Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trying to Escape

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDzFQwdwuDM

So far we've looked at We All are Chemicals, Gimme a Beer!, and Just a Shy Guy from my 1983 concept album Alcohol and Other Drugs. By the way, this 11 song collection is available for download from tenthdimension.com/digital, thank you to everyone who have already checked out that link.

To recap: these songs were written for a live theatrical show which toured the high schools of Saskatchewan back then, and the subject of this particular song speaks to the eternal problem of being a teenager and trying to figure out where you fit in. Using alcohol or other drugs as a means to escape the pressures of life? Our hero becomes the victim in this song.

Also to recap: these songs feature my friends Cal Harle on drums and Jack Semple on guitars and bass. Since we were recording this in our basements and living rooms using a Tascam 244 and a Tascam 144 four-track cassette machine back in the pre-midi, pre-ProTools world of 1983, creating a song with this many individual parts and only four audio tracks was a time-consuming process involving lots of sub-mixing and bouncing: both Cal and Jack went above and beyond the call of duty to help me create this album, and Jack and I spent many many hours working on the overdubs for songs like this one.

As I mentioned last time, Cal continues to work as a professional drummer, and also works for my studio as a foley artist. His experience and natural feel make him one of the best in the business at both of those jobs. Jack has become a nationally known guitarist, his main focus has been on R&B, but he's proficient at a great many styles: you'll see what I mean if you check out his music for sale on his website.

With Trying to Escape, we never discover the fate of the song's central figure, a boy named Jimmy Smith. Last time, with Just a Shy Guy, we talked about how these songs relate to the idea of our fifth-dimensional probability space, which is a way of thinking about the quantum superposition of different outcomes that are pre-supposed by Everett's Many World Interpretation. Is Jimmy Smith like Schrödinger's cat, neither dead nor alive but both simultaneously, until we observe him? The truth for that famous cat is artificially simple. For Jimmy Smith and all of us, the possible outcomes from any particular moment are immense, and understanding that none of us are trapped into a single path is the power of this approach to visualizing the dimensions.

- words and music by Rob Bryanton (SOCAN)

He was trying to escape
Any chance he would take
To get to something new
Nothin he wouldn’t do
He was trying to escape

Jimmy Smith was a young boy
Never did so good at school
You know his momma always told him
“Jimmy boy, life is cruel
It’s push and shove and give and take but mostly it’s just give
All it takes is one mistake so careful how you live”
Folks in town started talkin when he went to the doctor
Doc said he could see what the problem was

He was trying to escape…

Jimmy Smith at a party
He was like a boy possessed
He would drink down a twelve-pack
You know his momma never guessed
All the jocks never liked him much cause sports just weren’t his thing
Didn’t fit in with the stoners cause he just liked to drink
Sometimes it felt like he was caught in the middle
Sometimes he felt there was nowhere to go

He was trying to escape…

Whadaya think he was thinking of
What was goin through his head
The night he went out on the highway
When he left the road he was goin a hundred and ten…

He was trying to escape
Any chance he would take
To get to something new
Nothin he wouldn’t do
He was trying to escape
He was trying to escape
He was trying to escape

Next: Livin on the Edge of the World

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