Tom And Vinnie's Journal...
Feb 15th, 2005
The Velmas Record Their Version Of "Restless, Restless" On Their New CD "Recess"!
One of the best versions of "Restless, Restless" makes it's official CD debut on upstate New York legends The Velma's new record "Recess". Tom and I fell in love with their version when we first heard it as part of the Howard Stern "Restless, Restless" contest. The CD is available now. We highly recommend you that you also check out their their debut record "Another Day At School". These guys record great alternative pop with a nice edge.
Jan 15th, 2005
Tom Gesimondo gives two weeks notice at his high paying job working for New York's #1 radio station to focus on his songwriting career!
We'll part of this story is true. While Tom will still be spending all of his crucial free time writing more great songs with me (Vinnie) he is embarking on a new career. Details are still a bit sketchy but we'll be updating this fast breaking story as news comes in. In the meantime, you can read all about it at the great Howard Stern web site. Congratulations to Tom for have the balls to do what most of us just talk about doing. I'm getting all misty, maybe we'll right a song about this.
Tom and Vinnie re-launch Rip The Music to commemorate Tom's great news.
We just redesigned our web site thanks to a great template from My Arts Desire. Tom and I have been pretty tied up for the holidays (we'll I've been tied up with the holidays, Tom is off starting whole new businesses. Now that they're behind us, we'll be able to finish some of the great demos we have stockpiled up. We just expanded our Podcast library with a new installment of the "Beatlesque Music Show" and the debut of the epic "Beatles Cover Series" which by our conservative estimate should encompass at the minimum 100 hours. It will span 41 years of Beatles cover versions [the good, the bad and the ugly] and encompass just about every genre of music that's out there. Keep checking back for three additional Podcast series; "Classic Songwriting Teams", "The Best Of Restless, Restless" and "Tom & Vinnie Write The Songs".
Dec 20th, 2004
The Beatlesque Music Show #2 Is Now In The Jukebox And Available For Download
The second episode of the Beatlesque Music Show is now in the Podcast jukebox and available for download as well.
Dec 19th, 2004
New Episode Of The Beatlesque Music Show Will Be Posted Sunday Night
A new episode of the Beatlesque Music Show will be posted later this evening. We'll be playing The Choir, Cheap Trick, The Rubinoos, The dBs and many many more Fab Four influenced bands.
Dec 10th, 2004
Rip The Music Launches It's First Podcast Show!
Last month Tom & I announced that we were going to co-host a Podcast show that was going to be all about songwriting (including our own). We've been having some difficulties putting the show together because we need to record it from our respective homes and we're having trouble recording our host segments. I can record my end but can't seem to patch him in. Since I've been on vacation this week, I thought I'd use the time to record a Beatles related show I've been wanting to do for the longest time. The show is called "Beatlesque" and has lot's of great Beatles inspired music. I have huge playlist of Beatles related music to record many many shows. Here's the first one for your IPod listening pleasure.
Oct 21st, 2004
Eric Garner's Version Of "Wile Away" Is Here!
As promised, Tom and I are happy to announce the release of Eric Garner's "Wile Away" (and not a moment to soon). Now you can finally hear the song the way it was meant to be heard. Here's the back story. I first heard about Eric when I was listening to the Howard Stern radio show while getting ready to catch my bus to New York. Howard had been promoting a contest where listeners were encouraged to record their version of one of our songs called "Restless, Restless". Tom and I were wondering what kind (if any) submissions would come in. We figured at best that there would be a ton of novelty versions. Boy were we wrong. I knew we were going to be in for a treat when I heard the opening of Eric's version (phone sound effect followed by Eric's vocal building throughout the song). Brilliant...it reminded me of Fountains Of Wayne and Blondie (circa "X Offender"). Although Tom and I had absolutely nothing to do with Eric's version, we felt very proud of it. We finally got to meet Eric through a "Restless" discussion on the Howard Stern bulletin board. We discussed collaborating on some unfinished songs that we both might have. Eric send us an untitled demo instrumental that we fell in love with immediately. The title and opening lines hit Tom and I instantly and the song was pretty much finished within a week. We were nervous when we sent it to Eric figuring we'd probably ruined his song. We were thrilled when he told us he liked it a lot. His first pass at singing it was perfect. But Eric is a perfectionist and wanted to try it some other ways. Collaborating on a song is not an easy thing and while we liked what he was doing, he had ended up altering his delivery on what we felt was the best part of the song ["I know what this life is for, when it's not my life anymore"]. It was such a beautiful delivery that we asserted ourselves and asked him to sing it the original way. Being the true collaborator that he is, he agreed and the song is better for it. If you are familiar with my demo of the song, [vocals aside] you'll appreciate the melody on that line when you hear Eric sing it. So here it goes, "Wile Away" the way it was meant to be heard as sung by Eric Garner. We hope you like it.
