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.