Is It Any Wonder
I see from the date of the email to David that we completed this in November 2010. So, a late one. The melody came so worryingly easily that I checked with friends to see if I had pinched it from somewhere. Apparently not, though those descending chords seem so obvious that I still wonder why nobody else has thought of it. And that gorgeous line about "the final breath of time". So good, it sat up and begged to be repeated.
Closed For Repairs
I suspect that this lyric dates from the late 70's or early 80's. It's the sort of thing I found when David first showed me the contents of his Bottom Drawer. A vast collection of unused lyrics, including one Zanzibar Sunset, mainly intended for his pal Rick Jones, and his excellent band, Meal Ticket. There is a demo version in the vaults with Chad and I. He preferred a straight driving rock beat. I still like the original and, hey, as it's my album, this is what you get here.
If I Wanted Real
I have such a clear memory of this one. Or rather, the moment we finished it. Paris, in the 90's. David and I sitting across the table from each other, just back from the bar on Rue Didot and a celebratory beer after two days hard work on this song. " Right, so here's what we've got, my boy." And then, from us both, "Wow, that's a pretty grown up song." Years later, with Jo, listening to the final mix, the same reaction from us both.
Sometimes you just don't know what you've got. One from the late 70's, by the look of it. A full on country rocker with a lot of dated "So listen, babe" stuff. Also, an insanely complicated verse about "box cars, snake eyes, goddamned treys / that's what I roll on my lucky days! " Well, quite. And then one day, fairly recently, I slowed it down, changed the key and ditched the box cars. Suddenly a whole new song about a sad gambler, one of those people you see in casinos at 4 in the morning, still hoping against hope. Lesson: don't overlook what's at the bottom of the drawer. Years later, you might find a little gem.
Changing My Name To Jones
Once again, probably intended for Meal Ticket in the late 70's. I suspect there's a joke in there, involving one R Jones. Listening to the songs now I realise that the words are often addressing 20th Century problems. People look through telephone directories, remember each other's numbers, are unable to get in touch. But, let us hope, they have the charm of the classic movie. At least, I hope so. Of which, more later. [see Lady]
So Right Tonight
About 10 years ago, I think. Just a few lines which David rather dismissed. But sometimes a simple pop lyric has its place. Desire and seduction, nothing wrong with that. Chad and I did a nice version which appears on " All Good Things." Just another example of all the C&J albums that might have been. And therefore why I am finally putting out the songs that might have been on them.
Where We Go From Here
One from the last few years, heavily edited. I think I set it in London, communicating with David via Skype. Once again, his mastery of the heartstoppingly sad phrase. Even now it catches me unawares, remembering past loves. A past love, actually. But that's another story. And gorgeous playing from Himself. Bit pleased with this one, as you can tell.
Too Late To Change
Another one from David's cowboy period, the late 70's. Chad and I did a demo in the 80's which can be found on All Good Things. Some cracking pedal steel playing. My cowboy period, after Pump Boys, the idea being to get a cover in Nashville. Maybe this'll do it. Later, I asked for some rewrites. "Alone on the Green River Range" became "Alone in the cold & the rain". You can have too much Cowboy.
Such a clever lyric, from around the Millenium. Much Skyping. A big favourite of Jo's, but one that used to make David all wistful &and sad. Maybe he was writing about a very particular Gone. Occasionally, I was able to contribute a phrase when he was stuck. 'Gone like the careless years" is one example. We both loved "careless". Says it all.
For a brief moment, when I was starting the vast project that is BDS, I toyed with the idea of doing themed albums. The country one, the jazzy one, the miserable one. And of course, the Hollywood one. The Old Boy loved his classic movies. There is certainly enough to do the Movie One. And here is a splendid example. I guess if you don't know your film history, you'll be entirely baffled, but that, as they say, is your problem.
Don't Call It The Blues
As so often with The Pierce, the song is inspired by a sly joke. In this case about pasty Brits pretending to hail from the Delta. And then, so cleverly, he turns the joke around and our hero indeed has the Blues. And has earned the right to sing them.
Second Floor Front
And while we're on the subject of sly jokes, here's one where Big Dave is mocking himself. For those of you that follow such things, there is a song on BDS2 called Same Old Plot. The tired, second hand story. Fortyish waitresses, frightened by mirrors, surrounded by echoes and cheap souvenirs. His favourite cliche. I seem to remember this character tends to appear in his novels. So, here she is again. Except that in this case she is genuinely sad and moving. There was huge discussion about which floor she is on. One flight up, apparently. But she's on the second floor, so two flights up, surely? We finally realised that I was using the British system. Thus...ground floor, then first floor etc. But of course in the USA the first is the ground and so on. Problem solved, thankfully. We were looking at a massive rewrite.
A recent one. Much to and fro on Skype. All writers have favourite words and phrases. David's was the word Dream. If you listen carefully, it's everywhere. In my role as his editor, I made it my business to try and limit the amount of Dreams, but sometimes you have to go with the flow. Dream on, old boy.
From the 90's. Paris fun. And yet again, a sly joke, this time about the The Actor's Ego. Or David's version of it. And yet more mirth about My Pedigree. Much sniggering. Hmmmm.