[Be warned, the following entry may only appeal to guitar store geeks, music school students, etc.]
In the dressing rooms of Gloria, Darwin and I did some meticulous music detective work on one of our favorite van jams of recent days: “What a Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers. We’ve been spellbound by the musical bliss transmitted at the onset of the chorus, but have been unable to decipher exactly what maneuver Michael McDonald is manifesting. Leaning over a MacBook, guitars in our laps, we studied online chord charts and playback from the YouTube video. Navigating the song’s D flat major key and the occasional unfamiliar jazz chord required diligence, but we soon uncovered the change that happens when the song shifts from pre-chorus into pop modulation glory. The first chord in the chorus is a minor 4 of D flat major, and the trick is, it immediately becomes the minor 2 of the new key, E major. Our discovery filled us with the highest echelons of delight. “WE’VE STRUCK GOLD!” Darwin exclaimed, his eyes lighting up like a jackpot slot machine. “I haven’t felt this excited in a long time!” he gushed.
Out of all the musicians I’ve met, Darwin has a uniquely strong affinity for chord intervals. One of my favorite activities with him will always be dissecting interesting music together. I have no doubt that this particular passion of Darwin is a strong factor behind the appeal of his own music.
Now we are in Munich. As I munched across the green room sandwich spread, I listened to Darwin tinker away at his newly discovered “What a Fool Believes” chord progression as he soundchecked in the main room. I wonder where this new plaything will lead to. A future Doobie Brothers cover? A chord progression twist to be incorporated into a future Deez hit?
Tonight is our second to last show in Europe for the winter. We are so deep in this tour. Deeply in love. It’s been a dream. We will treasure it in our hearts for always. Thank you so much to every person who came out and cheered us on. After this, SXSW awaits in far off Texas, and then a month-long dip back into normal American life. Soon Australia. And then we return to this fine continent for the festivals. What an adventure we are inside of.