About the Archive Album

archive

 

The Words
My Job as Songwriter is Words and Vocal Melody. I spend a lot of time on lyrics. Sometimes it comes straight away. Other times pages and pages to get a few lines. The word Artist is used a lot these days but I believe that I  do Musical Art and I am good at it. I would call it poetry set to music but you be the judge and email me with your thoughts.

Archive’ is a collection of the songs I recorded in the past but never did anything with..until now. It includes songs from my first record ‘Snakes’ and later from sessions I did with Ross McDermott who liked my ‘Snakes’ songs and suggested that we record some new ones and redo some older ones.

I have added two newer songs from the 21st century to open the album with, Dirty coat and Bird in my cage. They were recorded with Darren Cottingham.

I have done a lot of songs on my various multi track recorders but these songs were all recorded in ‘proper’ studios. Mainly Progressive Studios in Anzac ave Auckland where many famous bands of the ’80s recorded and practised. I ended up living there in one of the old practice rooms for a few years. Tim Gummer was at the helm in those good old days before music became fractured and marginalised by the internet. Many famous flying nun bands recorded there when it was led by Terry King. And a lot of demos were recorded by the more sucessful bands of the day like Hello Sailor, Peking Man and the like.

I had many different lineups in Auckland. The one from the front cover photo were from my Freezing works days. We all worked at Westfield and Hellabys in Otahuhu. John Barrett on Drums, Ralph Skips on Guitar, Me and Kelly Reihana on Bass. Our sixteen year old Backing Vocalist was Sarah Spicer who recently made the top ten on X Factor NZ 2015.

The inside cover was of the Eel Band. Brian Stevens on guitar, Pete Johanson on bass and Johnny Bradfield Jnr on Drums.

1.Dirty Coat

This song was recorded at Ad Infinitum studios in Newmarket with Darren Cottingham along with Bird in my Cage.
Darren played Keyboards and co produced alongside myself. The afore mentioned Eel Band of Brian, Pete, Johnny and myself did the rest. Dirty Coat is essentially a song about Mental Illness and also about having a second chance in life and love. It is dedicated to my wife who saved me ( and continues to save me).

VERSE 1 “I was looking for a new love
I turned and I found you love
you saved my life today
the kind things that you said to me
told me I was someone good
slightly torn, misunderstood

CHORUS  In my dirty coat
with my greasy hair
living with these broken hearts
with my dirty coat and my funny leg
but I don’t mind

VERSE 2 The people pass me by love
but they don’t say hello
cos they don’t know me
so take me as I am
I find it very hard to change
won’t you stop to check my pulse
you might find somebody else

CHORUS  In my dirty coat….

VERSE 3 Like two kids in a car
not going too far, let’s take a ride
wishing wells were meant for fairy tales
but it takes just a little bit longer

CHORUS In my dirty coat…

2. Bird in my Cage

This tune is inspired by the great Elvis Costello with my own twists and turns. My new songs have better lyrics and a simpler arrangement than my older ones but I still like the older ones suprizes. Bird in my Cage is about a lady I loved and lusted over but it was never meant to be. In reality I was the bird in her cage.

VERSE 1 “I don’t want to see another july the 5th
if it means that I’ll feel something like this
I was looking for some human emotion
didn’t want your undying devotion

You and me will never know why
how we make other people cry

CHORUS  Yer yer I want you
I cant say no its incredibly urgent
Yer yer I need you
I’m wrapped up tight in a passionate curl
Yer yer I love you
but those three words I’m never going to say
cos I want to keep you.
the bird in my cage

VERSE 2  “I never know what you want me to think baby
I take  a sip and then I want the whole drink
I thought I liked playing around in the dark
eating dolphins and swimming with the sharks

You and me were so quick to pretend
that we had the kind of  thing that would never end

CHORUS Yer yer I want you ….

BRIDGE Was it a blessing or was it just a curse
I want to love you but its gonna get worse

VERSE 3 I was looking for a new beginning
didn’t see that the curtain was falling on me
we were actors and we played our parts
but then we played with other peoples hearts

You and me were so quick to pretend
that we had a  thing that we thought would never end

CHORUS x 2

BRIDGE The bird in my cage
The bird in my cage

3.Cinderella’s Clothes

Another song about Mental Illness and the beauty of life. Written in ten minutes and recorded at Progressive Studios with Me at the Production Helm. The Band was thrown together but had a lot of experience. Gaille Tinnehau laid down a superb vocal piece which really makes the song. Edith Ridings and KT Moffat on BV’s.

