Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show with Bruce Hilliard
Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show with Bruce Hilliard
Bruce Hilliard
This is a platform, a stage for singers, songwriters and the creative to share their work, backstories and positive words.
Better Each Day ~ From Rock to Robots with Bruce Hilliard
Always do your very best to live a life you’re proud of, and if it falls short, have the strength to start over again. I used Better Each Day as my mantra. In the words of 19th century psychologist and pharmacist Emile Coue: “Everyday in every way, I’m getting better and better.”  So here’s the spoiler. I moved to Mukilteo WA based on a gut feeling of following my own compass, making new friends and excelling in a career. After 5 years and 8 months I’m graduating from Home Depot Paint Associate to Buyer at Airbus Robotics.The following are some words I wrote. Something from a lyric notebook. The spiral notebooks where I write poetry, lyrics, ideas and sometimes just what's on my mind. Here’s an excerpt from one of them.“I spend a lot of time with those people. Time well spent. My mind and body get to do what they like best: chat about anything in the world with the brightest group of people I’ve ever met while doing a feel-good workout. Suddenly I realize how good it really is. No amount of money could buy this.”These are the guys I see every week morning. I think we all have little slots of time where you’re with your friends, work colleagues or just warm thinkers. Sometimes it's at work, sometimes with your family. For me? I met this motley crue at the local YMCA. There’s over a dozen of us depending on the day. We’re ages from 42-80. Non-exclusive…it just worked out we gelled.One of the regulars said the group is a sweet thing. I found what I set out for years ago when I moved here from Aberdeen. This was written for the relationship between her and her sister. Freya and Annie, The Sweetest Thing I’ve Ever Known.It’s a team that was formed purely out of showing up to start the day at a gym. That simple gesture of peace to your body and mind is a good way to begin a day on your A game. We do our best work when all cylinders are firing.So back to the Trainwreck of Aberdeen. Sometimes life is a complete tornado of disturbing changes and rip offs. I was spending a moment now and then on the edge of I don’t give a shit anymore. With a little help from my friends the train got back on track. And somehow when you look back at it all, it plays out like a finely crafted novel.Flashback to June 2016. I moved from a trainwreck in my hometown Aberdeen. I was looking for love in all the wrong places. Maybe it’s ironic the first friend I made when I landed in my new hometown was named Haight. I met Graham Haight as a fellow real estate broker at Windermere and followed him around town like a stray puppy. I was a rescue. He later had me fixed. Then he had me sew some on.I joined the same gym, hired the same doctor, dentist and even auto body man as Graham. When I needed to buy a car on my Wendy’s wages budget, he was there with a car dealership of a guy Graham was a corner trainer for in boxing. Graham was my ride for my hand surgery.  I drafted behind him.He became my head football coach and the guy to bounce things off. Someone to give me some focus and direction. The big brother I never had.My real estate attempt in Mukilteo was an unreachable dream. Competitive beyond my budget and timeframe. I fell back on my painting business, gave guitar lessons, worked at Home Depot and spent the rest of my time writing, producing podcasts and playing an occasional gig.All the while, I searched and applied for jobs. Then the pandemic hit.I didn’t stop applying for jobs. I was looking for a job in procurement but was willing to start at any level with upward mobility.Back in September Graham mentioned his daughter needed some paint work done. She’d just bought a house that’s nearby the Y and only blocks from her new place of employment, Airbus Robotics. I said I
Feb 12, 2023
29 min
A Kaleidoscope Heart Christmas Card to My Friends and Listeners 2022 with Bruce Hilliard
Hey to all the Better Each Day Listeners, this is Bruce and welcome to episode 251. Welcome to the show but most importantly welcome to the first annual year end Christmas party where we feature a special theme.Now keep in mind that I am, and apparently always will be, a hopeless romantic love song writing fool. One thing we can all agree on is that some songs just need to be written. And some people need to be written about.This year the vote was unanimous to introduce some songs you may have heard on previous shows, songs that were inspired by friends. The friends I speak of are sisters Freya and Annie. They are the stars of the show. Now, I wrote, produced and performed everything you’re hearing but it wouldn’t be happening without someone to write about and an audience.Just to set the scene, I met Freya and Annie at the local YMCA almost five years ago. They’re happily married with kids but while we’re at the Y we are all