Songwriters Under the Covers with Victoria Shaw

S1 E2 | FULL EPISODE

Mark Hudson & Jeffery Steele with Guest Angela Hunte

A new, intimate music performance and storytelling series that puts the spotlight on the songwriters of some of music’s biggest hits across pop, rock and country. Songwriters featured in this episode include Mark Hudson and Jeffery Steele, with special guest Angela Hunte.

AIRED: October 23, 2019 | 0:57:51
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TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Wow!

[ Cheers and applause continue ]

♪♪

Thank you. Welcome to "Songwriters Under the Covers."

I'm Victoria Shaw, your hostess.

If you need anything, let me know.

I'll be happy to give it to you.

[ "Outside My Window" playing ]

♪ Outside my window

♪ I see a red bird singing

♪ Sitting on a wire

♪ Wish I knew what he's thinking ♪

♪ Outside my window

♪ I see a couple kissing

♪ Hugging and a-loving

♪ Man, you know that's

♪ What I've been missing

♪ These days when everything is crazy ♪

♪ Some things are never, ever changing ♪

♪ Still need stars

♪ When you're wishing at night

♪ A best friend to set you right ♪

♪ A good laugh, a warm bath

♪ And a beautiful song

♪ You can sing along to

♪ Good news that'll make you cry ♪

♪ All the little things that money can't buy ♪

♪ No wars, no more

♪ Just a big rainbow outside my window ♪

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

♪ Outside my window

♪ I see the bluest ocean

♪ Sails in the sunset

♪ Rocking in the sweetest motion ♪

♪ Outside my window

♪ I hear a church bell ringing ♪

♪ Nobody fighting

♪ Over what hymn they're singing ♪

♪ I know I'm dreaming like a child ♪

♪ But some things

♪ Just don't go out of style, like ♪

♪ Still need stars

♪ When you're wishing at night

♪ A best friend to set you right ♪

♪ A good laugh, a warm bath

♪ And a beautiful song

♪ You can sing along to

♪ Good news that'll make you cry ♪

♪ All the little things that money can't buy ♪

♪ No wars, no more

♪ Just a big rainbow outside my window ♪

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

It's easy to sing that one.

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

Listen up.

♪ Outside my window

♪ I see a flag that's waving

♪ Hands joined together

♪ Everybody is celebrating

♪ Ooh

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

♪ Outside my window

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

♪ Everybody look outside my window ♪

♪ Still need stars

♪ When you're wishing at night

♪ A best friend to set you right ♪

♪ A good laugh, a warm bath

♪ And a beautiful song

♪ You can sing along to

♪ Good news that'll make you cry ♪

♪ All the little things that money can't buy ♪

♪ No wars, no more

♪ Just a big rainbow outside my window ♪

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

Sing it out.

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

♪ Outside my window

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

♪ Everybody look outside my window ♪

♪ La, la, la-la, la-la

[ Cheers and applause ]

You're already singing along.

This is great!

[ Cheers and applause ]

Well, welcome.

Welcome to "Songwriters Under the Covers

with Victoria Shaw" and friends, and what friends I have.

For those of you that don't know how this works, I just...

All I do is invite my talented friends to come up,

sing their hit songs, make me look good,

and then we go out to dinner later,

so it's actually very easy,

and I have incredible guests tonight.

To my right, actually, the co-writer of the song

"Outside My Window."

He's a Grammy winner.

He never lets me forget that. I don't.

He's had...

And a very good kisser, too, by the way,

which she doesn't know yet.

I'm just saying. That's all.

I'm just saying.

He's had songs recorded by Ringo Starr,

Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith.

Let's see. Who else?

Hanson, the little Germans.

Hanson, Celine Dion, KISS.

I mean, it's really quite amazing,

the very talented Mr. Mark Hudson.

Thank you. Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

We are crossing every musical border

during this show tonight... Yeah, yeah.

...except for maybe polka and Gregorian chant.

I mean, we've got a lot of different...

and you never know, you know?

But you never know. You never know.

We'll get to it.

So to my left, multiple Grammy nominations.

He's in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He has had over 60 hits.

I mean, he's had so many cuts by Faith Hill

and Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts,

and I'm in awe of this man.

Aw.

He's an amazing performer in his own right.

Please give a warm welcome to Mr. Jeffrey Steele.

Jeffrey!

[ Cheers and applause ]

What a honor and pleasure, absolute honor and pleasure.

I'm so happy to have you here,

and I'm going to let you go next.

I'm going to pick it up? All right.

I'm going to kick it off with a song

that is my granddaughter's favorite song.

And I wrote this...

Any Keith Urban fans out here tonight?

[ Cheers and applause ]

Okay.

Keith Urban recorded this, almost didn't record it.

