Kiss Me Mama I Gotta Go
Back to Mark Dreyer’s studio. It’s a little hard to believe this cd came to be. I thought, “Will I ever write anything as good as The Hat again?” I was sure I’d topped myself. I didn’t think I needed another cd to sell. But then...somehow I wound up with a CDs worth of songs to record and what are you gonna do. It’s like being pregnant and not having the baby. I did two of these songs on my old Boss 900 studio, The Texas Song and Spend It On You; two of my favorite songs of mine. If you don’t know what a Boss 900 CDR digital mixer looks like, type that in to Amazon and see what comes up.
My folks are the story behind Fifty Years. They are still the rock my life was built on.
One detail I changed for singability,
When he gave her that diamond ring, and she said she wasn’t ready yet, and he had to ask her three more times…
He really had to ask her five more times.
They started dating in the tenth grade in 1962 and by 1964 he figured he’d found his girl.
As I’ve heard it, they were riding horses. He’d given her a little Arabian stallion for Christmas when she was seventeen. (The horses name was Bullet and lived for years after they got married.) But on this particular day Bullet was young and so were they.
He had this little diamond ring. I mean it’s tiny.
As the story goes, he races up beside her on a horse, sticks this ring in her hand and races off. I don’t remember the name of his horse, I’ll have to ask him.
She gave it back and said “I’m Not Ready Yet.”
Ok I changed two details. She actually said, “you’re not ready yet.”
But “I’m” is easiesr to sing than “You’re,”so…
She took the ring in 1968 and still has it on today.
He’s tried to buy her a bigger and more expensive ring every year since 1980something. But she’s never let it go. The ring is getting thin on the back where she’s washed five thousand tons of dinner plates, picked up a thousand babies, swept a million miles of kitchen floors, carried a mountain of potatoes in five gallon buckets, held a phone to her ear while the world called to tell her everything that happened to them and feel the peace that passes understanding come back over the line. I’ve sure been the recipient of that peace enough times to be responsible for some of the gold missing off that ring. And I’ve got two sisters and a brother. All of whom have strived, and dreamed and failed and fallen and gotten back up holding the hand with that ring. And the hand that put it on he
Kiss Me Mama I Gotta Go
This song started as me driving down the road singing this line to myself.
Kiss me mama I gotta go.
I could hear Tom Petty’s Running Down A Dream. That great guitar riff and that train beat on the snare. If you don’t remember it hit YouTube and just let the start of the song roll over you.
A little piece about me.
I’ve spent large pieces of my life on the road. To, from, towards, away: I’ve been on the road since I got out of college. And I say pieces instead of parts because it’s felt like a life in pieces. Only in the last few years have I felt as though my life was continuing along a cohesive plane. Mostly that’s been the part of my life you’ve been a part of, my dear friend and listener. So this song is a projected memory back into my crooked and emotionally earthquake ridden journey to get here. It’s a about a guy who’s “got to go.” Whether its by choice or demand, the dude is late for somewhere else. This has been a theme of my life so I wrote about it. It’s a similar feel metaphorically to “Broke But Free.” More like members of the same extended song family. Broke is about a guy who doesn’t really want to be out there anymore but at the moment of the song he still is.
Kiss Me Mama is about a guy who knows he’s gonna be out there for a while but can see a time in the future when the pull of commitments and the magic of “What’s next” are gone and what he has at home is more important than anything somebody else needs from him. More important than the money he might make. I love this conversation, the awareness of “giving to take” and that if you give too much and never take anything you may forget how to take and get drained dry.
Forget to live! About the writing of the song itself. I got a couple lines down, something to work with, and Rusty and I finished this over the course of a couple weeks.
Its got a guitar lick at the beginning that is very intricate and it took me a couple hours in the studio to play each part, acoustic, electric, and classical and get them perfect. I don’t know if it’s conventional to play the same part on multiple guitars but who cares. It’s a thick sound and I like it and I hope you do too.
I always play each guitar part twice so they can go left and right in your headphones. If you haven’t ever listened to my records in headphones please do sometime.
