After some time having abandoned my guitar, I finally took it with motivation. The result was “Home”. And for the album the first song I wrote was “self-Portrait”. I’ve been a long time seeking a song like this: acoustic guitar and no much more. Maybe a voice with a fair echo. Slow and relaxed folk.
As an starting point two very clear references: “Don’t find the way home” from Blid Faith and the “Sea Changes” album from Beck.
The result was this lucky mantram (first and last time I have recorded voice so far). Composed to make your mind wander for a while … or maybe to meditate. And as the humanists would say, to find yourself.
Our man is not wearing the apropiate clothes for a hot day. His coat, winded around his arm, is about to skim the dry and dusty stones of the railroad. Meanwhile he tries hard to step on the old sleepers to make his way easier along the rails. Sweat trickles down his forehead and his shirt has too many buttons undone for an elegant man like him. Carries his short brim hat in his right hand.
An empty platform with a bench in the shade, hosted by a small roof standing on its old wooden legs. The perfect resting place. He sits on the bench, gently drops his coat to his side and puts his hat on his lap. Dries his face with his carefully folded handkerchief. Then he puts it away and from his other pocket takes out a small sheet of paper. He looks at it, closes his eyes and lets his head fall back. At that moment the fuzzy colors of a long train hide our man and the old platform. And right after all that unexpected and loud roar, the rised dust fades out and lets us see the smile of our friend.
We leave him looking at his piece of paper, under that roof, with those broken tiles. We manage to distinguish an old factory. The end is yours or nobody else’s. Actually it doesn’t matter.”
Many time melodies come to your mind with a voice. And when one can’t and shouldn’t sing (you gotta hear me to understand), it is very likely that the voice is coming from some singer that you fancy. And you hear the lyrics interpreted by that person that for some reason you identify the song with.
The main melody from John & Joe, accordion and piano at the end, was sung to me by Bob Dylan one day when I was working. And Lennon showed the rest of the song to me later that day. Suddenly The Band and The Plastic Ono Band got mixed in my mind, what a thrill.
And everything was going alright until in the middle of the recording Strummer and his Mescaleros claimed their part. Strummer’s cover impressed me almost as much as his Redemption Song cover from Bob Marley.
So I recorded the track, easy part, but then I had to decide who was going to sing this, Joe or John.