VERSE 1 No more clown for me
no more television
I work on till the morning
that’s when my body flowers

shaking on the grapefruit tree
I pull another breath in me
vanity is fine
when you life is not in vain

CHORUS  In cinderellas clothes
but they don’t fit my body
in cinderellas clothes
not made for anybody

VERSE 2 Dribbling down my chin
the weatherman is angry
waiting for the rhythm
to take him away from another

Tell me what you want
I’ll do it for you humbly
the attitude is just a feature
don’t be scared of rabies

CHORUS

VERSE 3 Find me another name than the one I’m given
find me another home than the one that’s in my head

CHORUS

4.Money

This song and the next four were produced by Ross McDermott, Bass player for When the Cats Away. Ross was Amazing. He took my unrealized songs and took them in the direction I wanted but with a lot of class, and panache.
He brought in all his session muso mates most from sucessful bands. On this song it included Richard Adams from Nairobi Trio on Violin, and Nigel Gavin the American guitarist wunderkind. He who worked with Robert Fripp.
Weston Prince from Danse Macarbe fame played Piano. Wes co wrote the music on this one.

The song is about Money and all its trappings and is based on a man who went mad on the Harbour bridge and threw his kids over and tried to kill himself as well but was stopped. His name was Money.

VERSE 1  Its killing me softly every breath that I take
and it don’t mean a thing all this money I’ve made

VERSE 2 Money stands on the bridge
Sees the lights of his town
As his kids did before him so he follows them down
take me away
so far away

VERSE 3 Money is power money is greed
Money wont stop when you say that that’s all I need
take me away
so far away
and he said

INST

VERSE 4 Money stands on the bridge
sees the lights of his town
as his kids did before him so he follows them down
take me away
so far away
take me away
so far away
so far away

5. Were Living

We’re Living features Richard Adams and Nigel Gavin again with the drumming of Steve Clarkson (the Narcs)
Sarah Spicer adds her twangy vocal nicely in the back. Another hastily written song about ..umm the new world order?

VERSE 1 The woman were dead what could be said for the man
believed to be led by the winners
And losers were crucified in their beds

CHORUS    Were living we haven’t  got a leg to
haven’t got a leg to stand upon
Were giving it isn’t worth a grain of
hasn’t got  a grain of truth in it

V 2 The  speakers were blaring bout life after death
in this vacant lot lets all take another breath
the children were screaming
left on the road a life only hours old
sacrificed by men whose only interest was gold
living life fast and dying old

CHORUS Were living we haven’t  got a leg to
haven’t got a leg to stand upon
Were giving it isn’t worth a grain of
hasn’t got  a grain of truth in it
and so you shout
the cry of the suspects scream lingers in the distance
you do without any artificial crutches
just a little wine he’s bleeding from the holes in his
bleeding from the holes in his hands

INST
VERSE 3 The winners were set putting losers on ice  in their moment of glory a bloody rebellion
shot down in flames by powerful middle class middle men
But the losers regrouped
went down below to the underground
and found something so powerful
solace in the shadows
a strength  in the darkness
a light in the eyes of the young

CHORUS Were living we haven’t  got a leg to
haven’t got a leg to stand upon
Were giving it isn’t worth a grain of
hasn’t got  a grain of truth in it
and so you shout
the cry of the suspects scream lingers in the distance
you do without any artificial crutches
just a little wine he’s bleeding from the holes in his
bleeding from the holes in his back

6.Swinging

This probably is the first song I wrote from the mid 80’s. I won’t count ‘Cold night in Auckland City’. It is another remake off the snakes album. Ross put down another Great! Bass line and this one featured Brendon Power ( the kiwi who recorded with Sting) on Harmonica. Step aside Stevie Wonder. Peter Alison from the Chills added Organ.
The lyrics are so Naff I haven’t included them.

 

7. Say It

This is probably one of the first songs I ever wrote and was on my Snakes record. Ross kept some of the original and overdubbed a big 80s sounding drumbeat and some cracking bass. Gary Verberne from Graham Brazier and Shona Laing fame played a great rhythm and an awesome solo. My singing on this one was patchy. The song is about a girl who left me for my friend. Ouch!

VERSE 1  I’ve been waiting by the phone now
waiting for your call for such a long time
I aint seen hide nor hair
all I want’s to be near
you to be mine

cos I know that you don’t love me
the way you push and shove my heart around
this bed feels cold and lonely
cold and lonely

VERSE 2  Well I know I got possessive
tried to own you like the TV and the video
but you know I’m not aggressive
couldn’t hurt you if tried I think you know

Well you asked me for your freedom
like a fool I said who needs you
I guess I thought you felt the same way
as I do about you

 

CHORUS Why don’t you Say it, say it, Say it, say it
Why don’t you Say it, say it, Say it, say it

VERSE 3 Well I guess I sound a fool cos only an idiot
would wait this long for nothing
cos I’d watch your eyes they’d sparkle
I’d see your lips they’d smile
But you left me for a man
you’ve been burned by him before
and it’s raining in my head now
as I pick my heart back off the floor

CHORUS
INST

VERSE 3  I’ve been waiting by the phone now
waiting for your call for such a long time
been a week now since you left me
left your clothes here  just to haunt me they’re everywhere
Your washings lying in the hall
your photos hanging on the wall. Your perfume lingers
And its not this pain I bear
its just this question ringing in my ears

CHORUS X 2

8. Means to an End

I wrote this one in a hurry about the Say It girl. It has Nigel Gavin and an Acoustic Rhythm and Lead from Ross Mcdermott. On reflection I really like this song but when we play it live it isn’t polished but more like Country Punk.

