The Nautical Rock Singer, Songwriter, Historian!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

We were talking-about the space between us all
And the people-who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth-then it's far too late-when they pass away.
We were talking-about the love we all could share-when we find it
To try our best to hold it there-with our love
With our love-we could save the world-if they only knew.
Try to realize it's all within yourself
No-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small,
And life flows on within you and without you.
We were talking-about the love that's gone so cold and the people,
Who gain the world and lose their soul-
They don't know-they can't see-are you one of them?
When you've seen beyond yourself-then you may find, peace of mind,
Is waiting there-
And the time will come when you see
we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you.
- George Harrison

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Aimed Arrows selected top 10 EP of 2009!

The folks at selected "Aimed Arrows" as the 9th best EP of 2009! I have been a loyal reader of the Powerpopaholic blog for a long time now, and am completely honored that they chose my EP as part of their top 10 list. In addition to selecting it #9 of 2009 they also gave it a nice review which you can check out below:

I would like to thank all of you that bought the EP and those that helped so much with its creation: Dana for her brilliant artwork, Iain for his honest opinion, Curtis for his voice & ear, & Justin for the guitar solo on "Weary Arms".

Download "Aimed Arrows" by clicking the paypal button to the right.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Mission

(view of the original mission cemetery)

(the mission today, with school to the left)
For a long time now I have been interested in California history and more specifically the California Missions. Lots of people find my interest a little odd and often ask what it is about the missions that attracts me. Here is my answer: the architecture, the art, the history, & the cemeteries. They usually respond with "Cemeteries? How morbid." I can understand this response, but I find the cemeteries so fascinating. So many people connected to the missions buried where they worked and lived.
Sadly at mission Sanbuenaventura the cemetery no longer exists. The people are still resting on the land, but instead of having tombstones mark the lives of so many of these early Californians, they are underneath a school. Above you can see a early shot of the mission with the cemetery untouched. How the powers that be could have decided it was a good idea to place a school on top of a cemetery is beyond me. This fact has always rubbed me the wrong way. So much so that I've written about it a few different times in my music. The most direct being my song "The Mission".
It was written about two years ago at my friend Jason's house while we were discussing the mission cemetery. Him and I would often talk about certain ideas and then start strumming our guitars. Most of the time I would start to think about what we had discussed and a melody would form with certain phrases from our conversation. That is what happened with "The Mission". Two years later I finally got around to making a proper recording which now appears on the "Aimed Arrows" EP. You can listen to "The Mission" below.
The Mission:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gibson 335

This Gibson 335 has to be one of my most prized possessions. Obviously because it is a classic guitar model used by nearly everyone (Chuck Berry, BB King, Eric Clapton, etc) but also because it belonged to my Dad. The 335 was his main guitar during his touring years of the late 70's & early 80's. He told me he bought it in Ventura, CA at a music shop on main street around 1976. I asked him why he decided on the 335 and he said his main reason was because he knew that Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues played one and he was a big fan of the Moody's. I have a very clear memory of the first time I ever saw this guitar. I was 4 years old sitting on my parents bed and I asked my Dad about his acoustic guitar. He handed it to me and attempted to show me how to play a chord. The neck was far too thick for my four year old hand, so he went into his closet and pulled out a big black case. He opened it up and inside was his 335. The neck was very thin and much easier for me to play a chord. It was my first experience with a electric guitar and I will always remember it well. These days my Dad plays bass (in my band in fact) and has given me the 335. I haven't been using it much as I have been having a long affair with my Telecaster....but last week I dusted of the 335 and used on my latest song "Frida At The Harbor". You can listen to that recording below and get a good idea of what the 335 sounds like.
Fun Fact: Curtis RX has used this guitar live many times

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Holidays From Paul Starling!

Here are 6 original Paul Starling songs, plus 4 covers that have been featured on this very blog. So in case you missed out on some, you can download them all right here now! I will leave the downloads up for the rest of December, so get them while you can. Oh and if you are feeling generous maybe you'd like to leave Mr. Starling a donation ------->
LinkI Don't Believe You
Questions For Jane
Why Don't You Play Nice?
Frida At The Harbor
Can't You See We Are Sailors?
The Black & White Photographer
Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
Walk On By
Soldier Of Love
Flaming Star

p.s. photo by Iain Macadam

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free Music Friday!

Hello friends. This week's 'Free Music Friday' song is extra special. It's a brand new song recorded this week! The song is titled "Frida At The Harbor" and it has a bit of a back story. My friend Curtis (Villains & Vaudevillians) & I enjoy the occasional bonfire at the harbor nearest to us. On one such occasion about 6 months ago we found a picture of Frida Kahlo (the very one pictured above) while we were walking around the boardwalk. As I'm sure most of you know, I have been interested in Frida Kahlo's work for sometime now. So when I found this photo laying on the ground in front of me, I took it as a personal sign of good luck. Soon after I placed her in my pocket (dirty minds please wander), Curtis said "Well, here comes another Frida song by Paul Starling....." He then sang in a Roy Orbison type falsetto: "and i found Frida at the harborrrrrrrr!" It now sticks in my mind as one of the more beautiful moments of the last few years. I enjoyed it so much that I recorded him & I singing that line over and over, into my cellphone. Flash-forward a few months ahead and I found myself in need of a chorus to a quirky new song. And who better to include than one of the finest surrealist, Frida?
So ladies & gentlemen, for the second time (the first being "Ballad Of A Raincoat") I present to you a song co-written by Paul Starling & Curtis Rx (well one line, but credit where credit is due!)
"Frida At The Harbor"

Download Mp3

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

John Lennon

Remembering John Lennon

Current Lennon Favorites:
1. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
2. Girl
3. In My Life
4. Nowhere Man
5. I Am The Walrus
6. Jealous Guy
7. Woman
8. Old Dirt Road
9. #9 Dream
10. You Are Here


by Iain Macadam

Monday, December 7, 2009

For My Sister

When She Left Us

Download Mp3

would have been 36 today. we all still miss you. love, brian

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mynt Green Theme

Got the chance to write the opening theme to my friend's great new blog Mynt Green Take a listen to the finished product above. After that head on over to Mynt Green and check out the awesome new blog!
You may even recognize one of the writers....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Free Music Friday!

The Black & White Photographer

Download the mp3 here
Justin Smith: lead guitar
Dave Lotfi: drums
Paul Starling: guitars, bass, vocals