There was a word in it that he didn't like,

and when you're a songwriter, you know,

you live and die by...

Recording. ...somebody calling up

and saying, "We're going to record your song."

You're like, "Oh, my God. I can go buy those Jet Skis now."

[ Light laughter ]

People usually fall over laughing when I say that.

But there was a line in it that he didn't like,

and I guess he called back, and said, "You know,

I'm not going to put this one on my new album."

And then again,

when you're a songwriter and you hear that,

you're just like, "No!"

So I had to call the Jet Ski guy

and cancel the Jet Skis.

Ordered a trailer, too,

and then somebody at the record company

had this great idea.

They said, "Hey, Eric Church is on the same record company.

Why don't we get Eric to sing the second verse that

Keith doesn't want to sing?"

And, Mark, correct me if I'm wrong.

How often does a record company have a great idea like that?

Never.

Any Eric Church fans out there?

[ Cheers and applause ]

Okay, so Eric sang the second verse,

and when I found that out,

I called the Jet Ski place back

and ordered four, two purple and two green.

Anyway, here it is.

[ "Raise 'Em Up" playing ]

♪♪

♪ Raise them up

♪ I'm talking about

♪ A lighter on a Saturday night ♪

♪ The band plays a song you like ♪

♪ And you're singing along

♪ Raise them up

♪ I'm talking about Daddy's old pickup truck ♪

♪ Shotgun seat

♪ There's the one you love

♪ And you're kissing on

♪ Get those white sails sailing ♪

♪ Down to Mexico

♪ It's just a whiskey glass

♪ If you ain't making a toast

♪ Lift your tear-filled eyes

♪ Up to the sky

♪ You're coming home

♪ You been gone so long

♪ Tonight, we're gonna raise 'em up ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪ Oh, raise them up

♪ Raise them up

♪ You got a voice

♪ You got a choice

♪ Go and make some noise

♪ Never let them tell you who you are ♪

♪ Raise them up

♪ Fist black and blue

♪ Fight for the truth

♪ That's what you do

♪ Your hand on your heart

♪ For your stripes and stars ♪

♪ Black umbrellas

♪ In the pouring rain

♪ Sunday morning coming down

♪ To "Amazing Grace"

♪ Lift your tear-filled eyes

♪ Up to the sky

♪ And as that flag flies

♪ Say goodbye

♪ Tonight, we're going to

♪ Raise them up

♪ Oh, oh

♪ Raise them up

Come on. Help me!

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa, oh, oh

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa, oh, oh

♪ Whoa, oh, oh

♪ Then you meet someone, the only one ♪

♪ You take her by the hand

♪ And you make your stand

♪ You find a little land

♪ You make a little love

♪ You make a little more love

[ Laughter ]

♪ Keep on making love

♪ Keep on making...

Oh, wrong song. Sorry.

♪ Make a little more love

♪ And the babies come

♪ Raise them up

[ Cheering ]

♪ You got to raise them up

♪ Raise them up

♪ Trophy high

♪ Raise them up

♪ To the sky

♪ Raise them up

♪ Show everybody

♪ That newborn smile

♪ Raise them up

♪ Tall and strong

♪ Raise them up

♪ Right from wrong

♪ Raise them up

♪ So damn high

♪ They can hear

♪ God singing along

♪ Oh, oh

Come on, now.

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Raise them up

♪ Raise them up

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Whoa

♪ Raise them up

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Mr. Jeffrey Steele.

Wow, great.

Thank you.

Wow.

Oh, thanks so much.

Okay, your turn, Mark.

Thank you, Victoria.

I was producing Timothy B. Schmit

from the Eagles, and he was the,

"I can't tell you why, oh, baby."

I was doing his solo album.

Yeah, beautiful guy, beautiful singer,

and at this point, the Eagles did not get back together yet,

and in his very soft voice, he went,

"You know something, Mark?

You know, the Eagles are going to get together

and make another record."

And once again, being prostitutes of songwriting,

I was going, "Jet Skis!"

I was thinking, "It's my turn!

Great!

Let's write a song!"

So me, Gary Burr and Timothy sit down,

and we write this song.

And as songwriters, you both can admit,

you know when you've got a good one,

and you know when you've got a mediocre one.

You don't say it out loud,

but you know the difference, and when we wrote this song,

I swear to God, it was like Babe Ruth

pointing to center field, a hit smash ready to go.

So I called Joe Walsh, my friend.

"Joe, will you come and play guitars?"

[ As Joe Walsh ] "Yeah, for sure, Mikey.

I'll come play guitar."

[ Normal voice ] So two Eagles,

then Scotty Crago,

who's the drummer when Henley goes and sings in front,

the percussion player, Scotty Crago plays drums.

