The first Bakers Dozen 

Songs of the Month

 

November 2003 - November 2004

 

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November - 2003 My Baby Loves Me

 

This is a very updated version of a song I originally wrote and recorded around 1971 while working with Rolling Stones producer, Andrew Loog Oldham. I wasn't all that happy with the original version, but hey, it's now 32 years later, and my baby has been loving me for quite a while! 

 

December - 2003 Fred

 

I don't know what this song is called anymore. I used to call it Fat Fred but the lyrics seem to have changed and apparently Fred's no longer fat. Maybe he went on a diet, joined the fitness club, I don't know. Hmmm. Let's simply call it Fred. Hell, Fat Fred sounds better, I like the way it rolls off the tongue. Can we still call it Fat Fred? I wrote this number long ago, back in '77. I wrote the lyrics first. That's not how I usually do things.

 

January - 2004

A Willin' Fool

 

This is my most recent song, I finished it a couple weeks back. Having just gone through the holiday gift-giving season, could this song be more appropriate? (Although, for those under the age of 17, it's perhaps a tidge innappropriate in spots, heh, heh!)

 

February - 2004 Poor Rich

 

February's song is "Poor Rich", a number I wrote a couple months back,  about 2 guys getting into an altercation over, surprise, surprise, a girl. In a barroom setting. Booze is involved. Violence! And, gasp, SEX! Maybe not in that order. You ever notice how with those 2 words, sex ALWAYS comes first? Hmm. Anyway, I was about to give you a song called "Stalling Missing Rusting" which I wrote years ago when I was in a country rock band. Originally SMR was almost a polka hoe-down, yee-haw! but it's long since been bloozeified. And then I realized it was in the key of E. Oh-oh. I can't have the first 4 songs all being in that key, much as I obviously like it. And so I give you "Poor Rich." Key of D. Sex and violence. A winning combo. You're gonna love it. Maybe you'll see Stalling Missing Rusting in March. Then again...

 

March - 2004 Stallin, Missin, Rustin

 

Here it is, Stalling Missing Rusting, about a car I once had. Not just any car, a 1967 dove-gray Mercedes Benz with lipstick-red leather upholstery. A BIG silver grill. Quite a ride. But then the bod abruptly bubbled and rusted,  the engine needed major work, the brakes turned to mush, and when a plastic tail-light cover broke while backing the boat up, it cost $350.  And so I wrote this song. I know I mentioned that I'd bloozified this number, that it used to be country-polka or some such non-sense. Well, I just came up from my little basement studio where I listened to it, and you know what? I don't think it's all that bloozey, in fact, I don't quite know what it is! But here you go. Maybe you can tell me - I wish you would...

 

April - 2004 Pay With Your Heart

 

It's April! Made it through another Winter! Whew! This month's entry: "Pay With Your Heart, Revisited". A fun song, your gonna hear me rock-out a bit here. I wrote this number originally back in, oh, must've been 1973 or 4. I say, "originally", and for that matter, "Revisited" because I've pretty much re-written it. I've always liked Pay With Your Heart's chug-chug-chug, and a couple of the phrases were pretty good. What did I keep of the lyrics? Not much. "Pay with your heart", and, "Tears in my pocket" - a whopping 8 words. Other than that, and the chug-chug-chug, well, that's all that was worth keeping. It was a good starting point. I don't know why I didn't spend another hour or so on it back then. I must've thought it was good! It was 30 years ago and I was living out in Santa Cruz, California, playing in a band with my brother Mike on drums, Dave Guynes, guitar, and Lew Gross, on bass, blasting this song out at the local hotspots. (And people say not much happened in the 70's other than shag carpet and disco. Ha!) 

 

May - 2004 Short Circuit

 

Short Circuit, circa '76 or '77. This is one of a kind for me, POWER CHORDS!!! I've always really liked "I Can See For Miles" by the WHO. And the stuttering could recall "My Generation." This is a very raw take, if you listen closely, or perhaps even not so closely, at the very end of the song you'll hear my g-string pop! Then you'll hear my groan of dismay...What the heck, I managed to finish the song, more or less, that last chord IS a little empty. It was a funky crash landing, (I guess if I were a ProTools kinda guy I could've fixed that!), but it all kind of fits with what the song's about...

 

June - 2004 Dark Side of Love

 

I know...you're going to listen to June's song, "The Dark Side of Love" and this is what you're gonna think: HOLY #$@^&!!, Jon got ELVIS COSTELLO to write lyrics for him!!! You didn't know that I knew Elvis, huh? Well...actually...I don't...Those lyrics are the work of my brother Tim! What's the next thing you're gonna think? Holy @#%^$!!! , Jon's brother must be really DEPRESSED!!! Naaah....He heard the song roughed out on a disc I sent him. No lyrics - just me going "whappa whappa wham doo doo", and to him it sounded sad...No, no, no! Oh come on!...Not "sad" as in "pathetic"!...So, anyway, he wrote something sad, something dark..."The Dark Side of Love". I don't think it relates to his own life...does it, Tim???? ;-)

 
July - 2004

 

It's July... Hotter than stink, and twice as humid. Makes people a little whacked sometimes  -  I wrote another song about that a few years back...

