Where's My Crew
Bobby Reed - Submariner, singer, songwriter, musician, recording engineer, producer, furniture designer, woodworker and a pretty decent chef. I love doing anything creative but writing and recording music is my passion. Creating a melody and weaving words around the notes invigorates my soul. And then there's that consummate challenge of rhyming the story so it integrates with the music. It's so rewarding to hear a tune inside my head and then hear it on the radio. That completes the cycle for me. "Where's My Crew" is my 3rd professional album. It was preceded by "Brothers of the Dolphin" (now sold out) and "Proud to be an American Veteran." All of these albums are somewhat patriotic in nature but depict the times, emotions and camaraderie experienced only by submariners. There is an irrefutable bond that exits among all sailors who have tested the depths below the "blue horizon." These tunes capture the laughter and feelings of sub sailors and their families. Most are light and airy and depict life in a totally different world - foreign to most folks. People ask me what venue are you in. None, I reply. I write and deliver according to the emotions I feel for that particular song. These albums are an eclectic collation of tunes and styles. I've written well over six hundred songs and hopefully, during this journey, I refined my technique. All of these songs are based on the people and places I've experienced. It's been quite a ride and looking back, it's given more smiles than I deserve. I got into this business while sailing somewhere in the north Atlantic. Submarine sailors do some funny things and being a minstrel, I felt compelled to capture them in song. While on patrol, my buddies would have jam sessions and occasionally we'd write a tune about some stupid thing that one or more of our shipmates decided was very cool at the time. It erupted a love of songwriting that I hope never goes away. I attended college for two years before joining the Navy and received an Associate Degree in electrical engineering. But being young and not sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, I decided to review some alternatives. Vietnam was raging hot and heavy so I didn't have many options given there was a draft in effect. As a result, I started talking to military recruiters. I almost became a Marine helicopter pilot. I took all the tests and was ready to sign the final paper work when my Sergeant said; by the way, as soon as you graduate from flight school you'll be going right to Vietnam. HELLO, said that voice inside my head, the notion of sucking swamp water in a downed copter had zero appeal for me. I was not obligated yet so I dismissed myself and walked out of the Marine office. As luck would have it, the Navy recruiting office was located directly across the hall from the Marines. I was nervous as a cat in a pack of hungry dogs but decided to enter the inner sanctum. As I open the door, a First Class Yeoman (submariner) introduced himself and made me feel very comfortable. I needed this after narrowly escaping a trip to Vietnam. Again my Associates degree became a huge carrot and he jumped right on it. He started talking Nuclear reactors, submarines, missiles, computers and flashing lights. I was sold and couldn't wait to get started. It was at this point I realized that the only good Marine was a Submarine. In the meantime, the USS Thresher, the most sophisticated, Nuclear Submarine in the U.S. Fleet, had just sunk off the coast of Boston in 10,000 feet of water. I started to have second thoughts about submarines but quickly realized that I could be hit by a car crossing Main Street on my way home. I decided to go for it. The sign up process continued for many weeks and by mid June I was fully committed to the program. Originally, I thought I would sign up for 2 years and then continue with my engineering career. As it turned out, in order to attend all the required electronic schools and be eligible Submarine duty I had to enlist for six years. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. Most people thought I was a bit whacked out for joining this outfit but for me, it was a perfect fit. After six years in the Navy I thought it was time for a change. I was a Polaris missile technician aboard a nuclear submarine. I received a great electronics/computer education and I couldn't wait to apply it in civilian life. Based on my experiences and the addition college courses I took, I was able to get a job designing communications equipment for Honeywell. Despite Al Gore's claim to inventing the Internet, we were actually designing equipment that allowed programs to be downloaded and messages to be sent way back in the early seventies. Despite my interest in computers, that little voice in my head kept saying that I had to starting writing songs again. And so I did. I wrote one a day for over a year. Then I realized that quantity was not equating to quality. Finally, I had four tunes that I felt were pretty good and I hired an arranger, Jerry Seeco, to produce them for me. He did a great job with the music and assembling a band but the recording process was a disaster. We were treated like crap and the end product was poor. I became disenchanted. After the post mortem, Jerry and I decided to form our own company, CC Recording Studio. We vowed to never treat our customers the way we were treated and we never did. Initially we started doing a lot of jingles for radio and TV in the greater Boston Area. Since we were on a tight budget, I designed and built much of the recording equipment we used. As the business grew we were able to purchase state of the art recording modules and integrated them into our operation. Producing jingles was an easy way to get my music on the radio. To fill in the gaps between jobs, we recorded bands; lots of bands. After many years of dealing with egocentric advertising agents and out of tune screaming heavy metal guys, were decided we had enough and closed our doors to the public. By then our equipment was paid for and we finally got around to recording our own music for fun. It was our own little piece of nirvana. By 1995 I had started to reconnect with my old submarine buddies. We decided to hold a reunion and since I headed up the entertainment committee, I thought I should write a tune that expressed my feelings about the submarine service. I called it "Brothers of the Dolphin." My buddy, Bob Devitt, and I performed it live. My wife, Margie, clicked a slide show in sync with the music. When we were done, all 350 people in attendance came to their feet and gave us a "standing O." It was one of the most gratifying moments of my life. This was my first submarine song since I left the Navy and still one of my favorites. A few years later I learned of a guy who had produced an album of submarine songs. I bought his CD and fell in love with his music. His name is Tommy Cox. The first song on this album was called "Big Black Submarine." It was just he and his guitar. I couldn't resist the notion of transferring it to my digital recorder, added another guitar, bass and a few back up vocals tracks. I sent it back to him and included my only submarine song at the time, "Brothers of the Dolphin." He loved my enhancements and we became instant friends. He also liked "Brothers of the Dolphin" and said that if he ever did another submarine album, he's like to record it. I smiled to myself. I was in Japan on a business trip when I got an email from Tommy and he asked me if I'd like to co produce an album with him. It took me about a microsecond to respond with a - you bet your ass. We called the album "Brothers of the Dolphin." This CD was very well received. It's now out of print but it was certainly a great ride. We wanted to do another joint venture but the complication of working for a living and the logistics of our locations made it impractical. Consequently, I produced 2 subsequent submarine CDs on my own. So now you know a little bit more about me by. Thanks for stopping by, Bobby Reed.