The Story Behind The Song
Another installment in the ongoing presentation of the musical works by:
The First Recorded Version:
“That’s The Way” is the very first song written by Shane O’Brien at the tender age of sixteen years of age. It is a slow blues piece that actually leans towards a Rock/Blues reminiscent of the first Led Zeppelin album. Make no mistake though, that this recorded piece of work laid down during a night almost 3 decades ago, would create the foundation to an ever growing music catalog. Picture painting and storytelling is what O’Briens music is known for. Song created with themes perspectives that could have come from anyone and everyone. The link at the beginning of this paragraph takes you to the first Southern California recording session Shane had booked. Actually this was to be the first of hundreds of songs to be recorded by Shane O’Brien with different band configurations. Through the early days of the Shame, Shame, Shame, Blues Band [1983-2000], followed by the many recordings of Shane O’Brien and O’Briens Edge [2000-2012] which he refers to as “the O’Briens Edge family of musicians”.
The studio format at this 1st Los Angeles recording of The SSS Blues Band was to be the way most sessions in the future were to be orchestrated. Recorded Live in that full band format without much use for overdubs. One take for per track ensured economically that there was enough time to get another two more songs recorded. Existing in Shane’s head in those days was a gang of fresh ideas that could slip to the wayside very quickly if not captured in the moment.
In the band for that 1983 North Hollywood session were Lee Campbell on drums, Mike Vandermark on bass guitar and Shane O’Brien using his 1963 Gibson SG with vocals. Lee Campbell owned the studio and met Shane for the first time that night. Shane found this studio from the advertizing page on the back cover of a “Music Connection Magazine” bought at a local 711. Lee realized that not only was Shane calling to book some studio time, a drummer was needed as well. So Lee called an associate to engineer the session after offering his services as the drummer with no extra fees. Obviously Lee Campbell discovered that wanted to be involved in that way for that session.
About The Song Itself:
A first Love in life is so very special to anyone is it not, and as life moves on it is most likely to be the first of many loves in one’s life. You never forget that first kiss or walking around hand in hand for everyone one to see. A free world youthful innocence experience and enjoyed by most American and Canadian kids and subject to songs and movies without end. What about that first break up though? Most don’t really care to remember that part of it too much really. It’s the cool stuff we remember mostly. Well this tale is more of telling that whole story of a love won and lost during them there tender ages of teen adolescence.
The bottom line is, “it’s over and done and all between us I know. Know that regardless of where our relationship is now, I will grow from that greatest of shared love we lived in the time of our yesterdays, even if I move far, far away. Also in those times, I will always recall that special period in life as I start a fresh brand new beginning. “I guess that’s just the way life’s meant to be, for me“.” As the writer for me this showed a lot of thinking was going on for a kid just sixteen year of age, especially considering this song was put to music with that lyric, which anyone can still hear today.
The song itself hasn’t changed much at all, just a little maturing in the delivery, that’s all. Although variations occur in all of the different band renditions that have been captured on audio or video recordings, the core feel of the music and lyrical intent of “That’s the Way“ sustains intact.
Walker’s Cafe in San Pedro, California
The following live video recording is from a show at Walker’s Cafe in San Pedro, California. Shane O’Brien was invited to perform in between bands scheduled that day. As it happened, two willing musicians who were members of different bands, offered to accompany Shane for his time on that bandstand of June 18th 2011.
The Musicians on this Video are:
Teo Manzella on Bass Guitar
Larry Valenze on Drums
Jamie O’Brien Recorded His Version:
Jamie O’Brien paid a visit to his Dad in Los Angeles in 2008. Accompanying him was his buddy and bass player of his band “The Strict” based in Michigan. Their visit was to be a short three day stay, so Shane booked a recording session to capture the moment. The studio belonged to Danny Timms, Shane’s long time friend and recording associate of the time. The itinerary for that session included two songs. “Gangster” written by Jamie O’Brien and the second was a special request from Jamie “That’s the Way”. In retrospect it seems like Jamie came prepared to record that track, and had been listening to his Dad’s first recorded version for a while. Jamie and base playing buddy Tyler Malaga, came to California prepared. What a treat for all to see and listen to the kid do the first song the old man wrote. Jamie and Tyler by the way, were both 17 years old.
Stay tuned for another installment of the ongoing series
featuring the genuine music of
The Story Behind The Song
Since 2005 O’Brien has CD nominations to Award Shows for the last 7yrs
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