Mike Is Camping (Mike in the Woods)

Mike is Camping

There’s an interesting story behind this song, but you probably don’t care.

Back in the early 90’s, my friend Mike was really into 4-wheeling and camping in the mountains… as well as drinking lots of beer and shooting guns.  My friend Chris and I were pretty much city boys, but we would go on many wheeling trips with Mike.  Chris and I wrote the lyrics to this song in ’92, and the original version of the song (at that time called “Mike in the Woods”) was born.

I played the guitar and bass, programmed the drum machine and sang the lead vocals… Chris, well.. he pretty much just drank beer and shouted out a few background vocals.

In late 2014, I was sitting in my studio and I decided to remake the song.  Chris didn’t participate this time, so I was able to redo the whole thing in about 2 hours.  After you’ve watched this lyric video of the “new” version here, check out the original audio version of the song below it.

And 2 decades earlier… here’s the original 1992 version of “Mike in the Woods (Mike is Camping)”:

 

Original – Outta Here

Dave's Kramer

I whipped this little instrumental up one day in early 2000.  In my head I thought I came up with a masterpiece like Eddie Van Halen’s “Respect The Wind”, but it didn’t quite come out that way.  Instead, it’s a spacey sounding piece that I find quite soothing.


I used my Kramer Pacer Deluxe American, Zoom effects processor, Ovation electric/acoustic, and Marshall VS265 amp.

Original – Doesn’t Matter

Dave and his Charvel 1995

Here is an original song that I wrote in 1995.  Having been influenced by Dream Theater for 3 years at this point, my own music started to take on a more progressive feel… more complicated chord progressions, more intricate drum tracks, and I was breaking away from the old “verse, chorus, verse chorus, solo, chorus, fade out” paradigm of songs I grew up with.

While the guitars and vocals were performed by myself, my friend Mike Fermer played the keyboards and programmed the drum tracks.  Yes, that is a drum machine.  Mike is amazing at programming drum tracks!

Another thing to note: I was much more of a guitarist at this time of my life than a vocalist, so…  😛

Vocals recorded with my Shure SM-58 mic. I was playing my 1986 Charvel Model 3 strat guitar through a portable Zoom effects processor.  The keyboard is an Ensoniq SQ-1.

Original – Untold

Dave_at_2

I wrote this song for my uncle Wayne in 1995 after hearing that he had taken his own life.  The words and music flowed through me that night, as if he was telling me to sing this song to let everyone know he was in a better place now and at peace.


That’s me at age 2 in the photo above, with my first guitar.

Original – Lately

Dave Acoustic 1999

Sometimes I write sad songs when I’m thinking about a lost loved one.  This song, “Lately” was written and recorded in 1999 about a girl (of course).

Writing out and singing my emotions is incredibly therapeutic.


Vocals recorded with my Shure SM-58 mic, played with my Ovation acoustic that had a very “thin” sound.

I recorded this in 2 tracks: 1st take was playing the rhythm guitar and singing simultaneously; 2nd take was the added guitar licks/lead.