As with all my stuff, I love singing the harmonies. And this songs got a lot of harmony. Stacking things up and seeing what phantom chords I can create with shifting dipthongs. For instance, there’s an unresolving harmony line every time the “I gotta get home,” comes around except the last one. It’s a major chord signifying immediacy. Like, I’m coming home now!
As I wrote this song I could hear the road ticking away underneath like flying across a concrete over pass. Ka-chunk ka-chunk.
It wasn’t the only choice for title track though. I had a hard time choosing between it and “Love Me For Rest Of My Life.”
There are things I love about both that put them in title track territory. A title track has to be several things. Musically genius, a great production, a great song, a great vocal performance, a great guitar riff, and feel good live on stage. In the end, Rest Of My Life is an amazing production but doesn’t match up to the live performance of Kiss Me Mama
Love Me for the Rest of My Life
love this song. Just take that line for starters. It’s what we all want isn’t it?
If you’re like me, and you must be or you wouldn’t be reading this stuff, you love love and seeing people live love and plan for love and share love and take love and give love and dream about love. What else is there?
About this song.
It’s fun and smooth and all about my wife. It’s the kind of feeling I hope lasts the rest of my life.
People ask me if I’ll write some more heartbreak songs and I don’t know. I guess I could listen to “The Cure” for a day and see what happens.
The only thing about this song I wish I could change is make it twice as long and put more fun stuff in it like a steel drum duo and a percussion breakdown and some Bobby McFerrin tongue pops. Maybe if I ever have a great big band we can do a ten minute conga line version of this.
Again listen to this one with headphones. There’s a lot going on and you’ll never hear it all otherwise.
This is the first marimba I ever played. It took a specific way of standing. I’ll never forget. I may never be a great marimba player but it sure felt good that day.
Also listen for the walking tinkling falling sound of the “ocean falling into the sky.”
I live in south Alabama so beachy feeling music just falls on my head sometimes and this one was like that. I was sitting at home with Katie and she said something about what you’d do with the last minutes of your life. Which is s topic I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words about.
In that instant I picked up a pencil and wrote down, “if the worlds gonna stop, only one thing I’d want to do.” Yes, I have a dirty mind.
Women dig a dirty mind as long you draw them into it instead of leaving them out. You’ll find, if you look and I encourage you to, that your wife (if you’re a wife you’ll agree with me) has as dirty a mind as you do and all you have to do is not be ashamed of whatever’s in yours and you’ll see yourself reflected right back at you. Nothing sexier than a girl with a dirty mind.
The song is about sex yes, but sex with the person you’re with when the ocean falls into the sky, the mountains fall, the volcanos light the atmosphere on fire and god turns the page on earth. It’s about the kind of sex that creates children that are wanted and not just fed. Maybe you know when your child was conceived? That’s pretty cool if you do. if you do remember then I flattered you’ve wasted a minute reading this essay. Cause you obviously have better things to do.
Hey, Hey Goodbye
So this song was written first when I was nineteen. I was dating this girl, and when I say dating, you need to imagine a Sunday afternoon church social in eighteenth century New England. Girls wear dress from their toes to the neck line and any contact they had was when passing a dish at the dinner table surrounded by nine adults. Which would be all the parents and a couple extras in case the boy was captured by the dark spirit and compelled to jump the table and dance with full body contact. Which would no doubt have caused immaculate conception.
Ok maybe I’m exaggerating. She wasn’t a prude, she was a lady, totally.
Back to my story.
So, she let me drag around after her for a few months and I guess she realized I wasn’t trying to join the seminary and become Jesus so she started drifting away. Which made me work harder to impress her for about a week. Finally I got the picture and allowed my heart to break, cause I really liked this girl. This has been a long time mind you, but I think I didn’t have a girlfriend for a few months. I normally always had a girlfriend of one kind or another. That sounds weird, “one kind or another” but when you’re in college you make all kinds of friends for all kinds of reasons. I sadly don’t have any of them left accept the dear sweet man who married my sister Rebecca and my sisters Rebecca and Fairlight themselves whom I was lucky enough to get to go to college with. Honesty I wouldn’t have gotten to college without my sisters. In, though, or out.
