The Music of Leo Bowers

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OHIO The State of My Soul

Posted on November 2, 2014 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

                

 

I have always wanted to write a song about my home state even before Lynard Skynard's "Sweet Home Alabama". I think I was only about 17 years old when that came out and I remember thinking; "Why is it that I can't think of things like this first"? Gosh! Well actually other words come to mind but I think you get my drift!

OHIO is a very unique place and in my travels I haven't found, felt or seen anywhere else like it, but that could be somewhat a biased point of view being that it's where I'm from and the location of my home. Nevertheless the closest I've seen and felt was St. Louis Missouri , but it still didn't have that full OHIO feel to me. Then of course there was Illinois that also came close, but it was still not as homey as OHIO and even less than Missouri even though it was geographically closer.

 

What's really strange to me and it could be because I was so young and only remember it that way is the town in France I lived in had a similar feel as the one I get right here in my home State. I mean the weather was pretty much the same and the people grew gardens and there where fruit trees of the same order that grow right here in OHIO. I must admit though the people seemed to possess 99% open caring as compared to OHIO's 35% by my individual estimation of course. 35% ain't bad and the numbers could be allot higher or lower depending on another individual's take on the matter.

 

I come from a line of "growers" on my mother's side of the family. Their predecessors farmed and raised minor livestock of sorts so I guess I really have a backline of Country type people that came down through the ages and all but ended with my grandfather "Poppy" my Mom's Dad. Which by the way is the same plot of ground I live on today. A big garden in the yard was commonplace and extra gardens through out the County served as a part time job for me in the summer months going door to door selling fresh home grown produce. Then too there was my Dad with that darn egg route and he had me pushing chicken and eggs! Those were the days and experiences that taught me something so valuable. I don't have to work for anybody, and because of what I learned I find it impossible not to have a job because I always make my own out of just about anything thanks to my predecessors!

 

As I got a little older when I wasn't in trouble for doing something silly I was working and helping out in my own way. But what I didn't realize is what I was learning along the way. My grandparents and parents gave me the most of what they had to give and of that I have no doubts, but so did my home State of OHIO! Even when I was (bad) my State acted as parent disciplinarian with my best interest at heart despite some of the people working in the system who thought they ran things independently of the "Spirit" of OHIO! There were those who operated strictly by the principles of the Soul of OHIO because somehow they we're linked just as I was and they made it known by their actions and the love they emitted into the very air itself. That doesn't mean they would hesitate to kick your butt if you got out of the way though!

 

Mrs. Brown, Mr. Gunn, Mr. Stewart from my very own neighborhood where there helping to raise me even in my confinement at JDC (juvenile diagnostic center), which has long since become Buckeye Youth Center and sadly no longer occupies the same ground. From FSB (Fairfield School For Boys) Mr. and Mrs. Meadows, along with my favorite (Mr. Converse), Mr. Yabarrow and Mr. Able all helped to raise me. Their characters and personalities are with me still.

 

In my Forties after a legal mishap many of the adult staff where either my age or younger, but the parental figures where there like "Buzz Carrouth" brother in law to "Bob Seger". He was old enough to be my father and imparted wisdom to me I had yet to achieve. Mr. Davis was old enough to be my older brother and left me with thoughts and practices I still hold on to because of their effectiveness in social interactions that keep the playing field level. Big "O" a Senior Staffs man and Captain of the Guard type personality was known and feared by many as mean, ruthless and uncaring, however I didn't see or get that from him, I got quite the opposite. He was a very caring man who did his job really well and could smell the con-artist and pretenders a mile away, so in essence that's who probably tried to label him as mean etc... be it staff or inmate! He could equally distinguish and see the genuinely pennant by their actions and endeavors as well. He actually had a heart of gold.

 

I remember making a joking comment to him that "they needed us boys in blue because without us the boys in brown wouldn't have a job"! I remember how his cheeks got red when he smirked almost resembling a watchful Santa as he let out a small chuckle and said", get outta here Bowers"! I was fortunate enough to be there at a time when Associates degree's where still offered and had some of the best teachers and instructors anyone could ask for.

