Thursday, December 14, 2006

How To Get Rich Writing Custom Lovesongs

Brian Alex Story

Alex, 38, grew up in Peabody, the son of a musician who loved jazz and classical piano. His mother plays piano, too. ''She sounds like Edith Bunker when she sings," he says.

At Peabody High, Alex sang and played guitar with a group called Obsession. When he graduated, he joined various bands, even playing and singing gospel for a while, then joined Entrain, a jam band based on Martha's Vineyard. But island living got old, and a few years ago he left the group, moved to Watertown, and started his business, Custom Love Songs. He advertises in publications such as Wedding Style, Avenue, and the upscale Robb Report, a magazine that focuses on luxury lifestyles.

''Finding it hard to put your love into words? Ever think of putting it to music?" This was the ad that caught the eye of a wealthy Saudi Arabian man. He wanted a song that would include a marriage proposal to his girlfriend. The result was ''Reemi," which chronicles the love the man has for a woman he first spotted in a cafe. ''In a cafe we had met though not a word was spoken yet, I had seen your eyes and could not get you off my mind," the song begins. (''Yes, she accepted his proposal," Alex says.)

Then there was the anniversary song. Neil Auricchio from Princeton, N.J., wanted the perfect evening for his fifth wedding anniversary. ''I said, how can I possibly show my love for her? I could get her this or that, but it just doesn't cut it. I thought maybe one in 10 million people would do a song," says Auricchio, a real estate consultant and investor.

There was one problem: He can't sing. Nor can he write songs. Enter Brian Alex. The two spent hours on the phone, working out the details. Alex sent a rough cut; Auricchio liked it but wanted more of a Smokey Robinson-type ending. Finally, ''The Most Beautiful Gift" was finished.

The couple was going to spend the weekend at a hotel in Richmond. Their anniversary dinner was in a private room filled with roses. At the end of the meal, the husband popped a CD in a player. The song came on, detailing their romance. It included a prayer for his wife; the two are born-again Christians. ''Lord, I just want to thank you right now for giving me the most beautiful gift any man could ever hope for."

After the song played -- several times -- Auricchio took his teary wife up to a suite filled with 100 lit candles and rose petals scattered throughout. There were chocolates on the bed and champagne by the Jacuzzi. And there was Brian Alex himself, singing the song.

''I cried off and on for three days," says Lisa Auricchio. ''Brian was like a stethoscope to my husband's heart. I was able to hear what was inside him, things I probably never would have heard. A car or a diamond would pale in comparison to this."

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