Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION! And lyrics!

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dickl
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Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION! And lyrics!

Post by dickl » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:15 pm

It's been a long time coming but Richard and I have actually finished a song ;)

Richard wrote the lyrics and melody and it was inspired by his Route 66 road trip a couple of years ago.

Richard sings, plays acoustic guitar, bass, and the outro solo.

I did the rest.

It's on our new Bandcamp site Sunflower © 2018 Marris

Delivering flowers, drove up in my van
Skinny eighteen barely a man
She caught my eye gave me absolution
Kept it discrete, we took a Shangri-La solution.

Out on the highway
Behind streamline modern
Car’s tucked away; Everything’s ok
No need for concern

In a room by the hour, there’s no need for a name
Then we found out her old man knew the same
Kicked in our door, witnessed our collusion
Put the gun in my mouth; smashed my teeth, blood, contusion

Spit blood into water
Drown in rivers of red/lead
Lives slip away
Subside and decay
Shot to the back of the head

You and me on this dirty highway
True love looking for a place to hide
Some place to disappear
No one can find us here

Out where the sunflowers can’t cover the scars
Ozark trailer parks, titty bars
Look at the signs, they say get down on your knees and pray
Lord keep us safe on this dirty highway


And here is how Richard describes what is behind the song.

ORAL COURT ST. Louis, MO (a Shangri la solution)

When you reach MARLBOROUGH look out on your right for the white fence and ornate brick entrance of Oak Knoll Manor. This is all that is left of the stylish, louche, notorious Coral Court Motel. Go on YouTube and look at the trailer for Shellee Graham’s 2004 documentary ‘Built For Speed’, it’s a knee trembler! The place was built in 1942 in ‘the Streamline Modern style’ with glass brick and yellow glaze brick walls. Each bungalow had its own garage, with remote control doors and was set well back from the road, away from prying eyes. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  I hope not.

Yes, this was St. Louis’ foremost ‘no tell motel’. Have a look at the quotes on coralcourt.com: ‘It’s a dark, sleazy place with bad memories,’ says Marie. ‘I lived in my van and delivered flowers. She was high society and very married. I had never been to the Coral Court, but I’d heard about it since high school. It became a Shangri-la solution, 10:30 to 2:30 p.m. every Tuesday,’ counters Bob. I wonder if Bob and Marie….? Hmmm. 

It’s thought that the Motel’s policy of hiring rooms by four or eight hours was originally for the benefit of tired truckers but many who took advantage of it evidently didn’t waste much time sleeping. Bumper stickers were seen around St. Louis stating ‘Your place, my place or Coral Courts’. All sorts of fun went on behind those glass bricks: poker, parties, and even ‘time and companionship only’. Employees preferred to remain anonymous and there are rumours of a tunnel under 66 allowing them a discrete commute as well as a swift exit.  Another local remembers there were two check-ins; one for families and one for the many Mr and Mrs Smiths. Original owner John Carr is also reputed to have had ties with local gangsters and to have owned an upmarket brothel in midtown St. Louis before opening his motel. In 1955 his son Bobby Gene was found stabbed and shot to death in the trunk of his car in Illinois…

The Coral’s notoriety was assured when in 1953 Carl Hall stayed there shortly after he kidnapped and murdered 6-year-old Bobby Greenlease, son of a millionaire Kansas City car dealer. Alcoholic petty criminal Hall and his prostitute accomplice Bonnie Heady, were captured in St. Louis and shortly thereafter executed by gas chamber.  The case was worldwide news and the swift administration of justice was abetted by federal laws enacted in response to national outrage engendered by the Lindbergh baby kidnap and murder in 1932. More Southern Gothic; this time written by Capote rather than Williams.

The business declined after the death of its original owner John Carr in 1984 and closed in 1993 when its buildings were declared unsafe. For the next couple of years the site was plagued by souvenir hunters breaking in and breaking off anything they could carry. An added attraction may have been the fact that $300,000 of the Greenlease ransom money was never recovered…

Despite determined attempts to save the buildings, they were demolished in 1995. No stash of ransom money was found, which isn’t surprising as Hall had made some very unwise alliances before he was caught. He befriended a cab driver who worked for local gangster Joe Costello. Costello tipped off a couple of friendly cops and it’s unlikely any money that didn’t make it to the police station found its way back to the Coral Court.   (Graham) (The Federal Bureau of Investigation) (Tremeear, 2011)

The Ozarks (Trailer parks, titty bars)

Back by the Freeway at EXIT 153 in Doublentendre, Mo (just outside BUCKHORN) we photograph an Adult Store sign, next to a large, upright bowling pin. A couple of hundred yards before that is a sign directing you to the Church of the Nazarene. It's an ingenious alignment of roadside furniture. Somewhere around here there is also a Backdoor Adult Book Store. You can write your own jokes for that one; I’m going nowhere near.

