I wanted to share a story with you about how the song “I bELIeve” from Fight For Eli came about. Although it is not quite finished and will be available very soon on CD and on iTunes, the story of this song is where the impact is. I believe when one can understand the background and where something came from, there becomes a greater appreciation for its journey.
For those who do not know, Fight For Eli was born out of the band Sucker Punch which was being driven by myself and Scott Caldarelli. Scott and I have been close friends and musical partners for 32 years now. Not only is Scott a true musician, he is a man of integrity.
At our very first show at Emeralds Tavern in November 2011, I heard Paul Matthews for the first time get up in front of people and tell Eli’s story. I was moved to say the least. I have heard Paul before tell me many things about Eli and many of things that the family endured. But to see Paul get up in front of people composed and speak from the heart and tell the story of bravery, about an unselfish boy named Eli that believed in a cure. When Paul spoke about the things that brought joy to Eli, going fast, riding on the motorcycle with his dad, all of those things made me think of celebration, not sadness. Even though my heart was heavy for Paul, Ruth, and Austin, I was moved for life.
On that night, when I heard Paul introduce us formally as Fight For Eli, somehow the Power of Eli took over and a force was brought that is now unstoppable. What a memory that night brings to me. An event to turn sadness into celebration. Nothing will ever be the same again.
As days passed after that first show, the song “I bELIeve” came to me. I started writing down lyrics. Then more lyrics. I began to share them with Paul. We were both moved to tears. I told Paul that one day this will be a song that many will sing. It was nowhere close to even being a song yet. Two months had passed by and I had finished the lyrics to the song. I then picked up my acoustic and starting writing the chord progression to the song and bring it to life.
I knew I had to do more to make this song happen. I then brought the song to my musical genious friend, Scotty C. Scott and I worked through the song for a while to polish it for everyone’s ear. The process of a song coming out of someone’s mind to final production is a long process. I can tell you that the song went through many changes. One thing that stayed true were some of the lyrics that give the song meaning and understanding about Eli, and the story of a father working hard to carry out his son’s wishes to find a cure. Lyrics such as ” the open road on the back of my bike, you touched so many you never knew, I’ll be in your arms one day, the day we end this fight, my love is still so true, I’m still standing but I miss you so much”… They are what give the song a genuine love for a life to live on in all of us.
In May 2012, “I bELIeve” was played live for the first time at Eli’s Celebration in Oxford,PA. This was the only place to play this song for the first time. I think the song went over very well and I can honestly tell you that it was hard for me to sing the song and get through it. It was very emotional with Paul, Ruth, and Austin in front of me singing a song to them and for them. I was hoping it would help them heal a little. I believe the song will have different meanings to many different people. I hope that it will have a positive effect on everyone and help the world understand how brave a boy can be.
Today, April 2013, as the song is being recorded by Fight For Eli, the band is working overtime to get this song ready for the world’s ear. Personally, being able to record this song with my long time friend Scott Caldarelli on guitar, Rich Gibson on bass, and my son Brady Molinaro on drums, it reminds me that dreams can come true. To record and play music live with my son gives me such joy that I truly cannot express it into words. The moments when my daughter Jordan sits in with the band live and plays guitar, it is unspeakable the joy that I feel. It is those moments as a Dad that make me feel so lucky. To hear my youngest, Luke, ask me recently to learn how to play drums like Brady just moves mountains.
During the recording process, I witnessed some great things. I was able to watch my close friend Rich Gibson on the bass. I watched him not get satisfied and work harder, and then harder, to bring out the best quality music possible. That’s what you get when a real quality person gives it his all. No other person could have done this. I watched my son Brady amaze me yet again. To see him record the drums on only one take, play it perfectly without mistake and with such ease, builds up feelings in me that draws tears. He came prepared and ready. To be lucky enough in life to watch a master at work, Mr Scott Caldarelli, not only with genious guitar, but to continue to baffle me with his talent with recording and sound engineering. Scott knows exactly what it takes to create perfection. Speaking for myself, he pushed me vocally to bring out the best performance that I could. How he can make someone with not that much talent look good is all his work. How lucky am I to be performing in a band with such amazing people, beyond their musicianship, 3 of the best people in the world. Without Scott, Rich, and Brady, this band would not be possible. This is not a band about critique, it is a band about heart. It is a band about 4 hours of non stop classic rock for a cure. Most amazing, everyone in the band does it out of heart and takes no money for their efforts. It is a band that solely exists to fight childhood cancer.
As the song is available, I hope everyone that listens to it can know where it came from and what it means to the Matthews family, and Fight For Eli. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as we have enjoyed the entire process of bringing the song to life. I believe we were just vessels used and Eli brought it to life through us.
I also want to thank all of you that come out to support the foundation and Fight For Eli during live events. We pour out everything we have to bring positive moments to a world that needs hope. I appreciate all of your generous giving and support as we carry on Eli’s wishes to find a cure.
If you are ever down and feel there is no hope, remember one thing……
In God’s Love,
Director of Public Relations
Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation
Fight For Eli