New Old Song

Another cover, a song I wanted to do for decades. I was in a short-lived band called the Femme Fatales in 1981-82, with three girl singers fronting a hard pop/punk band. We played one gig, at CB’s, right after Christmas. I had a cassette off the board that was a remarkable document. The band was nails – me on guitar, Johnny Er on bass, the great Nicky D’Amico on drums and Andy Towns on keyboard and writing the songs. The girls sounded great at practice but on stage they couldn’t hear themselves and were awful. I had no idea. It was always really hard to hear the vocals on that stage, even close to the monitors which I was not. All I knew at first was that the band was nails and that the audience reaction was tepid. About three songs in I figured it out. We were just too loud, which was always the problem with girl singers in rocknroll bands: unless they screamed they couldn’t be heard above the volume. That was then, now it’s a piece of cake with technology. But the band broke up in acrimony right then, too bad because we had another gig a week later at the Left Bank in Mt. Vernon. Which we played with me and Andy singing. I had a tape of that too which is long gone, and I was eager to keep going as we were. but Johnny Er was brought really down cuz he had high hopes for the original lineup, and because he wanted to play guitar.

Anyway, I was trying to talk the Femme Fatales into doing this tune, which I always thought was just begging to be punked up. And finally I got my chance. It was recorded a couple of weeks ago but I accidentally posted the rough mix instead of the final mix. So here it is done as well as I can do it. Lead vocals Cecilia Webber, backups by Claire Webber and Nikki Bechtold, drums by the great Bill Stevenson, bass by Chris Beeble who also twirled the dials, guitars by me. Needless to say, turn it up.


11 thoughts on “New Old Song

  1. For the sake of team spirit, I always wanna say everything original you post, Gene, is great, but this is damn great. No politeness necessary.

    The vocals are excellent.

    Love the grindy guitars.

    The drums, of course.

    I think this is supposed to bop, but for me it kinda throbs. And I like that better.

  2. As usual, I can’t even get people to listen. I have about 1200 Facebook friends, most of whom 1) are music related and 2) I don’t really know, but who are in theory big hipster cognescenti (love that word). When I post songs, maybe 20 of them even bother. I would feel bitter except that I remember that no one listened to whole bunches of great music back in the day. You see, first they had to be told what to like. I know their shameful secret.

    This is the best argument against freedom: people don’t want to be free.

    • Don’t feel bad, Gene. People generally like shit music. The masses are the asses.

      I’ve been seeing some Ed Sheeran video at the gym lately, something about “Castles.” You can’t go a half hour musically these days without running into Ed Sheeran. Yet I watch the video and listen to the song and think, “what in God’s name is good about this?” I can’t come up with one thing. If someone gave me free front row tickets to an Ed Sheeran show, I wouldn’t go.

      That’s popularity.

    • One thing to remember is that when you post, Facebook doesn’t put your post in all your friends’ timelines, so many of them would have to go to your page to see your post. Only people who Follow you see every post. You’re Followed by 25 people. Probably all of them listened.

      To guarantee the rest of your “friends” see the post, you have to pay to boost it.

  3. I feel better already. I take it all back. I’ll look into how much it costs to have the best friends money can buy.

    Never heard of Ed Sheeran and it sounds like I should be glad.

  4. Sheeran is huge. Bob Lefsetz named his Top 10 artists right now. Here’s what he said about Sheeran:


    They turn on you. Too much success and the public revolts. But Sheeran knows it’s about melody and creates singable songs in an era of beats. He paid his dues and collaborates/gives away songs to others, your hatred is misplaced.

    Sheeran seems hateful, he’s insipid, but he’s managed to become a huge star doing the thing nobody else is doing. Writing and singing songs. He’s the John Denver/Elton John of today. Or maybe he’s the Loggins and Messina. I can’t name a song of his, but he’s everywhere.

  5. So writing and singing insipid songs makes you Elton John these days. That makes a lot more sad sense than it should.

    So who is Bob Lefsetz and why should we care who he thinks the Top !0 artists are right now? (And – sad to say – who are the other nine?)

  6. So I checked out “Shape of You” and turns out I had heard it somewhere before, probably my daughter, could have been Meg or Julia. It’s catchy, I can see the Elton John comp, but then EJ was never a fave of mine. He was like Henny Youngman, churning out so many songs that everybody liked one or two. He probably has eight greatest hits albums but he’s entitled to one.

  7. This is really great. Nice lush recording man. Excellent!!!!!!

    I feel your listen pain, Gene. I got three songs from my album as theme songs for pods that get thousands of listeners who constantly ask the hosts “what is that, it is really good, i cannot get that tune out of my head?” and we point to the album, and no one ever buys it.

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