Oct 16th, 2004
The Rip The Music Bulletin Board Is Now Open!
We've been getting tons of emails (pro and con) about our latest song "Wile Away". We are also getting lots of comments and questions about the other songs in our jukebox. We thought it would be a good idea to set up a simple bulletin board where we can discuss not only our music but music in general. Favorite songs, lyrics, bands etc... So if your feeling "restless", why don't you "wile away" your time on our board.
Oct 15th, 2004
"Wile Away" Mania Continues....As Of One Hour Ago 98,000 Unique Visitors Have Sampled The Song!
We always knew how powerful the Howard Stern radio show was, now we are feeling the power of his website. Thanks to the write up on his website about our new single "Wile Away" (and the link to our site) we are close to 100,000 downloads of our song! We are getting so many first time visitors that we are also seeing a high number of downloads for the other songs in our Jukebox (especially our band's version of "Restless, Restless"). Keep on checking back because this is a fertile time for our music. Coming soon, the final version of "Wile Away" as sung by Eric Garner. Don't forget that we also have posted the "karaoke" version with lyrics for you to do your own version of the song. Who knows, maybe your version will be heard by the thousands and thousands of people who are checking in on a regular basis. Thanks again for visiting our site.
Tom & Vinnie Introduce Navar At CBGB
Tom and I had the honor and pleasure of introducing upstate New York sensations Navar to an enthusiastic audience at the legendary CBGB club in Manhattan on Tuesday night. We met Navar when they submitted a blistering cover of "Restless, Restless" for the Howard Stern 'Restless' contest. They surprised us with a live version of the song that had the crowd going wild. We met the band when their lead singer Pat Barry sent us their new CD "Your Window". The entire CD blew us both away with it's diversity. With the exception of the new Tears For Fears CD (see review below) I can't stop playing it (start to finish). In fact, I'll go so far to say that there is one song ["Slumber"] which is hands down one of my favorite songs this year. These are young guys [Pat, Ben, Skippy and Tim] but when you hear this song, you will swear they are channeling the musical souls of Dion DiMucci, Paul McCartney with a dash of "Sea Of Love" from the great Phil Phillips. Take a listen for yourself, it will make your day. You'll be hearing a lot more from Navar, both on this site and on a radio near you.
Oct 14th, 2004
"Wile Away" Is Downloaded More Than 30,000 Times In The Last 14 Hours...More Than U2's New Single!
Thanks to the exposure on the massively popular Howard Stern radio show this morning, our new single, "Wile Away" has been downloaded over 30,000 times (and that's just in the last 14 hours)! We are on pace to pass U2's new single "Vertigo" (a great song by the way). Read all about it at howardstern.com. You can also search for "favale" to read archived stories about Tom and Vinnie. Check back next week for the final demo which will be sung by a real singer, Eric Garner. You won't be disappointed.
Oct 12th, 2004
The "Wile Away" Demo Is Here!
