If you’re anything like us, you enjoy demos in part because they provide a glimpse of a now-familiar song “in the wild”: hair mussed, buttons missing, mismatched socks. Just the bones the creature will need. The hair, the socks don’t count at all; presentational concerns are still miles away.
So what’s a song minus the presentational concerns? Typically, they’ll be called demos. If the writer has written a successful demo for a particular song — knows what must be included, and knows what must be cut, some writers — Walter among them — believe that they’ve acquired both a map to ad guardian for the soul of their song,
Walter spoke many times in interviews about both the found and the lost of life with your song. You find your song when you decide that *this* demo, as you've crafted it, has the essentials you need to always recognize if you are to remember its soul, and what of yours you gave it. Walter once described good demo like a fire pot. It will carry what’s alive and crucial in your song wherever you may need to go.
Unfortunately, he also said, it’s all to easy — frighteningly easy — to leave the fire pot behind, or let it’s heat go out; to cover up the essence of your song with things — instruments; arrangements; obsessions over bob essentials, infatuations with process and tools, too much self-consciousness about your own performances — until soon you can’t remember why you even wrote this song in the first place. And unless you scrape all the obscuring stuff off, toss it out and go back to I, finishing this song will become nothing but a soulless slog.
The 4 note refrain of “Paging Audrey…” had been around for at least 10 years. During that time, several women, most pets, one car, and even pasta, for a while, were paged. Ha ha, then, woah! one day, there was a song….with a tale more personal and absorbent of sorrow than i’ve ever seen him tell.
I find Walter’s singing here to be frankly devastating; so open, no ego, utterly unconcerned with public presentation, but palpably attuned to the emotion —the demo’s and his own —as it moved and rolled in every moment, I almost feel I’m eavesdropping into a very private moment; the first communion, at last, between a soulful singer and the essential soul of his partner, the song.
Walter Becker / Larry Klein
© Zeon Music
© Strange Cargo/Downtown Music 2008
In the littlest hours ‘tween the dusk and dawn
While the nightlight glows with the music on
You could climb so high in the dreamtime sky
And go anywhere
In that sometime place ever lost somehow
In the here and gone or the there and now
Did it all go bust — crumble down in dust
Or just slip away
Any random star
Lost and lonely
Somewhere very far
Come in from the cold
In that far-off room drenched in desert sun
Evil words were spoke — dirty deeds were done
Could we sail back there snatch them from the air
I dare anyone
Can we stand right here, call them back and say
Those were never meant to be heard that way
Let the heavens crack — let the day go black
I’d give anything
Somewhere very near
Safe and silent
There you are my dear
In a distant room certain things were said
As the loved one lies on the love-torn bed
And the night rolls on and by light of dawn
You’re not anywhere
This is who we are
On any random star
Come in strong and pure