'One Minute With Dec' 24 Jan 2010

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“3 Minutes on the Radio With Dec” –

"My Emails Are Written With Good Humour And Should Be Read With A Smile"

[-The views of any contributor to 'One Minute with Dec' are not necessarily the views of Dec Cluskey-]

"The trouble with jogging is that by the time you realise you are not in shape, it’s too far to walk back” Victoria Cluskey


    Lady Gaga - an inspiration and a learning curve? [ the latest thinking in music ]
    Gretsch announces Eddie Cochran Tribute Guitar [ now this is style! ]
    Email Filtering Frenzy [How to get round it]
    Testimonials [Demo Consultation?]
    Subscriber's Section [ My 29 words in a song under scrutiny? ]
    The gags: ..... [Have You Ever Danced? From Dorothy]

Lady Gaga - an inspiration and a learning curve? [ the latest thinking in music ]

Whew! I have been involved in a project using Lady Gaga material.

This involved studying the production techniques on her tracks in depth. Wow! That is the only word that comes to mind. I normally point all of the members of The Serious Writers Guild toward Beyonce, for technical expertise in modern day production … but now?

I spoke with my pal and student, David, today …. I have mentored him for some years now. One of the ‘flavour of the month’ producers in London. He spoke of ‘RedOne’ who was sucked into the Akon empire to produce Lady Gaga. We spoke for a long time discussing the fact that RedOne will apply a different effect to almost each line of a Lady Gaga production. Certainly beats the socks off the old trick of choosing or selecting a reverb patch and then using it right through the track …. This is perfection in the ultimate degree … certainly got me thinking. “Perfection is a killer”

I used two of the RedOne tricks on tracks I produced this week …. Wow! He came to fame in Europe with Dance tracks that stunned everyone.

"People care about people who care about themselves" Sandra Bullock

Gretsch announces Eddie Cochran Tribute Guitar [ now this is style! ]

What a statement this latest guitar makes … for that special guitar solo in that special toon you have crafted? Or the ultimate photo shoot for your band? Nothing looks better than those old style, iconic axes … and this rates with the top. I can well remember staying with a venue owner and she showed me two of these beasts she had bought for her sons, all those years ago. She asked “what do you think, Dec” … I drooled for ten minutes!

Frozen in time for more than 40 years after the tragic car crash that took his life, the one and only modified Gretsch G6120 guitar owned by the late, great rock-n-roll pioneer, Eddie Cochran is now available.

Virtually indistinguishable from the original, the Gretsch Custom Shop G6120EC Eddie Cochran Tribute model is authentic in every detail, from the aluminium nut and bridge to the famous "dog ear" neck pickup; from the distressed vintage orange nitrocellulose lacquer finish to the relic gold-plated hardware and BigsbyB6GPVF vibrato tailpiece.

“So many guitars, so little time?” Go to http://www.gretschguitars.com/cochran/Eddie%20Cochran.pdf

"You should collaborate - If you want to work alone, become a lighthouse keeper” Dec Cluskey

Email Filtering Frenzy [How to get round it]

As the email filtering frenzy continues, email hosts end up blocking legitimate email (like this newsletter) while the "bad guys" sneak their unsolicited commercial e-junk (UCE) into your inbox.

Email hosts change their filters to block more UCE, and sometimes that causes emails that you once received regularly to be filtered out.

If you use Yahoo, and our newsletter or any other newsletter you're subscribed to stops showing up in your inbox, Check your "Bulk Folder". If the newsletter is there, open it and go to the top or bottom of the message and click the "Not Sp am" button.

The "This is not Sp am" window should appear. Check the box "Move messages to the inbox..." and press the "Mark Message as Not Sp am" Button.

As much as we email newsletter publishers hate filters, at least this setup sends suspicious mail to an easily accessible folder and gives users a way to get legitimate senders out of email purgatory.

If you are a Yahoo Mail user, and find us in your Bulk folder, PLEASE click the buttons mentioned above.

Another way to avoid missing ‘One Minute’ due to email censorship is to read it on our web site. The link is always published at the top of the ‘One Minute’ … All back editions are archived and can be retrieved at: http://www.makehits.co.uk/archive5.htm

"Why be modest? It’s too late now” Clive Anderson


“Hi Dec,

This is Andy - Bleeding Hands

Tell you what, do really like your updates, there's some great advice in there,




"Mistakes are how we learn" Grays Anatomy

Subscriber's Section [ My 29 words in a song under scrutiny? ]

“Hi Dec,

I've just analysed "From the Heart" by Another Level. Thought you'd be interested to know that it has 45 key words, out of 102 words used altogether. I obtained the 45 words figure by discounting all prepositions, pronouns, and crap verbs like 'be', 'have', 'see'.

I implore you to please revise the 29 words rule because it upsets people all the time (unless that is your objective). I have yet to find ONE hit song that fits that rule. 50 key words appears more realistic, and about 120 words if you count prepositions, pronouns, etc. You can do the maths and prove it to yourself.

Maybe I should do the maths and publish the findings in a paper, might get me a job at a University in a linguistics department.





My Reply:

Our rules are "one short reply to ONE question on music FOR NON-MEMBERS, Members of 'The Serious Writers Guild' have unlimited personal access to Dec by direct telephone, Fax and Email, apply at https://secure.mistral.co.uk/makehits/swgappsecure.htm ".

[Any advice given here shall not be deemed as financial or legal advice under any existing or future laws of any country]


As I always say "98% of what I say is correct" - it would be impossible to be 100% correct at all times ... Even the Pope proved that last week! And I never say anything 'to annoy' .... The success of The Serious Writers Guild is down to 'helping' not annoying.

