Boulder, CO – “Waiting for my Musicians” – April, 12, 1998

I drove to North Boulder yesterday.  My lovely purple Rav 4, balloon animal of an SUV purred along the edge of the continental divide.  I was late to meet up with Wendy Woo, a local musician with great street cred connections to both musicians and local studios and effortless style.  Wendy was sipping coffee out of a broad-rimmed mug near the drafty front door of “The Other Place,” an uncreatively named coffee shop across the parking lot from the garage where I rehearse with Mary Sister Reload/Not Eric/Tiny Yellow Ducks.   One cup of bitter grounds later we drove up to Wendy’s studio in Lyons an hour away.  On the way, we listened to my demo tape.  Her knee bounced along to my untammed drum tracks and ½ way through each song she already knew the choruses and sang harmonies along with them in perfect 3rds.

“Sky Trails Studio” was in a house nested in a canyon up a 2-mile-long dirt road lined with tumbleweeds and crumbling boulders.  The low ceiling space was small but light.  It looked more like a living room than the fancy studios I grew up doing homework in circa 1980 in Times Square.  but I liked the place and I liked the people.  They played me a recent track of a local gal named Michelle something who’d just finished her CD and used Wendy’s house band to record.  It sounded really good.

Driving back, I was all but determined to use Wendy’s musicians as my band until I called my pop and he convinced me of two things.

 #1 I need to find my own players. 

“Your songs are great Sal and you’ve been working on them for a long time and you know, even though it’s a self-released record or a glorified demo, it’s still The Release of these songs and the players on it are going to make all the difference (wise words). 

#2 There’s no rush to do this fast. 

I should take my time.  Once I put out the first recording the countdown starts on my second. 

But all the same, there are butterflies in my stomach itching to dance with lightning bugs in my head and my intuition screams: “IT’S Time!”

At $200 bucks a day (not including engineer, recording tape, or musicians) at Wendy’s studio I’m looking at approximately $6,500 to do my demo.  Not out of budget and I could probably still get my touring van. 

Candles winked flirtatiously across tables tonight at Dandelions restaurant. Kipp and I joined up with some musical friends for dinner and everyone agreed “Wait for your musicians!” How frustrating!  They don’t come in the mail ya know guys!

Sally’s To-Do List:

Finish writing my final term papers.

Study for finals

Find a drummer.

Find a bassist.

Find a keyboardist.

Find a rhythm guitarist.

Find strength in my music.

Sing on stage as much as possible.

Decide what songs I want to record.


Copyright my songs.

Get over my fear of flying.

Graduate from College

Rehearse to go on the road with Not Eric to open for The Samples on the 3rd.

Get good at guitar.

Look at other possible studios.


The opposite of success in music is not failure, it’s silence.  I won’t be silent.

Reader interactions

6 Replies to “Boulder, CO – “Waiting for my Musicians” – April, 12, 1998”

  1. Reading your tales, I am so in awe of your independence + drive! I saw you at H Of B in Cambridge some years back and you were so wonderful and kind and a joy on stage. I listen to your music often and reading your stories brings them to life for me. Thank you for sharing this amazing journey. xo

    1. I feel such pride reading your comment Meg. There is nothing more I wanted to do with my music through out my life than to spread joy. Thank you for catching a slice back at HOB. Sal

  2. I love – “I won’t be silent”

    Could never imagine you’d be silent.

    1. Ha! I love that you love — “I won’t be silent.” In going through my personal journals from this time period I am shocked that at 24 I had such chutzpah. Especially when I also had such intense bouts of insecurity and self loathing.

      1. It’s sometimes a 24 yr old, then we grow into mothers and in your case a mother who continues to rock. I’m so enjoying your story!

        1. Thank you my dear and rock on!

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