Sunday, June 17, 2012

Progress

I was surprised to find a Calhoon Brothers version of this song because I have no memory of our ever playing it. It must have been a slow night at the Las Cruces Inn. In fact, over the years there were many slow nights at the LCI -- and elsewhere. I remember when I first heard a song by Neil Young called "The Old Country Waltz" and it had the lyrics, "We were playin' the old country waltz, in this empty bar echoin' off the walls" I thought that Neil had written the perfect bar band song because I have memories of hundreds of nights of playing to only the bartender and waitresses. I could never understand why everybody didn't head out to the bars seven nights a week to blow a bunch of money on cheap liquor. Before MADD got involved, many people did. By the time I escaped from live music in 1987 the cops and mad mothers had pretty much ruined the bar bidness in New Mexico.

Which, by 1987 and after 25 years of playing almost every night in bars, I was okay with. It was time to drop music and pick up my real obsessions: books and home computers.

 
 Written: Near Kayenta AZ, 1975

Knees was driving out to Kayenta on the Navajo Reservation to tune a piano when he spied an article on “Progress” on a newspaper on the seat. It inspired him and as he drove he wrote the lyrics to this song. During the song his car broke down and he had to crawl under the car to fix it, but the irony of it all escaped him and he finished the first two verses and chorus before he made Kayenta.

I hear the whine of radial tires
Outside my window late at night
Since the freeway came I don’t get much sleep
It used to be so peaceful
With a dusty road outside
An with love all around,
You and me the only sound
But now I’ve got
Eighteen-wheelers screamin through my dreams.

I got a Quesar color TV
With stations round the dial
An we stay up all hours of the night
But I remember evenins when all I had was you
An the words you’d say, I remember to this day
Oh I wish you were here
To comfort me and sooth my achin eyes.

But I guess that’s progress,
Can’t stand in its way.
Yesterday we were laughin,
But I’m cryin today
An they call that progress.

I got a kingsize lectric blanket
To keep me warm at night
An central air the best that money can buy
But I still wake up cold an lonely
Callin out your name
Ever since you’ve gone,
This house just ain’t a home
I’m no good on my own
Without your love
To help me through the night.

Veins

The CALHOON BROTHERS LIVE VERSION
(Sometime in the late 70s at the Las Cruces Inn, Las Cruces NM)

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