And I do not like Golden Earring. I have been through their discography a few times, looking for other gems, other songs where the singer's voice and words move me like they do in "Twilight Zone". Even covers they do of other songs I like, I hate by them. I can find no other redeeming work by them. But "Twilight Zone", I can listen to that song on a loop for literally hours. And I know this crosses all genres. I have known punks, cowboys, rockabillys, rockers, light music listeners, classical fanatics that all fall under the spell of this one song.
Is it the lyrics? Is it the bass? Is it the raw desperation in his voice?
And the big question: Without music, with just a voice, can the magic be replicated? And if that is in the realm of possibility, if the raw, open, bleeding performance of the words can be reproduced without the driving bass and suggestive guitar, is my voice the one that can do it?
This morning I am obsessed with that question.
And you know what? I'm not writing to them and asking them. I'm just going to do it. The recording may never see the light of day, but then, my ego being what it is, it may. I asked Johnette Napolitano about performing her music in the spoken realm and she didn't answer me. I take that as a "no", so I'm not asking any more. People don't ask when they do covers of songs. Fuck it, I'm not going to, either. I'm just going to do it.
"The Art of Asking" assumes you have enough Twitter followers to be deigned an answer. It is flawed. I thought it could help me. It can't. And the author has stepped way far away from me in her direction in life. I can no longer identify with her. She is just too big. I'm not finishing the book.
First I have to get a decent copy of the lyrics. One that is not in dispute. Some of what is said is hazy. It would be great if I could figure out how to meld some of the musical elements in with my reading, but that might cross too far over the copyright lines.
My use of Franke Potente's "Believe" under Creative Commons was rejected by Sony, and they banned my "Joan of Arc-type" video of me painting "Joan of Arc-type" to "Believe" in Germany. Fascists. I have fans in Germany. I am half German. I have always had a German following. This displeases me. So, I'm remaking it with a freeplay.com song that I strongly believe is a CL/Hole instrumental. It kept sounding familiar, and the other day it started playing and I started singing along to it. I don't know if she sold the rights to the music or bought the music and used it in one of her songs, or what, but it is an instrumental of one of her songs. I still have my license receipt for it from freeplay, so I'm going to use it.
So, that's prepare to record a reading of "Twilight Zone", estimate how much fucking with it needs to go public, figure out how much of the original music bits I can use to enhance the reading, and do the mixing like I have never done before. I should try to find a karaoke copy of it without the lyrics to use to cut up so I don't have to remove the vocals from the regular mp3 I have. That would save me a lot of time. I want to do this as a tribute to the song, and the band. My aim is to bring it into this century to be appreciated by a different audience. I will only do it if I can get my performance on par with the singer's in emotion and pain and confusion and sudden ugly existential certainty.
And redo "Joan of Arc-type" with legal music because Sony is evil and has absolutely no appreciation for the art of the mad.
Don't forget to answer the pop quiz at the top, I want to hear some opinions on this. You've been speaking up, so I know you're out there, now. Let's hear it. Even if you hate the song, tell me why. I want to know. I need to know.