The 300 Dollar Song
When you're learning to play the guitar, you go through what I call an evolution of purity. You start from a place of uncertainty, and after years of dedication and practise you arrive at another place of uncertainty. The journey however, is one that can be eased into through layers upon layers of effect pedals. You see, when you can't hit the intended note with complete certainty and confidence, it's easier, and super fun to nudge it with a thick layered, processed wall of fuzz, reverb, delay and a myriad of other fun sonic toys. As you evolve as a player you tend to systematically strip down all the bells and whistle till its usually just you, your guitar, an amp and the channel select pedal. I definitely was not at that point in my journey yet, and at the end of the day I never considered myself a guitarist so much as a songwriter.
One of my favorite things to do with my free time was to go to Long & McQuade, a music chain in Canada, and try out all the new guitar pedals. I was playing a digital delay pedal when the guitar guy approached me and said "hey, I just got this one in yesterday, I haven't tried' er out yet but give'r shit man!" The pedal he gave me was the Electro Harmonix Memory Man.
I loved it so much I bought it right then and there, and by bought it, I mean I gave them 10 bucks down payment, put it on my infinite L&M account and took it home. The chord progression in the song is a somewhat traditional arrangement - E major7, Dflat minor, A mojor, B major, not unlike most 1950's doo wop songs. One that I probably would have said wasn't "cool" enough for me at the time, but when I played the progression through the memory man, it bypassed my musical snobbery and desire to be unique, different, significant and allowed me to appreciate the brilliance of its simplicity. It was a very ambitious song vocally and really asked a lot of the listener, patience wise, but ultimately delivered a pretty great pay off! A lot of people have told me it's their favorite leaderhouse song and on certain days it's my favorite as well. To think that the pedal only cost me 300 Dollars!