In 2010 Missouri State Senator Matt Bartle said, ‘One need only take a short trip on any of Missouri’s major highways to see that the proliferation of smut shops is out of control.’ That was just after legislation had been passed controlling nudity, opening hours and imposing age limits on adult entertainment in the state (Lieb, 2010). Missouri’s nudity laws may, actually, be more titillating and entertaining than a desultory lap dance from a 40-something single mom in a bar by the I-44 … whatever that’s like. Allowable cleavages are strictly demarcated and the word turgid is bandied about.  Turgid. (Greenbaum, 2012)

Just before the sharp left across the Freeway is a demolished business (which used to feature an alarmingly-named ‘Meat Grocery’). To complete my descent to the dark valley of the soul from the beautiful forested hills I’ll point out that this is where a 2010 police raid uncovered $10 million worth of cocaine and methamphetamine (KSPRabc33, 2010). Watch the classic Winter’s Bone, starring Jennifer Lawrence, for more authentic Ozark recipes.

A few weeks before we hit the road a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch detailed how Missouri had slipped to third in the US charts for methamphetamine busts, after a decade as number one.  Jefferson County, just south of 66 in St. Louis and bordering on Pacific, is the state’s hotspot for seizures of labs and dumpsites.  Although superficially encouraging, Jefferson police believe the figures are indicative of changing enforcement methods and local production being undercut by Mexican imports. The drug’s grip on the Show Me State shows no sign of easing (Thorsen, 2014). 

Hell's Half Acre (where the Sunflowers can't cover the scars)

We are now in Hell’s Half Acre’ – it’s what the world looks like when it’s turned inside out. Front Street, as this stretch is known, includes a railway overpass with brown concrete railings that was built in 1922, predating 66 (Bridgehunter.com, 2010).

A faded mural adorns the side of a corrugated shed; a strangely touching piece of homespun prettiness in the grit. The sunflowers are the Kansas state symbol and the legend KS RT 66 13.2 refers to the number of miles from Stateline Liquor to the Oklahoma border.

… In the latter half of the 19th century this part of Kansas was sparsely populated by hunters and farmers struggling to make a living from the gravelly soil of the region. Local Native Americans had long known of the lead that lay strewn around the local area but in 1877 al German farmer invited two Joplin mining companies to bid for the mineral rights on his land.  Soon those companies were vying with each other to sell mining lots and their rivalry resulted in two rapidly-growing mining camps; Galena to the south, Empire City, above Short Creek to the north. The rivalry between the two towns eventually led to Empire City attempting to build a stockade to keep its residents in. Today it’s a quiet rural suburb of Galena (Genuine Kansas, 2007).

With the tens of thousands of miners came boomtown business and – as with Joplin – industrial-scale vice. Bordellos and saloons sprung up all around the area, with the wildest action to be found on ‘Red Hot Street’ the road between the rival settlements (Main Street north from 66, I imagine). As the Galena Sentinel put it, ‘Along this street were clustered haunts of dissipation and prostitution. Most frequented places were the Round Top, the Hickory Tree, The Log Cabin and Dick Swapp’s Place. In saloons the lewd and the reckless were congregated at all hours, intoxicated by wine, lulled… by siren’s charms to commit deeds undreamed of under other circumstances.’

In the case of Nancy Wilson (aka Ma Staffleback) and her notorious family, those deeds included murder.  When, in 1897, a miner named Frank Galbraith came a calling to demand a visit with one of Nancy’s girls a fight broke out. Nancy went at him with a corn knife before her son Ed and husband Charles joined in. Galbraith ran away but a shot to the hip meant he didn’t get far. Ed slit his throat and then he and Charles stripped him of all valuables and threw him down an abandoned mineshaft. Nancy wiped the blood from the knife on her apron.

Picher, OK (Spit blood into water, drown in River of Red)

A couple of miles to the east of 66 is the town of Picher. Lead and Zinc was discovered here around the turn of the 20th century. Its lead was in three quarters of the US shells fired in both world wars and its zinc rust-proofed the nation’s suburbs. In the 1920s the town had a population of around 20,000. Merlyn Mantle met Mickey when she was a cheerleader at Picher High School in the late 1940s.

The mines played out in the late 1960s, leaving the town ringed by an estimated 178 million tons of waste. The groundwater pumps were turned off and the tunnels overran and poisoned the local Tar Creek. Children scrambled, high school athletes trained and families picnicked on the chat.

Teenagers swam in the streams, wondering why their skin burned and hair turned orange.  Picher people still describe themselves proudly as ‘Chat Rats’. Meanwhile, underground, the water was eroding the shafts and tunnels and huge, deep sink holes started to open up all around the community.
Blood tests in the 1990s showed 63% of the town’s children were lead poisoned. Cancer rates were higher than the national average, while academic results were lower. 

Since 1983 the Federal Environmental Protection Agency has been spending millions on cleaning up the 40 acres of devastation while also buying up properties so that residents could move out. In 2008 a tornado hit the town, causing fatalities and speeding up the exodus. In 2009 municipal operations ceased, leaving a dwindling handful of defiant, resentful residents. By the time you pass it may be completely deserted (Paynter, 2010).

