Monday, March 09, 2009

The Janitor Knows

Greg Grant from Festival Radio sent me an email letting me know "The Janitor Knows" is currently in rotation. Thanks Greg! Here's a re-post of the story behind the tune.

Squeeze Machine Secrets: 'The Janitor Knows'

Some of you know that in my other life I am an electrician. I don't do much of it these days, but occasionally my wife will let it slip to one of her friends and the next thing I know I'm up on a ladder hanging a ceiling fan.

That's exactly what I was doing when I got the inspiration for "The Janitor Knows." I saw a photograph on a wall in the room where I was working and it intrigued me enough to stop and take a closer look. It was a photo taken in a gymnasium of a guy in the foreground in what I thought was a janitor's uniform and two younger guys shooting hoops in the background.

It immediately hit me that this janitor must be waiting for these guys to finish their game so he can clean up the place and go home. It was like two different worlds in the same room. I couldn't get it out of my head and by the next day "The Janitor Knows" was done. It's actually my favorite tune on Squeeze Machine, but I really had to fight to get it on. Some of the gals in the band thought it was about a peeping tom and too creepy, but that never occurred to me. I assure you it is not.

A couple of months later, I mentioned to the people that I was working for that I had written a song about the photo on their wall. It turns out it's actually their son, who is a prison guard, and he is watching two prisoners during their exercise break. They were mildly amused at my interpretation. Geez, if I'd known what was really going on, I think I would have been sent in a whole different direction. I'm glad I didn't!

BTW, this is not the first time I got a song inspiration on the job. I was cutting some conduit and I cut my finger in the process. I immediately had an image of my high school shop teacher laughing at me. Out popped "Mr. Slagle's Revenge," which we recorded for Amped. Oh, the things I do for the sake of art!

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