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The Songs of Hello Brooklyn: Billie

Nancy Levinson – Production Assistant

This song is one of the most touching songs Michael has written. It’s filled with love and a sadness for his beloved rescue Billie. I love the way he uses the cavalier as an analogy to himself. It’s really a beautiful love song and not too common to write one for a dog.

I also have to say that having my best friend’s husband do some amazing acoustic guitar work was very exciting and definitely adds to my love of the song. Kenny really captured the feel of it. It was a memorable day at Hard Drive. In the end, Michael did everything he could for Billie but alas it was fate that she had to go. Heartbroken, he was able to put his feelings into words which is another one of the things I love most about Michael! It’s cathartic and now in a way, she will live forever.

Joe Pisano –Assistant Junior Producer

This is a beautiful song that Pooch wrote for his beloved Billie. Kenny Kaplan’s beautiful fingerpicking on this song portrays the melancholy mood of the song perfectly. I was not in the studio during Kenny’s recording session, but I remember Nancy, Vinnie and I added some percussion in a later session. One particular point of interest is that during a snowy morning, I went to pick up Pooch on our way to work;

he was walking Billie and I grabbed my phone and took some video of the two of them. Later, I incorporated the video, in slow-motion, in “In a Quiet Moment”, our movie chronicling the making of “Hello Brooklyn”, which adds a touching remembrance of beloved Billie.

Michael J. Puccio – Composer, Vocalist, Producer

This is one of the biggest heart break songs I ever wrote; Nancy can attest to it. I had rescues a ten year old Shih Tzu in the summer of 2017. She had been woefully neglect and dropped off at a kill shelter. Older dogs have a more difficult time getting a home and she was a mess. When I first saw her I was like omg that animal has seen better days. We (Nancy, my son Joe and myself) made sure she saw better days again. She responded well and was joy to have as part of our family. You never saw a better little dog. Unfortunately Billie developed acute anemia and though we did everything to save her she died.

So writing songs is about what you see, feel, experience. This one came to me very quickly and strangely enough easily. Sense of loss is a great muse I guess. I wanted to keep this song simple; a nice acoustic arrangement would be suitable. Nancy’s friend Kenny is a great acoustic player and agreed to come in for a Saturday session. He had taken my rough arrangement and made it beautiful. Once the basic track was down Kenny played some nice acoustic guitar runs. Vinnie (never one to embrace my penchant for special affects) added some of his own which while barely discernable added to the ambience of this song.

All in all one of the most heartfelt and emotional songs on the album.


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