IMMEDIATE RELEASE VALLEJO'S "SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL" RELEASED AS
"ORIGINAL" SINGLE BY NEW ZEALAND IDOL
SEPTEMBER 10, 2004 - AUSTIN, TX --- Austin band Vallejo was
surprised to learn that their previous release, "So Damn Beautiful",
is getting some attention in New Zealand and it's not from
Vallejo, but from NZ Idol Runner-up Michael Murphy.
The band was contacted by Regan Cunliffe at Idolblog.com
late Thursday afternoon to inform the band of these recent
developments. Vallejo co-wrote the lyrics to "So Damn Beautiful"
with songwriter Chris Rodriguez in January 2002 while in Miami
recording the song for a follow-up release to 2000's Into
the New (Epic/Crescent Moon). "So Damn Beautiful" was
later released on Vallejo's Stereo (VMG, Nov. 2002)
in the U.S. and in Japan (Universal Music International, Oct.
"This is all a surprise to us," says drummer Alejandro Vallejo.
"We're currently following up on the details and are looking
into our options."
Snap! Idol runner up's 'original' song someone else's
A storm of controversy has hit Taupo singing star Michael
Murphy on the eve of his debut on TV2's Top of the Pops.
The NZ Idol runner up is due to perform his long-awaited first
single So Damn Beautiful, which he has been touting as an
original, on the television programme tonight. But it turns
out that it is someone else's original. The song was not only
written by an American, it was released by Texan rockers Vallejo
in 2002 and nominated for a Grammy in the same year. The news
has sent Murphy's fans into a spin. The unofficial fan site
Idolblog.com is humming with posts of disbelief.
Murphy's manager Paul Ellis was reported yesterday accepting
blame for the mix-up. He told The Press in Christchurch that
he came across the song four years ago after signing songwriter
Chris Rodriguez while working in New York, and did not realise
a band had "cut" a version of the song in the interim.
And from Alex Vallejo, here's the "Real" story behind
"So Damn Beautiful".....
band, Vallejo, started working on our follow-up album to Into
The New (Epic/550/Crescent Moon) on Emilio Estefan’s record
label, Crescent Moon, in January of 2002. Pete Ganberg had
just been appointed as A&R for Epic and was told by label
president, John Doelp, to come up with a ‘hit’ that could
break the band or we were done. So Pete flew us down to Miami
in February of 2002 to co-write some songs with songwriter
Chris Rodriguez, and the search for the ‘forced smash hit’
One of the songs that Chris showed us was a tune he had written
for his girlfriend called “My Little Angel”. The song had
a great melody in our opinion, but the lyrics were a bit 'cheesy'
for AJ and the band’s taste, so we told Chris that we’d like
to take a shot at rewriting the lyrics back at our hotel room
at The Cordoza. That night our whole band re-wrote the lyrics
and re-penned the song “I’m In Control”, that we as a band,
thought was our greatest achievement yet. We were sure Chris
would think we’d 'hung the moon' with this new version.
So we went back to his studio the next morning and showed
it to him. He said he hated it. At that point, we were about
to can “Little Angel” and move on to another song, when Chris
told us that we should give it another shot and hash out something
together right then and there. We all went down to his studio
and sat around his piano and started putting together the
lyrics to what was now called “So Damn Beautiful”. At least
it had the word 'damn' in there, which we thought had a little
attitude, so all day we walked around his studio throwing
words around until we had a story. Chris’ melody was always
there. The song was now about a guy who was going away for
a while and he wanted to take a picture of his girlfriend
with his camera so he could look at her anytime he wanted
to be reminded of her beauty. Still pretty cheesy, but chicks
love it. So we decided to go with it and give it a shot. Chris
worked fast and wanted to capture the momentum of the song.
So without much rehearsal, we hashed out a rock version of
Chris’ piano version and layed it down within an excruciating
The Superbowl was that day and we were kind of bummed that
we couldn’t see it, because it was the last day we could record
before we had to go back to Austin. So Chris promised us that
we could take a break and go down to Hooter’s during half
time and watch U2, then come back and finish the song. After
an inspiring burst of creative energy from U2’s performance,
we came back and finished what we all knew was something special.
"So Damn Beautiful" was recorded during Superbowl Sunday on
Feb 3rd 2002. We never saw any of the game.
When we got back to Austin, we got word that Epic wasn’t crazy
about the song and that we were in trouble. Shortly after
that, we got the call from Miami saying that we had ‘no hit
song’ and we were dropped from the label. With no record label
and a bunch of songs, including "So Damn Beautiful", we decided
to go into the studio and record our new album ourselves.
We started our own label called VMG and distributed Stereo
through Red Eye Distribution and even licensed the record
to Universal/Japan. The rest is history…
- Alex Vallejo