So I say, "Scotty, will you come?"

"Yeah, Marky. I'll come."

So now I have 2 1/2 Eagles on the demo.

Yeah.

And I know it's a great song, so we write the song,

and it is just, like, a smash.

And I go, "Timothy, I'll be waiting by the phone."

[ As Timothy Schmit ] "Okay, Mark."

[ Normal voice ] Three days go by.

The phone rings. [ Imitating ringing ]

"Timothy?"

[ As Schmit ] "Hi, Mark."

[ Normal voice ] "Well, what happened?"

[ As Schmit ] "Well, I played it for Henley."

[ Normal voice ] "Yeah, and, and?"

[ As Schmit ] "He didn't like it."

[ Normal voice ] And I was crushed, and I went,

"Are you kidding me? Did you play the chorus?"

[ As Schmit ] "Well, he heard half the chorus

and turned it off.

[ Normal voice ] And that's when my Soprano kicked in.

I wanted to... "Oh, are you kidding me?"

And I went, "He didn't hear the whole"...

He said, "He said no." Okay.

Now, I'm going to start off with a failure,

and then I'll play you the stuff that made me

buy this yellow jacket after.

But the key to it, as a songwriter,

for all the songwriters in the world and everywhere --

You can't stop because a good song is a good song.

So I'm going to do this song,

and you'll see what I mean when it's over.

And, Vic, if you're playing in the key of M, just...

Key of M? ...do whatever you want to do.

I'm fine with it.

Wait. I got that one.

[ "I'll Be Seeing You Around" playing ]

♪♪

♪ Just because it's over

♪ Doesn't mean you're gone

♪ I took your picture off the wall ♪

♪ I wonder how it all

♪ Went wrong

♪ I'm not afraid of lonely

♪ Because that's the way it should be ♪

♪ Well, girl

♪ It's way too much to ask

♪ When I'm living in the past

♪ With you

♪ And now and then I get this feeling ♪

♪ You're standing right outside ♪

♪ But when too much love survives ♪

♪ It makes me want to hide

♪ I know we're going to

♪ Meet someday

♪ Pretend to look the other way ♪

♪ It's hard to keep your eyes down ♪

♪ In this little town

♪ It's sad but true

♪ I'll be seeing you around

♪♪

♪ I want to start a new life

♪ After all that I've been through ♪

♪ Well, girl

♪ It's way too much to ask

♪ When I'm living in the past

♪ With you

♪ And now and then I get this feeling ♪

♪ You're standing right outside ♪

♪ But when too much love survives ♪

♪ It makes me want to hide

♪ I know we're going to

♪ Meet someday

♪ Pretend to look the other way ♪

♪ It's hard to keep my eyes down ♪

♪ In this little town

♪ It's sad but true

♪ I'll be seeing you around

♪ And everything I say or do

♪ Will always be a part of you

♪ It might sound a little crazy, baby ♪

♪ Got to be true

♪ You know we're going to

♪ Meet someday

♪ Pretend to look the other way ♪

♪ It's hard to keep my eyes down ♪

♪ In this little town

♪ It's sad but true

♪ I'll be seeing you

Don Henley, you bastard.

♪ Around

♪ Da, da

♪ Da, da, da, da

♪ Ah

[ Cheers and applause ]

Mark Hudson!

This is a song that was never a single,

but it was on an album of Garth Brooks...

You know, Garth isn't here.

I wrote this song all by myself.

That's the Nashville way, but this was on his album called...

his "Sevens" album, and we wrote this song together,

and it's a little song, and it's one of my favorites,

and I don't get to play it out too much, so I'm going to do it.

And what I like about it is it really is about our friendship.

It could be about our friendship, too,

but it was just exactly how we are.

[ "Friend To Me" playing ]

♪♪

♪ We've always been buddies

♪ And we've been since we first met ♪

♪ Me and you

♪ Well, we've sure been through ♪

♪ Our share of laughter and regret ♪

♪ God knows we've had some hard times ♪

♪ And more than once

♪ We've disagreed

♪ But you've always been a friend to me ♪

♪♪

♪ You can be so stubborn

♪ Sometimes I think

♪ You just like to fight

♪ And I hope and pray I live to see the day ♪

♪ When you say I might be right ♪

You're right.

♪ And there's times

♪ I'd rather kill you

♪ Than listen to your honesty

♪ But you've always been a friend to me ♪

♪ You've always been

♪ Time and again

♪ The one to take my hand

♪ To show to me

♪ That it's okay to be

♪ Just the way I am

♪ With no apologies

♪ Oh, you've always been

♪ And you will till God knows when ♪

♪ Yes, you've always been

♪ A friend to me

[ Cheers and applause ]

Victoria Shaw!

