During the year my old friend Andrew Goodwin has been creating a Dry Rib blog which has featured some of my songs along with much else. When Andrew and Mike Mulholland and I used to play together in said band something very powerful was created which sadly we never really managed to replicate in the recording studio although the 10 tracks that there are go some way to recording the phenomenon if I may call it that.
Anyway Andrew is a brilliant drummer and he writes pretty well too so I would recommend checking out his blog. He’s been loading some of the songs we recorded together plus others done by the later version of Dry Rib without me in it. I think he’s reached the limit of current material there but the last thing that he uploaded was a song called Quail Seed which is on the Clockwork Records’ Dry Season ep (also 1st track on the Messthetics cd Whose Last Trickle). Some of the following information has already appeared on a blog I wrote on the Dry Rib myspace page. (On the subject of myspace I was just talking about it with some other musicians earlier on this evening. Not sure quite how something that was useful was turned so quickly into something that was useless.) But there are a couple of new nuggets floating down the stream.
- the original title when the song was first written was The Chilean Ambassador
- it was written in 1977 in a bedsit at 19 Oglander Road, Peckham, London
- probably in the autumn because I can remember where I was in the room when I wrote the song – near the gas fire
- the eventual title of the song is taken from the title of a short story by Saki
- there is no real connection between the short story and the song
- my favourite rock guitarist is Chris Spedding and I’d like to dedicate the solo to him
- initially there were 4 verses and 4 choruses
- it was Andrew’s idea to run the 1st 2 verses together and dispense with chorus 1
- the missing chorus went like this
no bells at dawn shall clatter bright
no flares shall pierce the sky at night
the petrol pumps have all run dry
and the ambassador of chile has been shot
in the eye
…and for those that can’t be bothered to look any further for the track in question – here it is.