SAN FRANCISCO - Tim Flannery has released 14 albums, pulling inspiration from all kinds of sources. Sometimes he would write about the music scene in a certain city, or a character he met during his decades on the road playing and coaching baseball.
But the album Flannery will release Saturday has special meaning. Flannery wrote it after dealing with two different kinds of emotions.
"This album really started probably out of tragedy," he said this week.
Last January, Rob Picciolo, a longtime big league coach, and Kevin Towers, the former general manager of the Padres, passed away in the span of a few weeks. Flannery, the former Giants third base coach and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst, found himself attending the funeral of a close friend on back-to-back weekends. He wrote a song about it called "The Light."
Later in the year, Flannery's son, Danny, called him and told him he would be going to rehab in Oregon. That experience was turned into "Ghost Town," the second track on the album, also called "The Light."
"That whole episode of dealing with it and even when he got out, some of the things he was thinking and saying about not wanting to go back to his ghost town again, that's easy for me to relate to," Flannery said. "I'm sure everybody has their ghost town. The next thing I know I'm writing another song out of it, and something else and something else, and a year and a half later, you're playing these songs at shows."
Flannery said he didn't expect to make another album after his previous one, but he never stops playing, and he found new stories to tell. He said his son was happy that the story was being told through music.
"He said, ‘I think we can help other people deal with things.' He's all-in," Flannery said. "He's a changed man and asked me to tell the story."
Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe will debut the album on Saturday at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. All proceeds will go to the non-profit Love Harder Project for anti-bullying and anti-violence programs across the country.
"This record is for me like a burning light in a world that has gone dark at times," Flannery said. "It's gone dark for different people, for different reasons, but this record is a record of hope, a record of love and light."