That was so awesome.

Thank you so much.

Beautiful. Thank you.

I don't get to play that out too much, so thank you.

That's beautiful. Thank you.

All right.

Okay, so this next one

is a song I wrote in Durango, Colorado.

[ Cheers ]

It's so crazy.

And I wrote it about New York City.

-Yeah. -Yeah.

Two days after 9/11, I wrote this song

with a friend of mine named Reed Nielsen.

We were in Durango, Colorado, playing at this festival,

and we were just talking about New York City

and how New York just kind of came together

as, like, a little town anywhere in America, you know?

And it kind of... It was kind of mind-blowing

to see that kind of love and just immediate, you know,

"This is what people do for each other

when something goes wrong," you know?

And so we were just taken by that,

and we were just talking about it,

and I was... I took out my guitar.

Every time I take out my guitar,

I go like this...

[ Strumming melody ]

...just to kind of check my tuning, you know?

And it's kind of an open-E lick, and...

Well, it's open D tonight,

but it's been a long week.

And my buddy that I'm writing with, Reed Nielsen, who...

He passed away a couple years ago,

so I'm going to sing this for him tonight.

One of my favorite songwriters, but he goes,

"What are you doing?"

I said, "Oh, I'm just tuning my guitar."

He goes, "You're tuning your guitar, huh?"

I go, "Yeah."

He goes, "Play that like you're playing a banjo."

I was like, "What?"

He goes, "Just roll it." I go, "Okay."

So I went...

[ Rolling strings ]

I was like, "Wow."

I learned another trick about songwriting that day.

[ Laughter ]

[ "My Town" playing ]

♪♪

♪ There's a for-sale sign

♪ On a big old rusty tractor

♪ You can't miss it

♪ It's the first thing that you see ♪

♪ Just up the road

♪ A pale blue water tower

♪ With "I love Jenny" painted in bright green ♪

♪ Well, that's my Uncle Ray

♪ There by the courthouse

♪ And he'll be lowering the flag ♪

♪ When the Sun goes down

♪ And this is my town

♪ Na-na-na, na, na

♪ This is my town

♪ Na-na-na, na, na

♪ Where I was born

♪ I was raised

♪ And I keep all my yesterdays

♪ Where I ran off

♪ 'Cause I got mad

♪ When it came to blows

♪ With my old man

♪ But I came back to settle down ♪

♪ It's where they'll put me

♪ In the ground

♪ My town

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪ Well, there ain't much going on here ♪

♪ Since they closed the mill

♪ But that whistle still blows every day ♪

♪ At noon

♪ And there's a bunch of us still going down ♪

♪ To the diner

♪ And wondering if that interstate ♪

♪ Is still coming through

♪ Come Sunday morning service

♪ At the Church of Christ

♪ Well, there ain't an empty seat to be found ♪

♪ And this is my town

♪ Na-na-na, na, na

Come on. Sing it.

♪ This is my town

♪ Na-na-na, na, na

♪ Where I was born

♪ And I was raised

♪ And I keep all my yesterdays

♪ Where I ran off

♪ 'Cause I got mad

♪ When it came to blows

♪ With my old man

♪ But I came back

♪ To settle down

♪ It's where they'll put me

♪ In the ground

♪ My town

♪ This is my town

♪ Na-na-na, na, na

♪ My town

♪♪

♪ Well, I bought and painted up ♪

♪ That rusty tractor

♪ You can't miss it

♪ It's sitting right there in our yard ♪

♪ The county came and took that water tower ♪

♪ But that's my Jenny

♪ With the babies in the car

Yeah!

She's right there, honest to God.

[ Cheers ]

♪ Come Sunday morning service

♪ At the Church of Christ

♪ Well, there ain't an empty seat ♪

♪ To be found

♪ And maybe later

♪ Me and the boys

♪ We'll show you around

♪ My town

♪ Na-na-na, na, na

♪ 'Cause this is my town

♪ Na-na-na, na, na

♪ Sing it out loud

♪ Where I was born

♪ I was raised

♪ And I keep all my yesterdays

♪ Where I ran off

♪ 'Cause I got mad

♪ When it came to blows

♪ With my old man

♪ But I came back

♪ To settle down

♪ It's where they'll put me

♪ In the ground

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪ My town

♪♪

♪ Where I was born

♪ And I was raised

♪ Where I keep all

♪ My yesterdays

♪ Where I ran off

♪ 'Cause I got mad

♪ When it came to blows

♪ With my old man

♪ This is my town

♪ But I came back

♪ To settle down

♪ And it's where they'll put me ♪

♪ In the ground

♪ My town

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

Jeffrey Steele!

Thank you all so much.

That song is called "My Town,"

just in case you didn't...

