Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays.

I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a very pleasant holiday season. It's been four years since we lost Vic, and even though it still seems like yesterday, I hope that there's been time for healing and reflection.

Here's a great reminder of better times and yuletide joy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zotIeyWrxWA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N60FHDw2-NE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNir8_KZCws

Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks for the continued support.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, Vic.

Vic would have been 49 today. He is missed.

Here's a little snippet showing just how much fun the man was. (Thanks to my friend Scott for the video.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5EPuKQDLRs#t=24

Also, thanks for all the kind words regarding this blog. I am decided to keep it active, although I can't promise consistent output.

I will do my best though.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

To continue or not: that is the question.

I know I haven't dedicated nearly enough time to maintaining this blog, but what I have put in has been heartfelt and sincere, with the purpose always being to keep the spirit of Vic's music alive and in our hearts and minds, and to honor the man who left such an impact on the lives of so many.

My question to you is this? Do you need my assistance to do that?

Honestly, I've had some of the wind taken out of my sails recently, in regards to my role in the Vic community, as well as to this blog. Yet, despite several very generous comments and some unexpected praise in media circles, I am considering hanging it up.

I don't want to, but I also feel somewhat compelled to.

As a result, I've been pondering a few basic questions.

Is this blog a benefit to you (the readers) or is it just the meanderings of a fan boy?
Is it of the caliber and is it interesting enough to warrant repeat visits and enjoyment?
Is it educational and does it serve the purpose that was intended?

I'd love some feedback, please.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Nathan"- West of Rome (Re-issue), New West Records 2004


On June 15, 2004 , when New West Records re-released Vic's first four albums in expanded form, some of Vic's most inspired (albeit unreleased) work was finally available for the masses... namely  Confusion, Parameters, Elberton Fair and the long lost masterpiece Nathan.

Vic and his 'Little Sharpie.'
Peter Sillen's short film about the making of 'West of Rome' called "Speed Racer: Welcome to the World of Vic Chesnutt" featured a short, live rendition of both Nathan and the song Flying... another lost masterpiece. Nathan was written and recorded during that period right after Vic left California (he had moved there from Athens following the recording of Little) and moved back to Georgia. By all counts, this was an incredibly creative and fruitful period in Vic's life.


In the liner notes for the re-issue of 'West of Rome' Vic's annotation for Nathan simply says 'Inspired by the Kafka Diaries.'


Simple enough, right? Well, not really. Franz Kafka's diaries were written between 1910 and 1923, in German, and in an attempt to spark creativity for his other writings, focused on philosophy, dreams, observations, lore and feelings. They are an interesting and daunting read, and as a whole contain a lot of info and fodder for Vic to absorb.
So, where did the narrative for Nathan actually come from? The protagonist of the story, Nathan, reflects back on the remembrances of  his relatives, while visiting an old, abandoned homestead. The lyrics are heavy, and evocative and rife with the history of this family. There's sickness, death, unhappiness, shame, hardships, heartbreak, piety and tradition. It's a heavy song... and it's all based on one specific writing by Kafka.

Franz Kafka
"My Hebrew name is Amschel, after my mother's maternal grandfather, whom my mother--she was six at the time of his death--remembers as a very pious and learned man with a long white beard. She remembers how she had to hold on to the toes of the corpse while asking his forgiveness for whatever wrongs she may have done him. She remembers her grandfather's many books lining the walls. He bathed in the river every day, even in winter, when he had to chop a hole in the ice. My mother's mother died before her time of typhoid fever. Her death so affected the grandmother that she became melancholy, refused to eat, spoke to no one, and, one year after her daughter's death, went out for a walk and never returned; they pulled her corpse out of the Elbe River. Even more learned than my mother's grandfather was her great-grandfather, equally renowned among both Christians and Jews. Once, during a conflagration, his piety worked a miracle; the flames spared his house while devouring all the others around it. He had four sons; one converted to Christianity and became a physician. All of them died young, except for my mother's grandfather. He had one son, whom my mother knew as Crazy Uncle Nathan, and one daughter, my mother's mother."


So, in this one passage from Kafka, dated December 25th, 1911, lies the catalyst for one of Vic's greatest songs.

Vic said it best... "It was like I was writing a movie for this little faith ya know? Like I was writing for this, um, for this passage,  very short passage in Kafka Diaries....(it's a) quality song. One of my favorites."