kids. When I see them it's in a noisy environment full of competition for their attention. Sometimes I’ll squeeze in for a chat and hear a story that leads to a song like this one.Roses and Strawberry Rain was inspired by my friend Annie, now grown and a mother of two, who played with Little Ponies…the toy Little Ponies. So I did my best to capture a story about a little girl playing pretend with her hero and champion race horse, Strawberry Rain. Rain wins the roses at the Kentucky Derby, the rain washes time away and years later she tells her children about her legendary story of…Roses and Strawberry Rain.Annie’s older sister Freya, who like Annie, is the warmest of warm people. Going nose to nose with Annie’s miraculous ability to jump rope and defy gravity, Freya, who has super powers also, saw the crappy clothes I wore when I performed…my ragamuffin clothes weren’t hittin’ it and she went into her rescue mode to save my sorry ass. Freya took me by the wrist and we went clothes shopping. And she organized a photo shoot with Annie as part of Operation Dress Bruce for new promo pics.One of the new promo images created by Annie was the result of a filter that, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, formed several images of my head in the shape of a heart. It looked like a kaleidoscope version of a heart with me in my Freya shirt.Sometimes something is said in the morning workout that rings in my head and becomes a lyric. In this case it was a scenario where Annie stopped me briefly during our morning ant farm gym jam to tell me a quick Annie happy word about nothing in particular…to which I smiled and looked blankly at her. She responded, “that’s all I got.” I turned, walked away and looked back. I thought “That’s all I got?” Other than stand ups, who says “that’s all I got?” I turned to see her waiting for me with a goofy smile.That’s all I got? Sometimes we end a conversation with “that’s all I got”...or even end a sentence.I used color names from Home Depot paint for this “xanadu, limousine leather and melody” list of paint color names. “Comfort words and hearts and rainbows in my feed, that’s all I need.” Annie introduced me to her mother Kerri at the gym one morning about three years ago. It was hugely apparent where some of Annie and Freya’s magic came from.My little song Kerri is about a small town girl meeting a small town boy, on bicycles, on a sunny summer day and Kerri announcing to the world “someday I’ll marry that boy.” If it sounds like it could be a true story, it is. Well 50 years and 6 children later…Kerri and Dad are still a small town girl and a small town boy.Combine Kerri, Freya and Annie, put them in a blender and voila, a song, the...
Dec 4, 2022
33 min
John Oates on Band Names and Abandoned Luncheonette Plus "To Love Somebody" with Bruce Hilliard
Hey folks and welcome to the Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show with your host, Bruce Hilliard. This is a special episode with the ghost of John Oates past. I was reflecting on a conversation from a while back where we talked about band names, the Beatles and Hall and Oates being two of them, and the famous Abandoned Luncheonette.So here are a couple of covers starting with one from an album called Help! It’s by that band with the name that catches on after a while, the Beatles.I just recorded this last night. The Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody.Here are two songs in a row that I wrote about my imaginary romance.This is a song I’m proud to say was written and recorded by two brothers of different mothers from mine, the Murchy Brothers with On The Harbor…that would be Grays Harbor where we grew up together.Thank you so much for listening. Here’s on more of my tunes. This one is one of those “stop and smell” the roses…Doesn’t Anybody Fall In Love No More.
Nov 12, 2022
23 min
New "Runaway" Song  Plus a Collection of Originals By Request with Bruce Hilliard
Hey folks and welcome to the Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show with your host, Bruce Hilliard. We had a storm here in Mukilteo WA that knocked out our power yesterday. I was reduced to a pencil and an acoustic guitar, two of the best inventions ever.This song was the result.RunawayThinking again of leaving it all behindPacking my things and wondering why oh why I feel this sometimesYou and I will runaway, taking our time, let the whirlwinds blowYou and I will runaway, I wanna run away with youYou and I will run away, taking it easy time can waitAnd I will run away with youSo sleep silent angel go to sleep until the morning comesThere is a place, where we both can live and never live without loveYou and I will runaway, taking our time, let the whirlwinds blowYou and I will runaway, I wanna run away with youYou and I will run away, taking it easy time can waitAnd I will run away with youHere’s a set of originals. I’ll list the titles in the show notes. I hope you enjoy your drive with me on an ocean road to wherever you want. A little influence from the Byrds and anyone with a 12-string Rickenbacker.  I’m Going Home.