Ladies and gentlemen, once again, Mark Hudson.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Okay, so I was in the south of France,

and there was this writer camp,

and they send a bunch of writers there,

and you get together in this 13th-century castle,

and you write songs,

and every day they put you with new people,

and they put me with Carole King.

I know, and it was... Yeah, and it's scary

because there she was, like, the Carole King,

and the first thing she said was,

"Well, what do you want to write?"

And I was so taken, I went...[stammering]

I couldn't speak.

I can't imagine that, Mark, but okay.

No. I'm telling you. I was completely stymied.

I was befuddled, and I knew

that Aerosmith was about to make a record,

and I had already worked with them,

and Glen Ballard was producing it,

and he goes, "We need a ballad. We need, like, a hit ballad."

And I went, "I'm here with Carole King."

So we write this song,

and it's another one of those, like the first one I did,

where over the fence, it's a smash!

"It can pay for my thigh operation,"

so many things I needed at the time.

You needed a thigh?

No. I didn't.

I just can't say the real thing

that needed to be operated on.

The...the...

[ Laughing ]

Thank you, Jeffrey.

Thank you. Thank you.

I was holding back. I was holding back.

So we wrote the song.

We did the demo, handed it into Aerosmith,

and I'm thinking, "Okay. Here we go.

It has nothing to do with Don Henley.

Smash, this is a smash."

Two weeks go by. I get the phone call. Steven.

[ As Steven Tyler ] "Yeah, Marco, Marco, yeah."

[ Normal voice ] "Well?"

[ As Tyler ] "I loved it. Glen Ballard loved it.

Joe Perry hated it."

[ Normal voice ] And I went, "No, no, please. Not again."

And he goes, "Yeah. Sorry."

So I watched it, once again, float out the window.

There goes another song, another Jet Ski out the window.

Another Jet Ski, I'm telling you.

Yeah. I went, "God! Okay."

Three months go by, get a phone call from the publisher.

"Hi, Mark. It's Barbara."

"Hi, Barbara. What's going on?"

"You know that song you wrote with Carole King?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I do. I was rejected by Aerosmith."

Goes, "Well, uh, Celine Dion just cut that song."

And I went, "What?"

So she goes, "She cut the song,

and she said that it sounded

so Beatle-y that the only person to produce it

would be George Martin, the Beatles' producer."

Oh, gosh!

I know, and so when we meet Celine Dion,

after cutting the song,

it happened to be on the "Titanic"...

It was the first song on the "Titanic" record.

So Aerosmith was selling,

like, 13 million albums at the time.

This sold 26 million copies.

It paid for both thigh operations,

and my cheeks got stuffed and every...

I became 17 after this record.

The song is called "The Reason."

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I figured it out

♪ I was high and low

♪ And everything in between

♪ I was wicked and wild

♪ But, baby, you know what I mean ♪

♪ Then there was you

♪ Yeah, you

♪ Something went wrong

♪ I made a deal with the devil ♪

♪ For an empty IOU

♪ Been to hell and back

♪ But an angel was looking through ♪

♪ And it was you

♪ Yeah, you

♪ It's all because of you

♪ You are the reason

♪ You are the reason

♪ I wake up every day

♪ And sleep through the night

♪ You are the reason, the reason ♪

♪ In the middle of the night

♪ I'm going down

♪ Because I adore you

♪ I want to floor you

♪ I'm giving it up

♪ No more running around

♪ Spinning my wheels

♪ You came out of a dream

♪ And made it real

♪ You know how I feel

♪ It's you

♪ Yeah

♪ It's all because of you

♪ You are the reason

♪ You are the reason

♪ I wake up every day

♪ And sleep through the night

♪ You are the reason, the reason ♪

♪ In the middle of the night

♪ Yeah

♪ I'm going down

♪ Because I adore you

♪ I want to floor you

♪ I want to kiss you

♪ You are the reason, baby

♪ Yeah

♪ You are the reason

♪ I wake up every day

♪ And sleep through the night

♪ You are the reason

♪♪

♪♪

♪ The reason

♪ The

♪ The reason

♪ La, la

♪ Because of you

♪♪

♪ Yeah, you

♪ You are the reason

♪♪

Mark Hudson.

Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

That was pretty.

[ Cheers and applause continue ]

That was pretty.

So during these shows, I always like to have a friend come up,

sing one of their special, incredible hits.

Oh, I'm so excited about this one.

I met her about 5 years ago, and we just bonded

and hit it off incredibly, and she is a tremendous...

She's a source to be reckoned with.

She's a songwriter. She's a producer.

She's an artist.

She is fierce, and she is my friend,

and I'm not going to give away the song she's going to sing.

I'm going to let her tell the story.

