JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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A toast to the wedding singers: Jeff Tuttle, John Tuttle and Eric Heegard.

For whatever reason, after I had recovered a bit from my fall in 2006, which clobbered my cerebellum, I started writing songs for the first time in years. Maybe it was finally having some time, maybe it was that my life experiences had finally added up to something I felt was worth expressing, maybe it was just that my brain got rewired a bit; I won't ever know for sure. One of the first songs I wrote, though, was definitely inspired by my accident, or, more accurately, by how Catherine and I grew a lot closer to each other as she nursed me back to health, sacrificing her budding career as a writer to do so. Later, when I finally, FINALLY, asked her to marry me and she said YES!, I decided that this early tune should be performed at our wedding, as a way to express how much she means to me. And I knew just the guys to perform it. Brothers Jeff and John Tuttle and Eric Heegaard (L to R in picture).

I met all three of these guys in college, where we joined the same fraternity (hey, young people are stupid, what can I say?), and bonded over music. Jeff, John and Eric all hailed from Minnesota, where they grew up together and sang, played guitar and penned tunes whenever time allowed, which was often back then. Well, me being the tech crazed soul that I am, I quickly introduced all three to my Tascam 8-track and throughout college, I got them to sing a whole bunch of songs of mine. Then a year or so after school, Jeff, Eric and l ended up in San Francisco with the notion that we'd form a band. Well, the band never really came together, and in time Jeff headed off to get his MBA and Eric went to med school. They both then rejoined John in Minnesota, where all three reside to this day. Me, I moved to Europe, then came back to the States to be assimilated by the ad world (willingly, but as I said before about young people...).

Several years ago Jeff, John and Eric finally formed a band, but their only aspiration was to play local cafés. Lucky for me, though, all that café crooning has kept their vocal chops tight. And when I called to ask if they would do me the honor of singing a tune of mine at my wedding, they didn't hesitate.

I cannot describe how good it felt mid-ceremony to look up and see these three close friends -- close to me and to each other -- stride from the audience, grab a guitar (the one John Tuttle made for me, no less) and play. And play they did. God, I mean, they were great. They brought so much to my song with their harmonies and soul, and it meant the world to me to have these guys, not some stranger or someone I barely knew, sing it for me and Catherine and the people attending.

Thank you Jeff, John and Eric. I love you guys and consider myself unbelievably lucky to have you in my life.

I'll post a version of the song someday, but for now, here are the words.

COMING TOGETHER (BY FALLING APART)

Life teaches us lessons I never knew I could learn
And there are pages in this book I never thought I would turn
I took too much for granted in our early years
But I learned what matters when life threw me curves

I came to and I was lying against the wall
I tried to stand but I had to crawl
I heard your voice from the far end of the hall

And sometimes it all has to fall apart
Sometimes we reach the end before we can start
Sometimes we just close our eyes
Find a place where we can hide
But you helped me open my heart

I remember doctors and all the daily routines
And I remember nights without days in between

I remember you in the corner chair
You made me laugh even though you were scared
And when I opened my eyes you were always there

And sometimes we all have to fall apart
Sometimes we reach the end before we can start
Sometimes we just close our eyes
Find a place we can hide
But you helped me open my heart

Yes, and sometimes we all have to fall apart
Sometimes we reach the end before we can start
Sometimes we just close our eyes
Try to escape from our lives
But you helped me open my heart