A couple of months ago, I mentioned here that my brother and I had completed a recording of "Won't Give In" and were in the process of trying to acquire licenses to distribute the recording. Well, it took nearly three months, but as of last week I have licenses from both Neil's and Tim's publishers.

I'd like to make the recording available to Frenzforum members, in part because I'd like to get some feedback from Finn fans, and in part as thanks for the enjoyment I've derived from the forum. Unfortunately, my licenses are for CDs only--no downloads--and are restricted to distribution within the US. But anyone within the US who would like a copy is welcome to write to me at jocoop at aol dot com, and I will send a copy at my expense. I reserve the right to limit the number I send, but for now I'm willing to absorb the cost. I worked hard on this recording, and I'd like it to be heard. No one would confuse this with a big-label release, but I'm still pretty proud of it.

A bit of background: I was fairly active on the Philadelphia open mic scene in the early 1990s and had a semi-regular gig at a bar off South Street for awhile, but my career and various personal issues led me to put music aside almost entirely until about two years ago. My brother, on the other hand, performs regularly. He's the more talented one.

(Before posting this, I checked with our webmaster; she said I could post it, as I had licenses for the recording).
-- And I wake up blind Like my dreams were too bright
Original Post
Great on ya... you sure that you cannot post the customary 30 seconds somewhere on the net, so people can "listen before they buy"?
I actually looked into that, but it's complicated--while 30-second clips seem to be "customary" at some level, that custom doesn't seem to be endorsed by actual court decisions or statutory provisions (and rights organizations ASCAP and BMI take the position that such clips are not fair use). So I'd be taking a risk, including the risk that the publishers might yank my license to distribute. Alternatively, I could go to them and seek permission. I've been reluctant to do so up to now because I didn't want to do anything to complicate getting the licenses--it took long enough as it was, and Tim's company in particular seems very leery of stuff involving the internet. Once I've submitted my first quarterly statement, I may go back to them and see if I can get permission to post a short excerpt.

This rights stuff has proved to be a pain, but I'm determined to do it right.
It's a shame you can't send it out to the UK but it's great you're doing it all by the book. Wink

Best of luck with it all.
No takers after two weeks. Sigh. I understand--I guess I'd be reluctant to send my address to a total stranger, just to get a one-song cd of indeterminate quality.

Believe me, I wish I could just make the thing available for download.
Wow! It sounds really interesting to me. I should like listening to that since you've worked so hard at it.

That must be my clue to write you privately. Then I can brag when I hear it, right? Wink
Hi Jeff,
I'd really like to hear it! I've wanted to since I first saw your post awhile ago, but I've had a million things going on and just forgot.

You can e-mail me: TBeatles67@141.com

Thanks!
Tracy
I got my CD from Jeff today, and they really did a fine job on it. Big Grin [My birthday is Friday, so it was like getting a birthday present!] Paul's parts, especially the bass, sound like they could be from the Brothers themselves, and I *do* mean that as a compliment.

I'll have to listen some more times to think of other feedback.
quote:
Originally posted by aikakone:
I got my CD from Jeff today, and they really did a fine job on it. Big Grin [My birthday is Friday, so it was like getting a birthday present!] Paul's parts, especially the bass, sound like they could be from the Brothers themselves, and I *do* mean that as a compliment.


I completely agree. My birthday is Saturday, so it's a B-Day present for me too! I think it's very well done, very professional. My only *slight* complaint so far is that the vocals could have been stronger. I don't mean that your voices aren't strong, I mean that you could have sung them in a stronger way. Pushing aside perfection and going for more oomph. But, I am quite impressed, and I haven't had much time yet to listen. I'll give more feedback later.

