Andy in 1986

This song is about to be 31 years old. I was living in London for the first half of 1986 (more on that here), and on April 8 I got a letter from my friend and EBA bandmate Tim with three new lyrics in it. That was usually how we worked: Tim wrote lyrics then I'd come up with a musical idea for them and we'd work out parts and arrangement as a band. Before the end of April, I'd recorded demos for all three in the little home studio in the basement of my flat, Cranbury Road Studio: "All the Way Down (bad ideas)", "Share the View", and "Avoid Your Eye". I labelled that first one with "(bad ideas)" because I wasn't thrilled with the simple country/folk treatment. So I took another whack at this one, with a ska/rock feel, that worked pretty well. It was the only one of the three ideas that caught on with the band, although it was hard to do this recording justice with only one guitar.

The studio log notes are a couple of massive run-on sentences from a Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night, and Wednesday night. T# refers to one of the 4-track tracks. B12 or B34 is a bounce into tracks 1 and 2 or 3 and 4, where two already-recorded tracks are mixed with two new inputs and the mix is recorded on the other two tracks. The bass is a guitar with the three lowest strings tuned down to G-C-F. I thumped on a stereo speaker cone for a bass drum sound, hit the speaker cabinet with a pen or his a toilet paper tube on a desk for snare drum sounds. Good times!

At first the idea was to lock a drum beat in the digital delay by using the hold switch and hitting various things. I recorded a good one in T2 which is heard at the beginning, mixed with a faster version of itself --a complicated experiment that I abandoned. I did a guitar track in T1 then did an independent recording of a doubled guitar into T3&T4, T3 straight, T4 150ms delayed. Then a B12, erasing the drums and guide guitar on Tuesday night, mixing in bass (↓G-C-F) at 11ms hyperflange, then got too tired to think it out. Wed I finished it, though I would do it a little differently with the band. B34 was another guitar (L) and a 11=ms slow flange (R), doubling and doing a lame solo at the break, B12 was live drums hitting the speaker cabinet and a few other things, B34 was a distorted solo [42ms w/ lots of feedback and mixer echo and things overloaded] at the solo and toilet tube everywhere else, B12 finished it with a vocal and 1200ms loud single echo.

Not bad, but I like the bass more sparse, like at the very end. It will be good with the band.

EBA didn't work it into the repertoire until 1989, and we played it at just a few of our last gigs in 1989. There's even a video of us playing it at Oliver's back in Ithaca.

Thanks for listening!


All the Way Down

One night last week
I lit a match and I burned it
All the way down
I had to leave the scene
I turned the key and I drove it
Got out of town

Why did you show to me
All the treasure I thought I wanted
In my stupidity
Why did your white hot flame
Enter my head
And burn me all the way down

Down, down to the ground
Like a forest fire or a funeral pyre
I saw the flames that licked 
At our relationship, they burned
All the way down

And so at night for you
I'll light a torch and I'll burn it
All the way down
And every word we wrote
Will go up in smoke like white chalk dust
Give an eraser to me

Lyrics by Tim Odell on 25 March 1986
Music by Andy Wyatt on 22 April 1986
©1986 by Everything But Anchovies