For those of you who were around for the ole Roadside Attractions part of my career, you’ll remember that Thor, Seb, Phil & Craig really loved tunes like Nuages and Minor Swing and that we leaned heavily on the jazz swing stuff in our whole set. Well, I’ve never been able to pick like that, but I loved some of the forms so much that I wanted to take a crack at my own song.
The melody was kicking around in my head for a long time before I was able to set words to it. Some of it is true and some of it is fiction, as with most of the songs. But some of the images come from the madness of Henry Miller’s Crazy Cock. Here’s the synopsis:
“In 1930 Henry Miller moved from New York to Paris, leaving behind — at least temporarily — his tempestuous marriage to June Smith and a novel that had sprung from his anguish over her love affair with a mysterious woman named Jean Kronski. Begun in 1927, Crazy Cock is the story of Tony Bring, a struggling writer whose bourgeois inclinations collide with the disordered bohemianism of his much-beloved wife, Hildred, particularly when her lover, Vanya, comes to live with them in their already cramped Greenwich Village apartment. In a world swirling with violence, sex, and passion, the three struggle with their desires, inching ever nearer to insanity, each unable to break away from this dangerous and consuming love triangle.”
What you’re reading feels like a terrible dream through most of the book – you can’t tell which events and exchanges are real and which are imagined. You get indignant at all of the characters, and Henry doesn’t ask you to love any of them, leaving no clear antagonist regardless of the narrator’s grief. I wanted to take the selfishness out of context a little bit and put the events into the hands of a higher more fate-like power for my tale. I wanted to talk about angels and saviors when I wrote about the steerings of these characters, whether I believe in them or not.
I wanted to conjure the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you’re out drinking and you know you’ve had enough, but you don’t give a fuck and you order another anyway because you’ve had a fucking hard day and you’re going to have some goddamn fun, even if you know it will end very badly- throwing yourself into the fire intentionally to test the fate that you resent controlling you. Of course, decisions like that always hurt in the end- we are only human.
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Our saviors must be in a drunken row, cause they are kicking up mischief in the clouds & you’re a Molotov Cocktail smashing through the window of my heart, come on baby, burn me to the ground
You ring my bell, then go running for the hills, the flesh is weak, but the spirit wills. We were sitting in the hearth and the fire burned so hot, we couldn’t tell our fear from our thrill
And gin never tastes so good as when I am in this mood, & I want to get stirred not shaken, it’s only then my joints stop aching, everything burns that is not stone
When all the smoke clears off I will patch the shingles of the roof to keep the angels out, but you can poke your umbrella through the gaping hole of my want