Group A- Some of us are just starting out. We have a spark in our eye and all potential in front of us.
Group B- Some are in the thick of it, in the midst of all that potential, getting up every day and trying to write an even better song than we wrote the day before.
Group C- Some of us are done—might never write another song again. But this doesn’t have to be sad. Because if we’re born with fire and passion it can transfer to another purpose.
My friend Franne, (sounds like a sitcom, right?) was in Group A many years ago. She grew up in Chicago where she was bitten by the Bug (you know the one), and found herself sequestered in many a room with a piano—(better than a view). As she worked her way up, she managed to get in that room with Carole Bayer Sager, who introduced her to renowned producer Richard Perry, who convinced her to move to LA. She went on to write songs and singles for The Pussycat Dolls (“Stickwitu”), Randy Travis’s "A Man Ain't Made of Stone", The Kinleys' "Somebody's Out There Watching" from the Touched by an Angel soundtrack, Selena’s "Dreaming of You", Jody Watley’s "Don't You Want Me" and "Nightshift" (the Commodores). She’s been nominated for Grammys and even won one. You don’t do this without talent and ambition. And the Bug.
So why stop? And if you do, where does all that energy go? When I asked Franne Golde why she cooled off on songwriting she explains: “People were moving, being let go. I felt like a child in a divorce. So I started putting more energy into my new dream. And it felt a lot like starting out in the music business."
Always interested in fashion, Franne was Downtown (LA) one day, looking for a few pieces she could sell at a boutique fundraiser for her son’s school when she came across a pair of black pants. That’s right, black pants. In her opinion, they were almost perfect: the material, the fit, the stretch, the comfort, the look. And who’s kidding who, ladies? Ya know ya gotta have ‘em. Ya gotta have lots of ‘em. We need options. We gain a few pounds. We lose a few. You know the drill.
Right then she felt a spark and became obsessed with perfecting and creating her own version of those pants and sharing them with her (female) universe. “Having a product that you love would be like having a hit record.”
She started talking about it. You know the saying, “I know a guy?” She kept hearing “I know a gal,”— the sister of a friend’s gardener, the wife of a former collaborator. She followed the whispers. Sometimes they led nowhere. JUST LIKE IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS. But you have to keep your ears open. And your feet moving. One thing leads to another. One afternoon she met a gal who said, yes, I’ll help you make the pattern, find the fabric, produce a prototype. The woman was busy but Franne “sold her the song.” She says it was like finding a publisher who finally wanted to sign her. In 2016, she launched her online boutique: https://www.frannegolde.com/ There were a few pieces to start, but the star of the show were those black pants.
Soon after the launch she got a random email from Adam Glassman from O (Oprah) Magazine, saying he wanted to feature her pants in an upcoming issue. She thought sure it was a joke. It wasn’t. Her pants were dubbed, “The Magic Pants.” Same adrenaline rush as a smash single.
Then she was asked to come on the Oprah segment of The View. I’m serious. As excited as she was, there was some concern: How much inventory could she manufacture by the time the show aired? What sizes would they need? She couldn’t work fast enough. A good problem to have for a girl who’s reinventing herself.
My jaw dropped as Franne told me this story. It seemed divine. But it’s not like I haven’t heard it before. “When you have a dream, put it out there.” Says Franne… “You don’t have to tell everyone but open your heart.” Same story in the book, The Alchemist. Read it. If you’ve read it already and are feeling discouraged again, read it again. It’s all true. When you have an enthusiastic heart all the heavens run through it.
Anyway…How cute are these?
I could totally see myself in this:
Or this. LOOOOOVE this...
I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m past the point of pigtails and hoodies. I need classic yet sexy. And simple. I can’t have my wardrobe upstaging me. I’m the star. Make me look good. Fit me right…(wait, was that a Pat Benatar song?)
Ok so you can find black pants at Target. I've bought about 10 pair from Target over the years. And I have an excuse for why I don’t wear every one of them. Too tight, Too baggy. Too this, too that. I often ponder all the money I wasted on the combined cost. Honestly, I’d rather have 1 pair of great slacks that I look great in—than 10 pair I never wear. I’d rather hear one great song than an album fulla trash. No offense Target. I love you, but…I’ll stick with wicker baskets and Kleenex.
So if you were wondering what happened to Franne Golde…she’s alive and kicking. She’s just rocking it in another universe…hit pants (and tops and sweaters), instead of hit songs.
Franne confesses, “As much as I miss writing sometimes, it's really the feeling of writing something amazing & the relationships I miss the most. Sharing such an extraordinary experience with another human being. Creating something from nothing, giving birth. It's truly a miracle. I never say I used to be a songwriter, I'll always be a songwriter and I'm so grateful I was lucky enough to come up in a time when I could make a great living at something I truly loved. And who knows maybe writing another song is in the future.”
Maybe we’ll write one together, Franne….But for now I'm going shopping.
Thanks as always, for reading. Confessions of a Serial Songwriter is now available as an audio book, narrated by me! Get your first book free on Audible! Sign up for this Blog! Find me on my Serial Songwriter Facebook Page, or Twitter or Instagram. Check out my whole website. And last but not least, if you're a voting member of The Recording Academy, please be aware that "Confessions of a Serial Songwriter" has been submitted for a Best Spoken Work Nomination. I'd be honored if you'd consider voting for if you think it worthy. :)