Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jim Carroll workshop - continues - 6


                                              [Sherlock Holmes -  illustration by Sidney Paget




transcription of Jim Carroll's 1986 Naropa workshop continues

JC: Now I'm going to play this..

(JC: here, can you cue this up? first song on Side A - Student: Sure)

This is some of the stuff. I shouldn't really play this either, but this is the stuff with a couple of new songs I wrote with me and  (Ray) Manzarek - I think this one's called.. This is a real rough mix. I made.. I had the engineer make it while the guitar guy was doing his lead lines.. so.. I figured I just wanted to write songs now that had a kind of, you know, didn't have anything  heavy happening in them, in a certain way. And I'm a real Sherlock Holmes fan, so.. I think, the day before..  I wrote this, the day before I'm flying out there to make the demos, the good demos, in the fancy studio, and we had - what was it? - Well, I saw, like, a Sherlock Holmes thing on [tv] on Channel 13 Mystery Theater - and I was thinking - And, on the plane, I wrote this lyric.

[Jim deciphers the lyrics] - I think it says: -  "I want to put my mind and find a proper solution just like Sherlock Holmes/I want to lay in a couch and figure things out just like Sherlock Holmes/I want…  At first I put "I want to lay on a sofa and figure things out.." These are the little things you find when you're singing it. "Lay on a sofa" and then you realize I want to "lay on a couch" and "figure things out". You know, "a couch" and "out" are a lot better than "sofa"and "out". If I said "I want to lay on a sofa and think things over", that might have been okay! - "I want to lay on a sofa and read the author" - But and then..what..and where does it go? - 

And then.. but whre does it go? - there's a little change in the music and then it goesI want to catch that man in Central Park/who leaps from bushes in the dark - a little pause - "A shaved head.. - and a synth-line or a jump.. snare - (I told the (engineer) I wanted a snare-hit then but (Ray) Manzarek said, "No, let them play a synth line there" - "A shaved head - [Waaa  - JC imitates the synthesizer] dressed like a loggerattacking random twilight joggers. And this version doesn't have it, but then it goes, "And on every corpse, he leaves strange poems/But I'm going to snag him just like Sherlock Holmes" - (This one just has  "But I'm going to snag him just like Sherlock Holmes"). Then it goes into a little instrumental that says… The bridge is.. "I want to stand up straight, stand up tall/I want to win the final battle at the waterfall"/ "I want to play the violin, be left for months alone/never hear the dial tone on a telephone"/ "When it rings, I'm a total wreck/It's like pliers tightening around my neck"/ "I feel these mysteries in my soul/I feel them just like Sherlock Holmes" - And then the last verse is, "I want a doctor like Watson to amaze and dazzle, just like Sherlock Holmes"/"I want to hide my secrets in Morroccan slippers.." [that's where he hid his syringe  - "the seven -percent solution" - (I'm) a real Holmsophile - holmsophile? - that doesn't sound right, does it! - shit!) - 

And then there was.. how does it go? - "I want to.. I want do something then.. it's that same change..I want to..  I forget that part. And then it goes 'I want to.. "  It says something and then it says "I want to.. I want to find that trash that finds a means to kill/that is worse than the hounds of the Baskerville(s)" /And uncover women at uptown parties/who agents for Professor Moriarty"/ They got blow-guns and good darts disguised as combs/But I'm going to catch them just like Sherlock Holmes"
So that one - I'll play that one, and then I'll play a song that is a little more relevant to something. 

[It's a good band, a good band - Rough mix though - deaf engineer, chickenshack studio with the rain falling on the roof … ] - Jim plays the "rough mix" of his Sherlock Holmes song. Here it is recorded by Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers (sic) [from the album Twisted Tales (posthumously released, 2013]   


It has a real long fade I don't want to subject you to it, you know…

to be continued


[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately forty-six-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately fifty-four-and-a-quarter minutes in]  

1 comment:

  1. I'm a little bewildered that Carroll would have missed a track off a album released in 1982 - by Sparks - that had a song with an identical theme (including "synth riffs" and all!)called Sherlock Holmes off their Angst In My Pants album! Lines like 'Dogs, bark and he knows their breed.' and 'I can dance like Sherlock Holmes. I can sing like Sherlock Holmes. But I can't be Sherlock Holmes.' Says everything you need to know about wanting to solve life's mysteries, but with a sense of self-revelry and humility that gratuitous beat poetry. By the way, the rough take is FAR better than before the transparent commercializing effects of Manzarek's guitar were added. Hindsight is 20/20, but Sparks were/are always ahead of the times, maybe their SH was too stealthy?

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