Ten years ago, I was working as a busboy in San Francisco. I had a pretty good five year run working as a bartender in the silicon valley during the dot com boom, but I needed a change of scenery. I was feeling pretty lost. I felt like I had a good amount of musical ability, but nowhere to channel it. This changed when I started to get to know some co-workers at the restaurant. One waiter in particular helped me out by pretty much volunteering to be my manager. I think he saw that I had potential and was annoyed that I wasn’t doing anything with it. He quickly booked me a “show” at the restaurant, which basically meant that I setup my P.A. system and sang a bunch of cover songs to a handful of people. He even curated and printed out a songlist with chords and lyrics for me, which I placed on a flimsy music stand that fell over in the middle of the set.
One of these songs was Just Like Heaven by the Cure. I didn’t know much about the band, other than the fact that a lot of girls that I liked liked them. I was wondering how I would play a song like this on an acoustic guitar and make it sound ok.
I learned the tune, and it didn’t sound too bad. I kept playing it over and over until I felt like it was mine. In 2007, I had a video on the front page of youtube, and another very helpful friend suggested that I record a bunch of videos to ride on momentum of the feature. Just Like Heaven was the one that really took off, it’s the closest thing I’ve had to a “hit.” I hope people continue to find this.
Listen/purchase: Just Like Heaven by Goh Nakamura