Good on ya, guys! Big Grin

Tracy
Tracy and aikakone, thanks for your comments so far. Tracy, I agree with your observation about the vocals. My intent was that they start off a bit tentative but grow in confidence to the end, playing off a comment Neil made in an interview (distributed with the original iTunes release of EIH) that people making speeches at family events frequently are a bit awkward at first but then find themselves and wind up saying something really lovely. I think we nailed the tentative part (Big Grin) but I don't think we quite got the rest. Partly a failure of execution, partly a failure of recording technique, probably in part the result of bumping up against the limits of our abilities.

Aikakone, I think that Paul's bass playing is probably the best thing about our version. I'm really just a basement hacker at this point, but Paul can seriously play.

Really, I appreciate what you've written. Paul and I aren't the Finns (and we didn't have Mitchell Froom producing), but I think we did a pretty decent job, all things considered, and I'm really glad to have a few people outside the immediate circle of family and friends listening.

Oh, and happy birthday to both of you!
One more bump for the new month, then I'll let this drift downward. The offer will remain open, though--I haven't exactly been overwhelmed with requests!
Hey Jeff, sorry I haven't responded with more insights! I haven't forgotten, I've just been really busy, getting ready for the trip to Oz and a million other things.

Hey everyone, let Jeff send you a copy!!! He and Paul went to a lot of hard work on this and it shows!! Big Grin

Tracy
I got my copy and I do like it. Your voice sounds like Tim Christensen (Danish singer/songwriter who also sounds a lot like Michael Penn).

Do order a copy--it's a great tribute and a great homemade delicacy!
hi Jeff,
Thanks for sending me a copy.
I think you did a great job.
Lots of effort when you take on a project like this on your own...well done.

I noticed is said recorded in Indiana and Thailand on the jacket....??
Thanks again...Annie
quote:
Originally posted by anniea:
I noticed is said recorded in Indiana and Thailand on the jacket....??


Yes, my family is scattered to, well, maybe three of the four corners of the earth. My mother's in Vermont, my father's in New York City, my sister's in Brighton, England, and my brother is in Chiang Mai, Thailand (where, among other things, he plays bass in a moderately popular band). So the recording was done at a distance: I recorded my parts in my basement in Indiana and sent the tracks to him in Chiang Mai; he did his parts and sent them back; I had a couple more thoughts and recorded a bit more, and then I did the final mix.

The distance between us--the fact that it's only once in awhile that we return to the fold--was one of the big reasons I wanted to record this song with him. And then the recording made its official debut at a surprise 70th birthday party for my dad--an event for which my sister flew in from England and my brother flew in from Thailand (he could only stay for two days--he spent more time in transit than he did in New York). It was the first time I'd been together with both my siblings in three years, and the first time my father had seen the three of us together since my wedding in 1999. So the song really hit home.

Thanks for the kind words.
Just filed my royalties statement for the second quarter. At a rate of 4.55 cents per brother per copy, my work grossed the Finns $1.23 each for the quarter. Drink up, boys! This Coke's on me.

Maybe one of these quarters they'll have enough for a proper pint.
Wow, how cool! I got my copy a few days ago and have listened to it quite a bit, and jeff I have to say you did a truly fantastic job! I think it's so great that you did this, it's like the ultimate fan tribute to recreate the song.

Musically it's very tight, and I can definitely hear the passion with which you made this. The only thing I would improve upon (and this has been mentioned before in this thread) is to give the vocals more gusto. You just sound a little trepidatious - you can clearly sing, so your voice is not a problem, it's just a matter of giving it your all.

Thanks so much for sending me this! Interestingly, my family is in much the same situation as yours... I'm from England but live in the USA now, my sister lives in Thailand (in Sri Racha), and much of my family is back in England. I"m in AZ and my parents are in Washington. So I too relate to the songs lyrics.

I'd love to hear more about how the whole royalty thing works if you don't mind sharing. Would your agreement allow you to sell copies? What kind of rights do you have to the song? Is that 4.55 cents figure for every copy you make?