Nov 6, 2022
26 min
Our Mr. Wines Aberdeen High School Music Instructor Passes At Age 97 with Bruce Hilliard
Bruce Hilliard speaking. The leaves are falling, times are a-changin’ and I heard Mr. Wines took the coda. My most influential band director Mr. Wines passed away a few days ago. In music, a coda is a passage that brings a piece of music to an end. It may be as simple as a few measures, or as complex as an entire section. This guy was an entire opus, an epic rock opera for me and many others. Mr. Wines, one of my personal influences and motivators of my music career, passed last Sunday October 23rd 2022. He was 97. A long life for anyone. It deserved a long coda. He was the lifeblood of my music community…the Professor Harold Hill from The Music Man. And to think he was old by my standards when I had him in his late forties…what seems like a lifetime ago.In my hometown Aberdeen WA, Hampton Rudolph Wines is a legend. He came to us as a young teacher from Eastern Washington, Pasco is the city I remember him mentioning. In Aberdeen he set a standard for excellence in everything from marching band, symphonic band, pep band, stage band, brass choir for Christmas, witty humor and other psychological mind games he messed us up with.So, after working closely with him during some very formative years of my life, I’m writing a pod letter to my dear and recently passed high school band coach, teacher and visionary, Mr. Wines.Dear Mr. Wines,Thanks for the mind games. I say mind games in a good way. You knew what we were capable of and figured out ways to trick us into achieving it. You taught us as teenagers the importance of discipline and accountability. You preached respect for our instruments and uniforms and most importantly the attitude to carry it off with 100+ other students fueled mainly by fries and hormones.You used signature phrases like “well this week is shot”, “moxie, intestinal fortitude” and if we sucked you encouraged us with suggestions like “you might as well take that horn and make it into a planter.”The “this week is shot” speech was a landmark in my way of thinking everything, yes everything, is funny. Do you remember how 52 weeks per year could be shot year after year?Every Monday morning sounded like this: Well today is Monday and the day is half shot already. Tomorrow will rain so we can’t rehearse on the field but we can stay inside but since it’s Tuesday we’ll be getting ready for Wednesday…and that day is shot. (And he’d be diagramming this on the chalkboard.) That leaves Thursday and Friday. Friday is the pep rally and game (actually the Friday concert at the football stadium). So Thursday is the only day of the week we can do anything…unless it rains. (Which it did.)And Mr. Wines…I was apprehensive to visit you in your house on the hill later in life because when you’re busy you say “don’t bug me man.” I wonder what you think about the current educational system. I believe you took an early retirement when budget cuts hit the arts first. Many people were disappointed to see you retire.Music was morphing into the rock era and in your lifetime went from Gershwin to Nirvana, from analog to digital and back. From formally educated musicians and composers to garage bands. Did you like my bands Denny and the Chadwicks and Tahola Toilet Authority? Somehow those that followed your fundamentals went on to appreciate your white glove inspections. You literally wore white gloves during our periodic inspections of our gear.  You commanded cosmetically perfect white marching shoes to march in the football field mud. And...
Oct 30, 2022
26 min
Track 2 Is New From the Easy Tune Oven "Just To Know You" with Bruce Hilliard
The weather is changing, the leaves are too, here are my songs just for you. Ahh, to be a brilliant master of rhyme. Rhyme’s disease. And now…from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata in D minor to my Roses and Strawberry Rain in D major.Roses and Strawberry RainJust To Know YouSweetest ThingKerriPollyannaEndless RainThanks for listening!