 

Both times in my younger days I spent at FSB I was selected to be "Stair guard" monitor which was 2nd to "Home" monitor. Home and Stair guard got to march outside formation, called cadence, and kept every foot hitting at the same time. The downside is we had to take names and report guys who were up to no good, but with only two cottage parents working 105 boys they had to come up with a system that worked and it did. The only cottage parent that worked alone was (Mr. Converse) he was the coolest cat I've ever come across in my life. He had quaffed back black hair wore those pointy Stetson type shoes and drove a black Mercury Cougar with a red leather interior. On weekends he'd always get me to wash and wax his car because he said I did it right! I don't know if I was all that good, but it sure made me feel like somebody! I felt privileged, but I knew I earned it by my behavior and through my character from people who where just that; "Good judges of character" at least they saw the good in me that was widely ignored by people who were supposed to be close. In learning of human nature what I have to date I now I understand why. Oh I got mine when I deserved it and that's why I was careful not to make myself deserve it!

 

So you see between my God, family, life and my State I've been well cared for and I am deeply grateful and indebted. Yes it could be argued that it's the people who make the State and that does hold true in this; "The people who possess the Spirit of the Sate of OHIO" are the ones who balance the scales of everything from justice to the emanation of order and the mutual goodwill toward humanity by their very presence in character. HOME is HOME.

Mylinks_tunepak


A Blast From The Past.

Posted on July 27, 2014 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I just had to share this, and 1st let me explain why. It was 1975 I had just returned home from the Marine Corps and was working with Jack Casey at Rome Recording Studio. I was driving Checker Yellow Cabs around on 12 hour options and spent most of my time up and down Main St. when I wasn't at the air port. I practiced these songs in the back seat between calls and the song was entitled "Mr. Trickster" flip side "Rock and Roll" which was later recorded at Rome Recording and released on Starr Records. While out and about doing my cab thing I happened upon the legendary Bob Hope at the cab stand in front of the Sheraton Hotel which was then located at Gay and 3rd. I was kind of scared to ask for his autograph so I put my friend (who was riding with me) "Melvin Roberson" (Jamal) up to it, he was scared of nothing. He gave Bob Hope one of the 45 rpm's and got his autograph on the sleeve of another. Now in 2014 39 years later I got a letter/note from a young lady named Laelia Delaney Davis who brought all those days back to mind and I'd like to share it with you so here goes. 

Jul 26th, 3:39am

"What the hell, you still exist?! I have a copy of your Leonard Wagoner Bowers Rock N Roll 45 on Starr and I have been planning on covering it for years, it is such an amazing song. I have searched your full name online with no result many times but never thought to try Leo Bowers til now. Please let me know if you would ever be able to meet for lunch and discuss your musical career. I'd love to do an interview"!!!

xoxo

Laelia Delaney Davis

 

See page 2 #2238 Leonard Bowers Wagner

http://www.45rpmrecords.com/OH/Starr.php?pageNum=1&totalRows=48

Pictures Rock and Roll

http://www.45rpmrecords.com/OH/pop/starr2238b.php

Mr. Trickster

http://www.45rpmrecords.com/OH/pop/starr2238a.php

This constitutes at least 39 years of being about it.

Thanks to God and all my friends!

Mylinks_tunepak

 

 

The past comes to present "Curiosity"

Posted on July 5, 2014 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

It was the winter of 1990 Myself, my young wife and 5 children were living in the old neighborhood on Highland Ave. on the Westside Hilltop in a small 3 bedroom with small rooms and a really dinky yard. I was dabbling in multi-track recording using a Yamaha 4 track with built in mixer one of the first made. I was working security at the time doing double shifts to move us all into a house with a little more room and allot less draft. We finally got to move in February 1991 into a 3 bedroom, full basement with two very large rooms and a decent size kitchen, The 3 bedrooms were fairly large as well. The old place was really built on a small scale as if little tiny people should have been occupying it. Needless to say we were all glad to finally have a house with room and a pretty large yard with and old 1 car unattached garage located on the extreme rear of the property. This time we weren't renting we were buying!