Anyway, thanks again for sending it to me. Great job. I'm impressed!
A quick story: there's an organic dairy farm a few miles from my house (actually within the city limits of Indianapolis, the 12th largest city in the country) that has a good farmers' market on Fridays, at which they serve a basic but very tasty dinner. A few weeks ago, we were waiting on line, when over the sound system came "Won't Give In." I turned to my five-year-old son (who is on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum) and said, "You know this song--what is it?" And he looked at me very seriously and said, in a soft voice, "It's Daddy."

Not quite, Peanut. Not even close, in fact. But it's a lovely thought.

My prepayment of royalties permits me to distribute about 440 more copies of my recording, so feel free to ask for one.

(Another note on my son--a few days ago he was pounding on the piano when, quite by accident, he played a series of three lovely major-seventh and minor-seventh chords. I asked him what he was playing, and with a big smile, he said, "Gentle Hum." Kid's got taste.)
That's adorable, Jeff! Out of the mouths of babes. Smiler

Your son sure has good taste! And, Daddy did quite nicely with, "Won't Give In," so you deserve the compliment. Wink
Jeff,please could you send me one?
I would gladly pay,let me know.
my e-mail is.
f_cairns@hotmail.com.
Lovely story about your son. Big Grin
Thanks, Tracy!

Finn, I'd love to be able to send you a cd, but unfortunately I can't. The terms of my license permit me to distribute within the US only. The publishers are quite emphatic about this--indeed, the reason that my license is restricted to physical disks and does not permit downloadable mp3s is that the companies were unwilling to license digital downloads absent some assurance that downloads would be restricted to those within the US (and I couldn't figure out how to make that restriction work).

During the two months or so I spent earlier this year figuring out how to make the licensing work, I briefly looked into obtaining licenses in the UK and in Australia/New Zealand, but it quickly became apparent that it was going to be more trouble than it was worth (for one thing, I needed to have a local address in each country where I wanted a license, though that's something I could actually manage in the UK).

Anyway, I don't want to do anything to jeopardize the licenses I have from Tim's and Neil's US publishers, so I'm unable to send a cd to Scotland. (Of course, if someone within the US were to ask for a copy of the cd, and were then to forward it to someone outside the US, well, there's not much I could do about that, is there? Wink )
That's beautiful about your son. Such taste, indeed. Big Grin

I would love to hear this as well... but alas, I am to the north. How can I hear this! I'm intrigued now!

-Ash
Some new developments bring me to bump this thread. As I alluded to here, I recently received some bad news: I've been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Thanks to medical advances and the availability of drug therapies, the prognosis isn't nearly as dire as it once might have been. But it's still not great news, and, in particular, it doesn't bode particularly well for my future as a guitarist (not that I was ever that good to begin with).

In any event, this recording, and the central theme of the song, now take on added meaning for me. For my friends, for my loved ones, for my children, and yes, for me: it means that I won't give in.

My prepayment of royalties entitles me to distribute more copies than I'm ever likely to distribute, so free feel to ask.
Did I mention (once again) that it's free? I'm not trying to make money, I'm just trying to get my recording heard.

Unfortunately, because of the terms of my license, I can only distribute within the US, and I can only distribute physical cds (no downloads).
quote:
Originally posted by Jeffcoop:
I'm not trying to make money . . .

. . . "I just love to sell guns, heh, heh, heh." (take on a creepy quote from a series of commercials featuring Don Davis of "Don's Guns" and Indianapolis fame)

Well, the talents of some among us never cease to surprise. Unfortunately, given time constraints, I can't remember the last time I read the "Original Creations" thread, but I came here to comment after just recently receiving a copy of Jeff's CD in the mail. Perhaps others were in the same boat as me in not even being aware of the recording's existence. I suspect it may be the reason more requests haven't been made.

Anyway, given the manner in which you produced the CD, it turned out very well despite the lack of a professional studio/equipment. I've always thought production would be something I'd really enjoy, so am envious of anyone who has the skills to do it.

