Wednesday, April 21, 2021

New Recording!: "Johnson Wants to Rant"

This is one of the songs on the first Yeast? 7".  Dave and Damon helped flesh it out.  Our original guitarist, Chris, disappeared before that recording session, so I don't think he contributed anything to the song.   Stripping down to a power trio and being the sole guitarist was interesting.  I guess now I've stripped down even more to just one band member for this rerecording.   For the weird instrument, I added a bit of accordion to the choruses (something the original lacked, but singing and playing guitar was enough of a challenge back then).  The song itself is about a frustrated young fellow who has trouble expressing himself.   There are probably even more of those these days even with all the social media blather.  I read a statistic recently that something like over a quarter of young men under 30 weren't having sex, which, assuming survey respondents were reporting accurately and were representative of the general population, is pretty darn weird.  I remember reading something years ago about how the Palestinians retired a terrorist cell by helping the young men get laid more regularly (probably by marrying them off).  I suppose sexual frustration could make one tense and ready to explode like a bomb, but the song involves a bit more than that as the protagonist feels put upon and oppressed/repressed by a number of factors.  I don't know if the "talking cure" cures everything, but people generally feel healthier when they can get feelings and ideas out by talking about them and feeling like they can express themselves freely (even though many of us don't want to hear it).  The reference to The Black Whale is a reference to a dive bar in New Castle, Pennsylvania USA that was probably on its last legs back when I wrote the song.  It was not a place I frequented as a dive bar in New Castle is probably among the grimmest places anywhere, but I liked the name.  I always hoped it was a play on Herman Melville's Moby Dick and its white whale.  I can picture Captain Ahab just giving up on the whole thing and going to have a beer instead in some hopeless place.  He might corner some fellow creature of despair and talk his ear off about the one who got away.

To hear the original version of "Johnson", get the Dick Bennett ep.

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