And whether or not Kafka found his own inspiration in the scribblings of his diaries, we'll never know. What is known is that Vic had a special way of taking the most generic of passages... basically a dry, stale, piecemeal account of a man's family history and making it his own, and in turn recording what I consider one of his greatest, long-lost tracks.

Nathan was given live airings dozens of times between 1991 to 2006. It was first demoed as a just a simple solo Ukulele song and then later recorded as a three piece with Vic again on Uke, Tina on bass, Jeffrey Richards on drums (as 'Little Sharpie'.) It was performed during the mid-90's with the 'Scared Little Skiffle Group' (featuring Tina on bass, Jimmy Davidson on drums and Alex McMcManus on Guitar) and also aired during several of Vic's European solo jaunts in the early 2000's. Nathan finally came full circle when it was last performed with The Undertow Orchestra in Athens, in 2006. Each version as good as the last.

Vic performing Nathan from 'Speed Racer.'
It's a masterpiece of songwriting and worthy a revisit of you haven't listened to it in a while. A 'quality song' as Vic called it.

I concur.

NATHAN

The great grandfather with his pious beard
Bathed in the river, all his years
Many books, that lined his walls
Jews and gentiles, held him in awe

Nathan stepped through the broken window
And looked to the river where his mother once floated
Nathan stepped through the broken window
And looked to the river where his mother once floated

He had four sons, all healthy and proper
One was converted, became a christian doctor
His daughter filled with typhus and succumbed
He grew quiet his wife fell dumb

Nathan stepped through the broken window
And looked to the river where his mother once floated
Nathan stepped through the broken window
And looked to the river where his mother once floated

His granddaughter recalled, the day he died
She was six years old, frosted with fright
She clutched the toe, the stiff cold toe
And renounced the wrongs only she could know

Nathan stepped through the broken window
And looked to the river where his mother once floated
Nathan stepped through the broken window
And looked to the river where his mother once floated

For more info about Franz Kafka: http://www.kafka.org/

Here's the studio cut from the 2004 re-issue of "West of Rome."


And the complete performance from 'Speed Racer" (Unreleased) (NOTE: Not the greatest fidelity)


A solo performance from Vic's show in Amsterdam, Holland - April 10th, 2000
And finally the last known performance with the Undertow Orchestra, from Athens, February 8th, 2006


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Philip Guston", At The Cut, 2009

When I started this blog a couple of years ago, the intent was to focus on not only Vic's music, but also his art. Although Vic never considered himself an artist he most certainly was and his unique style and approach makes his art as recognizable as his music.

In his own words...


"I first started painting on poster board to illustrate songs for use as visual aids on stage. But when lots of people asked if they could have them, I was encouraged to branch out. I feel like I paint like a little kid. And for the same reasons—because it’s fun. My skill level is like that of a kid, I think. Mostly I paint symbolic figures in action to convey some sort of humor and poetry.

The sensation of painting is different from playing music, but it’s hard to describe. The visual feedback is magical, spreading colors where there was blankness is thrilling to me. Also, I find painting is a kind of muse re-setter. If I’m uninspired, I can sketch out a figure with a sword or fishing rod in its hand and suddenly, my creative spark is clicking again. And where sometimes the pressure to write heavy, moving songs can be stifling, painting is free and exhilarating."
-Interview for Paste Magazine 


In addition to the visual aids that Vic used on stage early in his career, he also often created (or designed) his own album covers. This allowed the work to remain a complete representation of the mood and feeling of the album. He also, reluctantly, would show his paintings, or drawings, in exhibitions. Sadly, unlike another singer cum painter, Daniel Johnston, there are scarce few representations of his work to be found in public forums. Vic's ability with a pen was of course limited due to his handicap, but nevertheless, his approach to line work was as interesting as his approach to syllables.
Vic's Studio

In an interview for New Stateman, Vic was asked about art and his take on it.
Does art make a difference? At the very least it makes a huge difference to the artist. But rock'n'roll changed the world - so did hip-hop.
Should politics and art mix? Politics and art are mixed. Art developed and exists as it does today because of political patronage. From cave paintings and Stone Age Venus figurines to classical architecture, Byzantine church mosaics, Renaissance masterpieces and the entire National Portrait Gallery . . . it's all political propaganda. Then there is art as populism: Guernica, Goya, Mark Twain, Bob Dylan's "Masters of War", M*A*S*H. In the beginning, rock'n'roll was by its very nature political, populist propaganda.
Does money corrupt an artist? Not if they are rich already. And frankly, sometimes when money and artists mix, great things happen. Of course, a hungry artist is very different from a sated one.
Is your work for the many or for the few? Um, have you ever heard my music? I would say 20 years of doing my thing has proven it's for the few, no matter what be my wishes or pretensions, ha!
Which artist do you most admire? To write it down seems strange and I tried hard for a long time, especially in the beginning, to resist his charms, but dammit, I think Basquiat is my favourite painter.