I thought it was a very credible reading of the song and one done for the right reasons (which shows through). Harmonies and instrumentation sound good, as well. You mentioned that the lead vocals weren't as full as you'd wanted, but I thought the "A chance is made, a chance is lost . . . " portion was sung quite well, which is no doubt the most difficult part of the song to sing.

You've already told me, but for the benefit of others here, can you further relate who did what within the recording and/or how it was produced?

Jeff, you and your brother are to be commended for undertaking this effort, and you should be very proud of the result. When is the Coop Brothers follow-up release expected? Cool

Hang in there, man!
Thanks for your comments, Romer--I'm glad you enjoyed the recording.

As for who did what: I played the acoustic guitar, which is mostly just there for texture, and four electric guitar parts including the 12-string in the opening figure, the rhythm figure that plays through the main body of the song, the guitar behind the first half of the second verse, and the arpeggios in the chorus. Paul plays bass throughout; his first guitar part appears under the second half of the second verse. He then plays all guitars in the bridge (except for the acoustic, which is barely audible but still there providing a bit of texture) and all lead lines through the end of the song (not counting the 12-string as a lead line--that's me). There's also a synth pad I played that just fills out the sound a bit--it's played throughout the song except in the bridge. All drums and percussion are computer-generated, I'm afraid. Paul actually dabbles with drums, but he doesn't own a set, and while he has access to a set through his bandmate, they don't really have the setup necessary to record drums well. And of course neither one of us owns an optigan. As for the vocals, I did the Neil parts for the most part (there's one bit in the chorus where Neil and Tim briefly cross over, whereas Paul and I stay on the high and low parts respectively), while Paul did the Tim parts.

In terms of process, I did a full recording of the song myself, playing all instruments, then stripped out a lot and sent the remaining tracks off to Paul (leaving my harmony vocal intact so that he could use it to learn the part). Paul then recorded his parts in Thailand and sent the whole thing back to me. When I first received it and listened to what he'd done, I found myself cursing--he'd forgotten to record his vocals! He'd just left my harmonies in place! The fool! Except that there was one bit where I could have sworn I'd sung it a bit differently...and of course it turned out that he had done his vocal after all; it's just that his "harmony voice" sounds exactly (and I do mean *exactly*) like mine. It was downright spooky.

Anyway, Paul had an interesting take on the song--he likes the Finns' music, from Split Enz forward, but he's not a fanatic by any means, and he hadn't spent hours trying to pick out all of the nuances of the Finn Brothers' recording, as I had. He brought some things to the song that I hadn't expected. So after absorbing what he'd done, I then went back and rerecorded a couple of my instrumental bits, added a new guitar track to the chorus, did one or two small "producery" things (moving bits from place to place, that kind of thing), and spent about two weeks mixing until I had something I liked. Both of us worked in Garageband on Macs, so exchanging and working with each other's files was easy, except that they were too big to move over the internet (my favorite conversation during the whole process was with a FedEx employee, who told me that they could get a DVD-R from Indianapolis to Chiang Mai in 36 hours for $58, but then helpfully added that if I wanted to save some money, they could do it in five days for $57. I paid the extra dollar). Garageband is a hobbyist app and very easy to use, but it has large chunks of Logic Pro/Logic Express code at its heart, so it's capable of producing some very good recordings in skilled hands (not saying that mine are). I think that this recording pushed the program to its limits--there are something like 25 separate tracks, although I don't think there are ever more than ten or twelve going at a time--but somehow it all worked.

As for the forthcoming Coop Brothers album, well, it's much-discussed, but we're both so busy (and my songwriting proceeds at such a slow pace) that it'll probably be a decade or so. But someday!
quote:
As for the forthcoming Coop Brothers album, well, it's much-discussed, but we're both so busy (and my songwriting proceeds at such a slow pace) that it'll probably be a decade or so. But someday!