Cheers

Dick
Last edited by dickl on Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X

Post by voclizr » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:32 pm

Great tune and great production. :^:
It always fascinates me a bit to look at our country (The Good ol USA) from the observations of folks like you who live "across the pond", although the way I understand, this is about a trip that your partner actually made over here.

One of my favorite online publications is The Daily Mail, which is UK based. They seem to give a more interesting perspective on news over here than our own press and media outlets do.

Again, great work!

:^:
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X

Post by Lungfruit » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:41 pm

Dick,
Nice work! Interesting lyrics. Production is perfect. Mixed nicely. Some of the minor chords give it a Pink Floyd quality to it. I’m looking forward to more of your collaboration. Glenn
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X

Post by dickl » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:09 am

Thanks guys :)

John: Richard did the road trip 3 or 4 years ago (I think) with a colleague who was a very good photographer. The idea was to look at Route 66 in terms of musical history and write a book. An upcoming song will be about Cucamonga and Zappa (look it up). The book is still being written!

This is about a specific hotel on the route used by prostitutes and criminals.

I rather wish you didn't give the Mail online any time John. Wikipedia has deemed the Daily Mail as an unreliable source of news.

It is a right wing mouthpiece for a billionaire owner that over the years has consistently produced hate and lie filled stories about immigrants, the disabled, benefit claimants and the EU. They deliberately demonise those groups and blame them (rather than the government) for the ills of society . If you want a more reliable take on British culture try The Guardian.
Sorry for the rant John.

Thanks a lot for the listen and comments I really appreciate you taking the time :)

Glenn: Yes, Richard comes up with very interesting lyrics. This is the first song we've finished for quite a while. A few years ago we we were writing and recording every week. We've rather fallen off now but we're making an effort to start up again. Thanks for the comments, always appreciated.

Cheers

Dick
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X

Post by voclizr » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:12 am

dickl wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:09 am


This is about a specific hotel on the route used by prostitutes and criminals.
I see. Hence, the "titty bar" reference. :lol:
dickl wrote: I rather wish you didn't give the Mail online any time John. Wikipedia has deemed the Daily Mail as an unreliable source of news.

It is a right wing mouthpiece for a billionaire owner that over the years has consistently produced hate and lie filled stories about immigrants, the disabled, benefit claimants and the EU. They deliberately demonise those groups and blame them (rather than the government) for the ills of society . If you want a more reliable take on British culture try The Guardian.
Sorry for the rant John.

Thanks a lot for the listen and comments I really appreciate you taking the time :)
S'ok. I guess what it all comes down to is the old "liberal vs conservative press" which goes on everyday the world over.
;)
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X

Post by The Cracks » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:48 am

Great to hear a new song from your camp, Dick. I like this very much. Very even mix. Nicely done. Great lyrics and outstanding music. I love the guitar churning away underneath everything. And I really love the lead guitar at end. Excellent!

More!

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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X

Post by dickl » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:37 am

Thanks Sean :) Yes, it was good to finally finish one. We have a few more and I'll be posting something I finished last year but was never happy with what I did on on it but I thinking now, why not?

Watch this space ;)

Your time is much appreciated.

Cheers

Dick
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION!

Post by Jim_Fogle » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:45 am

I Love songs that have a backstory to them and this is a nice one! I always admire your tasteful production skills. Very easy and enjoyable listen.
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION!

Post by dickl » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:29 am

Thanks Jim, I always appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment. Yes, it's quite a story with more to come from Richard's pen.

Cheers

Dick
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION!

Post by Roy-Al » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:49 pm

That was excellent Dick and Co. The lyrics remind me of a time when real stories were told in a song. Good background info. The singing and instrumentals were, as always, top notch!
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION!

Post by The Cracks » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:28 pm

Third or fourth listen...

Grungy guitar and the line "Lord keep us safe on this dirty highway" go so well together. Captures the back road American wonderfully. There really are bodies buried in unmarked graves out there.
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION!

Post by dickl » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:10 am

Thanks chaps.

Roy: Richard writes a good story. I'm sure the book will be interesting if he manages to get published. Thanks for the listen and comments Roy :)

Sean: Thanks again! It's like an episode of Breaking Bad. I thought Unmarked Grave would be a great title for a song or a band but when I checked it out it seems that others have had the same idea ;)

Cheers

Dick
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION!

Post by ps02 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:44 am

Has a interesting grungy kind of sound.

The production fits the style of song. The electric guitar patches especially.

Interested to hear more.
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Re: Sunflower - original, Logic X - NOW WITH EXPLANATION! And lyrics!

Post by dickl » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:44 am

Thanks ps02.

Much appreciated :)

There will be more from the Route 66 project but it might take some time as we don't work that fast!

Cheers

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