The best part of it all for me was it had a large steeple attic that someone had started work on and had an electric service installed complete with separate breaker box, wall sockets, switches and large florescent lights. The wife and I worked on and off for nearly two years to turn it into a recording studio with inputs, outputs, monitors for the control room and studio room. We saved and put a big thick plexi-glass window in the control room looking out into the rehearsal space. It was now 1994. It took another year and a half to get it completely outfitted with recorders, boards, patch bays and outboard gear enough to start some pretty serious music production.


"Curiosity" was the first tune to roll off onto the dinosaur Tascam 32 reel to reel mastering deck. It felt like there was no slipping or sliding that could take us backward, instead the focus was ever on the future. Allot of songs were mixed and mastered between 1996 and 1999 to the tune of 8 collections harboring anywhere from 8 to 12 songs each. I had joined BMI and began submitting clearance forms starting with the very first collection. Everything came to an abrupt end in 1999 and would not be undertaken again until 2005.


In 1996 I was 40 and turned 41 in October, but I recall being full of energy enough to move equipment to shows around the Columbus area to play for meager cuts say $35 to $50. I played with different bands and usually performed mush-fake cover tunes that really got off mainly because of stage presence and the alcohol consumption of the patrons. I never got to do any of my originals although I knew they made the cut, and I recall pitching "Curiosity" amongst others to almost every group I played with and the result was always the same; I would be told things like, "people ain't gonna get into that" etc.... 6 years of hard work had gotten me to the point that I was ready to do my original work in public, but I never got to be with a band who could handle them or me for that matter. I had one good friend who played out allot and played drums for me by the name of Melvin Roberson aka (Jamal'), and my Dad who told me I should go solo. Jamal' was my ace "road dog" and talked me into doing allot of shows I would not have done without him. He was present for most of my recordings and once I got a taste of what recording as a solo artist was all about I really lost interest in dealing with other musicians hooked on acting out other peoples music and songs. When it came to making music I was determined to make my own.


It all started with "Curiosity" in my home studio at 2000 Fairmont Ave. in Columbus Ohio. After "Curiosity" there were several good follow-ups some of which I will remake soon, but for now here's "Curiosity".


Mylinks_tunepak

 

 

Like It or Hate It

Posted on June 22, 2014 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 I think the lyrics for this song are good for blogging because the meaning of anything I could possibly say about the subject is better expressed in the song itself. so here goes...

I recall when you were small - you didn't want for much at all

you were the apple of my eye

To watch you growing wild and free - It really meant so much to me

to see you grow into the person you are now

Don't be discouraged when you know what you like

listen to your heart love with all of your might

Like it or hate it

 

Like or hate what you want to

I'm not here to try to influence your mind

like or hate what you want to

no one can tell you what you have to like

Just cause you make it

they like it or hate it

 

Remember your first day of school - you tried to follow all the rules

you learned how it felt to be on the wrong side of unfair

That day the kids laughed at you - they tried to make you feel like a fool

you didn't see me but I was there

some things in life kindred souls have to share

never feel alone cause someone else is always there

Like it or hate it

 

Like what hate what you want to

everyone in life ain't gonna be on your side

like or hate what you want to

Listen to your soul and let your spirit fly

Just cause I say it

they like or they hate it

 

like it or hate it -  I'm gonna play it...

 

There's always someone else who feels it just the way that you do

There'll always be people who just don't care about you

Like it or hate it...

 

Like or hate what you want to

you have the right to choose what you like

like or hate what you want to

All you can give is what you have of this life

Like or hate what you want to...

Like it or hate it.

 Mylinks_tunepak 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm Sorry

Posted on June 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 

I can think back and still remember things I did wrong as far back as being 3 yrs. of age. I want so badly to be able to share some of those misdeeds, but this world doesn't really allow for that. Good people like to think they are forgiving and some probably genuinely are, but for the most part spilling our guts in public can get us stoned on a 21st century level which may not be quite so bad as the old fashioned way but nevertheless can totally scar you for the remainder of your lifetime.

