DOWN IN THE VALLEY - Bud and I go on lots of drives - the jewel box photo is an old building I spotted on one of our drives.
We were on our way to the ocean. I just loved the old signs across the front of this building - one slapped on top of the other. So I took a picture from the
window of the truck and slapped it on the front of my cd!|
TRAIN FARE TO MEMPHIS - I wrote this one at the same time as two other songs. I remember I had three of them going at once in three separate piles of notebook paper - all similar ideas - too many ideas for one song - spread out on the couch. I sat on the floor and went back and forth between the piles. All three songs were written simultaneously. Train Fare is my sister Roxanne's favorite.
SUBURBAN BOYS and the PJ - Nesci connection - I was a very serious tomboy growing up in South Pasadena, CA. I followed my brother and his friends everywhere. We lived near the Arroyo Seco. I played football mostly and rode bikes with the boys. I even delivered papers with my brother. He used to make me carry the papers and he'd just reach over and toss one. He kept complaining about how slow I was. I'd do anything for a paper route. At a certain point the guys started ditching me and so I played with Penelope Jane. She worked at the stables in the arroyo and we'd run away from home with our horses (in our imaginations). Neither one of us really had a horse, but we had at least ten dolls apiece. The whole side yard of her house was our doll city. When I finished Green Moon and 1000 cds arrived, I quickly sent a batch to my friends. The very first person to listen was Nesci. He called immediately with his usual supportiveness and said that he was going to name one of his characters PJ (Penelope Jane). Nesci's a real good actor in the middle of screenplay writing. First met Nesci when he was in ACTION at the Magic in San Francisco, years ago. So the pictures over here on the right are the real Penelope Jane and her friend CC each with a doll as the SUBURBAN GIRLS and then there's John Nesci on his Schwinn somewhere near Chicago? Looks like a SUBURBAN BOY to me. This is the true connection between Nesci and PJ. They have never met.
STEAL AWAY - I wrote this one for Sam's movie "Far North" but he decided to use the Red Clay Ramblers.
WAIT & WAIT & WAIT Bud was afraid to show up for our first date. That's where this song comes from. I waited for him on the stoop of house, knowing he wasn't going to show, but I just waited anyway. He never did show up. Not that time anyway. (scan picture of Bud in his new LBJ hat)
RAGGEDY ANNIt was coming down to the wire for writing another couple of songs for the cd in about January. "Down in the Valley" kept bugging me. I just wasn't happy with it. The idea was there - the frustration of a relationship - communication between people - it was clear in my mind - but it wasn't clear in the song. I knew it wasn't clear and I couldn't get it out more plain and I didn't feel like the ditv part was powerful, it seemed too plain, not enough emotion. I had been working on the darn song too long. I don't like them anymore after I have to struggle with them. I was thinking about renting a cabin up in the mountains near here and just writing. I felt like my environment was stale - I needed some stimulation - new surroundings. Then I checked myself - brought up my firm belief that a writer should be able to write anywhere, no matter what. I started making myself look around. I happened to have been sitting on the couch in my living room and I spotted the rocking chair with the dolls in it. I had stacked all my rag dolls in the chair to keep people from sitting in it. The chair was real fragile. It is truly beautiful. It is painted red and accented in black with scratches and chips that show through to the wood. There's a carving in the top center that could be the wind. The song just came in about two takes. I remember not being able to stop crying as I wrote it. And I called Bud and I was singing the first two verses over the phone before I'd written the bridge. Trying to sing and stop crying over the phone. I still have the original cassette of me recording the stupid song sobbing. I should have pressed that take. I doubt if anyone gets this song the way I do. Bud loves it because I think it was the first song I let him in on the creation of. I like to keep them secret until I'm proud of them - until they say something. This one was done before I stopped crying.