come!
(The song is credited to Paul Francis Webster and Robert “Bob” Harris, and I’m trying to find publishing info, but no luck so far)
4 thoughts on “Tracklog 01 – Spider-Man Theme (2011)”
Mike, you and Albert Collins are my favourite guitar players ever! I’ve done my best to spread your music around my home town in Nottingham England. Spider Man is AWESOME! Hope you come play Britain some time, Jay
Loved listening to this. Fantastic job!