3 am....Nov. 4th 07 Sitting here in the wee hours at out hotel in Lawrence Kansas. Great show tonight...a very attentive audience which is my polite way of saying that people were listening very closely to the quieter songs and not talking to loudly during them. WHICH WE LOVE.
On to my other reason for blogging: I want to thank Chris and Maria for the
wonderful podcast regarding the history of my song "Harvest Queen". A big thank
you to Morst too. Well done! I feel compelled to fill in a few blanks
though.....the music for the song goes back years...all the way to "Big Dirty
Yellow" (The house David and I shared when we first moved to Richmond together
pre Cracker). I awoke one morning with the guitar riff and melodies in my head
and worked them out right then and there. I showed it to David at one point and
he called my then instrumental "Harvest Queen". It felt like a great title but
we were in the middle of working on many, many other songs and I put it on the
back burner. Cut to 1999, around the time I moved back to Redlands and rekindled
my friendship with Chris LeRoy.
We showed each other what we had been working on and instantly began
collaborating again which always feels natural to us. He came up with a new
title and lyrics for the song (Haunted) which I felt where great, but I still
liked David's original title idea. We recorded the track with Chris on an old,
beat up, upside down bass , Chad Villareal on drums and Maria at the board and
it was just spontaneously magical on the first take. It's true as Maria says, I
showed it to several session players and they never matched that original
One night I fell asleep thinking about David's title idea "Harvest Queen". As
Chris says in the podcast he had burned me a CD of several scary old songs by
other people. One night I dreamt I was one of 3 or 4 young migrant farm workers
in a vast green field in California somewhere. In the dream there was a
beautiful, naked witch flying over us. She was slowly changing from a woman to a
raven, a ball of fire and back into this temptress / goddess ...then she
vanished. She appeared again after dark and was trying to coax these young men
into an old 1940s looking car for something...sex? comfort? protection? To steal
our souls? I didn't know but I saw it all...the monkey's paw, the straw...all of
it. Scared the hell out of me.
I woke with a start and wrote the whole thing down before I could forget it.
The dream became the final version of the song after that. Strange story huh?
Even though I wrote the lyrics and music, the song would never have gotten
finished without the input of Chris and David. I had played a rough sketch for
David Immerglück one night (in the back of a car) and he actually DEMANDED that
he play on the track with me. How could I refuse the amazing Immy?
honored. One night he came down to Lo-Fi from Los Angeles and had brought along
Cracker's original bassist Davey Farragher. They sang those great "AAAAAA"
backing vocals and Immy and I did this sword fight of guitar solos at the end of
the song which completed the long journey. I recently had the opportunity to
play the song live at Roger Clyne's Mexico festival a few weeks ago. It was
their suggestion. Roger and the Peacemakers just said "Hey let's do Harvest
Queen...yeah we know it". They did and played the hell out of it with me. Yet
another of those wonderful "Man I have a cool job" moments. Johnny....over and