I did however mention that I found my salvation in a prison cell. And that my friends is as true as my being molded by institutions like Fairfield School for Boys followed by the Marine Corps and so on...When you look back on your life do you ever see anything you would do different if only you could? If so then I know you can relate to what I'm talking about. I believe you - much like me, prefer to keep most of that under raps and probably for the same reasons.

The fact that I'm getting the listens and downloads piling up on this song suggest to me that there are many of like mind and to you I just want to say: The force that governs this existence in whatever belief system you have is totally aware of not only your wrongs, but your goodness as well. It is always open to your acknowledgement of it's being and is a very vital part of who you are so it has literally shared in every breath you take. As for Karma, it's impartial and fair to the exact. So whatever we've lived through and experienced is with us and can never be erased although it can be atoned for.

I don't need to tell you what atonement is because if you don't already know you will. There is a figure in our history as human beings who under a certain belief system allegedly atoned for all of the sins of mankind. So in that story the purest act of atonement was done for the love of man to last throughout all the ages into the next realm as it was handed down in text. Somehow I don't think that's exactly what it meant, after all text are only just that and if even this brief informative were re-written just over the next ten years by people of differing mindsets what's actually being said would deviate from the original content somewhat if not dramatically.

The fact is however we are still subject to Karma and the vast majority of the beings on planet Earth can attest to that in a way that parallels the laws of physics which are unquestionably precise. We can not get rid of Karma or change things back, but we can change our directions and characters thereby changing the effects Karma has had, and inevitably will have on our futures and that of our down line.

 

If you are reading this there is a definite reason for it pro or con. some will get it and understand what they really always held inside anyway, and others will reject and criticize the way they may be doomed to for eternity. You see I read a story too, even grew up on it! But I didn't understand it quite so well as I do today. At the very least I can share that with you in this subtle way by text and song. I am sorry for my wrongdoings, and there came the time when I realized it and moved on to do good with what I've been given to do it with in that knowledge. So have the many! I believe you will too if you haven't already.

With Love,

Leo Bowers

 Mylinks_tunepak

 

 

 

 

 

Moved from "Skully's to "Shrunken Head"

Posted on March 9, 2014 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The show that was Scheduled for "Skully's" on March 30th 2014 has been moved to "Shrunken Head" due to an oversight in double-booking at Skully's. Needless to say the show goes on at the same time just a different location.

Mylinks_tunepak

 

 

I'm On My Own (It's a song)!

Posted on February 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (2)

 

 

The effort I've put into the music business over the last two years hasn't really been intense. In fact it's been kinda laid back and to tell you the truth I was even really avoiding play dates here and there because I just couldn't get the band up the way I needed them. They put forth "good" effort, but for me good is not good enough when it comes to getting out and doing public presentations. Once my father pulled me to the side during a yard party my band and I where playing for him back in 1997 and I'll never forget his words. He said, "you guys are pretty good" then added, "you should be a solo act" I asked him what he meant because I'd never even considered that as an option until he explained. He said, "just you - Leonard W. Bowers Jr. or whatever you want to call yourself - just you! instead of a band name present yourself! Bands will come, go and change, but it's always going to be you"!

I never thought I was all that where I could have it that way, but I guess my Father did and even though I didn't quite get it then I do now. I'm a late learner in this life but maybe it's just prepping me up for the next. In any event Dad's not here to see it in person, but he's about to have his request come to life because not only am I going out as a solo artist I'm actually going out alone! I can't let the fact that the band can't carry me stop me from getting the music out and sometimes just making CD's and posting to the web just isn't enough. I guess what I'm trying to say is I see that I have to keep development moving always to the next level in order for it to grow. That goes for my make shift video's and everything else I do as a human being in this or any other lifetime. The good news is I don't have to stress it and it is allot like riding a bike once you learn you can roll the downside is if you don't keep rollin you won't get better you can definitely get worse or (rusty) which equates to sloppy on your square! So I want to look back and thank my Dad for telling me something he saw that I didn't which takes me back to one of my very first releases in 2006 - "I'm On My Own" Revision coming up next on the set list! Here's to my Dad to whom I will dedicate! Mr. Loner himself, and he did a job like no other! 

I'm On My Own

Mylinks_tunepak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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