I too am a fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat. His post graffiti, neo-expressionist style, coupled with his love for words and the dichotomy of life makes him a favorite of mine. I can understand Vic's affinity for his work, and honestly, a similarity in styles between the two.

Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Self Portrait", 1982

During an interview for a German documentary on his music and art, Vic said...


 Detail from a 1998 German documentary on Vic's artwork entitled
"Songs, Stories and Pictures."
"I don't want people to think... "Oh! He's a musician so he thinks now that he's a painter too." I didn't want to do this. They MADE me do this. For maybe 10 years I've been drawing a little bit...painting and drawing. It's quite fun for me, and I don't take it very seriously. And, um, it's good for my mind, you know. I can clear my mind. It's like meditation in a way. I get messy like a little kid, you know? It's like playing with paints, you know. It's quite fun."



Vic's art is playful, yet very engaging. He may not have taken himself seriously as an artist, but his work stands up surprisingly well, and his creativity is quite advanced. His paintings are far more involved than his drawings, understandably, yet both still feel like they come from the same hand.  I really with that there were more representations of Vic's creative outlets, because I am fascinated by his view of life.


Here  is an small assortment of Vic's non-commercial work.

"Dance", Oil on Canvas


'Happy Hippy Chick in the Morning'- Marker on poster board.



 Another detail from the 1998 German documentary on Vic's artwork. 
And another detail.



And here are examples of some of Vic's commercial work.



'Watching the Sleeping Man' 7" single A-Side


Watching the Sleeping Man' 7" single B-Side

Cover for the 'Howl- A Farewell Compilation of Unreleased Song' vinyl which included a song by Vic, and also a song by his Grandfather 'Sleepy' Carter.

Alternate Cover for 'What Another Man Spills' by Lambchop
'The Salesman and Bernadette', 1998

"Skitter on Take-Off" cover, 2009

One of Vic's artistic heroes was Philip Guston. 




Philip was a Canadian transplant who established himself among the 'New York' school of abstract expressionism during the 1950s. Much like Vic's musical career, Guston changed his style from the simplicity of abstractism to a more subtle representational art and even later to a stylistic, cartoonish approach. Vic's admiration was probably due, in part to, the fact that Philip was often a tortured, complex soul, painting his world in a way that confronted his demons and allowed for some sense of empowerment. I can't help but feel that Guston's story made sense to Vic and as a result. Vic empathized and ultimately had to be drawn to his work.Vic made a habit of naming his songs after people whom he admired, or at least intrigued by (Lucinda Williams, Steve Willhoughby, Zippy Morocco, Lillian Gish, etc) and so his admiration for Guston is obvious. 


The song itself stands out as a tour de force on an album that includes some of Vic's strongest compositions.  The song's brash, chugging rhythm, off-set by the simplistic lyrics is in such deep contrast to songs like 'Coward' and 'It Is What It Is" that it can't help but stand out. 

Speaking of the lyrics, here's Vic's take on their meaning...
"This song is called Philip Guston. I love this painter. All the lyrics...you see I think Pitchfork accused this song of being...stupid. All the lyrics come from Phillip Guston. Either words on his paintings or titles of songs. It's a heavy song - they're fucking idiots." 

What Pitchfork actually said was this...
"...the lyrics of "Philip Guston" are quite minimal, serving as a bit of seasoning for a broken-down violin and guitar jam."  

Regardless, both Vic and Pitchfork are correct. It is a heavy song, seasoned with minimal lyrics and, in essence, the opposition of the two styles works surprisingly well. I often prefer the live representations of Vic's songs over the polished studio tracks, and in this case, the live version is (in my opinion) VASTLY superior. Unfortunately, 'Philip Guston' was performed only a handful of times, and almost symbolically, Vic's final performance is the greatest version of this song available. Vic stretches out the words, and you feel as though he is just on the verge of cracking when he sings the lyrics. His 'line variation' of the word 'line' is worthy of being remembered as one of his greatest onstage moments. 






