Where Our Songs Come From
ON “WRIGHTING” One who builds wheels used to be called a wheelwright. People who built mills were and are called millwrights. I feel the process of assembling words is so similar to building things that I have twisted a couple of known words into a new form: Wrighting. Spellcheck hates it. That makes me like it even more. The following is a few words that I wanted to share with you about what transpired in order for these three songs to exist. Every song has a story. If a song doesn’t have one, or tell one, there’s probably no reason for it to exist. I may have just nullified half of the music industry with that statement, but “if the shoe fits”….. I hope you enjoy my musings. I hope you enjoy my songs. And I especially hope you enjoy listening to how SteveO and I have forged them into the forms in which you are going to hear them. Thanks for listening, “SRT”
ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE came about following a shoulder surgery I had. Two complete muscle separations that I managed to postpone the repair of for over a year, hoping for improvement. Anyway, it hurt like HOLY H.E. Double Toothpics and my Dr. prescribed one of the most powerful painkillers available; “Dilaudid”. I was surprised that it actually worked and didn’t make me woozy like most pain pills, but it got me thinking about how people become addicted to opioids and how they must suffer with that addiction. So I started writing: “Started my day with a couple Vicodin” , just to see where it went from there. Before I knew it, it was done and included a phrase that a friend of mine uses when you ask him “How’s it going, Ralph?” His answer, dripping with sarcasm, “Just another day in paradise”, slowly stretching out the words far enough for you to realize just how far south you really are. (I love you, Ralph!)
MORE: Deb and I were riding the motorcycle to a family reunion in Hot Springs Arkansas. Once you get to Arkansas, most roads become two lane or one and a half lane, and start to meander. For a straight road to exist in Arkansas, they would have to build a bridge over the state. So after several hours of winding roads of varied speeds (none of them as much as 60 mph) I happened to glance off to the right while a curve swept us back to the left. I saw a “church” that looked like a converted double garage leaning dangerously away from the prevailing wind. A ragged looking sign with broken Plexiglas half covered the words: “More is not the answer.” I love riding motorcycles. My mind wanders as we roll along; aware mostly of potential dangers, but absorbing scenery and thinking in detail about endless topics. The “More” sign made me think how we are driven to own things, and the endless; seemingly mindless consumption that we all participate in. I guess I didn’t want to write about these things, though, because I ended up with a portrait of avarice and distain and lechery that actually manages to rock pretty well in spite of the dour subject matter.
FOR YOU: I’ve had the tune for this in my head for over twenty years but could never find lyrics that fit into it. It wasn’t because I didn’t try… I tried so many times that when it would pop into my head I would think “oh, not again….” and chase it away by singing “I’M ENNERY THE EIGHTH I AM” or some other mindless distraction. My friends, SteveO and his partner Davi have each suffered a heartbreak of the worst kind; the loss a soul mate. I wanted to write something that paid homage to their separate journeys which somehow derailed. They then found themselves on a parallel track, which in time became the "main line". It’s hard to tell a story in a song. Two stories are almost impossible. I told Steve that I had tried and failed as there was just too much subject matter. Then, the impossible happened. I woke up one morning knowing not only the lyrics, but found they were fully melded with the tune that had, I suppose, been waiting all those years for these words: “In the dark I listen to you breathe…..” I wrote this song for Steve and Davi and for their now “silent” partners, Sue and Craig. This could be your song, too. Just Listen…..