My friends have probably heard 30 versions of this song. It was the one that everything hinged on for some reason. I felt that if I could get this one right, everything would flow from there. It was brutal.
The words came from an interaction with someone who was being unwaveringly grouchy. After a while, the words kind of became global to me. Hey, I don't care if people know that I think if I ran things, I could brighten this place up considerably. Never fear when Clem is here.
Anyway, back to earth. I had a banjitar loaned to me. Gretchen and my old man Tim Moss gave me info about playing a slide. Jim Bove gave me tips on tuning that helped a lot. The banjitar rules. I put the line out of the guitar into a distortion box, and then mic'd the string sound, that metal slide on that banjo drum head just sounded so cool to me. I took that track and affected it to sound kind of like metal being hit down a hallway. I put bass on the song, distorted, one-finger bass, and what ended up was a very off-sounding song. I really liked it. It'd take me like 4 hours to tune the damn instruments so the final track was warbly and very wierd. But for a long time, I just thought that was how it was going to go.
Heading into the studio to make the record though, I knew it needed the real deal on it. Gretchen came in and played the line I was hearing but played it better and right. Rob with his fretless bass made it beefy, and kept that boing-yness I loved about the original. I still kept the mic'd banjo track though. That was a cool percussive thing that I really wanted to stay.
I must have sung this song 500 times. I was not only trying to make the song good, but also trying to become a singer. The day Gretchen came in to do her final guitar tracks for the record, Rob and I had been drinking black russians all day. We had decided for some ungodly reason that this was going to be the project cocktail. (That lasted two days, thankfully.) Gretchen was having some wine that day and in the evening the studio got very fun. I thought I was done tracking for the day but decided to try a vocal for this song. I had to cut out all of the giggling between the lines because Gretchen and Rob were dancing around and being goofy on the other side of the glass while I was singing.
Next morning, we listened back, figuring it had been a throwaway. Who knew that the missing ingredient in all those vocal tries with this song had been Kahlua.