Madmen & Dreamers

Madmen & Dreamers

BandRockBroadway

We are a one of a kind band that writes and performs rock operas about inspirational human stories. Our first CD, The Children of Children, is a passionate, moving portrait of a family in crisis.

Biography

Madmen and Dreamers was born out of the recording of "The Children of Children". I (Mark, aka MAD) had spent several years working on it alone, chipping away at it, fooling around with the story and the lyrics, trying to make them work together.

It wasn't a project that I worked exclusively on. I was doing a bunch of things all at the same time. I had a wife and kids. I was working on a series of novels. The Children of Children was really a side-project at that time. There was a lot of living going on and a lot of that living ended up in the lyrics, but it can't be applied literally to the story.

When I started writing the music, I went to Mario's home studio where we did some initial tests on the title track and Madmen and Dreamers. Just to get his take on it. Mario and I have known each other since college and have co-written many songs (many of which are on our work in progress, Remembrance), but he usually wrote the music and I the words, so this was an interesting departure for me. I also knew that he would give it to me straight and without any sugar coating.

He really liked what he heard and made some great suggestions. Off I went to continue writing!

I tinkered with it on and off for a couple more years until I met a woman who became a fast friend, Linda Kessler. She and I talked about the rock opera and she wanted to hear what I had recorded. She also liked what she heard and we started discussing the story and going through the existing lyrics. She was also a writer and pointed to places where I had to make changes or add a song to further the story.

It was around this time that I realized that I would need a singer for the role of the mother. I had to write in the soprano range and really wanted to actually work with a singer on those songs. Linda and I talked about it and she said she had someone in mind and would get back to me.

A few days later she called and told me about this woman, a singer, in one of her ballet classes who was interested in the project. She asked me to come into New York City to meet after their Sunday afternoon ballet class.

It was here Christine Hull and I met. Let me tell you, a dance studio is a great place to meet women! Picture this: here I am, probably the only heterosexual and single (divorced for several years) man in a building full of sweaty women in dance clothes. I felt like a kid in a candy shop!

Anyway, Linda introduced Chris, who looked great in her leotard, and we went to a cafe for a cup of coffee where we discussed the project. I gave her some tapes and lyrics and went home--completely forgetting to get her phone number!!!!

I called Linda and got it as fast as I could.

Chris and I spent a lot of time talking on the phone about both the story and things in general. We liked each other instantly and two interesting things began: we started to date and started to rewrite a lot of what I thought was "finished" material.

It was an interesting dicotomy The dating was great--we got along extremely well and still do. The rewriting, however was painful. She was right in her assertation that the story was too dark and brooding. She said that the audience would kill themselves near the end of the first act. She was right, of course, but that didn't make it easy to take. I had to at least listen to her, not only because we were involved romantically, but because she really knew what she was talking about. She had studied and received her bachelor's degree in musical theatre from the Haart School In Connecticut.

I resigned myself to my fate, hoping that it would make the project better.

In a few months we had re-written and revoiced and moved things around until it was the way we thought it should be and it was sounding really good. We were very excited and decided it was time to start recording bass tracks to go with the keyboard and sequenced drums I had recorded. I called the best bassist I know. Mario was delighted and started writing and recording bass tracks.

As Mario worked on the bass tracks, I began to feel that we also needed a guitarist because the guitar patches in the keyboards were making me nuts. I couldn't get them to sound convincing and neither could I play them--on a keyboard--the way a guitarist would.

There was a music store not far from here where I used to go and play the pianos during a pretty rough time in my life. I was really on the rocks and the guys who ran this store let me play the pianos whenever and as long as I wanted. It was natural for me to go there in search of a lead guitarist. It was there that I met Vince Genella, who recorded the guitars on the CD.

My son, Andrew, and Chris, who was now my wife, were playing a game at the kitchen table when I got back. My son asked a little sarcastically if I'd found anyone. I held out the tape I'd been given and said; "Maybe . . . ". I put the tape in and a screaming riff flew out of the stereo speakers. "You know this guy!!??" my son gaspe

Discography

The Children of Children, MadElf Productions, Inc.

The song, Madmen and Dreamers, gets the most radio play by far, having been played all over the world and the US. Please see: http://www.madelf.com/RadioPlay.htm

Other played tracks have been Daddy Can We Talk?, Tell Me, Love at a Distance, Retreat, Another Joyful Day, and several others.

We are on every major download site at the moment. Search on the band name, Madmen and Dreamers.

Set List

The entire show takes about 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission between act 1 and act 2.