Friday, August 25, 2017

For Andy

Self-indulgence alert: I'm gonna get a little sentimental here.

So as long time readers are aware, back in the early 80s I toiled in a 12-string pop band called The Floor Models. And also that Andy Pasternack, one of our principal songwriters (and our Rickenbacker ace), passed away unexpectedly in 2012.

I should add that apart from being immensely talented, Andy was also one of the sweetest guys who ever wore shoe leather; as Gerry Devine (our singer and other principal songwriter) put it to me recently -- Andy never got the memo that if you're a genius you're supposed to be a dick to other people.

In any case, there was a song of Andy's called "You Can't Tell Me Anything" that I particularly loved, and which we used to do live for ages, but for some reason never demoed, which has been a sort of sore point with me for all these years. So recently I decided that we should record it for a possible posthumous EP as a sort of tribute.

Only problem was nobody could remember the lyrics. Ack.

Then a month or so ago I discovered a crude live version, taped by someone with a boom box in front of the band at one of our legendary weekend gigs at The Other End (bless you, Pat Kenny!). We edited it -- removing a duplicate verse and a brief instrumental solo section that didn't really work -- and presto! We had a click track for a concise three minute song that seemed to encapsulate the entire esthetic of the band.

So then ace drummer Glen "Bob" Allen, myself, and brilliant guitarist J.D. Goldberg (who came in for Andy in a later incarnation of the band) headed into the studio to recreate the song from the ground up. (Gerry did his vocal at home and then intertubed it to us.)

And here it is, a few sessions later, in more or less finished form.

Where are you going with that look on your face
Seems so off-center
So out of place
What makes you think that I know
How much of you I'm missing

But you can't tell me anything
If I don't listen
If I don't listen

What are you thinking with that crease in your brow
There's been some confusion
But that's all over now
You know it might make some sense
If only you let it

But you can't tell me anything
And then just say forget it
And then just say forget it

You say that you're thinking
Thinking about me
It sounds like you're planning to make it without me
And I would do anything
I would do anything
If you just wouldn't doubt me

What are you doing with this time on your hands
Too many secrets that I might understand
What makes you think that I see
How much of you doesn't show

Well you can't tell me anything
You don't want me to know
You don't want me to know

We're gonna tweak the mix, and we'll probably put a Rickenbacker 12-string part on it, but even at this stage, I gotta say -- this is a magnificent song and the performance ain't too shabby either.

And I think Andy would have approved.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


MJConroy said...

Nice. I vote yes on adding the Rickenbacker 12-string part!

Sal Nunziato said...

Great great track! Nice job.

pete said...

Reading the lyrics I suddenly realized how much Andy's work affected my own songwriting, especially his staggered meters making the rhymes come in unexpected places. It only took me 35 years to see it! It warms to heart to see you guys keeping his work alive.

Anonymous said...

And I would give my left nut to play that 12-string part