A Traveller’s Guide to Lost and Later Songs#1

For those who may appreciate some background detail, I offer below my workings. All audio references refer to recordings from the secret playlist, “Lost and Later, Early Days”- https://tinyurl.com/yw657bbs

#1 – Loverboy
On the cusp of lost and later, this song is something of both. Written in the months before the revolution (earliest demo in the files is dated 19th January 2013), I was imagining something like Gene Pitney sings Misirlou, produced by Joe Meek. I remember Loverboy getting its debut at a Hogmanay show in Glasgow’s Old Hairdressers. Halfway through the song, a jolly fellow in high spirits took to the dancefloor and did “the dance of the two ales” (a self-explanatory dance which requires no partner). I took that as a positive sign. The booze equivalent of two thumbs good.
Loverboy retained its place in our live set until the Fabulon pre-production rehearsals. Then, at a summit in the Laurieston bar with producer-in-chief Colin Elliot, the Politburo decided that Loverboy’s face didn’t quite fit the new regime (see also “Ghost Light”). The song committed the youthful folly of trying to say everything and be everything to all people, rather than seeing a world in Blake’s grain of sand. Its sprawling structure didn’t quite hang together and forgot the golden rule of pop music: get to the chorus, get to it already and get there by yesterday (people are busy you know and we don’t have time for your three-minute instrumental breakdown). Compared to “Valentino”, its more popular elder sibling, Loverboy looked like the scruffier black sheep of the family who, perhaps if freed from the burden of fitting in with its peers and trying to impress, may yet come good. It needed time; time that we didn’t have back then. These days, well, it often feels like there’s nothing but time, even as it ebbs away until, all at once, the day has gone, a little like that line in Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”– “How did you go bankrupt?” Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
Anyway, whether we realise it or not, time is, and always will be, pressing. So, Loverboy come in, come in from the cold and tell all the others too, for now is the hour of the outcast. Pariahs of the world unite. Tonight, we run with the underdogs. I still remember where all the bodies were buried and there is going to be a reckoning.

Photo credit – P Felix

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