Tuesday, January 30, 2024

"When I Grow Old" - Indie Track with Mike Allison

Back in 2007, I wrote a song that I called, "When I Grow Old."  I was just digging through some old digital folders while updating my website, and I discovered several photos from that time.  So I decided to do a blog post here, based on things that I had written at the time, to save everything for posterity.  I'll cut & paste most of this, as it was written in the context of 2008 ...

Mike, tuning the bass


People who visit my website because of my DJ’ing activities probably assume that I focus almost entirely on “dance music,” or progressive/tribal house EDM, for those who pay close attention to the particular genre that I specialize in. However, I have a fairly broad background in music (as my regular blog readers must realize).

Last year, I wrote a track which I thought was pretty catchy. I'd categorize it as "indie soft rock." I recorded a rough copy of the song one Saturday evening before work at the Pub, and sent the recording to Mike Allison to listen to. A day later, Mike emailed me back to say that he really liked the song, and had recorded a rough version himself. As soon as I heard it, I decided that I would try to release the song professionally.

What with all my other jobs and projects, it took a while for everything to come together, but over the next eight or ten months, I finally got the project moving forward quickly. We recorded the song partly in New Brunswick, in my own studio, and partly in Vancouver at Fadermaster Studios, with Shawn Cole as a recording and mastering engineer. Mike did the lead and backup vocals, and the acoustic guitar and bass. I played the drums, keyboards, electric guitar, and the shaker in our new version.

I also enlisted the assistance of Deanna Musgrave to help me put a video together. We did some filming last spring, and more filming this past fall. Deanna has a lot of practice at putting videos together, and has a really interesting abstract style for some of her work which contrasts with the usual style that I’ve used in the past to put a lot of videos together. Deanna put together the first version of the video for me, and then added some additional footage with the help of Julien Strasfield as a technical guru in Final Cut (since I’m used to Adobe Premium on a PC). Learning from Deanna was a really educational experience for me.

It’s interesting that this project has turned into a “Mount Allison University Community” project. Mike is an alumnus at MTA. Shawn used to be my roommate while we were at university, and he worked at the campus Pub with me as the Student Manager (his mom, Filis, still works at the university too). Deanna is an alumnus. Julien is still a student, although he graduates this year. Ian Allen, another employee at both the University and the campus Pub, did the graphic design work for the CD, and helped with marketing. When we needed extra actors for the video, we recruited Dinao (a friend of mine who worked with me as a bartender last year) to act as Mike's supposed girlfriend. For the older version of Mike & Dinao in the future, we were lucky to have the assistance of Robert Campbell (MTA’s President) and his wife Christl (a professor at MTA) as characters. In fact, the only two people involved in the entire project who are not members of the MTA university community are the two kids in the video – Evan (my nephew) and Mira (Evan’s friend).  I needed them to be in the "flashback" footage of Mike and Dinao when they were allegedly still young. Maybe someday one or both of them will decide that they want to come to Mount Allison.

Here’s the video, for those who want to watch it:

We also put together a full CD with this song as the first track on the CD, and I included eight of my favourite other Mike Allison tracks. Some of the other songs have been released on his various albums before, and some were not. The CD is called “Tilting At Windmills."

You may be curious about the name for the CD. “Tilting At Windmills” is a phrase from Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes. Basically, "tilting" was another word for jousting (by knights) in Medieval times, and in the book, our hero thought that a windmill was actually a giant, and so he wanted to attack it by jousting. Essentially then, “tilting at windmills” has come to mean “fighting a futile fight” or “fighting against imaginary enemies,” or variations on the same theme. I suppose that you could infer that since this song (and CD) are being marketed purely through guerrilla or viral marketing approaches, rather than conventional musical channels, we are “fighting the musical establishment.” However, we’re just doing this for fun, so the “musical establishment” is not really an enemy. Don Quixote is the best-selling work of fiction of all time (for non-political, non-religious works), so hopefully some of that charm rubs off and makes the CD popular too.

If you want to download a copy of the song, feel free.  You should be able to download it from that SoundCloud link.

Here are the lyrics to the song, wr
itten by Jonathan Clark on February 22nd, 2007:

When I Grow Old

So this is goodbye. You knew that it was coming.
It's not like I'm running, without warning you at all.
I said months ago, it's time that I left here.
I got nothing left here, but the writing on the wall.
I've never been a loner, but I've always been restless.
You won't let me forget this, but I'm in no mood to fight.
Don't you be sad. I wanna see you smile.
I'll be gone in a while, but I'll be right here tonight.

When I grow old, will you still be here?
I'll show you that I do care, when I finally settle down.
I don't know why, you keep telling me it's not right.
I just want you to stay tonight, won't you please stay with me now?

Been here before, when we were both young kids.
When it didn't matter what we did, we were so much different then.
I can't pretend, that I can see the future.
But baby when we're older, we will be back here again.

When I grow old, will you still be here?
I'll show you I do care, when I finally settle down.
I don't know why, you keep telling me it's not right.
I just want you to stay tonight. Please stay with me now.

Here are some photos that I found from when we were working on this project:

Deanna, filming in Sackville

Mike, singing in front of the green screen

Deanna, filming in Sackville, New Brunswick

Jonathan, getting footage in the cemetary

Dinao & Mike, being filmed in the Chapel

Shawn, doing some vocal comping

Jonathan, reviewing edits to the acoustic version

I'm Jonathan Clark, known online as DJ Bolivia.  Do you want to learn more about DJ'ing and music production?  If so, visit:

If you happen to enjoy techno tracks, most of my tracks are available as free downloads from this link:

Thanks so much for visit, and for your support!  I really appreciate the fan base that I've been able to build up over the years.

Also, if you want to visit any of my other sites, here are a few links:
    YouTube:  youtube.com/djbolivia
    SoundCloud:  soundcloud.com/djbolivia
    Blogger:  djbolivia.blogspot.com
    Main Site:  www.djbolivia.ca