Friday, 10 February 2012
The Limbo Diaries. 15. 'Ghostwritten' (continued)
TJ: We plan to start ‘Ghostwritten’ today. Marcus was at my place last night. Hungover and (in my case) flued up, we drive in convoy to the studio. En route, doing about 90mph on the motorway, my rear tyre explodes. In a display of Mansellesque brilliance, I control the car and survive unscathed. Marcus changes my tyre. I watch. By the time we get to the studio I’ve lost my voice. Shock, hayfever or flu?
We start on ‘Ghostwritten’. The song was originally going to be a quiet piano thing. We decide that maybe it should be more ‘up’, more of a celebration. We try to use the feel of ‘Quiet Heart’ by the Go Betweens as the rhythmic template. It leads us elsewhere. I play some clipped, chuggy acoustic chords to shape the song. Marcus doubles this with a pumped bass, then adds a Hammond part to colour the chords. I jangle some telecaster chords, and work on a really simple pick that we then echo with a synth’ sound. The musical hook was to be played by a horn but we try it on guitar. I remember seeing Steve Earle play at the Town and Country Club in Kentish Town years ago, and how when he played ‘Guitar Town’, he had about eight different guitarists all playing the very simple main riff. It sounded fantastic! We try the same thing. It sounds fantastic! (I’ll let Marcus list, and spell, the guitars played) Marcus adds some tambourine, and I head off home, into the sunset, burning fresh rubber.
MC: Ah, waking up at chez Jones’ hungover, a now quite familiar feeling. As we were running a bit late I wasn’t hanging around as we sped down the A3 into London that morning. I was keeping an eye on Trev in my mirror as I take a different route so I didn’t want him to get lost. The large puff of blue smoke that emanated from the Mazda was quite spectacular and my first thought was ‘oh shit he’s blown his engine’. When we pulled over and I got out of the car I could smell burning rubber which was a relief. Changing the off side wheel at the side of a motorway is an experience I don’t want to repeat too often. Bending over with your arse poking into the nearside lane whilst trucks pass you by inches at 70 mph is a lesson in vulnerability.
Well we got to the studio in the end, and started ‘Ghost Written’. Once the drums were sorted I put down a bass part on my 1962 precision through the Meek VC1Q. The Hammond was added to give the song some harmonic base. The ensuing guitar fest’ included, Epiphone 335, De Almond Les Paul with P90’s, Fender Tele and Strat, all recorded through the Pod Xt pro. The tambourine part was quickly recorded with the vocal mic that was still on from earlier. Job done, another good day at the hit factory.
Trev is now departing for his holidays, little does he know I am plotting our first gig in his absence...