Here's the Studio Cut: 



And here's a live cut from Vic's final show in Austin, Texas on December 5th, 2009.








PHILIP GUSTON
"Cellar", 1970
The hand, the hand,
The hand, the hand,
The hand, the hand,
Thoughts of another finger
Typing down into a cellar
The line, the line
The line, the line
The line, the line
The line, the line
The line, the line
The line, the line
"The Line", 1978.
The line, the line
The line, the line

A fame A fame A fame for nothing
Pile, pile of cherries
And oh, I shouldn't think
Like gravity


"Cherries", 1974


"Untitled (Cherries)", 1980
"Bad Habit", 1970 
Bad habits
Bad habits
Bad habits
Bad habits






Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Superglue"- Unreleased, Late 1980s.



Having been a Vic collector since the mid 1990s, I am always a fan of unreleased songs (See: Amazing Little Parlor Games) http://debriefingthemusicandartofvicchesnutt.blogspot.com/2011/07/amazing-little-parlor-games-volumes-1-9.html

I've spent countless hours searching the web, referencing setlists, reading interviews...all in the hopes of learning more about the depth of Vic's recorded works. The man was prolific, to say the least.

Vic mentioned that he had hundreds of unreleased songs, and I can believe it. It wasn't out of character for him to write a song and then play it in front of an audience that very evening. He was all the time testing the waters. Whenever I would go see him play, I always had a secret hope that he would debut a shiny, brand spanking new song that night. Sometimes I did indeed get lucky...especially if Vic knew that I was recording the show. He always seemed to dig the 'Parlor Games' comps and I think he liked the idea of having a recording down for posterity.

In my quest to find these unreleased gems, I've always had a short list of songs that hovered in my periphery...songs that were like whispers, and that I just had to locate. Some were one-off performances and others early nuggets from his Tuesday night residencies at the 40 Watt. My fear has often been that these rare songs just disappeared into the ether and were lost forever.  One of these songs was the song 'Superglue.' I know of only one live performance and, up until recently, was unaware of any demos or studio recordings. Thankfully, my fears were unwarranted and I now have both to share with you (albeit the live version is truncated.)

The demo version recently dropped in my lap (along with a slew of other early demos/sessions) and it's a fun, albeit rough, listen. Kelly Keneipp wrote the music while Jack Logan and Vic sang over Vic's almost indecipherable lyrics. It was recorded at Kelly's studio, in Winder, GA, sometime around 1988 to an old 8 track machine. I don't think it ever got a full, professional treatment. The choir of background vocals were all performed by Jack.  (Thanks to Kelly Keneipp and Jack Logan for the specifics.)

The live version comes from an Athens, GA show in 1992 that was promoted as the "Beat Bush Bash." Vic's set was rife with anti-George Bush comments and chants of "Bush is a woosh!" It was an unusual ending to a fun, anti-politico set, and the performance is very different than the demo from a couple of years prior. I believe that Vic is performing with The Skiffle Group, with Tina on bass, Alex McManus on guitars, and Jimmy Davidson on drums.

As for the song itself...it's slightly different from the early Vic that we've come to know and love. Somehow though, it fits into the musical canon from that time. Lyrically, there are references to psychopaths, philosophy, and hanging someone from an I-beam (which is a reference to a vintage TV add for Krazy Glue, where a man in a hard hat is glued to a beam, and suspended from on high.)

Due to the quality of the demo, the lyrics are not fully intelligible, and unfortunately, I have failed to accurately transcribe them. What can be deciphered, however, comes through with an accusatory tone....with warnings of the trappings of addiction and the cause and effect of 'doing glue.' I wish I knew more about who this song was directed towards, but at this moment, that info seems to be forever lost.

Nevertheless, it's still an interesting listen, of a rarely documented aspect of Vic's early career. Most of the early recorded output from Vic is as a solo troubadour, and rarely with a band... let alone background vocals. It's in such stark contrast to 'Little' which makes this such a gem. I for one, thoroughly enjoy Vic wrapping his southern drawl around the word 'super gloooooo' and the addition of the ad hoc guitar solo is just icing on the cake.

Enjoy this rarity, and if you feel so inclined, I would appreciate some help with deciphering the lyrics.


LYRICS

Just as easy as possible you redo every little thing.
With a tight grip on on the joystick and a loose lipped philosophy.

Super Glue, might hold you to that I-beam, but doing glue won't hold you to anything.