Please give a warm welcome to Miss Angela Hunte.

Where are you, Angela?

[ Cheers and applause ]

What's going on, New York?

[ Cheers and applause ]

Yeah.

I want to talk about this song that I wrote

that I will tell you right now,

I get so nervous doing this record,

and it means so much because I'm in New York.

And every time I write this record,

I get really choked up because it means so much to me,

so you might know the words.

This is the original version of the song.

This is Arden Keyes, everybody.

[ Cheers and applause ]

He is definitely an amazing producer in his own right,

from Shakira to Mary J. Blige.

And then one day I was in London, broke as hell.

And I thought about this city, the city that made me who I am.

Here we go.

And you all know how resilient we are

because if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

[ "Empire State of Mind" playing ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Someone told me

♪ Take a plane

♪ Take a train

♪ Do what I can

♪ Get out of here

♪ There's something there for you ♪

♪ So I felt my intuition

♪ I packed a bag

♪ All I had

You know what they told me?

♪ If I can make it here

♪ There's nothing to go back to ♪

♪ In New York

♪ Concrete jungle where dreams are made of ♪

♪ Forget what you used to be

♪ Now you're in New York

♪ The streets will make you feel brand-new ♪

♪ Big lights will inspire you

♪ Let's hear it for New York

♪ New York

♪ New York

♪ I saw a man with a cup

♪ And a sign that said

♪ Will work for food

♪ I couldn't believe it

♪ And there I was

♪ On that corner

♪ Steady thinking

♪ Will that be me

♪ Or will that be my destiny, too ♪

♪ So I said

♪ If I can make it here

♪ There's nothing to go back to ♪

♪ In New York

♪ Concrete jungle where dreams are made of ♪

♪ Forget what you used to be

♪ Now you're in New York

♪ These streets will make you feel brand-new ♪

♪ Big lights will inspire you

♪ Let's hear it for New York

♪ New York

♪ New York

♪ That's what they say

♪ Yeah, that's what they say

♪ Yeah, they say

♪ Yeah, yeah

♪ Yeah, yeah

♪ In New York

♪ In New York

♪ Let's hear it for

♪ Let's hear it for

This is my town.

This is the place where we never fail.

We will die trying.

♪ In New York

[ Cheers and applause ]

I love you, New York.

Shaw: Miss Angela Hunte, let's hear it again for her.

She's amazing!

That was incredible, Angela.

Thank you so much.

Unbelievable.

So this is actually your last song for the night, Jeffrey.

Oh! I know.

-It goes so fast. -No!

Well, this next song... I wrote this song.

I took a trip with a guy that I'd never...

I wrote a number-one song with this guy

named Steve Robson from London, and we'd never met.

I wrote the lyrics and the melody,

and he sent me the music, and we'd never met,

and we had this big hit with a group called Rascal Flatts.

[ Cheers and applause ]

It was their first number-one song,

and it was a song called "These Days,"

and we'd never met.

So they decided they should...

My publisher decided to send me over to London

to go meet this guy and write with him,

so we wrote this song.

Came back to the States, and then this kid named

Mark Wills, this country singer named Mark Wills,

heard my song in the year 2000.

This is in 2000, and he said,

"Jeff, I just heard this really sad song you wrote.

It's amazing. It just really touched my heart.

I want to put it on my new album."

I'm like, "That's awesome," you know?

Called the Jet Ski guy, you know,

ordered a couple Jet Skis,

you know, again, just getting it ready.

And 2 weeks later, he got dropped from the label,

and the record never came out.

A couple of more years go by.

We're, like, 2003 or '04 or '05 now.

Uh-huh, wow.

Aerosmith is looking for a ballad.

I said, "Maybe my sad, little, depressing...

You never know!"

And now I've got it on a CD, you know?

You never know.

So who was the guy? John Kalodner.

Kalodner. I sent it to John.

I knew John and, you know, his crew over there,

and I said, "John, did Steven hear it?"

He goes, "Yeah. He heard it. He heard it."

I go, "Well, what did he think?"

"He said it was the most depressing song

he ever heard in his life, and he would never sing it."

Eight years later, I get another phone call,

same record producer with Faith Hill.

"Hey, Jeff. I'm going to produce

a new album on Rascal Flatts."

I said, "Ah, there's that name again, Rascal Flatts."

You know, "You still got that..."

"Yeah, yeah. I got it. I got it.

I got it on MP3 now."

[ Laughter ]

So it started on a cassette and then that...

"Yes, sir. I've got it. I'm sending it over."

Next day I said, "Well, what did they think?"

"Well, they didn't like it,

but," he said, "but," he goes,

"but I love the song."

And he goes, "I'm going to make them sing it."