Tom and I are happy to announce that our collaboration with Eric Garner ["Wile Away"] is almost done. Eric is tweaking the final version which will have his vocal. In the true spirit of ripthemusic.com we are posting Eric's original instrumental which inspired Tom and I to write the lyrics [Eric also added some nice lyrical touches]. We are also posting my demo which has me singing the song with and without the music backing track. Be forewarned, this song is not even close to falling into my limited vocal range. I even had to alter the melody on certain lines in order to sing it. When you hear Eric's demo [which should go up next week] you'll be hearing the definitive version of the song. Enjoy!
Oct 11th, 2004
We Interrupt This Blog To Bring You Some Important Rock & Roll News
The vocal demo for "Wile Away" will be posted tomorrow [10/12]. In the meantime, I have to digress for a moment from the purpose of this web site [spotlighting the songwriting process between Tom and I] to tell you about a CD that has left me speechless (but still able to type].
What happens when you cross Xtc, Burt Bacharach, Ten CC, Paul McCartney, ELO, Brian Wilson and Phil Spector? You get the best damn album of the decade (so far). I've seen the future of retro roll and it's Tears For Fears. These guys may not have had a huge LP output but they always hit for average. How many bands could generate a legitimate “best of” with only five albums? Everyone knows the story. They started off as a classic British early 80's New Wave band. There first singles ("Mad World", "Pale Shelter", "Change") were well crafted, ethereal pop. They broke out big time with "Shout", "Everyone Wants To Rule The World" and "Head Over Heels" and made the predictable (albeit well crafted) follow-up aka "oh what the hell let's break up" album. How a band can split up after a song as great as "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" is beyond me. Co-founder Curt Smith went on to a solo career and Roland Orzabal continued as a one man Tears For Fears. Their subsequent albums were good but hearing how fantastic they sound re-united on Everyone Loves A Happy Ending makes everything they've done to date pale by comparison. This album is so strong that I think they should rename it "Best Of Tears Vol 2". Every song is a home run. It's a perfect game, it's the triple crown, it's the 8th gold medal, it's the fifth Beatle. The production is stellar, the melodies are haunting and there are more hooks than a bait shop. You must buy this album. I've listened to it from start to finish 20 times in a row. This never happens. The mp3 revolution has made music an ala carte world. I thought the album was dead but I was wrong. One listen and you will be hooked.
Check back on Tuesday for the "Wile Away" vocal demo. A bit rough but a killer melody that won't disappoint.
Oct 5th, 2004
Stop The Presses! "Headlines, Headlines" Takes A Temporary Backseat To "Wile Away"
As you already know from our last update, "Headlines, Headlines" is almost complete. We're still one lyric away from taking it to the demo stage. But a strange thing happened on to way to completing the song. First a little back story. Tom and I recently became acquainted with a very talented singer/songwriter by the name of Eric Garner. Eric had submitted what ended up being one of our favorite versions of "Restless, Restless" in that recent Howard Stern contest. We met him on the Howard Stern bulletin board where he was one of the many participants in a rather lengthy discussion about all of the different versions which were recorded of that song. After listening to some of Eric's music, Tom and I were very impressed. He had some really good songs with some gorgeous melodies. We decided to reach out to him to see if he'd be interested in collaborating on some songs. Lucky for us, he said he was. Tom and I got to spend some time with Eric and we all clicked immediately and agreed to some long distance songwriting. Eric hit us with a bunch of instrumentals in search of lyrics. This one beautiful melody (soon to be christened "Wile Away") stood out. Tom and I latched on to it right away. We wrote a set of lyrics and sent them to Eric with our fingers crossed. Our paranoid side had us convinced that we had ruined his song and that we would never hear from him again. Thankfully, he responded enthusiastically to what we wrote. We went back and forth for a little while (actually several months) and finally finished the lyrics to everyone's satisfaction. Due to time constraints (our jobs, our wives, our lives!) it's going to take us at least two weeks to get the final demo complete. We're going to post the lyrics today. We'll get the rough vocal demo up next week and then have the final demo (with music) posted within two weeks. The lyrics to "Wile Away" were truly inspired by the music. It has a very lazy, Sunday kind of feel to it. I'm sure each one of us has our own interpretation of the song. To me, it's about a guy whose crazy in love with a girl. While she definitely loves him, he may be in love with her just a little bit more than she is with him. The song takes place during their first time apart from each other. Maybe she's away on business, maybe she's vacationing with some friends. He's happy just to be in love, waiting for her to come home. The guy may come off a bit weak but hey, he's in love. This song will break your heart when you hear it. Here it is:
Oct 3rd, 2004
"Restless, Restless" Won't Die!