Oct 22, 2022
23 min
From the Happenings to Author "Rock and Roll Warrior" with Bruce Hilliard
When I was a little kid I watched American Bandstand because I liked the songs Dick Clark and company selected for his top hits it’s what the kids want countdown. Based on what I heard, I walked downtown to Aub Schmidt’s music store with a dollar in coins and bought a 45.Being a fan of vocal harmonies, Beach Boys and Four Seasonsy stuff, I heard this version of “I’ve Got Rhythm” by the Happenings. I had the honor of speaking with David Libert, the baritone and arranger of the Happenings a couple days ago and he said the stereo separation he did were copying the Mammas and the Papas strong stereo separation. As you’ll hear in the following chat with David, I say no one invented anything from zero. So here it is, from Bruce’s 45 collection, “I’ve Got Rhythm” and listen for the lead vocal on the left and the other Happenings happening on the right.David Libert had such a long and interesting career in the music business, his friends encouraged him to write a book about it…so he did.  The result is an autobiography 50-plus years in the making aptly entitled Rock and Roll Warrior, recently released on Sunset Blvd Books.  It’s a chronicle of David’s inner circle life in the music industry as a popular international performer, singer/songwriter, tour manager, booking agent, producer, and drug dealer on the Sunset Strip.  It’s a story so wild, so crazy, so over-the-top that it can only be true. He was Alice Cooper’s road manager and knows as much about the business as anyong…so he wrote a book on his experiences.
Oct 15, 2022
33 min
On a Warm October Night...Some Originals, a New Song and a Cover with Bruce Hilliard
Thanks for listening. I've had a few requests for some original music...and maybe a new one. Here it is, Polyanna: PollyannaYou don’t even know me , so how can you show me what to doYou don’t even need  me, if only for less lonely nightYou shouldn’t go on thinking we’ll be somedayAnd turn that  darkness into day?I don’t know(Chorus)Pollyanna won’t you please come out of the rainYou know you’re driving me insaneAlways looking for a miracleAlways searching for revelationHow can a loser ever win?You’re always looking for a miracleAlways searching for a supernovaSomehow you always find your wayYou find your way  You find silver lining, somewhere were the skies are always blueWake up when your makeup starts to runBoo hoo’n when you do the things you do You always find a way to make things workCatch a falling star and you’ll get burntNo, not you (ding)(Chorus)
Oct 8, 2022
23 min
Return Of Hammered 45s From An Old Box ~ Plus "I'm Going Home" Original with Bruce Hilliard
Me and my buddies from shop class sang this at the junior high talent assembly. Our band was the Beach Balls, vetoed by the elder teacher with glitzy cat-eye glasses that hovered over the production and basically censored our really good work. The word “balls” was too radical so I suggested instead of Beach Balls, how about the Sons of the Beaches? “Sons”?, “beaches”?”...nothing satanic there! We settled for the Leech Boys.My first memories were of 78 rpms with about 25% of the Mom/Dad record club collection being the standard 33 ⅓ rpm vinyl that prevail to this day.By the time I was old enough to buy a record, 33 ⅓ albums were the norm and the coolest things ever invented. But for affordability? Forty-fives. And you could avoid the filler crap songs on albums that were fairly common in those days. Buy the songs you liked, avoid paying more for lame filler songs on the LP and when the album you liked came out…buy it and listen with friends. Here’s more from a random grab of songs from my ancient gallery of 45s From an Old Box. These are the songs I liked, maybe didn’t buy but currently am holding…waiting for the unknown owner from 1963 to call.Please enjoy the memories and scratches, the way we used to listen with gum.
Sep 24, 2022
30 min
45s From An Old Box ~ Hits Recorded From Random Hammered Records with Bruce Hilliard
Hey everyone and we have a surprise in store for us. I, while looking through my memorabilia for a Johnny Quest outdoor horizons adventure club card (made that up) I ran across an old brown box full of 45s.So, randomly, here are ten or eleven 45 r.p.m. records played on a 1972 turntable I found while looking for my retainer.I was into Santana/Page/Hendrix for guitar inspiration but for melodies and vocals, this apparently was what I was listening to as a young teen.I think these are the melodies and sincerity that people miss.These are the songs I listened to in bed, in the dark on my General Electric clock radio that I could operate the knobs proficiently at the top of my head without looking.
Sep 17, 2022
29 min
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