How Elvis Presley led to a “Chapter of Night” for Lonnie Glass

Lonnie Glass has travelled across North America collecting a wealth of musical and life adventures, while also being inspired by the history of the places he’s travelled.  His latest release, “Chapter of Night,” paints the dramatic landscape of the American Civil War without judging its’ participants.

Reading over Lonnie’s bio, one is struck by the diversity and risk-taking that must have been necessary to have such an eclectic collection of experiences.  Lonnie took some time before the release of his CD to share his wealth of experiences on co-writing, and taking the road less travelled.  It’s incredible to read how a life changing moment with Elvis Presley has lead to such an incredible adventure.

1.  “Chapter of Night” is about the American Civil War.  Why has this piece of history inspired you so much and what do you hope listeners get out of this album? I do not know why this period inspires me to the extent that it does. Perhaps it is because THIS STORY  as metaphor defines ALL suffering, oppression, valour, glory, hope, hopelessness, reclamation and tragedy.

I would wish for them to weep when I have wept. To wonder when I have pondered. To feel what I have felt. Is that not songwriting’s purpose?

2.  Internet co-writing was a pivotal turning point for you.  Can you describe how it happened and what type of virtual co-writes you have participated in since then?  Any tips for songwriters who may be apprehensive or nervous about trying it out? I had placed some of my music on “Broadjam”, an internet music service where everyone can listen and critique one’s tunes.

A fellow from Leesburg, Virginia, who happened to be a poet,  responded to my tunes and asked if I would put music & melody to his poetry. We experimented with 1 tune..I rearranged some words(that the general public would not understand), created a chorus and bang zoom…we had co-written our 1st tune. We have done 47 since then.  It was years of work before I even met my colleague.

I have done 2 others with a fellow from England.

One difficulty, which i especially had with the English bloke where the final composition was so unlike the original, was that the co-writer simply didn’t recognize it and therefore felt bereft or even usurped of his original idea!….With my friend in Virginia, it was clear…he wrote lyrics, I made melody & music…the lyrical alterations were incosequential…..It was years of work before I even met my colleague.

I would highly reccommend co-writing. If you can learn to relinquish the “I”, “Me”, “Mine” of one’s OWN. Rid yourself of the need to create “Hits” and merely create. To not try it is to believe one has nothing to learn from someone elses experiences.

3.  You’ve had quite an eclectic life path from being born in Montreal, being influenced by the Toronto folk music scene, picking the moss off orange trees in Florida,  to playing Vietnam protest songs at Michigan university, and more recently you have been gigging with a ZZ-Top tribute band.  How has such dynamic past influenced your songwriting? The songs i’ve written HAVE actually been a reflection of my past. I have written R&B tunes, Protest Songs, Blues Songs,Folk Songs, Rock Songs.

I have yet to write a French song, c’est la vie!

4.  It sounds like your life journey has been defined and charted by your music.  What have you had to sacrifice to keep following your muse?  What has been the sweetest victory thus far? If  a “normal life” is the paradigm, then I have sacrificed it!  I would have to say that being 60 years old(November 2nd) and still playing, travelling, writing, reading and being inspired and inspiring others is the sweetest victory, thus far!!  So many of my friends who were in music have vanished from that stage.

5. How was the production of this album different from your past projects? My 1st CD in 1990 was FULL production. I had a producer, hired guns, horns, BG singers, recorded in the USA…the whole ball of wax.

I then did 1 CD at a Pro-Tools Studio over 9 months..

Then 2 “Kitchen-sink” type CD’s recorded at home.

This CD was a bit of each….recorded at home(digital 8-track), mixed using pro-tools and Mastered at a “Real” Studio.

6.  Your life changed the moment you saw Elvis Presley at Maple Leaf Gardens.  You knew you were meant for the stage.  What piece of advice would you give to someone who just had the same epiphany? JUST DO IT!……………………….whether professionally or amateur………….always keep music in your life!  Above all, do not let ANYONE deflect you from your course…life and circumstance will show whether it is a reasonable possibility for you.

Album Cover

7.  What is the best thing that could happen for you and this album? That I sell 1 copy to every American!!!  320,000,000 sales ……..[wouldn’t be] too shabby!!!

That is the BEST!…but I could settle for less….the opportunity to travel and present this Story (and others that are in the works) to people in concert.

Read his bio and hear some of his songs.  Click Here.

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