Monday, September 17, 2007

Squeeze Machine Secrets: 'This Song'

At our live concerts, a lot of folks come up and tell me they like the stories I tell before some of our tunes. They say knowing where the inspiration comes from helps them enjoy the tunes more, or at least make them tolerable. Well, I'm all for that! After a bit of prodding from our bass player, Lewis, I've decided to offer a little insight into the tunes on our new CD, Squeeze Machine, one day at a time.

I'll do my best to explain them, but I can't guarantee that it's all going to make sense. With any luck, this will eliminate some of the RCA dog looks at upcoming shows.

Let's start with the first track on the CD, "This Song."

Every year I take my family to my home state of Michigan and reconnect with some childhood friends and their families. We all head up north to a great little resort on Lake Michigan. Bonfires glow on the beach every night, and inevitably someone brings out a guitar and a sing-along ensues. Now, I've never been one for singing around the campfire, don't know why exactly, but I prefer to stare into the fire (or the stars) with a beer or glass of wine and share a laugh with my old friends, unfettered by melodic angst and improvised percussion.

One night another family came over to our fire with a couple guitars and a huge songbook. They were very prepared and, I must say, quite good. They sang a lot of tunes from the '60s and '70s and even a few new ones. I was almost tempted to bust a version of "Hamsterman" but thought better of it. Then they sang a couple of Beatles songs and for some reason it reminded me of a Fab Four tribute band I saw in Reno awhile ago.

I started thinking about some of my musician friends who have been slogging it out in the clubs the past 30 years and are still hoping to "make it" one day. I was thinking about all the musicians out there, including myself, who start out with a dream and just can't seem to let go. I went to sleep thinking about this and woke up with the line, "This song's got money written all over it." The rest of the lines just sort of fell in place. I walked to the cottage next door, grabbed a guitar from one of the kids and started singing "This Song." There's a video of it somewhere -- I look real sleepy and sound like a frog -- but that's where the song was born.

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Blogger Rick said...

I agree, knowing the inspiration of a song makes it even more enjoyable. The show in Monroe was a good example where you did that and it allowed me to understand the meaning of a lot of the songs.

5:44 AM  

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