About the Song — “Crazy Around Here”
I’ve decided to write notes describing each of the tracks on Loving Every Other Minute of It. I’ll publish one of these pieces per month until I touch on all ten tracks. Start at the beginning of the series here.
“Crazy Around Here” came about when my producer and cohort Bret Hartley emailed me a drum sample, and he asked me to write a song with the sample as its foundation. I don’t know where Bret got the sample, and since I’d hoped to write a song over it, I didn’t want to know what song it came from. I still don’t know.
What I did know was that I had the perfect bass line for the sample. In truth, I’d had the bass line for 30 years. It was part of a song that I was writing before I’d started playing with Rog and Dusty in the band that would become the Refreshments. At the time, say 1992, I had this bass line and a few lyrics that meant nothing, so I more or less forgot about it. Still, for the next decade or three, I would sing the bass line in my head. The drum sample prompted me to remember it again.
I stuck with the chords for the prechorus from 30 years ago, but I immediately came up with new lyrics:
Little Miss Up All Night
Lost her key ring by the morning light,
But ain’t that sunrise a gorgeous sight from the dune.
So, I had this fun, likable character who maybe doesn’t always make great decisions. That’s plenty on which to base a song.
This dune crawler seemed to lead right to a chorus from a completely different song I’d written with P.H. Naffah, the drummer of the Refreshments, back in 1997. P.H. had come up with a chord progression, and I’d written over it the chorus:
Crazy ‘round here.
Same week and same time of the year.
Everybody knows everybody goes
Crazy ‘round here.
My new chords for the chorus were different from P.H.’s, so I hoisted these lyrics and their melody for my new song. The chorus also came with a cool backing vocal part, so I kept that too. The process was feeling a bit Frankenstein-y — linking all of these old parts together— but I was going with it. Another prechorus — this one about someone in debt — crept out:
Hey, Mr. Bank Account.
It seems you’re not an endless fount.
So, now I had another character, again likable enough, but with his own challenges. It doesn’t take a genius to want to bring Little Miss Up All Night and Mr. Flat Broke together. I wrote verses that fleshed them out as they both travelled to some exotic vacation destination, and I contrived their “chance encounter” in the third verse. After all of this Frankensteining, it became a simple boy-meets-girl song. I hoped my characters might get along, or complement each other, or at minimum have a good time on vacation together.
I talk about the verses of “Crazy Around Here” like they just fell out, but Bret and I went through three different iterations of verse lyrics with roughly that same storyline before landing on the version that made the album. I kept writing verses, and Bret kept kindly suggesting that they weren’t quite there. Songwriting-wise, that makes “Crazy Around Here” the most troublesome song on the album. This troublesome aspect might explain why the song is track 8 on Loving Every Other Minute of It when it could’ve been featured sooner. Two folks who gave the album pre-release listens picked it out as their favorite song. It’s a good thing album sequence doesn’t matter much these days.
Laying down the law,