 

This month, however, I've got another collaboration for you that seems especially appropriate for this time of year. I sent my bro, Mikeee, a song to put lyrics to. I got a happenin' set back from him called, "Rocks & Salt". It's a real life story in a real life place: http://www.coyoteblue.com

 It's about Mikeee and Kathy, having had a hard day, how they make things better. At the end of the song, on the recording, I collaborated even further. I got my two kids, Andy & Nick, along with my honey, Connie, down in the basement, to the recording studio. I set up a couple mics and had them howl for posterity. From Andy and Nick you'll hear howling, growling, barking and laughing. They got kind of carried away! At the very end there's one lone howl - that's Connie...

August - 2004

 

Live where I live, Minnesota, and the weather is a MAJOR topic of conversation. Problem with writing a song about the weather is I can only play it at the appropriate time of year. Of course then it's VERY popular, but we're talking a very small window of opportunity. If I don't give you "Humidity" in August, well, when? Surely not December. THE TIME IS NOW. I've often thought I should come up with a new set of lyrics for "Humidity"...so I could play it year round! It's a really fun, raucous little number. But until I do, my antique Mu-tron Octave-Divider will just have to collect dust most of the year. Likewise my e-bow. (I got to use it too, for those pesky little mosquito sounds.) I hope you have fun listening to Humidity, I sure had fun recording it!

September - 2004

 

"He's So Hopeless" first appeared on my now out-of-print cd, "Thanks to the Skunk!" I really enjoy the little guitar figure I use on this number. And there's a coupla jazz chords that get me going. It's an amusing song, but hey, aren't they all? When I recorded it for the cd I got pretty creative with the percussion. You gotta get creative when you ain't got no drums laying around! Well, the door to my studio is of the hollow core mahogany type, so I put a couple Octava condensors on it, found the sweet spot and went at it with the fat of my thumb. Cool, huh? Add a little reverb, the hint of echo, and whoa baby! It inspired me to build the "stomp-box" which I now cart around to gigs. This box has a bookmatched cedar top, like a guitar, (except that it's " thick and rectangular), and it's got mahogany sides. On the underside of the cedar soundboard I've epoxied a Dean Markley transducer which I line into a Boss eq, for extra low-end umph, and that goes into the pa board. (I bet this is more than you ever bargained for when you started reading... If you'd like the overall dimensions drop me an email!) Anyway, on this month's song, "He's So Hopeless", (just in case you've forgotten), I use my stompbox. So listen up as I kick out the jams!

 

October - 2004

 

This month's song, SALLY, has been a l-o-n-g time coming! It must've been more than 20 years ago my brother Tim gave me these lyrics and said: "Do with them what you will." Well, more than a few years later they surfaced in my crime fiction novel, The Deep End. (He was pretty surprised!) And every once in a while I've run across them in my filing cabinet. And then, a couple weeks ago, there they were again. FINALLY I've put them to music. Anyway, as I said, it's been forever, so I figured I'd ask Tim to add to this intro, a disclaimer, or whatever. :) Take it away Tim! :

Oh my GOD! I wrote the song (the only song I ever wrote) in 1978, I think, in my dorm room at Tufts ... so I was, what, about 21 at the time? It was around the time of the Sex Pistols and I was inspired by the idea that you only needed to know two or three chords (or maybe none at all?) to be a songwriter. Actually it was kind of a Robert Palmer meets the Sex Pistols kind of thing I had in mind. The most amazing thing is that the song lived in my guitar case for YEARS, until you found it and put it in your book! I can't believe you did this! -Tim

November - 2004

 

Work & Play

 

Well, that's it, 12 months, 12 songs, anything from here on out is gravy! I've been so busy, I actually almost didn't get a song happening for November. No time for this and no time for that. Really, I do have to at least try to make some money now and then. So, that's a good question: Just how do you make a living, Jon? Music? Ha, ha, what a riot! I wish... Nope, I'm a custom picture framer and the month of October means Framing Sale! So, as I was saying, I've been busy. (Good thing!) And being busy is what made me think of this month's song, "Work & Play", a song about not having much in the way of leisure time. Well, that about sums things up, but I did manage to squeak into my studio and I knocked it off. These are "quick-takes" right? This number originally appeared on an album by my old band The Hubcaps, back in 1988. I hope you can take a minute to check it out...