A control-line anthem

By David Shorts

One day my youngest daughter challenged me to write a song.  No big deal, I’m a music teacher and I’ve written hundreds of songs.  However, I hadn’t written a song about my favorite hobby: Control Line.

Of course, if the song were to be any good, I would need the muse to strike — and strike it did. I began with the chorus and drew my lyrics from the title of that old AMA film: "Wired for Excitement."

This old movie holds special memories for me.  As a 7- or 8-year-old boy I remember sitting beside Arlie Preszler and my dad, Lanny Shorts, at the Tokay Radio Control Modelers meeting (they were combined with the Escadrille Control Line Club back then). In the banquet room of a downtown restaurant we watched the different AMA films at the end of various meetings played from a movie projector onto a bare wall.  "Wired for Excitement" was my favorite because it has a shot of the back of my dad’s head as he judged a maneuver.

After writing the chorus, more or less as it is in the final song, I went on to the verses and by then knew that I was onto something.  I took out the phone and recorded myself singing some rough draft lyrics so I wouldn’t forget the melody.  I began working on the chords on the piano and eventually added a simple bridge.  (By now, my daughter who had asked me to write the song was completely bored and walked off to play Barbies.)

Later that day I had worked out the song with some improved lyrics and tested it on my 12-year-old son who is frequently annoyed with my control-line obsession (although he is a good flier for his age). He gave a big thumbs up.

I went to an iPad and used the app Garage Band to record drums, bass, and some keyboard.  Next I played the electric guitar live.  Finally, in a few takes, I added the vocals and some background vocals before balancing the tracks and putting in some compressor to smooth things out.  Compressors are like 1200 grit sandpaper and clear coat.

This wasn’t enough though.  For the song to have a chance at people hearing it, I needed a video.  After a trip to the thrift store and possibly trespassing on railroad land we had a video of the “band.” My son did some computer effects so that “all three” of the members appeared correctly in the video. Another day of editing pieces of the old "Wired for Excitement" film into the music video and the anthem was finished.

What is the point?  The point is, I believe if we all work control-line into our non-modeling lives, we can share our sport with those who don’t know anything about it and witness something most of us don’t remember seeing in our life times: our sport growing!

I hope you enjoy and share "Wired for Excitement" Music Video. Also, feel free to make your own songs, paintings, murals, taxidermy?, or anything else that reflects your individual passion for control-line.

"Wired for Excitement" music video

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This page was upated March 30, 2018