Ok back to the story.
So this girl barely noticed me and I felt like I needed to make some kind of splash breaking up with her. But she wasn’t paying me enough attention to even make a scene and break up so I wrote this song which I’m not sure she ever heard. This song has kind of a self pitying loser tone with an uptempo beat. A thing I learned from Dwight Yoakam and Pete Anderson. People will listen to the saddest song you’ve ever written if you can get the beats per minute over 120. Listen to “Guitars and Cadillac’s.”
So that’s the story. “Hey! Over here in the corner going out the window! Can you see me? Ok, then. Goodbye.”
Back to the future. As I was looking at songs to put on this cd my wife asked me to think about this one. And I didnt like it very much. Seemed ridiculously juvenile. Hmm, wonder why. Maybe because it was written by a juvenile.
But my friend Troy Martin (Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye) helped me bring it up to date and it’s a fun little romp with a great band sound. Some of the best players in the world are on here. This song needed more than I could do by myself.
Look these guys up on Allmusic.com
Glen Duncan on fiddle, Mike Rojas on piano, Robby Turner on a steel guitar, Mark Dreyer on the telecaster. That’s me on the rhythm playing the boom chicka boom guitar. Wayne killings on the drums, and Kevin Swine Grantt on bass. I stood there staring at Glen Duncan until Mark Dreyer said, “Are you paying for fiddle lessons or recording a song. Come on, get out of there and leave him alone.” Truly an amazing session. I remember when Mike Rojas and Glen Duncan got their mics fixed and Mark turned the sound on they started warming up with the break section from Ricky Skaggs “Country Boy,” a song Rojas had played on thirty five years previously. Magic
Midnight Auto Supply (High Octane)
First, I still love this song. I’ve played it four thousand and something times and I still like that beginning riff and the story that I have to remember all the words to.
There’s never been anything like it and I’m still trying to figure out if there’s a sequel type of song for it. For me, The song feels like one of those church hymns that have always been there and you can’t imagine a world without them.
I’m still hoping it one day catches on as a teenage anthem.
Why have I re-recorded it. Good question.
I always meant for this song to rock like Bon Jovi and I never felt my first take did. I like the first one, don’t get me wrong, but after playing it four thousand times I felt I could sing it better and play that guitar lick identically enough times to give it a really stacked up background track.
If you’ve listened to it on your iPod or in the car maybe you’ll notice the song is now called Midnight Auto Supply (High Octane). That’s to keep the different versions from getting confused in your playlists. Also because it is supercharged like high octane. Like AC/DC on cocaine and ditch weed.
Is it a true story?
It’s a true story with a few creative twists to make the details less R rated and more accessible to the public. As far as I know he never killed anybody during the commission of a robbery but he’s never said one way or another.
And I’m not asking now. He’s a hard working American who was born at the wrong time and wound up trying to make a living doing something he knew how to do. It was the sixties in Appalachia and they weren’t many jobs. Granted that means nobody could easily afford to have their car stolen and just call their insurance company and get it replaced. People didn’t always have insurance and didn’t necessarily own the car. And losing a car in the mountains is akin to horse thieving on the Texas Llano Estecado in the 1800’s. Without transportation, you’re soon dead. Or food.
This kids parents were splitting up, and not in the civilized “two attorneys and a judge” way of today. Splitting up like an oak tree that all of a sudden needs to grow in different states. His parents ripped and screamed and tore his world apart and he went Ripping and roaring and screaming across the sky of northern Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. His territory for what was then the Dixie Mafia was from Greenville SC to Blue Ridge Georgia. Quite a lot of ground to account for in a business where your job was to find either a car or a part that the customer needed.
Some people didn’t need a whole car stolen for them. They maybe only needed a matching set of hubcaps. Or a set of chromed fenders. He started out willing and became very able. He was sent to Vietnam by the judge just in time to fight through the Tet Offensive and survive. He’s one of those Rambo types who came home to find nobody appreciated the hell he’d endured on behalf of freedom.