The 29 word idea is valid .... 29 main words … not participles [the tiny single syllable: if, but, maybe, I, you etc.] And there are thousands of examples of 29 words or less songs ....

It is simple to find exceptions. Just as the advice I give to construct complicated, rich vocal arrangements.... Some will rush to find examples of Top Three hits without vocal arrangement [a tiny percentage of hits, by the way].

But my raison d'etre for The Serious Writers Guild is to show guys a better percentage chance of getting their material heard and sold ... And the biggest help I can give them is to drastically reduce the number, complexity and diversity of the words used in lyrics.

EVERY Demo consultation, without exception, involves me begging the writer/writers to reduce the number of words ..... It is singularly the biggest mistake that amateur writers make ..... Time and time again.

Sadly, I would have to say that they rarely learn. Possibly because it entails months of rewriting to hone the words to the perfection required. You either understand the logic of repeating and reusing words [love, loved, loving, lovely, lover, lovingly, lovestruck, lovelorn, loved up] or you want to write poetry and put it to music.

The sheer simplicity and brilliance of:

"Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the Levy but the Levy was dry."

The John Miles classic 'Music is my First Love' .... Lasts 6 1/2 minutes and has six lines.

Whitney Houston had a number one with four lines!

'Horny' was repeated 278 times in the classic Number One.

John Lennon's ambition was to write a song with one word and one chord. McCartney almost did it with a complete song containing one line .... He even read it on his poetry tour.... Quite stunning.

Dave Stewart considered that the great painters used the minimum of brush strokes and the great songwriters did the same with words. The same message can be given with three words as with twenty three ... The difference is that it is easier to remember three words.

R***** ... As they say in every gay club "don't knock it till you try it!"

Write a song limiting yourself to 29 main words ... And then just marvel at how commercial and sellable it is.

"From The Heart" remains a classic songwriter's master class.

You will remember that you sent me an Excel spreadsheet of your analysis of 'Toxic' ... I seem to remember that you were impressed that the 29 words was so accurate. [Grin!]


Dec [Cluskey] dec@makehits.com

2 Gold discs in 2008! Decca have relaunched their ‘World Of’ series on the back of those hits. Readers Digest are now promoting a triple album set …. Do you think I can help your music career succeed?

Check out 'How to Make A £Million From your Music' at http://www.makehits.co.uk. Secure purchase at https://secure.mistral.co.uk/makehits/swgappsecure.htm or fast cred*it card line: +44 1323.728005 or UK 01323.728005

“3 Minutes on the Radio with Dec” …. Available immediately at http://www.myspace.com/makehits

“90% of actors are out of work” Dustin Hoffman speaking about reality in acting

"There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity." General MacArthur

The gags: ..... [Have You Ever Danced? From Dorothy]

An old prospector shuffled into the town of El Indio , Texas leading an old tired mule. The old man headed straight for the only saloon in town, to clear his parched throat. He walked up to the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, "Hey old man, have you ever danced?" The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No, I never did dance... never really wanted to."

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, "Well, you old fool, you're gonna' dance now," and started shooting at the old man's feet. The old prospector, not wanting to get a toe blown off, started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet. Everybody was laughing, fit to be tied.

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon. The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barrelled shotgun, and cocked both hammers.

The crowd stopped laughing immediately. The young gunslinger turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man's hands, as he quietly said, "Son, have you ever kissed a mule's ass?"

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, "No sir..... but... I've always wanted to."

There are two lessons for us all here:

Don't waste ammunition.

Don't mess with old people.


Now Click here to Join 'One Minute With Dec' Mailing List.... FREE!

  • “Hi Dec £170,000 I've made in the past six months ... so many projects I haven't a minute. Number 4 in Music Week chart ... can't wait for next year ... they are predicting huge chart success for my productions. Unbelievable.
    D**** E****”

  • Enjoy video for a song I co-wrote with extraordinary Dutch singer Jenny Lane.
    I have 2 co-written songs on her great new album Monsters.
    Thanks for all the continued support & advice... Mick Lee.

  • In 2010 film, just budgeted in LA, for full theatrical in the US for $8.7mill with Paul Kay attached.
    Two Liverpool 08 commissions. First with 200 choir Second a major CD Brass Band album with Fairey Brass Band ... Phil Lawrence [UK]

  • I had my first Top Ten Hit in Germany as a songwriter, great things are happening ... I'm on tour all over Europe with the band that I'm producing. We're the official support act for 50 Cent. 15 shows in the greatest countries of Europe. Marcell Brell [Germany]

  • We played The Cavern Club in Liverpool
    Patchwork Grace were the best thing they'd ever seen!!
    Ian - Thanks again Dec! [UK]

  • I was asked to play at the Pepsi Music festival in Buenos Aires. The most important festival held on the whole South American continent. it lasts 10 days every major local star, as well as many international acts like Megadeath, The Wailers, Die Toten Hose, etc. Thanks again Dec ... Emiliano Canal [Argentina]

  • Recently I have finished a score for an independent movie called “Treehouse”. I am now composing tracks for various music libraries for licencing and am also discussing publishing the MUNKIE catalogue with various publishers. Jason Clarke. [N. Ireland]

  • This is Yosi & Ofir Nafkar from Israel member of The Serious Writer Guild Membership No NET0778030W. We wrote music for an Australian Movie By Kerry Bowden. She is a great woman who helps children in need. The movie and the music had a great success. Together we gathered 1million$. [Israel]

  • Hi Dec, some good news regarding my girlfriend Erin's songs, 3 are being used on a new American TV show. Anyway thanks again for your invaluable support, knowing your there makes this leap into the publishing world feel a lot safer ... Roger O'Donnell [The Cure]

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