So in other words...you're more or less on the same schedule as the Finn Brothers Wink
quote:
Originally posted by Jeffcoop:
Some new developments bring me to bump this thread. As I alluded to here, I recently received some bad news: I've been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Thanks to medical advances and the availability of drug therapies, the prognosis isn't nearly as dire as it once might have been. But it's still not great news, and, in particular, it doesn't bode particularly well for my future as a guitarist (not that I was ever that good to begin with).

In any event, this recording, and the central theme of the song, now take on added meaning for me. For my friends, for my loved ones, for my children, and yes, for me: it means that I won't give in.


Jeffcoop, sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I have an understanding of what you and your loved ones are going through (see my pm). No doubt you have your good days and bad days. Make sure you play the guitar on those good ones ok?

I live in Canada but I would love to hear your cd, and think I have a way of getting a hold of a copy Smiler

Take care.
quote:
Originally posted by Martine:

So in other words...you're more or less on the same schedule as the Finn Brothers Wink


Well, yes. Except that I rather expect Neil and Tim will be rather more productive on other musical fronts in the intervening years than I will be. Smiler

Ross, thanks for your note. I've responded to your pm. In terms of getting the cd to you, as long as I can ship to a US address, it's fine.
you have done the finn brothers' song, won't give in, proud: in quality and intent and i treasure it. you cooper brothers have a really good sound! pls tell paul too. which of you is 'tim' in the little high part? it happened that the finn's, only talking sense, single was in the player and followed your single. what a lovely combination the two are.

so you are the brother on the left (oops) right, in the inside photo! what about the front, younger photo? i know i have 50% chance of being correct lol. is paul younger or older? did you share a room? i always wished for a sister to talk in the dark with. my two younger brothers had it made, that way. a room to yourself is not all it's cracked up to be.

thank you very very much for this, most generous (bday) gift. so glad to have 'met' you! i won't give in either, carie
Thank you, Carie--I really appreciate your comments (and I'll pass them on to Paul). I'm the older brother (by five years), in the back on the front cover (the picture was taken the night before my college graduation, so we were in a celebratory mood; Paul was about to turn 17), and on the right on the inside cover, not that you can really see what I look like in either picture--a conscious choice, you can be sure. Smiler

Paul and I did share a room for awhile, but we moved when I was nine and he was four, and we each got our own rooms in the new house. So Disembodied Voices did choke me up a bit--but there's a limit to how deep the conversations between a 9-year-old and a 4-year-old can go.

Once again, happy birthday!

(Oh, and if by "'Tim' in the little high part" you mean the "A chance is made, a chance is lost" bit at the end of the bridge, that's me--I meant for Paul to do it, but we got our signals crossed, and by the time I received his tracks back there was too much deadline pressure to go back to him).
Jeff,
Got the CD just in time for Ross's visit. Thanks so much for getting them out to us. There's just something about siblings singing together that gets to me, and you and your brother have done that with "Won't Give In." Neil and Tim would be pleased with your effort, I'm sure. Hope lots of other Frenz pick up on this thread.
Thanks,
Rox
Jeff (and Paul),
I too very much enjoyed your homegrown version of Won't Give In. Thanks for sending it along! What other Finn stuff do you guys do?
-Ross
Thanks, Roxanne and Ross.

Paul and I don't actually do much together--it's kind of hard when you're separated by two-thirds of a continent and a really big ocean. Smiler Even when I was in Thailand in May, it wasn't possible to find time, with all the family and wedding stuff going on. We have an eye on a project or two in the future, but it's likely to be original stuff (if I can ever once again tap into my very limited trickle of lyrical inspiration, that is).
All right, folks, time to make it happen. After sending out a grand total of one copy during the final quarter of 2008, I'm still hovering just below 100 copies of Won't Give In distributed. I won't tell you how many copies my prepaid license entitles me to distribute, but it's quite a few more than 100. I could just leave a stack of cds on a table somewhere, but what's the fun in that? So come on, help me get into triple digits and earn that tin record.

(Once again, I'm sad to say that my license only permits distribution within the US).

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