It started with NCPDP. I wrote the standards development organization (SDO) a song for their annual meeting - just something fun that I thought people would enjoy. "The Legend of Bob the DERF" ended up being a big hit. So MedBiquitous asked - where's my song? "The MedBiq Song" was born. Not wanting to be left out, HL7, in celebration of 'heir 20th anniversary annual plenary wanted a song too. X12 wants one for their conference in 2007. Which all goes to show that if you specialize enough, anyone can be a leading expert or make the top of the charts. I can safely say that I'm the world's most famous and prolific writer and performer of Health Information Technology SDO songs. It's a niche...
You can scroll to the bottom of the page for the lyrics to the song, but first a few words about the HL7 song and this CD project...
Bill Braithwaite (otherwise known as Dr. HIPAA) was the one who first approached me about writing this song. I figured it would be more like the others - something funny and maybe educational about the amorphous entity that is HL7. Instead, I ended up writing an anthem. My friend Eric Schwartz - the most talented and truly brilliant writer and musician I know - once again stepped up to the plate to help me record and engineer the CD. (Note - before you click the link to Eric's website, know that he often uses his amazing powers for evil - or at least a type of humor that is not suitable for anyone who might be offended by language, adult content or politically incorrect speech. That said, he's a performer you'll never forget.)
Eric was in the process of moving when we began the recording and we both had killer travel schedules to deal with in the month leading up to the release of the CD. I flew up to NYC twice to record the vocals and acoustic guitar. Then he flew off to Colorado to perform at the Swallow Hill Folk Festival. He found a recording studio there - DrumOverdubs.com - and sent me about eight different versions of the drum mix that were laid down by the amazing Brian McRae. We mixed and matched various pieces to come up with the final drum track. Then he recruited Arthur Lee Land - also in Colorado - for the bass and some of the electric guitar tracks. (Check him out - he does some amazing stuff with looping technology).
Eric does most of his own recording with Neale Eckstein of Fox Run studios. Neale and his wife, Laurie, run a house concert in Sudbury, MA and Neale has built an impressive studio there. Fox Run Studios has put out an impressive list of CDs for emerging folk artists. Eric spent a few days up with Neale over the Labor Day weekend to record background vocals (with Liz Carlisle) and electric guitar. They sent me the final mix just in time.
Then he called me back the next day and said, "When do you absolutely need to have this?" He wasn't quite satisfied with the final mix. For the small budget we had for recording, I knew he had gone way beyond the point of this project being remotely worth his financial while. So I was reluctant to ask him to make more tweaks. But he and Neale stayed up another night, added the organ track and remixed it to a level that, to my ear, is as good as you'll hear in productions costing tens of thousands of dollars. I am deeply indebted to all of the artists who poured themselves into this recording just because they thought it a good cause.
The Patient is Waiting