In honor of Mothers Day, I’m posting this video I made for my Mom. My Mom watched this right before she passed away in January 2013. I miss her so much. She was sweet, powerful, talented, funny, thoughtful, charismatic, exciting, adventurous, clever (the list goes on)….. she was my best friend.
Phil Ramone and I met last year. My Dad’s good friend Nick was very kind to connect us. When Phil and I met for lunch, little did I know that we would become good friends and that we’d become so close during the last months of his life. When we met he asked how he could help me with my music. He was straightforward and to the point and I explained that I’ve been on this musical path for some years and would like to have bigger opportunities. He offered to first listen to my music and give me honest feedback. I said, “Great!! thank you!”.
One week later we talked on the phone and he said, “I gotta still listen to your music, so I’m going to take the albums in the car and take a drive and spend time really listening” I responded very happy - “Phil, you’ll really do that?”… He responded, “Yes, each song must be listened to as if it’s a gem and that takes time, so I’m gonna take a drive… ”
We spoke the next week and I was nervous to hear his feedback, ‘cause he’s the best of the best. Thankfully, his voice was enthusiastic - - he said, “I heard some songs I like, you’re good, you’re really good. . “ Hearing that positive feedback from one of the biggest music legends made an imprint of happiness on my heart and soul that will last my entire lifetime.
Phil always ended our phone conversations by saying, “Call me next week and check in”. Every week I called him and we’d have a conversation that uplifted my spirit. Phil taught me things about music, life and being a better person. He became my mentor, teacher and friend.
As I write this, it’s hard to hold back the tears, as Phil was such a true friend and he was even there for me during the hardest time of my life - - when my Mom was very ill. After my Mom passed he comforted me with kind words. “We are all thinking of you and sending you prayers. Remember you are loved by many”. He didn’t have to say much, he was a person who could say 2 brilliant sentences and it made the same impact of a thousand words. During the last conversation we had before he went into the hospital and was no longer reachable - - he asked - - “Have you sat at the piano to write?” I responded…. “No Phil, I haven’t, it’s just something that I haven’t felt like doing… “… . Phil said, “This is a time to write….. sit down and write… .”. I said, “Ok Phil, I’ll start writing….” Hearing that suggestion was something I took very seriously. So the next day I sat down at the piano to write. Suddenly songs were pouring out of me and suddenly all the blank sheets of paper had lyrics on them. I wrote a full-length album in only 2.5 weeks. Couldn’t wait to tell Phil what he inspired me to do. What a genius Phil is - - he mentored me for months and knew the perfect time to tell me to write.
Like the thousands of people who loved Phil and were shocked to hear the news about his passing, I was too. I love Phil. He treated people with compassion, like family. He went out of his way to be kind. He was more humble than anyone I’ve ever met. What I learned most about Phil Ramone is that he is not only one of the most legendary music people that ever lived, he is one of the most legendary human beings that ever lived. He lived with an open and generous heart, appreciating music more than anyone. I believe he was a saint and I don’t say that lightly.
Phil felt like an uncle to me. Why did we become such great friends before his passing?? - I don’t understand that right now. But it was one of the biggest HONORS of my life - -we became “real friends”, and we developed a genuine friendship and that’s hard to find in life.
Whenever I called Phil he would answer the phone and pick up within 3 rings. He was ALWAYS in the studio working and busy. I’d say to him, “Phil, how on earth do you always pick up when I call??? You’re the busiest person I know, how is it possible?” Phil responded, “No one can be too busy, I don’t believe in that, there’s always time to pick up the phone. Even if you have to say, I can’t talk but will call you later”.
Phil had the spirit and heart that was ageless. Sometimes people grow older and they get cranky. Not Phil. Phil worked harder than five young people combined. He worked hard because he loved music and believed in why we do music and most of all he loved people. His heart was as beautiful and pure as they come.
I hope this isn’t the last time I see Phil. If an “afterlife” does exist, which I believe it does - - can’t wait to see him again and continue our amazing conversations.
In 2013 - I will for sure be recording the songs he encouraged me to write and will dedicate the new album to my Mom and give thanks to Phil Ramone for inspiring it all.
Phil Ramone was a “class act” and will always be in the hearts of so many!!
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” ― Oriah Mountain Dreamer
I’ve been thru some very tough times over the years. It’s been a true challenge. But somehow, I walk thru the fire with no fear.
In all of this, I’m being tested to see how much strength I have. I cry because I miss my parents, but I feel like they have blessed me with so many tools and gifts of survival. They taught me love, kindness and an intense work ethic. Thru all of the years they preached to my siblings and I to get good grades in school and work hard… now I understand why… Because of what they taught us, we’ve been able to get back into our lives pretty quickly. Not forgetting our parents, but remembering what they taught us. Focus, move forward, stay strong…
How to get thru the hard times? Take things day by day, hour by hour with gratitude for anything and everything around you… the sun is shining on my skin while the ocean breeze is coming thru the window right now … 2 friends called me today to see ‘how I’m doing’ and that touched my heart …i also started writing a new song on the piano… .etc
The MAKE LOVE video has almost 30,000 views in less than 3 weeks of its release. The response has been filled with LOVE. Thank you #teamlove. Please continue to spread this video and let’s reach 100,000 views!
Coming August 30th ~ Now Is The Time Dance Remixes album. 5 song EP album of dance remixes of the song: “Now Is The Time” from SOMODE RECORD LABEL/JAPAN. Check it out on Band Camp, Frankilove.com, Cdbaby.com and other digital retailers!