He’s still alive as of 2018 but his health is bad and not ever gonna get better.
Yes, this is about a boy who stole cars for a living. Make of that and the intent what you will.
But lots of folks with significantly higher stations of birth do worse things with no remorse and No ramifications. He sure paid the price.
Look up the lyrics to this song (here on the website) and let this song roll past your head on a brand new set of Michelin’s laying rubber on a curve around Lake Burton, Georgia. Let the guitars play the sun shining off the lake and the drums are your heartbeat in your chest. Let the story play out in your eyelids.
The cops got tipped off from somebody jealous of how good your are and wanting to take your place. Imagine you’re on a straight away that you need to get down as absolutely fast as possible. You really need this car for an order you’ve promised to fulfill and have already taken the money for. But no car is worth being out of the chase. There’s always another car and even though you’ve spent the money you were paid for this one, you can steal another one and make it up. Maybe this was meant to be. You’re done to your last option to keep from going to jail, dumping the car in the lake. You’ve heard your daddy talk about doing this, dumping a car in the lake, but you’ve never done it.
If you can get down the straight away and around the curve fast enough, you can roll out and let the car go over the side and hopefully sink before the cruiser comes in sight. If the cops didn’t see you in a car that they can’t see anymore then there’s no stolen car, right? No body, no crime.
Better put that pedal down and hope this curve is banked like you remember.
Welcome to Midnight Auto Supply. We can find anything you can’t buy, just play an order for the ride of your dreams. You can’t beat the price it’s satisfaction guaranteed. Put your money in the mail box and your new cars in the drive. Courtesy of Midnight Auto Supply.
It’s a twenty four seven life. Not job, lif
If You’re Looking for a Woman
A feeling that millions have and aren’t sure how to rid themselves of. Maybe they wanted to do something they knew they shouldn’t and they got their courage up and went out and got the means and the opportunity and then got choked up on the motive. Flawed analogy but you see what I mean. Who are you when she’s not there. Who are you deep down inside.
This is that song. Its about the the intent to do something wrong and then the almost stomach-clenching revulsion from going thru with it. If you’ve heard this song I don’t need to extrapolate much. It’s very self explanatory.
If you love this song then thank you, You’re a country music fan from the same spoke of the wheel as I. And we got to stick together right? Songs like this aren’t on the radio anymore and haven’t been for years.
I’m Gonna Spend it on You
This song is about a good time with somebody you can’t imagine having a good time without.
I wrote this watching an old western with Roy Rogers. There was a rider pull up to the old saloon and then the doors swung Open and he was standing at the bar ordering a shot. And I wished I could hear that old piano sound tinkling in the background. It wasn’t there but it needed to be. Just popped into my head almost complete.
About the production. This is a song I recorded in my living room all by myself. It’s slower than I do it live and that’s to let the story play past you in a good three quarter dance rhythm. It’s a waltz, a honky tonk waltz. This is like that old saloon from that movie. It’s a piano with tacks on the strikers. It’s a clean telecaster with no effects. It’s a simple boom cha cha drum. It’s a guy standing just inside the front door of the bar with his arm around his girl and his entire weeks pay in his hand. He’s willing to spend it all tonight on her.
This is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever played. I think it’s perfect as far as it goes. Simple yet complete.
I loved every minute of recording this song. And this is by far the longest production I’ve been through. This song took over a hundred hours. I played the guitar parts til I couldn’t make a mistake in my sleep and then played them some more until they were good and then played them until you can’t hear a difference between the takes and then I played it six more times with slightly different EQ settings to give it a rounded sound. I hope you can tell.
