Skin The Beast

I figure it would be easier to post Donna’s words for this blog post.
(Thanks Donna for your creativity and passion to such a great cause)

“Hi Everyone:
I know a lot of you have been wondering what I have been up to these last 6 months or so…so here goes.

Since I was younger, I always had song lyrics bouncing around in my head. I was never really brave enough to actually write them down on paper though.
Last year when I turned 50, I decided I didn’t care what anyone thought, and I started to put pen to paper.
One of my most powerful songs is titled “Skin the Beast”. It is about a friend of mine named Tyler. His mother used to babysit Stacey when she was a baby.
Tyler was diagnosed with colon cancer. When I saw this emotional picture of him sitting in his front room, reading Lance Armstrong’s book, a song came spilling out of my head.
After I wrote the song, I wondered what I was supposed to do with it.
So, I showed it to a few people, then I got an idea…
Why not submit it to a rock band and have them record it? That way, I could donate some of the money towards the PET scanner at the hospital.
The more people I showed, the more my enthusiasm grew.
I then wrote approx. 25 other songs.
Poor Paul, I would scream from the shower “write this down” or “get me a pencil”!!
He really didn’t know how I was coming up with these lyrics…(neither did I frankly)
I decided to have my awesome, brilliant, wonderful friend Susan help me write my letter to the management person for the band that I had chosen.
She grilled me for about 2 hours at Jak’s Diner on Barrydowne Rd. last November. Her letter is epic. She captured just how I felt about this band, and just what I wanted to tell them about myself.
I wanted to make clear in the letter that I was not some teenager with a little song that I wanted them to record.
I wanted them to understand that I am serious and dedicated to my new craft.
Susan did a fantastic job doing just that.

Now on to how I was going to really get their interest.
I decided to get a picture taken.
Not just any picture.
I decided to ask Tyler to be in the picture with me.
How poignant, as the song was for him.
You might recognize him as the fireman on the front of the 2013 Sudbury Firefighter’s calendar.
His wife Cindy Van Empel-Popowich, bodybuilder extraordinaire, and all round ham, was in on the project too.

I asked James Hodgins, of James Hodgins Photography if he would come in on the project.
He was on board right away. I went for the consultation, and I could just hear his wheels grinding in his little head thinking of themes and poses and ideas.
James came up with an idea of me being Tyler’s protector with my song lyrics and that he and I had..well..”Skinned the Beast” together. I thought that was the coolest idea.
The date was set for January 7th.
Such an important piece of the puzzle, I had bucket loads of anxiety hoping that the picture would capture what we were trying to say.
Yesterday was one of the most exciting days. We all met at the studio, and had an absolute ball.
James says the pictures will take time to get just right…so I am waiting on pins and needles at this point.

I guess you can figure from my cover picture that the band I have chosen is AC/DC.
Go big or go home I guess.
The song is tailor made for their style of rock.
I studied their lyrics and songs for many weeks, watching interviews etc..

I decided to blog about this because it was proving difficult for me to tell each person individually.
I hope you can follow along with me on my adventure now

I want to thank my husband Paul, and Stacey for supporting me along the way. (even though Paul thought I was scary at first) and the rest of my family…I love you.
Thanks to my good friend, who thinks I am a reincarnation of some “dead” rock song writer..that one always makes me snicker..
Thanks to all of my friends for reading my song and encouraging me to do something with it.
The work is almost all done, and the waiting is about to begin.
I am sending AC/DC management a registered letter as soon as James has the awesome, epic, mindblowing picture ready.
Please stand by………..peace…Donna…

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