Happy New Years Baby Essay 13 May 2019
This one is about as literal as any song I've ever written. I met my wife at a place in C-ville called "the mansion." She was a student at the college and I was a college drop out living at my Mom's. A couple blocks away from my mom's the edifice stood, a big ol' victorian structure sectioned off into apartments full of young people, or older folk looking for a new start, or drifters living out an endless Jack Kerouac novel, or something much less romantic like people who refuse to or just couldn't get their shit together.
This particular party was sometime in the 90's. Hmm, let's say 1993 (chuckle)? (If anyone is so inclined the mansion is in the Circle 9 movie THE CRACKER GETS THE CHEESE where Joe Gallagher plays a drug dealer, I play a cop, and the late Tom Wind plays a drug purchaser.) On the first floor is a big hall with a stair case opposite the main entrance and big apartments on either side. Facing the stairs, this party took place in the apartment to the right. THAT was where my future wife lived. One time I put my head through the drywall in the closet in her bedroom.
The thing about these parties is that Baltimore is a pretty gritty town - almost literally. When I was growing up you had preps and grits. Later on you had punkers too. But "grit" was a term to describe people who were southern rock devotees. They wore Molly Hatchet baseball shirts, jeans, and workboots year round, even in July. Once a grit jumped off of the high dive in full uniform at a teen night at the pool and everybody cheered. The preps kind of morphed into punks at a certain point. The thing that brought everyone together was a common love of cannabis. So at a pretty young age everybody was mixing together REM and Black Sabbath and MDC and Lynryd Skynyrd. Jump forwards a decade or so and these are the folks populating the party at the Mansion; students, workers, hangers ons, musicians, folks who weren't scared off of drugs simply due to illegality. Back then, during cannabis prohibition, a line of thought went "well I might as well try PCP or crack because they fucking lie about pot!"
Personally I gave up anything illegal when I turned 21 and I set on turning my liver into pate and my lungs into a burnt husk. Eventually I grew to view those addicted to alcohol and nicotene with scorn simply bcause they are the drugs sanctioned by society and therefore the laziest paths to addiction. That's a pretty assholish stance to take. It reminds me of gas stations/convenience stores. They function as one stop addiction shops for bloated and distracted Americans addicted to gasoline, nicotene, high fructose corn syrup, and gambling.
There's always a contingent in alcoholic circles of folks who fancy themselves as great artists or writers living out the romantic lifestyle of Charles Bukowski or Vincent Van Gogh. The truth is we were all just a bunch of drunks. I understand why alcohol came to prominance oh so many years ago. Simply put you needed the alcohol in your liquids to kill lethal bacterias. I oft wonder what American society would be like if the sanctioned drugs were cannabis and psylocibin instead of alcohol, nicotene, sugar, and caffiene. It sure as fuck wouldn't be nearly as fucking violent or mean.
Like fast food. Shit, how far have we strayed from the song now? This is like one of the podcasts me and Brian make. But dig, there is no conspiracy behind all of the legal drugs (and I include fast food in this category) being the ones that make the populace stupid, lazy, and dependent. There IS, however, a willingness to use the parameters presented to acquire and maintain power. Now we're lurching into territory that can't be summmed up in an essay about a song in a never ending rock opera. Suffice to say that, what, we're all slaves to the chains society presents to us in the form of everything they make ads for during the Super Bowl? That's myoipic and too media obsessed.
In terms of THIS SONG? What matters are the relationships we make and maintain with other people. If you're clever enough you can twist anything into seeming like an addiction. The mansion is where I met the love of my life so I presume one could say that it's certainly acceptable to be addicted to love. And there you have it. It's been about Robert Palmer the whole fucking time.
- Paul told me that adding an "s" to Happy New Year is a Baltimore thing.
- The guitar solo was played as a goof with the intention of recording a better one later but Paul and Pork liked the original one.-
I'm using Paul's effect board on all of the 1993 stuff so as to have a different sound than the SFP-Brandy stuff.
- For the back up vocals we ran a mic through the guitar pedals. I love doing that because I usually know what effects I want on the vocals and it always takes a million years to find it in the fucking computer later. Just do it live. It always goes back to the Beatles. Lennon wold have the effects on his voice when he recorded the vocals. Look, man, it's MUCH more efficient for me to record the vocal with the effect already on it.