Kass and I went to New Orleans together when we were dating. It was achingly romantic and magical. We stayed at The Frenchman right on the southeast tip of The French Quarter. We befriended a bartender at a place called The Abbey on Decatur Street who had recovered from a stroke brought on by alcoholism. We called him "Strokey." That feels like a very New Orleansy thing. I had proposed to her soon enough after this. The band passed on this song for EUTAW STREET too! Harrumph. So this is "micro" in the parlance of the album SOCIETY FRINGE PLAYER.
Frustrated with Circle 9 and in response to Steve Earle's COPPERHEAD ROAD I wrote SOCIETY FRINGE PLAYER. This is an answer song to "Johnny Come Lately." Yo dig I fuck up the geography pretty badly. I only have a rudimentary understanding of America's involvement in World War II. Mainly it's from Hollywood. It's very very unlikely that Freddie fought at Guadalcanal AND Normandy Beach. I'll worry about the narrative holes never. This shit's done been digitized! The main story, though, is about young men shipped off to war barely having ever even touched a woman. It's the Samwise Gamgee story set in the 1940s. I don't want the gender roles to be rigid, however. It's more about a soldier lucky enough to return home and find love. Musically, as well as Steve Earle, it's a Pogues rip off natch.
I recorded a whole record while Circle 9 recorded EUTAW STREET because I was so frustrated. Eventually I talked them into doing operas. Tell you what. We passed over this song for EUTAW STREET and it pissed me off. So, being as I'm a Steve Earle acolyte, I figured it out on mandolin and did my own version of his masterpiece COPPERHEAD ROAD. First half macro second half micro. I named the album SOCIETY FRINGE PLAYER. Nowadays this is in the live version of TRAVELOGUE AMERICA PART TWO. It opens it up after intermission which for me means Twizzlers and Coke from the concession stand. These are some of the finest lyrics I've ever written.
Here I'm name dropping my wife in a song title AGAIN! ;-) This is Hamer supplementing the mighty 9 on trumpet and Marge from Duku singing the back ups. This also has stayed in the live set forever. It's as true a declaration of love as I've ever gotten. Unapologetic love songs are tough. I don't know how the Beatles did it without ever sounding like a bunch of drips. I reflexively want to sabotage lovely little odes with profanity. I still am pretty much a 14 year old boy at heart. Also, the vocal/guitar line is inspired by "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" by the Beatles off of Abbey Road. It's a C-major so I expect to be weeping at some point.
I love my country so much I oft get emotional when thinking about the undoubtedly excellent shit that we have established. We're also Robespierre levels of dangerous bonkers. Our two main freedoms collided together with the Branch Dividians, the freedoms to arm and worship. In this nation they go in that order. Distrust of governmental forces is engrained in certain strains of Americana. Of course it is. This is a nation built on people fleeing other nations. I remember reading an in depth article about Koresh in either Spin or Rolling Stone (pretty much indistinguishable to a hipster Gen Xer) and it boiled down to him being an American version of Mike Meyer's Wayne Campbell and WAYNES WORLD. At least that's what I took from it. Party on!