While we struggle to finish "Headlines, Headlines", our one hit wonder "Restless, Restless" keeps on rearing it's head. Here are several more versions of the song that have cropped up on the internet. They are all great versions from bands that are clearly going places. Here are the bands and the links to their web sites;
"Headlines, Headline" Demo Update Part Two
Ok, this is getting real frustrating. Tom and I finally got to spend some quality time together to finish up the song. The music and arrangement is 100% done (and it's great). The frustrating part is that we are still one line short of completing the song or to paraphrase Elton John and Bernie Taupin's great song about making music ["Writing"], we're trying to 'instigate the structure of another line or two'. Here are the updated lyrics [the missing line reads 'blah blah blah"}. We'll hopefully be able to get this done before the month is over.
Sep 23rd, 2004
"Headlines, Headline" Demo Update,
At the risk of sounding like a "dear diary" entry, we really do have some exciting news. Our new demo "Headlines, Headlines" is almost complete. The lyrics are three quarters done [see below] but the melody and arraignment is complete. We expect to get a lot of flack for writing another song that has a repeat title but this one is even better than "Restless, Restless". As soon as Tom gets some free time (probably this weekend) we will have it completed and ready to be post. It's pure power pop with a slice of Beatles heaven!
Another Great "Restless, Restless" Cover
Speaking of "Restless, Restless", check out this version of the song which was done by Eric Garner. Eric is a brilliant musician and songwriter. We've been calling his version "the one that sounds like Blondie, meets Fountains Of Wayne, meets Grease".
Tom & Vinnie's Two New Collaborations!
Speaking of Eric, we liked his version so much that we tracked him down and are now collaborating on some new music. Stay tuned for those demos. We are also happy to announce our new collaboration with Kevin Remuck aka the winner of the "Restless, Restless" contest. Kevin surprised us with a cover of our song "Falling In Love". He is another major talent and Tom and I will be helping him on his first CD.
Sep 17th, 2004
Kevin Remuck, Winner Of The "Restless, Restless" Contest Covers "Falling In Love"!
We were pleasantly surprised when got got a call from Kevin Remuck telling us he was working on a cover of "Falling In Love". After hearing what he did with his beautiful version of "Restless, Restless" we can't hardly wait to hear what he comes up with. Kevin told us that he and his band are working on their debut CD. They will be re-cutting "Restless, Restless" which will likely be on the CD. We'll keep you posted.
Sep 7th, 2004
Demo Alert !!! Tom & Vinnie's Anti Disco Classic; "Rock & Roller Child" Is Resurrected
Although we are going through a recent burst of creativity (we are working on four new tunes), we decided to dust off an old demo from 1974 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of disco. "Rock & Roller Child" was written as answer to the disco explosion swirling around those of us who were living in Brooklyn and Queens at the time. It seemed that everyone we knew at the time was totally into the scene (especially the girls). Over the years, we've come to appreciate disco for what it is (bubblegum music you can dance to) but reading the lyrics, you can tell we were pretty pissed. Vinnie's brother Anthony plays guitar (listen for when the amp goes out midway and he has to give it a whack to turn back on). We hear it as the Ramones meets Bowie,
It's Alive !!! "Restless, Restless" In Concert
The band Bump is making news again with their live version of "Restless, Restless". When you hear the live version, you'll know that their talent is the real deal and not some studio wizardry. They will be appearing at the Knitting Factory on Friday, November 12th.
