I’ve been homesick for the east coast lately. I miss creative stimulation – input and output! Landlord is raising the rent up $300 (it’s a thing happening all across town) – and I’ve been wondering if I even want to stay here in Flagstaff. In Arizona.
New York was not an easy place to be – but oh! Tapping into that creative flow was sublime. If I move away, I don’t think NY is my next place (it was a time as well), but I do need more immediate, face-to-face intellectual creative exchange. I feel like I’m missing some poetic artistic romance, some sort of possibility to dream about and make happen.
If I am gonna pay this kind of rent, there had better be a a good reason to stick around . . .
In the meantime, yesterday, I recorded rough tracks of Shayla by Blondie (written by Chris Stein and Clem Burke). That song always makes me think of New York – or rather – Debbie Harry’s hometown of Union City, New Jersey. Close enough while I’m this far away!
I fell in love with this song when I was 9 or 10 years old. The swirl, the daydream, I levitated when I heard it for the first time (and every time after that, too). One day recently, I was singing it while washing dishes, and thought – why not figure out how to play this song?
Here is a simple acoustic scratch version of Shayla. I do play it on guitar, but on this recording that’s Paul on guitar and me on vocals. It really begins at 8 seconds.
Same song, with some harmonies.
Imagine having worked all day, riding home on the bus, it’s dark, everyone is tired, bus is quiet, glow of traffic lights . . . Sometimes the ride home is the most peaceful part of the day.
She wasn’t history
She’s just a number
And she goes far away
I am free but life is so cheap
All alone, trapped by its beauty
To leave in peace and end her stay
Years of fear were in her way
Lost in space and down she came
Some subtle entity
Some cosmic energy
Brushed her like shadows
Cars on the freeway
Bright lights and thunder
Where in the world to go next?
May 28, 2021