as quoted from my soulmate, blake allen:
Did you ever consider pouring these thoughts into a book on what you are?
Write essays about your gigs and fill in around them with your life stuff…
There’s a bunch of people out there that would feel right at home with what
you write, would feel like they’re not alone. Write a fucking book you prick.
i’ve often thought about trying to write something that would somehow convey certain moments that kinda define the kind of life i’ve led…that feeling of leaving the house a lot earlier than you’d like, throwing a guitar case in the back of the van, and looking over my shoulder just in time to see my daughter, fresh toddler curls hanging behind her ears, standing at the screen door with her hand pressed against the glass, watching me drive away…the absolute serenity of 3:45 in the morning, driving home on an interstate populated with nothing but the occasional jb hunt tractor trailer, still smelling like the room you played in that night, with a great radio station playing in the background or one of the following albums in the tape deck:
the posies – dear 23
fleetwood mac – tusk
dan fogelberg – home free
jackson browne – hold out or running on empty
kate bush – hounds of love
chris whitley – living with the law
joni mitchell – night ride home
marshall crenshaw – field day
john hiatt – bring the family
john gorka – jacks crows or land of the bottom line
every one of those records (and dozens more) have driving permanently attached to them, for me. and most of them are a far cry from what you’d call a driving record, by most mortals’ assertions. but, for instance, every time i hear and dream of sheep by kate bush, i’m instantly right back in wales, driving my beige monte carlo along those rail-thin welsh backroads in the middle of the night, watching the light from my headlights dance off the ivy on the hedgerows – feeling like mainstream logic would dictate that i should be completely creeped out, but feeling totally at home and at peace with that moment as it was. that was both the most turbulent and the most peaceful time of my life, simultaneously. i was madly in love with someone who i thought to understand me better than anyone ever had, up to that point, but whom i was terrified of confronting about how i felt. i careened off opposing emotional walls like a racquetball – in the morning i wanted to marry her, that afternoon i wished she was dead, having done a complete one-eighty because of the tone she used to say something, or because of the way she looked at me, or because of how nice she was being to someone else at my expense…but at the same time, i had a circle of friends that i felt connected to for probably the first time in my life – and it wasn’t anything like high school for me, in that these people came from all over the fucking place…it was the closest thing to a college experience i could have had. college wouldn’t have cut it for me. there would have been too much pressure to “do well”. there was no pressure of any kind whatsoever in wales. granted, we were in the united states navy, and we were in the middle of the libya crisis at that time, but none of us felt that. at all. there were a couple of somewhat harrowing security drills, but that was the closest we came to anything resembling conflict. the remainder of the wales experience was completely absorbed in the priorities of any other 20 year old away from home in a very real sense for the first time.
but that record…that kate bush record…will forever be tied to that place, that time in my life. if i went out and got in the car right now and put it in, it’d be 1986 all over again, without a doubt.
it’ll soon be 1986 all over again in another sense…jodi was part of 1986 for me – and it’s looking like making this record is actually going to happen for her. she seems to actually have some motivation, where this is concerned.
she and i used to sit in the guard shack on the base together…no furniture but two chairs and a desk and windows all around…and sing, accapella, together. great sound…that empty room. our voices always did blend together well – they still do, but i am a little fearful that the time that’s passed might’ve taken some of the “lock” away that we used to have (those of you who’ve had tight harmony partners in the past will know exactly what i mean). we’ll see once tape has actually been rolling for a little while and the initial kinks are worked out.
i still have 4 track recordings of us from back then…the MO then was that i’d cut all the instrumental parts, she’d come down to my room and put on her vocal, and then she’d disappear up the hall and i’d do all the harmony parts.
i’d venture to bet that this, at least, will be same as it ever was. whether any of the other elements will be or not remains to be seen.