I still love this project. It’s pure. I love how it started – I love how it ended. Jake Clemons and I met maybe 48 hours before we made this video together. And I do mean TOGETHER. That’s all there was, Jake and I ( and Ellie that is – Hi Ellie! – Ellie didn’t “work” on this project per say but she’s the Cambridge, UK dynamo who was part of the heart glue that connected Jake and I in the first place and Ellie makes a background appearance in this work of heart).
This is summer 2011. It’s pre E-Street band Jake, pre loss of his dear E-Street co-founder Uncle Clarence and pre climbing all those stadium stages to come, Jake. This is Jake and I, two raw artists hustling our wares direct from our hearts and souls. I’ll share our pure and true and yet full on professionally organic production cycle below. Two creative lads givin’ it our all, in openness:
How’d it come about?
Jake and I met one day in Cambridge, we chatted it up at the flat I was renting with my wife, Jake grabbed my guitar that was sitting in our living room, started strumming some of his tunes and we shot a couple of his songs acoustic in my flat and backyard. We then strolled over to the neighbourhood Green Dragon Pub along the River Cam, for a couple of pints, a plate of good grub and some more musician-filmmaker “tête-à-tête”. Jake said, “Want to shoot a music video tomorrow?” I said, “Ya, definitely”. We chatted more life then parted for the night. Jake emailed me his “It’s On” EP. I listened, loved it, and zeroed in on the big band sound of “Love’ll Never Change”.
I said to my brain, “How do we shoot Jake and his big band sound when there’s just him and me and my DV camera?” I thought of the song. Thought of love, the tension and the mystery of the brokenness, imperfection and the healing bonds that only love can handle and which Jake’s song rooted up. And I thought of Chalk. The impermanence of it, yet it’s ability to cover and tag the landscape, to communicate the now on buildings, sidewalks and real world tangible things; I thought of the creativity it puts in our hands, the power to communicate and connect; and I thought of the solo-ness, the alone-ness and solitude of Jake. And I thought of shadows. The contrasts, the opposite ends that make up the trueness of life. The tangible and yet intangible us. I thought of relationship and being real. All overnight.
In the morning I told Jake about the song choice and idea. Let’s meet, bring my guitar and some chalk and connect at Jesus Green. I’m going to film you writing the lyrics of your songs on the pavement path and drawing the musical instruments, piano, bass, drums, for the band to play. Then I’m going to film your shadow and maybe the shadows of passers-by if it happens, playing the instruments. We’ll see. Let’s do it and go with it. About two hours later that’s where we met, that’s what we did.
We were playing around with contrasts. Words of truth and meaning written in chalk while people walk and ride over them, some with little regard, others stopping, back stepping, taking the time to read and ingest. Impermanence of chalk versus it’s ability to reach you in the now – tagged onto the real world and getting your attention. Reaching out to that question of love – that core of love, the part of love that remains, unified to truth, when the fires and flaws, deepest hurts and deepest wounds of this life burn through and that smelted living core remains.
All that in a little, honest, unpretentious video, open to let life bring what it would, so long as you showed up to play and give it your best. Still hoping to swing for the fence, a little higher and little longer than they might think we could.