Sep 4th, 2004
Detroit's Bump + "Restless, Restless" = Elvis Costello With A Dash Of Wilco
Detroit's very own, Bump make a significant contribution to the "Restless, Restless" jukebox with their beautiful rendition. They perfectly catch the sadness of the song. Beautifully recorded as well.
Sep 2nd, 2004
Navar Gives "Restless, Restless" A Set Of Balls
Upstate New York's Navarmade "Restless, Restless" their own with a blistering cover. We've never felt more manly in our lives!
Aug 29th, 2004
"Restless, Restless - Mania" Continues...Laughing With Lulu's Remix Of The Original Demo
Aug 28th, 2004
The Velmas Perform "Restless, Restless" To A Packed House In NYC Saturday Night!
Albany sensations The Velmas performed their power pop fueled version of "Restless, Restless" Saturday night to a packed house at the Pussycat Lounge in NYC. The Velmas debut album Another Day At School is available now. Their version of "Restless,Restless" will be a bonus track on their up coming EP.
Aug 26th, 2004
Tom & Vinnie Get Ripped Apart On The Howard Stern Show..."Vinnie Is Creepy.
Tom and Vinnie got roughed up this morning on the Howard Stern show for the way they acted during their appearance on last night's "Restless, Restless" finale on E!. Apparently, being excited about having a song you wrote over 20 years ago interpreted by such a talented group of people is not worthy of celebration. Read the gory details.
Aug 19th, 2004
Congratulations To Kevin Remuck, Winner Of The "Restless, Restless" Contest.
Boston native Kevin Remuck was the winner of the "Restless, Restless" contest on the Howard Stern Show. Kevin's country ballad beat out legendary crooner Robert Goulet's swing version and Jeff Stillman's honky-tonk version. Congratulations to Kevin on a great job. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from Kevin and his band in the future. Read about it and check out the photos at Howard's website [lower, right bottom of the page].
Aug 18th, 2004
The "Restless, Restless" Karaoke Lounge Is Now Open! Find Out How To Record Your Own Version.
Ok, here's the deal. We're real happy with the new arraignment of "Restless, Restless" that we recorded with our band Crucial Head. While Vinnie did a commendable job singing on the band demo, he's no Robert Goulet. So we decided to post the instrumental version of our new arraignment in hopes that someone out there can really nail it. We hear it as a Traveling Wilburys style tune as sung by Tom Petty. We're curious to see what you can come up with. We'd also love to hear some female singers as well. Here's the instrumental track and these are the lyrics. Good luck! We'll be posting the different versions as they come in. Who knows, maybe one of them will be a hit. You can email them to us at email@example.com. We're not sure how much our servers can hold so if you encounter any problems check back here for more information.
The "Restless, Restless" finale will be on the E! Network on Wednesday, August 25th at 11pm.
Hear the live versions of "Restless, Restless" performed in the studio by Robert Goulet, Kevin Remuck and Jeff. Watch Vinnie and Robert Goulet argue over the quality of the lyrics!
Aug 17th, 2004
Tom and Vinnie Release Their First Single "Restless, Restless" And Launch Their Jukebox
Of Original Songs With Three New Demos.
We have been writing
songs for over 20 years. Having built up a nice collection of songs over the
years, we decided it was time to share our music with the public. While
neither one of us sings or plays an instrument, we still consider ourselves
musicians. We hear incredible music in our hearts and our heads and with the
help of a small network of incredibly talented musicians; we are finally
cutting demos of our songs. You see, our goal is not to sell records...it's
to sell our songs to musicians and performers who can bring them to life in
their own styles. With that, we are proud to offer up our first single
“Restless, Restless” as a free download. This song was written over 20 years
ago and you can tell from the
how much the song has progressed. Done in the style of the Traveling Wilburys (with an extra dash of Tom Petty), our backing band Crucial Head
did an incredible job of helping us realize the song's full potential.