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    - It's come to my attention that perhaps a back story on the album is just as necessary as is the story of the making of it. So here I'll describe how it came about, and describe all of the things about each individual song that most people wouldn't know.
     - In
1996, I was tired of having been a sideman with various bands, and decided to put together an original recording project. Unfortunately, we wound up concentrating too much on covers and paying gigs, and the recording kept getting shelved, mostly due to the lack of a decent drummer. The project remained in a state of flux (due to my own personal life and rotating band members) until 2007, when recording resumed here at Pandemonium, until a devastating equipment failure, and so the project was immediately moved to Faders Music & Recording in Brandon. It was a long, difficult, and expensive process.
     - The resulting
CD combines 3 months worth of recording with 20-some years worth of writing. It is available for purchase by clicking the picture above, or at various retail outlets, and can be purchased for download at iTunes. To describe the songs:

  1. Watch Me Now - just a little guitar riff, and a song written around it in 3 keys. The
      lyircs describe my own personal views of the current societal state, with some personal
      affirmation thrown in for good measure.

  2. Sing - written on the roof of my parents' farmhouse. My life story put to music, I used
      phrases that ex-bandmates had said as inspiration for the chorus. The bridge will always
      be the country music side of my personality, maybe because it's just
G, C, and D.
  3. Hooters Girl - it's no secret that I'm a fan of the Hooters restaurant chain, or that I
      enjoy laughing at people who think that it's something that it's not. The verses are
      meant to be ironic, the chorus is made up of words right off the menu; chicken strips,
     "naked" (unbreaded) wings, "more than a mouthful" burger all became "
Strips,
      naked, more than a mouthful
". There are many undisclosed jokes regarding this song,
      which is why people either love it or hate it, because they don't really know what it's
      about. The
80's and 50's musical themes mirror the musical choices played within the
      restaurant itself; the wah solo is my last jab at those who think
Hooters must be a strip
      club. I keep going there because the staff is friendly and I like the food. Case closed.

  4. Santa Ana - it's a twelve-bar Spanish blues in A minor, with a "talk box" guitar solo,
      and lyrics that compare a fictional lover to the hot and devastating winds in southern
      California. It's actually more of a tribute to the
Joe Walsh-era Eagles than to Carlos
      Santana
, although I chose to add a counter-melody instead of harmonizing the end solo.
 
5. Independence Day - originally written after a bad breakup on July 4th, the theme was
      changed drastically following
9/11. It's not an American theme, it's not all Braveheart,
      either... it's the universal concept that all people, everywhere, deserve to be free.
 
6. Shades Of Blue - a nostalgic look back at every girl I dated in High School, inspired by
     
Chuck Berry (3 chords, mainly) and a pair of sunglasses and some mini-blinds. Written
      in
10 minutes at 6:20 PM on a Sunday in April of 1998 (band practice was at 6:30).
  7. It Belongs To You - just a basic love song, based on actual events that lead absolutely
      nowhere, and I've never been more relieved.

  8. Gotta Get Outta Here - I started writing this one when I was a teenager, and over the
      years I'd find myself coming back to it, re-writing it the same way every time. The only
      real studio trick was to make the tapped guitar solo stereo. Almost emo, in a way.
 
9. Betty Cooper - an ode to the perfection of girls in comic books, specifically Betty from
     
Archie Comics. She'll bake you cookies, tutor you in algebra, help you fix your car, and
      still look great in a prom dress. What more could a guy want?

10. Three Foot Daisy - another love song based on a true story. I couldn't sleep one night,
      and found myself on the living room sofa looking across at this giant picture of a
      flower on the opposite wall. I had been saving it for the upcoming acoustic record, and
      I'll be putting a new version of the song on it, once the home studio is operational.

11. Stand Up - the lyrics are fairly motivational, and begin with a quote from Shakespeare,
      and end with one from
John Wayne. Not what I'd intended when I first played the
      guitar riff, but it's anthemic enough, I suppose.

12. No Superhero - really personal. I've gone through hell in my life, and even though I've
      occasionally been wronged publicly, when the truth comes to light, the apologies have
      always been private. That makes for a good
Spider-Man plot, but tends to suck in one's
      own reality. Me expressing the bitter frustration of always trying to play the silent, tragic,
      flawed and misunderstood hero, walking the fine line between failure and success. Lyrics
      written in an
E.R. waiting room. Dedicated to those who put others before themselves:
      cops, firefighters, nurses, parents. Personal satisfaction isn't always reward enough.

13. Peace For Christmas - dedicated to the men and women in armed service protecting the
      concept of democracy at home and overseas. I played everything on this one, except for
      drums, which was the last track: a one-day session, at the end I had nothing left.
                                                            
* * * * *
So, that's the story. Click on the song titles in
blue to listen to them & read the lyrics. -Alan
Dr. Alan Gillies
Snowball In Hell: A Decade Invested In Esoteric Rock and Roll
Snowball In Hell