One more thing about this song: That coin that falls at the beginning is a 1928 silver eagle American dollar my daddy gave me for Christmas when I was a kid. I dropped that dollar on dozens of surfaces looking for the sound of money falling on an old western honky tonk bar. I dropped that thing on the floor, on the guitar Tami Taylor, on the bass guitar, on the windowsill, on the bathroom counter, the kitchen counter, the stove top, my coffee table, went outside and dropped it on a bench, went back inside and for no good reason that I can now remember dropped in in the tub, dropped it on the washer because I was standing there and couldn’t feel any weirder than I already did, and what finally did it was the top of a cedar table my daddy and I had made for my studio which had been sitting there under my machines and harmonica bucket all along. So, thank you daddy for spending all your money and time raising me, for giving me that silver dollar, and for making that table with me. I hope you like this song. I sure do love you
Lose You Anna
Mark Sherrill wrote this. Mark cowrote Florabama Time and Looking For You. And a few other songs that were a number on hits over the past thirty years. A real lyrical genius.
One of those guys that can open their mouth and you better start writing down what he says cause it’ll be singable.
As I’ve heard it, he was in a bar in Nashville one afternoon and there were these triplets from somewhere in Texas. One was named Adilida, and became a George Strait song, and one was Anna, and became I don’t want to Lose You Anna. I don’t remember the other triplets name but they wrote a song about her too. this is a beautiful song and that’s why I recorded it. It’s simply a beautiful song. Like a country hymn to a girl you can’t lose. We’ve all felt that way.
I honestly meant for it to be slower and more mournful but after it was done i was thrilled with the feel of that fiddle and the drum beat. The happy way the singer just kind of says the says. I know thats me but the whole process of making records and having you buy them still awes me. So sometimes to deal with it I just let myself think about it as though it’s somebody else. This is one of those songs, it’s bigger than me.
I hope it plays through your stereo as you go across I-10 through the swamps sometime.
“I don’t want to lose you Anna, I know I couldn’t handle Louisiana anymore.”
The Texas Song
So this song is actually called, Kiss My Big TexA$$. I titled it The Texas Song because I didn’t want my mama to make a face when she gave my record to her friends and kind of scrunch the corner of her mouth down and apologize. I don’t honesty think any of her friends would care but that she cares matters to me.
I started writing a funny song with a few decent Texas fist pumpers like Bbq, cowgirls, boots and friends in the loud proud crowd. But as I went along it evolved into a love song from me to Texas. I hope you feel that too. I love Texas.
Texas is huge and they are sure proud of that but there’s more to Texas than its size. Even if it were just the part from San Antonio to Austin they’d still be making noise about how awesome Texas was and wearing belt buckles the size of dinner plates. It’s just a feeling of personal pride and community achievement that you get when you’re with a group of them. And they’ve survived the reign of six different governments. “You can kiss my big Texa$$.”
They are proud of the things Texas makes and I love seeing them support themselves and their friends. From fast food chains to hardware stores and micro brewery’s, and the largest gas station/tourist shop/restaurant in the world, Buccees. Texas is big enough to have its own chain of grocery’s stores that are nowhere else and still one of the largest chains in America, The HEB.
You can’t get all this in a song that’s not longer than Marty Robbins El Paso so I focused on the parts that were meaningful to me and influential on my life.
And then I recorded a ZZTop love song to Texas.
And if you don’t like it, here’s what you can do…
I’m not gonna attempt the tell this story. I don’t know it. The story of this song is not mine to tell.
What I can do is tell you that this song is still and always will be a part of America. People still love Elvis Presley as I do. As you see I renamed it The American Trilogy Elvis Forever. Because nobody else will ever be remembered for this song. When this song isn’t important, then America is gone. So please play this song and Elvis’s version too and sing it loud and proud and stand up when you’re in the presence of it being played and if you fell like it, come give me a hug at the end of the show when you’ve heard this. Americans hugging each other is a really good way to ensure the continuation of America. Hard to kill someone with your arms around them.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to a higher and higher appreciation of the people who stuck their literal and figurative necks out to create an experiment that we call the United States of America. It’s been a work in progress with its ups and downs but never it’s lay-downs.
It’s a tender and delicate thing, flying into the winds of the future only guard from the winds of socialism and mediocrity by the thin blue and red and white line. That line is human beings willing to live and die to not be the broken link in the line.