It's the Song of the Year.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Song...my sad song...

Hell yeah!

And then, like, a year after it was a hit,

I was in one of those rock 'n' roll sushi bars

with my three girls having...

It was one of their birthdays,

and we were having a birthday dinner,

and the music is going, "Ooh, shh, ooh, shh."

And lights are flashing everywhere,

and we're eating sushi rolls.

I'm like, "Wait a minute."

"That's my sad song!

It's a happy song now!

It's a disco song."

That was a long walk down the pier.

I loved it. I loved every moment of it.

[ "What Hurts the Most" playing ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I can take the rain on the roof ♪

♪ Of this empty house

♪ That don't bother me

♪ I can take a few tears now and then ♪

♪ And just let them out

♪ I'm not afraid to cry

♪ Every once in a while

♪ Even though going on with you gone ♪

♪ Still upsets me

♪ There are days

♪ Every now and again

♪ I pretend I'm okay

♪ But that's not what gets me

♪ What hurts the most

♪ Was being so close

♪ And having so much to say

♪ And watching you walk away

♪ And never knowing

♪ What could've been

♪ And not seeing that loving you ♪

♪ Is what I was trying to do

♪♪

♪♪

♪ It's hard to deal with the pain ♪

♪ Of losing you everywhere I go ♪

♪ But I'm doing it

♪ It's hard to force that smile ♪

♪ When I see our old friends

♪ And I'm alone

♪ Still harder getting up, getting dressed ♪

♪ Living with this regret

♪ But I know if I could do it over ♪

♪ I would trade, give away

♪ All the words that I saved in my heart ♪

♪ That I left unspoken

♪ What hurts the most

♪ Was being so close

♪ And having so much to say

♪ And watching you walk away

♪ And never knowing

♪ What could've been

♪ And not seeing that loving you ♪

♪ Is what I was trying to do

♪ Oh, yeah

♪♪

♪ I can take the rain on the roof ♪

♪ Of this empty house

♪ That don't bother me

♪ I can take a few tears now and then ♪

♪ And just let them out

♪ I'm not afraid to cry

♪ Every once in a while

♪ Even though going on with you gone ♪

♪ Still upsets me

♪ There are days

♪ Every now and again

♪ I pretend I'm okay

♪ But that's not what gets me

♪ What hurts the most

♪ Was being so close

♪ And having so much to say

♪ And watching you walk away

♪ And never knowing

♪ What could've been

♪ And not seeing that loving you ♪

♪ Is what I was trying to do

♪ That's what I was trying to do ♪

♪♪

♪ What hurts the most

♪ Was having so much to say

♪ And watching you walk away

Wow.

Come on.

Jeffrey Steele!

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank y'all very much. Thank you. Thank you.

Oh, my God, incredible.

Thank you, all.

Wow, Jeffrey!

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

Wow.

Incredible.

That's my friend, and I'm still in awe of him.

I'm in awe of both people here and Angela.

I'm so in awe of all my talented friends who all amaze me,

and I love you so much. Thank you, Vic.

So this is actually our last song of the night.

-Aw. -I know.

I feel the same way, but let's go out

afterwards to the bar across the street.

We'll meet there, okay?

No, but this is our last song,

and I want to thank Birdland Theater

for having us because this is my home away from home

in New York,

and I'm going to let Mark Hudson take this one out

because he's just got the perfect last song to do.

Okay. Mr. Mark Hudson!

Okay.

Okay.

I was getting some success as a songwriter,

and that same guy, John Kalodner,

had called me up and said... He did.

He said, [nasally voice] "Hey, genius.

Do you want to go work with Aerosmith?"

[ Normal voice ] And this is, like,

America's greatest rock band,

and I went, "Are you kidding?"

He goes, [nasally voice] "Yeah.

You want to go to Boston and work with them?"

[ Normal voice ] I went, "Yes. I would love to."

So they send me to Boston, and I had, like,

five things ready to play for them,

and I go to Joe Perry's house in Marshfield,

and walk in, and there he was,

standing like a rock god.

He had, like, a waxed chest with a black vest,

hair in front with a cigarette, standing there.

And when I saw him, I was so excited.

I made a noise, like, "Ah," because I was excited.

Joe Perry is looking so great.

So all of a sudden, a car pulls up.

I hear this squeak. [Imitates tires squeaking]

The door opens, and there, like, backlit,

like a Spielberg movie, just his shadow,

I see, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!"

Steven Tyler.

And he comes in, and I'm thinking to myself,

"Thank God, someone like me."

He had two different shoes on, and he looked very strange,

so we hit it off immediately, and I'm thinking,

"Oh, maybe I can get myself through this."

So he said, "Play me, you know, some of your stuff."

