Well, growing up in Canada (and with Growing Pains) I know Alan Thicke, actor and songwriter of TV Themes such as Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life and the theme to Growing Pains. Alan's son, Robin Thicke, is an accomplished songwriter in his own "write" (for Christina Aguilera and Usher among others) and now an up-and-coming R&B/pop star to boot. From a recent New Zealand Herald article come the following quotes:
"I've never written a song for myself that I've given anybody else. And I've never written a song for somebody else that I've kept. I write all my songs for myself now," he says, slightly shirty.
The song Dreamworld, a stand-out on the [new] album [Somethin' Else], references [Marvin] Gaye's tragic death with the line, "I would say Marvin Gaye your father didn't want you to die".
"It's just about how we all make mistakes. We can pretty much assume that his father didn't want that to happen."
And with the poignancy that Thicke puts into singing the line you have to give it to this white boy from California, he knows the power of a good song.
As for how he writes his songs the process is simple and always the same: "Follow your gut and try and come up with something that you love."
You know the drill... may the Muse stay with you Robin... though I'm not sure I agree with the Dreamworld line since Marvin Sr. was convicted of manslaughter and all...