Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm Not Old

I'm in the now, just like you and all of us. In a solipsistic mood due to the increasing weight of my accumulated past moments, I had to write a song of defiance.

You call it age, I call it a large collection of past moments I personally witnessed. The envelope carrying my consciousness, if compared to the body of ten years ago, is aged. Everything inside feels the same.

This was one of the four rock songs I chose to sing at my 50th birthday party. It seemed ridiculously appropriate, and when Bill Morris said he dug it, that clinched the choice for me, since he is one of the few people to have ever heard it and I wasn't really expecting him to dig anything I wrote at all.

When I sang the song, a small group of middle-aged women friends of mine gathered together in front of the band. When I got to the big dramatic ending, they all swooned and screamed on cue, even though none of them had ever heard the song before, and it cracked my ass up. I had to laugh right in the middle of trying to sound earnest and sincere. It was the best moment of an unforgettable night.

I'm going to dedicate this song to the lovable rock god Steve Scariano, who has been playing bass in a variety of great bands for a long time. Listening to one of the bands he plays in, Prisonshake, I became inspired by the mix of casual ability and sloppy precision they put across in all their best songs. To put it simply, I became excited again by rock, because Prisonshake has it both ways, complexity and simplicity, rawness and refinement. It helped me to remember that a good song should have both.

So I put together a delicate melody and a hard chorus and made it work as best I could, trying to show both sides of music that I love. I sang in the way I usually do, smooth and controlled, and then sang in the way I ought to more often, contrived and exciting. Like Doug Enkler or some other rock god.

After composing the guitar part and sung melody, I took it to Fo Jammi's studio to record it. After laying down the basic tracks, I took it home and wrote a nice bass part for it, hoping it would be the kind of bass part Steve Scariano would like.

Here are the words:
The time has come, and I just don't know how
To sing of when it wouldn't ever be now
Go back against our wills in time
Remember when you were mine

'Cause if you gaze deep into my dark brown eyes
You're gonna see back behind a thousand lies:

I'm not old

I'm still a rock'n'roll star
I'm back in love with you
The fans are going wild
There's only one thing to do

Now that I'm not old

You say you're in a fit
You're getting ready to cry
You're such a nervous girl
There's only one thing to try

And that's the very same thing
I once did with you
Download "I'm Not Old"


John J. Goddard said...

I am commenting on the title since I don't have time to read the entire entire at this time.

I suppose I just wanted to let you know that you have always maintained an anachronistic vitality. You're one of the timeless ones, and I'm pretty sure you always will be.

I have other notes on the perception of age that I must keep from you for now. Suffice it to say that I look forward to seeing you in late December.

steve scariano said...

I like!