Jeffrey, can you lick me again?

I mean...Yeah.

[ Plays guitar lick ]

♪ Yeah, yeah [ Mumbling ]

Okay, so I played, like, five songs like that,

and Steven is nodding his head,

and I had to put a mirror under Joe Perry's nose

to make sure he was breathing,

and I'm thinking, "This isn't going to work."

And then... Here comes the catch.

Steven Tyler had the insight, and he said to me,

"Marco, let me ask you something.

What would you bring to the band if you were in the band?"

And usually you don't get that from an artist,

and that was a shocking thing, and once...

my second noise, "Ah," because I didn't...

I had nothing prepared.

So I said, "Well, I've got this song,"

and I had written this thing...

like, 5 years before,

but John Lennon, to me, was my reason for existing

because he said something in his music

that Aerosmith didn't.

You know, they were doing "Love in an Elevator,"

"Dude (Looks Like a Lady)," all those great hits,

but they never handled anything

that was, like, political or had that other thing.

So I went, "Well, I kind of got this thing."

♪ Something's wrong with the world today ♪

♪ I don't know what it is ♪

♪ Something's wrong with our eyes ♪

♪ Seeing things in a different way ♪

♪ And God knows it ain't his ♪

♪ It sure ain't no surprise ♪

♪ Living on the edge

And Steven went, "Stop! Stop!"

And I'd never seen a mouth that big in my life.

Yeah, yeah.

No, I mean it. Yeah.

It was, like, a family having lunch on his tongue.

"Ah!"

Just scary, scary,

but then he went,

"John Lennon is in the room.

John Lennon is in the room. Lennon is in the room!"

All right.

So we're going to do this song now, and check it out

because the song actually makes more sense

now than when I wrote it

because of what's going on in our world

and the way that things are.

It now really makes a big difference,

so here we go.

[ Living On the Edge" playing ]

♪ There's something wrong with the world today ♪

♪ I don't know what it is

♪ Something's wrong with our eyes ♪

♪ We're seeing things in a different way ♪

♪ And God knows it ain't his

♪ It sure ain't no surprise

♪ We're living on the edge

♪ Living on the edge

♪ Living on the edge

♪ Living on the edge

Listen.

♪ There's something wrong with the world today ♪

♪ The light bulb is getting dim ♪

♪ There's meltdown in the sky

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

♪ If you can judge a person

♪ By the color of his skin

♪ Then, mister, you're a better man than I ♪

♪ Yeah, we're living on the edge ♪

♪ You can't help yourself from falling ♪

♪ Living on the edge

♪ You can't help yourself at all ♪

♪ Living on the edge

♪ You can't help yourself from falling ♪

♪ Yeah

♪ Living on the edge

♪ You can't help yourself at all ♪

Come on!

♪ Tell me what you think about your situation ♪

♪ Complications, aggravations are getting to you ♪

♪ If Chicken Little tells you that the sky is falling ♪

♪ Even if it wasn't

♪ Would you still come crawling back again ♪

♪ I bet you would, my friend

♪ How many times?

♪ Again and again and again and again ♪

♪ Something's right with the world today ♪

♪ And everybody knows it's wrong ♪

♪ We can let it go

♪ But I gots to know

♪ That I'd rather be a-hanging on ♪

[ Blowing ]

♪ Ah, ah, ah

♪ Living on the edge

Victoria Shaw.

♪ Living on the edge

♪ You can't help yourself at all ♪

♪ Yeah, living on the edge ♪

♪ You can't help yourself from falling ♪

♪ Living on the edge

♪ You can't help yourself at all ♪

Sing it with me.

♪ Living on the edge

♪ You can't help yourself from falling ♪

What's that?

♪ Living on the edge

♪ You can't help yourself at all ♪

Now sing it like you're divorced.

♪ Living on the edge

♪ Yeah, yeah

♪ You can't help yourself

♪ You can't help yourself

♪ You can't help yourself

♪ You're never, never, never gonna help yourself ♪

♪ You can't help yourself from falling ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

Mark Hudson, Jeffrey Steele, I'm Victoria Shaw!

Angela Hunte. Thank you so much!

Thank you!

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you!

Hunte: ♪ Be me

♪ Or will that be my destiny, too ♪

♪ So I said If I can make it here ♪

♪ There's nothing to go back to ♪

♪ In New York

♪ Concrete jungle where dreams are made of ♪

♪ Forget what you used to be

♪ Now you're in New York

♪ These streets will make you feel brand-new ♪

♪ Big lights will inspire you

♪ Let's hear it for New York

♪ New York

♪ New York

♪ That's what they say

♪ Yeah

♪ That's what they say, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ They say, yeah, yeah

♪ Yeah, yeah

♪ In New York

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