Me on Delmar when I hung out with the cool kids.
I was honored to be included among the hippest kids in St. Louis, despite being an ancient old man to them, since they were all teenagers going to Clayton or U City high school and I was old enough to drink, though I still felt too young to actually hang out in bars. Instead, I spent my time messing around with my teenaged girlfriends and going to teenaged parties in various apartments and houses when the resident fossils left town and the kids held parties.
The kids I remember the best were Gabe Katz, who shared my love for Beats and who was just endlessly fascinating, Darren O'Brien, then LeDeen, and the mighty mighty Mark Higgins. Known universally as Higgens, he played the bass sax in Riot Act and cracked wise with a certain lordly demeanor that was impressive and magnificent. I won't go into the girls, for reasons of discretion, but I loved them all unashamedly.
I got to sing on one song with Higgens, a Don Green blues he called "Slow Drag"
I don't remember laboring over these lyrics or the singing of them, and they certainly sound dashed off and improvised. I can tell they were written down and that I was singing them from a piece of paper, because some of the phrasing is rushed and awkward, indicating that I've lost my place. The highlight of this long song was Higgens honking away on his sax, and I, for one, mourn the loss of the low end on the mastering of this song.
Skyscrapers fallin' down
Radiation all around
Suicide will end this mess
I'll buy my wife another dress
It's a slow drag
We need more ghetto blasters in the city
Longer unemployment lines
Dizzy astrological signs
Goofy kids be making noise
Excited girls be chasing boys
Don't beat me, they say
And turn around and run away
And all this time you get fed up
And listen until you shut up
Are you ready to bop? Step up and blow, it man!
Riding around like you got it made
Brilliant colors made to fade
And facts and rumours merge with tact
Let morals and manners make a pact
We need more ghetto blasters in this town
Society girls in gowns around
The sunglassed masses downtown bound
The sunglassed masses east and west
The sunglassed masses off your chest
The sunglassed masses know no crime
The sunglassed masses dance in time...
This is the other song I wrote lyrics for and sung on the After Hours LP, and it shares the same credits, though only Nick Georgieff knows for sure, and he ain't tellin'. It's a longer song than usual, but worth it, if you like hearing someone singing under the influence of Johnny 'Guitar' Watson and a heritage of true gangster inflection from North Saint Louis.
Download Slow Drag.