The Journey of Serenity – ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR PROJECT
The Journey of Serenity
Recently Iâ€™ve blogged about my relentless pursuit to reach for my dreams and how that led to working with the musical heroes from my childhood, the creation of the ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR PROJECT Serenity CD and our upcoming Rockinâ€™ Recovery Tour to support National Recovery Month in September, 2011. None of these things would have happened if I didnâ€™t find the courage to get sober. After finding sobriety I tapped into my creativity and with perseverance I achieved a dream! As I look back now itâ€™s been an awesome ride that was well worth the ups and downs and twists and curves of living life on lifeâ€™s terms!
Recently, I was reading some early journal writings from the time Rock Star and I spent in the studio recording Serenity. I thought it might be interesting to share some excerpts from those journals and give you a glimpse at how Serenity became a reality!
Day 1 in the studioâ€¦First day of recording with the legendary Bob Kulick alongside with his partner Brett Chassen. Bob is a Grammy award winning artist and producer and was carefully hand selected by Rock and I to produce and polish what will be our first CD release. We will also be tapping Chris Caffery (TSO, Savatage) for a role as producer on a few select songs. We are excited to have him!
Todayâ€™s first day was fun. I laid down the tracks for the first two songs we are working on. The first is called â€˜Do it for youâ€ and the second is called â€œDonâ€™t give upâ€. It is unclear who will be singing on these yet but hey, at least we got the drums down. I had to play to a click track for the first time ever and I was able to find its groove quickly. By the time the session ended, I found myself missing the â€œclick click clickâ€ in my head!
We go back Thursday and Friday for another beating. Forgive the pun. On Thursday, we will be laying down the tracks for â€œSuch a Bitchâ€ and â€œStronger Nowâ€. I am sure the â€œStrongerâ€ title will change. I am not feeling it. I will also be telling Brett I want to re-record the drumming to the bridge section of â€œDo it for youâ€ to include the ride cymbal. I hope heâ€™s not mad! All in all this is an amazing and super experience.
Day 10 in the studioâ€¦ Oh crap! Bruce is coming in. Bruce Kulick! How cool is that we got Bruce Kulick to play on â€œDo it for youâ€ and â€œAbuse Meâ€. Ok, so Bruce walks in, we make the introductions and are beside ourselves that we are going to be working with him today. As if all this wasnâ€™t enough, he then whips out the guitar, a 1953 Les Paul, that his brother had used on the studio side of Kiss Alive 2 for such songs as â€œRocking in the USAâ€ and â€œLarger than Lifeâ€. It was also used on some songs for Paul Stanleyâ€™s 1978 Solo album. He plugs it in and immediately begins crafting a solo for â€œDo it for youâ€. When the dust settled and all was said and done, the result was amazing. It was so eerie to hear that tone from the guitar that was featured on so many of those classic Kiss tunes, now being played on our track. We got some pictures of it and some great video as well. God, it came out so amazing!
The next track was called â€œAbuse Meâ€. It is a weird song. Itâ€™s very Kiss like up front but then eventually settles into a Beatles type bridge section, only to go right back in a Kiss type arrangement for the chorus. It is a delicate beast. The song is about my love affair with drugs, so it takes you through a wide array of emotions. We set it up this way to be able to communicate the message about the dangers of drugs. I have to say, thank god we chose Bruce to play on this track as well. He nailed it, note for note and he thought of a few things that never even crossed our minds. That is the difference between a pro and someone who just plays for fun. From his years of playing, Bruce just has this vast array of tools that he is able to pick and choose from and is able to use these tools and ideas to best compliment a song like this.
Day 13 in the studioâ€¦So we went in Monday the 11th and nailed out a track called â€œWe Are Oneâ€. Itâ€™s odd, this track was supposed to be a song called â€œI am sorryâ€ but ultimately ended up being too upbeat. So since I am responsible for all the melodies and lyrics for this project, I felt I needed to make best use of the emotion that I was feeling while listening back to the track. Something was pulling me towards having it be a song that celebrates a community of recovering addicts. And so it hit me, why not be a song named â€œWe Are Oneâ€. The irony to this story is that this is the track that I worked on with some young recovering addicts while in Chicago. How appropriate is that! So cool!
Anyway, let me tell you. The song was developed from an acoustic tune that my brother handed to me some time ago. It was this track that I let the kidâ€™s rock along with, put their â€œvibeâ€ on it, and is now what I regard as my most favorite track on the CD. Although I must say, I have yet to write any of the lyrics yet, but I do have some great ideas for the melodies!
Wow! Itâ€™s been quite the journey thinking back on those days when the CD was just a vision. Putting my sobriety first, a lot of hard work and keeping focused on my vision led to the evolution of Serenity! And now to see that copies of the CD are selling at Hot Topic Stores across the country is beyond my wildest dreams!
Got a question for me? Click on the Ask Super Star tab above!
About me: I am Super Star Yes, that is my legal name. I have earned that name by accomplishing what many people would consider impossible â€“ I chose to stay sober one day at a time. I left the crack houses to mingle with Hollywoodâ€™s elite, ending up working with all of my childhood musical heroes and have discovered my purpose in life after surviving an almost 15-year battle with the disease of addiction.
I am a former computer consultant turned recording artist, anti-drug campaigner, author, professional speaker, director of a non-profit, sober companion and advocate. I run a blog dedicated to topics of substance use disorder, recovery, and issues specific to teens. I have recently penned the much anticipated book titled The First 30 Days to Serenity which can be ordered by clicking HERE.
I am also a musician who recorded Serenity, a first-of-its-kind CD created in conjunction with my twin brother, Rock Star solely to combat addiction. It was produced by a Grammy-winning producer and features many of our musical heroes, who have come together to help us tell our story in an effort to help others through their own addiction struggles. Guests on our CD include current and former members of the bands Kiss, Heart, The Goo Goo Dolls, Dokken,Trans-Siberian Orchestra as well as many more. It rocks â€“ musically and inspirationally and can be purchased HERE!
This journey has led to the creation of Rockstar Superstar Project. The RSSS mission is to spread awareness of the disease of addiction and decrease the social stigma still associated with it. Our goal is that through our efforts others will have opportunities for those necessary conversations about the impact of substance use disorder and see that there is a light out of the darkness; that there is HOPE. The RSSS brand is synonymous with sobriety and making responsible choices. We want people to know you donâ€™t need to party or use drugs to be a â€œstarâ€. Everyone deserves to learn the tools to be the best they can be and to realize their dreams. RSSS is committed to conveying this message especially to Americaâ€™s youth!
Choosing a sober path is the only way to become a Super Star.
* Serenity CD available for sale at HOT TOPIC March 2011 OR HERE
* First 30 Days to Serenity by Super Star to be published in early 2011
* Skype discussion/presentation (middle and high school students) with Super Star – Happening NOW!
* Fundraising program for schools and organizations selling RSSS brand merchandise
* Got Serenity? School (middle, high school and college) assembly presentations – Happening NOW!
* Rockinâ€™ Recovery Month Concert Tour â€” September 2011
Always love, always encourage, and never let despair get in the way.
~ Super Star ~
NOTE TO THE READER: This blog is written with the understanding that the content is strictly the experiences and thoughts of the author. The author is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Any application of this material is at the readerâ€™s discretion and sole responsibility.
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