Whatever it takes to float your boat, yeah, take the trash and throw it in the moat.
Drop the bridge and span the ledge, ???????? whose looking through the hedge.

Super Glue, might hold your smile from ear to ear, but doing glue won't rinse off without a smear.

Crack the bat against this psychopath.
Bask in the glory of the aftermath.

It's amazing to watch you work, yeah your pissed position is without a flaw.
The way you keep them sliding on and on ?????

Super Glue might hold you to that I-beam, but doing glue won't hold you to anything

You are master of the measly, yeah ??????
If a tasting just ain't a drag. yeah their ain't no voices in your head to nag.

Super Glue, might hold your smile from ear to ear, but doing glue won't rinse off without a smear.


Here's the demo version from the late 1980s



And here's the only known live version, recorded at the 40 Watt Club, on October 17, 1992.
(Big thanks to Captain  Bogart for the recording!)



And here's a completely unrelated video for that Krazy Glue commercial from 1980.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Danny Carlisle"- Little, 1990 New West records (Re-issue)

Vic's debut, 'Little' will always hold a special place in my heart. To me, it's the truest representation of what his music was all about, especially compared to some of the more polished, ensemblic albums that came later. The fact that Vic's final album 'Skitter on Take-Off' hearkens back to the formula of this debut speaks to that thought. The simplistic, yet powerful introduction to Vic's music is very defining... not only the sound that Vic was looking for at the time, but also the man that he felt he was.

Prior to this solo venture, Vic was a member of several bands in the Athens and surrounding areas...including Random Factor, Angle Lake, The Screaming IDs, Mr. Greenjeans and most notably The La Di Das. That band was known for its raucous, unruly, punkish, drunken rock and roll. Vic played keyboards and provided lyrics to the group. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the La Di Das style didn't suit Vic's intention for his music..it was just too raw. His thought process of the time was that 'troubadourish' music was heavier than punk rock, and subsequently that's why his debut album is titled 'Little.' His philosophy that 'quiet and little' could be more powerful than 'brash and loud' was something that Vic was intent on conveying and he left The La Di Das in pursuit of that idea.

It's a common story about Michael Stipe seeing Vic play during his weekly residency at the 40 Watt club. Michael then deciding that what Vic was doing at the time needed to be documented. The album was recorded on October 6th, 1988, and twenty-one tracks were laid down. Ten tracks were released as 'Little' in 1990.

Pitchfork Media once reviewed the album and called it "the most elemental of any of Chesnutt's albums...As its title suggests, 'Little' is about Chesnutt's Pike County childhood, a theme he would return to repeatedly as if thumbing worn and creased snapshots found at the bottom of a drawer." This is a pretty accurate assessment of Vic's debut. It's an album seeped in the charm and nostalgia of his Southern Gothic upbringing. 


It's a well known fact that Vic was adopted. He addressed that experience several times during his career, including on this album (Gepetto), but by all accounts, he had a normal, Southern childhood, with loving parents. During his formative years, Vic was a little overweight, and as was the way for most heavy kids in elementary school, Chesnutt was ridiculed by his fellow students and constantly got into fistfights.

"I was a fat little kid. I didn't have but one friend for years."- Rolling Stones Magazine, September 1996 

That one friend was Danny Carlisle.

Danny was a special needs child who befriended Vic and who constantly followed him around. He truly was Vic's only friend. As the story goes, one day after class, and as a direct result of teasing by his classmates, an altercation between Vic and Danny occurred.  As a result Vic became even more of an outcast because he beat up the 'retarded' (Vic's words) kid.

With 'Little', Vic was able to address such issues from his childhood and reinvent himself in the process. Danny Carlisle is not a direct representation of that poor kid from Vic past, but more of a way to address current social issues and how to deal with his life in general.

"Danny Carlisle was based on this kid I beat up once ‑actually, he's based on a combination of characters. I was sitting on my porch in Athens one day, tripping on acid and thinking about this guy. At the time, I was hanging out with these activist‑type people, obsessing over left‑wing politics. So when I wrote, 'Danny Carlisle don't care about the contras,’ it's like I was wishing that I was Danny Carlisle, who didn't have to deal with the stuff I was dealing with. I was horny and shit, and I was just wishing that I would just shut the fuck up about it and be like Danny Carlisle." -Rolling Stone magazine, September 1996.



When being interviewed in 2009 by David Harris, for the Spectrum Culture website, Vic speaks directly about the songs on 'Little' and his thought process about the lyrical content of this song in particular...

