Thursday, November 04, 2010

“Retrophonic, Part Two.”

c. 2010 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Readers of this column have heard much about my long-distance friendship with legendary guitarist Davie Allan. He achieved iconic status in the 1960’s because of recordings featured in rebellious cycle-film soundtracks. Yet this talented axeman has also remained active throughout the decades that have followed.

With each new recording, I have typically written down ‘first impressions’ from each song in real time, while listening.

What follows here are bits of prose inspired by Allan’s latest release:


1. DEAD END TOWN – Theme from an imaginary western. Played with a plectrum six-gun. It gets the job done. Dust on the wind, a new life begins. Boot heels click - the cowboy rides with a sorcerer’s trick.

2. EAST WIND – Ramblin’ and rumblin’ across the fretboard. The Fuzz King makes a lasso out of a guitar string. Words capture the moment. Hear the silent voice sing.

3. EVERYTIME I SEE YOU – A ballad sung softly. A fretboard fantasy carried on the breeze. An old heart delivers what young minds receive. Turn the stereo to ‘ten’ and you will believe.

4. SEE THE WAY – Tender riffs, sunrise over the cliffs. She walks out of the morning without warning. My heart is hers. And the love I feel is sure. Dance maiden, to my rhyming verse.

5. SHE’S MY WOMAN – A bluesy throwdown. A promise of things not yet begun. A bit of ELO? No one seems to know. That girl keeps me hangin’ on. All I’ve got left is this song.

6. WORLD OF YESTERDAY – A spoonful of truth. Take the melody in your ears and let it bear fruit. Watch the world turn. There’s a lesson to be learned.

7. DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO ME – You make me feel so fine, like the flavor-blush of a California wine. Like the tuneful pluck of an instrument keeping time. But there is more I desire. Got the need. I feel the fire.

8. GET AWAY FROM ME – Something young and new, like a jester with kazoo. A harlequin dance. C’mon wallflower, take a chance. Get away, seize the day. You won’t break my heart. It’s time for a second start. Listen to the song I play.

9. IT’S RIGHT ON THE TIP OF MY TONGUE – Morning has broken. I’ve got words to be spoken. Have I said this before? My heart is on the floor. Gonna take my guitar and walk out the door.

10. LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS – A drama played out against the cosmos. Twinkling stars cause a lump in my throat. I remember sweet sadness from another age. When young souls in denim bravely took the stage. A generation was inspired. Fuzz and reverb fueled the fire. But that was yesterday…

11. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR LIFE – Lift up your voice. You have a choice. Go forward with the fearless. His words ring true. Don’t fear the reaper. Don’t hide out like a midnight creeper. May the fuzz be with you!

12. MAYBE I’LL JUST MOVE ALONG – A day in the sun. Skin kissed by the bright essence of Sol in the sky. No need to wonder why. We are here, that is enough. Don’t make it rough. Tune up your guitar and slide away.

13. SHE’S MY GIRL – She’s my vision. My reason for strumming chords in the first position. No need to explain – her voice comes in the wind and her kisses in the rain. Now I’m feelin’ no pain.

14. THIS BURNING FLAME OF LOVE – A simple arc of light. It moves poets and painters with boldness and might. This is her secret. She wears it well. But don’t ask her to tell. Just cherish this fleeting moment in the spotlight.

15. A WONDROUS LOVE – My dreams of her live on, from dusk to dawn. She walks in sun and shadows. Her memory is pure. For a thousand years, her touch will endure.

16. LOS CABOS – Give your troubles a slip. Join me at the hideaway - it’s a place where the guitars play. Uncork the jug, and jam on a Spanish tune. C’mon drifter, there’s a place here for you.

17. FUNNY LITTLE EMPTY FEELIN’ – A twist in my belly. A tingle on my skin. They tell me I’m not over you. Can we do this again?

18. I’M GETTING TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT – Taking a fall. There’s something ringing in my head. Soaring free and wild, but my wings turn to lead. Forgive me if I say – my wanderlust has gone away. Could it be you’re the one? My ramblin’ days are done.

19. CRUEL WORLD – Feel the leather on my back. There’s more in my heart. I’m a cowboy careening through life. Know that from the start. Don’t try to change me. I’m a Ramone on the telephone. Better leave me alone.

20. EACH DAWN I DIE – As the morning awakens, my secret is told. I am nothing without you. The wind is so cold. Come again, please be my friend.

21. I KNOW ABOUT YOU – Your game is sweet. But look here, girl. I’m fast on my feet. I know what you are. A high-flying, love superstar. Do your dance, take a chance. It won’t get you far.

22. LONELY IS THE HUNTER – On the run, a guitar is my gun. Riding solo, but there’s a trophy to be won. Give me your heart. I’ll be gentle with the prize. Listen to my song. Look deep into my eyes.

23. RUN TO HER – Sunset in the sky. And I feel it in my soul. She smiles, sweetly. Now I lose all control.

24. SHE’LL COME BACK TO ME – Time is my friend. That girl will be here again. If I play my cards, and this old guitar, she will know it’s right. Gonna be here tonight. On the last train to Clarksville. I love her still.

25. THAT’S WHY I LOVE BEING WITH YOU – I love your smile. I love your laugh. I love the way you groove on Johnny Cash. Saddle up, girl. Lonely days are in the past.

26. YOU’RE GONNA CRY – It’s guaranteed. You’ll feel the need. One of these days, you’ll miss living at light-speed. That’s the day when you’ll say: ‘Come home cowboy. Pick a tune for me!’

27. I DIDN’T KNOW LOVE – Learning slowly about opening my heart. Be gentle, girl. This is where a new life starts. Take it easy with me. Don’t thrill me quick just to set me free.

28. OH BUDDY, WE MISS YOU SO – Ode to a yonder hero. A life lived too fast. But the legacy lingers. This mood hasn’t passed. Your spirit endures. Raise high the glass!

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