From its quietest point, the
album here returns to the loud electric guitar, as Rockin' Johnny Fial
(pictured here in session, July 2004) wrings the neck of his unlucky
Fender Stratocaster like a psychotic turkey farmer late for
Johnny, almost unique among rockers in being very fit and very cheerful,
is a shredding player of the Hendrix school of wails, whom I know from
our days playing together in Miami rock band Slide Area, an ensemble
notable mainly for its succession of extremely loud lead guitarists.
Engineer Mark Hornsby's background is in the Nashville scene, and so he
appeared to have some difficulty in lowering his gain levels
sufficiently to accommodate the shattering volume levels Johnny assured
us he needed to get his tones ("I gotta get my tones, man!"). Mark's
technical explanation to me, as he quickly pulled off his headphones for
the umpteenth time, was: "he's too $%#@*in' loud!" which in this case
was exactly what we were going for.
The track, even with a fade-out, is an unapologetically long duelling-guitars
workout in which my own heavily processed lines played at my top speed -
slowly - contrast with Johnny's frenetic shriek in an attempt to produce
something of a musical analogue of the conversation and domestic drama
which are the subjects of the lyric. The track also includes the rest of
Slide Area: myself, Bob Miller on bass, and Doug "The Love Machine"
Freeman on drums, along with the return of the girls Tali, Leigh, and
Jodi on harmonies. Leigh fulfilled a long-held ambition by putting in
the Dark Side of the Moon scat on the bridge. There's also a visit by
the mighty John Camacho (The Goods, Mongo, The Beethose, etc.) on organ.
John's studio demeanour was like that of all the players I had the
honour to work with on this album: evincing a calm, courteous and
inspiring professionalism you might not necessarily expect from their
often frankly crazed stage personae.