VERSE 1  The seaside air is killing me
the sun it shines but its not shining

CHORUS I don’t want to talk about it
I don’t want to see your friends
Theres a certain disadvantage
a means to an end
a means to an end

VERSE 2 The night is dark just like my mind
I see the lights across the ocean

CHORUS

BRIDGE Whoa oh oh whoa oh oh woooo

INST

VERSE 3  I cleanse myself out in the surf
the waters cold it feels fantastic

CHORUS

BRIDGE

9. Act of Love

This song and the next one Gold was produced by Terry King at Progressive Studios. It was the only song that got regular airtime on BFM and it featured Nick Smith on Backing Vocal. Peter Alison played Piano Acordian and Weston Prince did a Banjo solo. An odd song but much loved. Yep. It’s about the better times with the ‘Say it’ Girl.

VERSE 1 The clink of her bone bracelets
as she creeps  ever so noisily over
a pile of clothes on the floor
gut busting bone breaking dynamic lovemaking
I think that theres a knock at the door
the neighbours are sorry they acused us of robbery
it was just those redneck children
those renegade redneck children
who got nothing left to do but get bored
so we said not to worry we’ll put out the rubbish
and won’t have crazy parties anymore

CHORUS This act of love is all enough I need to know I am
This act of love is all enough I need to know I am

VERSE 2 Well the bus drivers fiery cos he hasn ‘t got the right change
the chippy is angry he’s been working thirty years
he’s a pissed off old man but he hasn’t got a worry in the world
Theres a couple that I know  and they love one another
but they hurt one another what looks good from the outside while inside they’re falling apart

CHORUS

INST

VERSE 3 Are you embarrassed by nudity you cant take your clothes off
don’t be so angry at things you don’t understand
be good to your woman be good to your man
if I give you a year will you give me my head
wrapped in a ring of gold

CHORUS x 3

 

 

10. Gold

This one is about the Say it Girl ..again. Whew! It featured Brendon Power on Mandolin and old mate Dave Kerr on Guitar. A simple song but good.

VERSE 1 There’s good money in sport
if you’re a man or a woman
winners and losers your ups and your downs
walking down queen street with my friends
the trained killers. I wonder why I march and carry the gun
I wonder why I march and carry the gun
when the flag has been raised on this desert of life
it was men who did it again
it was men who did it again

BRIDGE 1  Everything you touch turns to gold
Everything you touch turns to gold
and you leave all the others behind in the race
I’m not up to match fitness no I cant match your pace
so its goodbye

CHORUS Everyone that loves you, you  can’t help hurting
everytime I touch you your too proud to hold
every day that passes I think what might have been
cos everything you touch turns to gold

BRIDGE 2 Not all news is good news sometimes it can be bad  and bring you down, down
not only the losers who take and don’t give
can bring you down. Right down.

INST

BRIDGE 2

CHORUS

BRIDGE 1

CHORUS Everyone that loves you you cant help hurting
everytime I touch you your too proud to hold
every day that passes I think what might have been
cos everything you touch turns to gold
Every thing you touch turns  to gold
Every thing you touch turns  so cold

11. It’s Over

This song is about my marriage breakup. A bit raw but believable. The fabulous Weston Prince on Piano who helped write the music. Nice song to finish with. The chorus was always a bit too happy for my liking but it is still very soulful. Nice one Wes. Production by Me!

VERSE 1  The evening cold was closing in much colder than the winter.
I sit down by the window and watch the days pass.
Inside the lights were shimmering with static electricity.
Outside the lights had never burned so low. I feel it in me

CHORUS Its over its over
and I will never feel this way again
Its over its over
could you expect to wait around this long

VERSE 2 The leaves had fallen from the trees and with them fell emotion
the autumn of our lives was far away
I wish that I could change this thing with a pocket of tomorrow
but today is nearly here I’m not that strong
it whispers to me

CHORUS

BRIDGE Two tickets for us and a carseat for the baby
we’ve been waiting all year and now its time to go
theres a fire on the beach
and the baby’s in the tent asleep
and we make love to the sound of the sea
was it you, was it me

VERSE 3 I can feel the fires burning me
like the ashes of the home we built
foundation blocks with both feet on the ground
when you go you don’t just take the furniture
youre leaving an emptiness
or could it be the darkness before the dawn

CHORUS X 2