My favourite lyric. It has been rewritten and rewritten so many times and finally I think it’s complete. This song started off in 1998 as “Nocturne”, a night scene set in The Last Chance All-nite Diner. I was influenced by Rickie Lee Jones and her Last Chance Texaco from her debut album. Years later I came up with a chorus to go with the song and it became Ships. The diner became The Wee Small Hours and a few verses were dropped and the bridge refined. It’s still probably too long but the demo I made with Paul White is wonderful. It started out being about all these characters with one thing in common and probably ended up being about me.
Originally written in about an hour at work one Sunday in 2004. It has gone through the customary huge number of rewrites and will undoubtedly go through more. It was about so many of these once thriving towns and cities in the US I have visited with dead town centres. This song was inspired by Fairbanks in Alaska, Wichita in Kansas, Weirton WV, Asbury Park NJ and Gary Indiana. Some of these are going through urban renewal now but when I visited them they were pale shadows of their former glory. Sunday Town is an amalgamation of these towns and cities.
Another one of my ‘happy songs’. Once a part of a group of four season themed songs it became a commentary on the way we treat our elderly and growing old. It’s so easy to become invisible after a certain age. Love the title and I like quite a few lines in this song. Stone washed senior citizens eke away their lives and weighed down by their years appeals to me. Not totally happy with it but Paul White has made it into a great sounding demo.
Too Old To Change
Come Rain Come Shine
Words are Weapons
Tongue in cheek but with an edge. Started off with the lines ‘Think you’re funny, don’t make me laugh. Some kind of wit, you’re only half’ and worked from there. An Elvis Costello influenced lyric I wrote about a couple I have met. One kept cracking jokes at his partner who didn’t appear to be enjoying his sense of humour. He was oblivious!
The Silents Were Golden
When in LA around the turn of the century I visited Forest Lawn Memorial Park and found interred along with other graves John Gilbert (1899- 1936). In his day John was up there with Rudolph Valentino as a movie lover and heart throb starring in silent movies with the likes of Greta Garbo. He had a tumultuous life marrying 4 times and dating Garbo and Marlene Dietrich among others. With the advent of the talkies his career went downhill and he lost the great popularity he once had. He became an alcoholic and died of a heart attack ( a broken heart) aged 36. This song has a simple lyric with a sweet 1960s doowop feel written with the aid of Kevin Ferguson.