The Chance Parade | The Music of Harvey Beaks

There’s a cavalcade of dreamers, 
confetti and streamers 
Where floats are filled with broken rules 
and the hopes and whispers of fools 
The spectacle is there to see 
to those lost in pleasant reverie 
But perhaps you haven’t got the time 
to be fanciful of mind? 

A Day of No To-Do is my favorite episode of Harvey Beaks. I knew this when Carl first sat me down to watch the animatic. In this episode, Harvey learns the value of breaking from routines, taking risks, and doing the unexpected. This resonates with me in a big way because it’s something I’ve had to remind myself to do time and time again. As soon as I watched it I knew I wanted to do something I’d never done before on an episode, and that’s where I broke from my routine and proposed the song, The Chance Parade

The Chance Parade is the single hardest thing I’ve had to write for this series.  The words & music had to come from the heart and I wanted it to be in my voice. This is about as vulnerable as one can get when it comes to making music.  I’m not the best singer, but I knew I could at least get point across vocally. Musically, I tried to stay in the style of the show but also introduce something that I hadn’t showcased yet: my love of pure & simple pop music as  done by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra) and Andy Partridge (XTC). 

Once I finished the demo, I nervously let Carl hear it and thankfully he loved it! Listening back, I knew the song was wanting to go in a George Harrison-y direction, so I thought I would let it. I called Marc Mann; an amazing guitarist who had played alongside Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Jeff Lynne at the “Concert for George” at Royal Albert Hall (Marc was selected to play George Harrison’s parts by these guys!). So I knew I could not have picked a better person to play electric guitars and come up with the lead. In addition, I recruited my dear friend/mentor Steve Bartek (Oingo Boingo) who contributed the beautiful acoustic guitars. 

If I had kept to my routine and “scoring day-planner,” this song would not have existed on this episode… I probably wouldn’t be working on Harvey Beaks if I had submitted what was “normal” or “expected” when I first auditioned… In fact, most of the best things in my life have happened when I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone; deviated from the norm and put myself at risk of failure. I think that’s why A Day of No To-Do means so much to me and why I take this cartoon so seriously. I see so much value in people discovering their own Chance Parades and I’m so proud to contribute to this important message. This little cartoon is more important than we know. 

Now’s your chance to stop discerning, 
stop concerning, 
start unlearning 
It doesn’t matter where you are 
the Chance Parade isn’t far 
The show begins when you let go 
of everything you know. 
(Guitar Solo) 

Carry on, blue bird!