David Harris-Let's move on to "Danny Carlisle." This one seems like a narrative of a boy who lives in his head. He's picked on by others. Then he goes to war in Central America or something?

Vic Chesnutt- No, not at all. This is a little boy song in a way. This is what we did as kids. We would hide in the woods and play tree fort and shoot each other with BBs.

DH- It sounds like he wanted one for himself but he couldn't because other kids were shooting at him. It sounds like he's the kid that everyone picks on.

VC- Yeah! He's the kid that everyone picks on. Exactly. He is the kid everyone picks on.

DH- It is a little boy song, but then you have the two lines about not giving a shit about the contras and he would rather dream than fuck which are total adult elements.

VC- Right, right. He is an adult now. This kid is an adult now and he doesn't care about these things. The tree fort is the way things used to be for him, when he was a kid. Now he's an adult.

DH- When you say, "And when he raised his eyes to heaven as a soldier," do you mean when he was a child soldier playing in the woods?

VC- Yeah, he's got a snake and it cut into fours. He's a kid.

DH- Is that based on something you did as a child?

VC- I don't ever remember actually doing something like that, no. I mean, I'm sure I cut snakes up. I didn't think I was killing the evil snake though.

DH- Are we talking about the biblical snake here?

VC_ Some people in the South, they actually think snakes are the devil. It's understandable. Snakes are scary things. Farmers and old-timers thought they were the serpent and the devil that came from Adam and Eve. Little kids can see snakes as evil.

DH- Remember, I am coming into this with a Yankee sensibility since I grew up in the North.

VC- Yeah, well y'all ain't got snakes up there?

DH- We do, but we have them as pets. The only thing I ever cut up was slugs. So were you the kid that was picked on or were you the one shooting the people?

VC- Yeah, I was picked on a lot.

DH- What happens to someone who is picked on a lot when they grew up? It sounds like Danny Carlisle is living in his head.

VC- Yeah, he is living in his head. I am not this kid. I am not Danny Carlisle.

DH- Is he based on someone you know?

VC- Well, a composite.

DH- The one line "he would rather dream than fuck" is a pretty strong line when mixed with childhood memories of jumping off bike ramps and tree houses. The Contras line really does give it a timestamp.

VC- Oh, it's a timestamp. There's no doubt a-fucking-bout it, man. This is a fucking timestamp. I can't do it now because it's so dated. I never do it. But at the time it was one of my greatest songs.

DH- Well, you can still play it, can't you?

VC- I don't know. I don't play many of these songs. That was one of my greatest songs.

DH- Why do you feel that way?

VC- It's just so heavy. When you hear it, you don't really know what's going on. It takes some thinking about it to put the pieces together. As it's going by, surprising things are said. It's kind of engaging. If you hear me do it, it's kinda like, "What's going on here?" It's one of the greatest songs.

I agree with Vic. Along side Isadora Duncan, Danny Carlisle may be Vic's greatest early work. Despite that fact, and also that it was a fan favorite, the song didn't get performed much after 1995. There were occasions when the crowd would call for it, of course, and at a very special show in Seattle, Vic invited a fan up to sing the words. He commented that the lucky fan "did good."


LYRICS

He wanted a tree fort more than anything
Yes he wanted to build and defend one on his own
But the neighbor boys BB seige was overwhelming
So he won't be building his dream tree fort anymore

He received a five-speed Schwinn for Christmas
So he built a ramp out of plywood and a stump
And at nights he dreamed Evel Knievel
And a canyon to jump in his backyard.

Danny Carlisle don't give a shit about the Contras.
Danny Carlisle is barely grown and he's used up most of his options
But still he would rather dream than fuck.

Once he used a pocket knife to kill a garder snake
Yes he chopped that evil serpent into fours
And when he raised his eyes to heaven as a soldier
He wiped the blood of bad snake on his shirt.

Danny Carlisle don't give a shit about the Contras
Danny Carlisle is barely grown and he's used up most of his options
 But still he would rather dream than fuck.

Here's the studio cut from 'Little.'



A very rare demo recording from the mid 1980s.


And the last known performance with Kurt Wagner (from Lambchop) from Barbican Hall, London- November 3rd, 2001 (Taken from the "Sloppy Satori: The Best of Vic and Lambchop" compilation.)




Also of note...

Here's a link to a children's book loosely based on 'Danny Carlise' by Illustrator Berjan Podde. It's called 'Rupert' and is completely in Dutch.