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The "Dead Man's Cake" blogs, issue #7

"Dead Man's Cake" is the title track (track 4) from my 2012 CD "Dead Man's Cake".  It describes the tragic event of my mother Judy's suicide, but unlike track 3, "Judy's Mind", the song Dead Man's Cake presents a different sort of perspective.

The basic facts are that my mother, Judith Friedman Barrows, who, like my father, wrote for Hollywood television shows in the 1960s, on the night of August 19th, 1970, drove to Mt. Sinai Cemetery in North Hollywood where her father was buried, and committed suicide by taking an overdose of pills.

"Dead Man's Cake" is a metaphor for the pills, but it's also a metaphor for suicide generally.  I wrote the piece as a cautionary tale against suicide.  The chorus of the song says, "Don't you eat that Dead Man's Cake.  If you're thinking about taking your life, don't do it."

(Incidentally, if you are thinking about it, I say, don't do it.  Instead, contact…

The "Dead Man's Cake" blogs, issue #5.

The album “Dead Man’s Cake” (2012, by David Barrows) is my autobiographical narrative consisting of 11 songs which generally proceed chronologically from my childhood to the present day.  The first half of the record is about the story of my parents, my Mom’s suicide and how it affected me.  Most of the second half of the record is about how I went on to live my life afterwards.
Track 2:  Hippies On The Ranch
Hippies On The Ranchrefers to one of those fateful decisions, around 1966 or 1967, where my parents met a fellow writer at a party in L.A., who happened to be selling his ranch in Cuba, New Mexico.They were heady from their success of having sold a screenplay for fifty thousand dollars, which was a lot of money in those days.
My understanding is, they thought they could live part time in L.A., and live part time on the ranch, to draw inspiration for writing western screenplays, by actually living in the southwest.The ranch was on the edge of the village of Cuba which had a populatio…

The "Dead Man's Cake" blogs, issue #4

Dead Man’s Cake:The Songs.
The album “Dead Man’s Cake” (2012, by David Barrows) is my autobiographical narrative consisting of 11 songs which generally proceed chronologically from my childhood to the present day.The first half of the record is about the story of my parents, my Mom’s suicide and how it affected me.Most of the second half of the record is about how I went on to live my life afterwards.
Track 1:  Hollywood Sixties
Hollywood Sixties is about those years in the mid- to late 1960s when my parents, Robert Guy Barrows and Judith Friedman Barrows, enjoyed a few years of success as Hollywood television writers.They wrote individually and as a husband and wife team, for a number of famous television shows, including series like Mission Impossible, Bonanza, the Green Hornet, Daniel Boone, etc.Many of these episodes are available as part of boxed sets of those series, and there are even some complete episodes that exist on YouTube etc.
You can find references to their TV career by s…

The "Dead Man's Cake" blogs, issue #3.

Why did I do this?
Why then, you might wonder, would anybody decide to focus on something so morbid as to make a music CD pertaining to their mother’s suicide?Here’s why.
·They say you should write about what you know, and this just happens to be my story. I’ve been thinking about writing about it for a long time. ·I’m a musician, so music is my medium, and these ideas for songs meant more to me than anything else I could think of. Ultimately, I just wanted to make a good record. ·It’s not just about suicide; it’s about surviving that loss, and moving on.So it’s actually an affirmation of life, and a lot of it is pretty upbeat. ·I want to use the act of telling my story as an opportunity to speak out about the problem of suicide generally, and join the chorus of voices that continue to call for improved mental health care worldwide. ·By “coming out” as a suicide survivor,

The "Dead Man's Cake" Blogs, issue #2.

Synopsis (from the liner notes of the CD "Dead Man's Cake").
I am a singer, songwriter and saxophonist, born in Los Angeles in 1964 and now living with my English wife in London.  Dead Man’s Cake is an attempt to make sense of a tragic event that happened in my childhood. 
During the 1960s, my parents were successful television writers in Hollywood, working on shows such as Mission Impossible, The Green Hornet and many others.  They had achieved what would seem to be the Hollywood dream, but then the dream began to unravel.  One night when I was 6 years old, my mother Judy drove to the cemetery where her father was buried and committed suicide by taking an overdose of pills.
“Dead Man’s Cake” is a metaphor for those pills she took, and for suicide generally.  In the course of the album’s 11 songs, I try to examine what happened that night and its aftermath, and how this traumatic event affected my winding path to the present time.
The record blends elements of rock, blues, j…

The "Dead Man's Cake" blogs, issue #1.

Hello.I’m proud to announce the release of my new record entitled “Dead Man’s Cake.”It’s a very personal, autobiographical concept album, mainly consisting of rock songs, with some elements of other genres including jazz, funk, blues, world music, and even a touch of country music.
I’ve previously put out three other CDs on my independent record label “Hounds of Renown Records,” all very different from each other.This is my first new release in over seven years.It’s also the first record I’ve done where I’ve written all the words and music, and where I’m singing lead vocals on every tune.
I feel it’s the best musical work I’ve ever done.It’s a record which I think finally gives a proper sense of my abilities as a songwriter, composer, arranger and co-producer.I wrote horn section parts for all four saxophones – soprano, alto, tenor and baritone – and I solo on each of the four saxes on various tunes.
I’m fortunate to have worked with amazing people who helped me bring it to fruition, inc…