May 22, 2018

Paging Audrey (Demo)

19 comments

Edited: May 22, 2018

 

 

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.

 

 

PAGING AUDREY

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

 

Paging Audrey

Any random star

Lost and lonely

Somewhere very far

Paging Audrey

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

 

Paging Audrey

Somewhere very near

Safe and silent

There you are my dear

Paging Audrey

Anybody home

 

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

 

Paging Audrey

This is who we are

Do remember

On any random star

Paging Audrey

Come in strong and pure

May 22, 2018

It's like a glimpse behind the curtain...love this.

May 22, 2018

Fantastic. Emotionally crushing. Nuff said

May 22, 2018

Thank you. So beautiful and raw.

May 22, 2018

Love it! Thank you

May 22, 2018

Sublime. Heartfelt. Pure Becker. Miss you.

May 22, 2018

Fantastic! Thanks so much for this...

May 22, 2018

I bet a demo of Upside Looking Down would have a similar effect on me!

May 24, 2018

I was recently thinking about which CM song I could even say is my favorite, if I absolutely HAD to, I settled on Paging Audrey! Bout a week ago! Ugh, killing it here!!

May 24, 2018

TBD, I totally agree...followed by 'Upside Looking Down'.

May 24, 2018

'This Moody Bastard' is my fav from 11TOW.

May 24, 2018

@hourstuff, see now you're tumbling down a list that I find nearly impossible to put in a column :-). I guess they go across in a row!

May 24, 2018

I love this so much. Thanks for sharing it with the world of WB!

I sat at my piano last night playing this song, and it's just...indescribably good.

 

Upside Looking Down into Paging Audrey might be the best back to back songs combo in SD/DF/WB catalog. Just so amazing. But this song. The way that the bass part mirrors the vocal...just so much. And I think this song is the best argument for a Circus Money, or even a Walter Becker, Songbook. Who wouldn't want to play this?

Matt: if not the overall best back-to-back, at least the most emotionally wrenching or heartbreaking. Bring on the Upside Looking Down demo!

@Tony Favia If this back to back is rivaled, it is only by Aja -> Deacon Blues. But I'm giving this set the edge because Circus Money is so much more generous in it's total number of songs, and it seems therefore less likely that two back-to-back should be so damn fine.

@Matthew Kerns I'd also go with Bodhisattva/Razor Boy, Black Cow/Aja and New Frontier/Nightfly. I'd put all of those right up there in the same category with ULD/PA

Feb 16

This is my very, very, very favorite song on the album....

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