Meet Don, a man for whom the 60s are not just a decade of inspiring classic rock but also a chapter of his own life that reignited a passionate musical journey. Through the melodic pathways of yesteryears, punctuated by the rhythms of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie, he discovered a songwriting fountain that refuses to run dry. With his new band, The Pink Roses, and their debut album “Guinea Fowl and the Easter Bunny”, Don showcases not merely a revival of a classic era but an insightful exploration into the sounds and sentiments that echo through our current times. In this intimate conversation, he pulls back the curtain to reveal the heartbeat of an artist who balances day-to-day responsibilities with a relentless pursuit of musical creativity. A poignant reminder that dreams are not tethered by age, Don’s story resonates with every note, inspiring a melody that intertwines the timeless and the contemporary in a unique symphony.
Hey, thanks for chatting with us. Tell us a little about yourself.
When I turned 60 years old — and realized that I have more yesterdays than tomorrows — I decided that I wanted to write a song a week and put out a record a year until I die.
Who or what inspired you to start making music? And, when did you start?
I always listened to a lot of music when I was a kid. But I remember vividly hearing “Lola” by the Kinks for the first time and saying to myself “Wow, what a song! … what makes that one such a good and unique song? … and I wonder if I could give it a try to write one like that?” So started out a bit in high school and college, dabbling in songwriting and creating some of the world’s greatest mediocre songs 🙂 Continued and recorded a first couple of albums about twenty years ago in my 40s. Got my kids through college, married and out of the house in my 50s.
And now here we are.
What is your biggest challenge as an artist?
Balancing my day job (which funds and fuels all of this) against wanting to write, create and record 24×7.
What is your favorite project or single you have released?
The one we are working on! Our new band, The Pink Roses! And our first album, “Guinea Fowl and the Easter Bunny”!
Who are your inspirations? What artists or bands are you listening to?
Goodness. I’m a child of the 70s … so Classic Rock, right? Especially wrt songwriting, Dylan, The Beatles (John over Paul :-), Bowie, Costello, et al … and over the last decade+ or so, Guided By Voices, Tindersticks, Daniel Lanois, Wilco, etc.
What’s the process behind working on a song like?
I stitch together quilts, versus sitting down and knitting a sweater. What I mean is I save up ideas like patches of material — titles, lyrics, chords, melodies, images, ideas, etc — then make time over the week to look into everything in the bucket, see what matches and works well together — then stitch together a song!
Tell me about your upcoming music and what inspired you to create it!
We live increasingly in a postmodern world. And despite its efforts to tear down and replace the past with promises of nirvana and utopia in the future — there are already cracks in that new armor and I don’t believe it delivers the happiness and fulfillment we all desire. So … I’m writing songs that challenge that worldview and provide some hope in this postmodern world.
What are your plans for 2023?
Release the first album — and begin to build a foundation of sponsors and supporters who want to hear and see more.
Have any shoutouts?
I am a Christian. I am thankful and grateful for the opportunity in this world to better get to know Jesus Christ.
Don’s journey is a harmonious blend of nostalgia and anticipation, painting melodies that draw from the rich tapestry of classic rock while also dancing with modern, reflective themes. The Pink Roses, blossoming in a season of life often reserved for tranquility, defy norms and weave a message of timeless hope into their music. His music creation process, akin to delicately stitching a quilt from cherished memories and moments, invites us all to find beauty in the interplay of life’s varied experiences. As we anticipate the release of their first album and the emergence of this uniquely charming band in 2023, Don reminds us that melodies of rebellion, hope, and reflection are not confined to the past but continue to be a vital chorus in our present narrative. His gratitude towards life, belief, and the sacred art of creating music lights up a path for all who seek to find new beginnings, even in the autumnal phases of life’s journey.