Demo version: Track above is a demo version and will play 50% of the song. All purchased tracks are complete mp3s (100%).
Songwriters: Lyrics: Phillip Gardner | Music: Michael Gardner and Phillip Gardner
Keyboards & Orchestration: Dave Adams and Rod Abernethy
Story Behind The Song: I read or hear somewhere that following the release of the Beatles’ White Album, there were bands that spent their whole career trying to make that record. Erica Cliff is our attempt. I wanted to write a non-linear song, a kind of John Lennon dreamy song. So instead of “I’m only sleeping,” I wrote “Sun shines through my window” to get started. I played it on acoustic guitar for Michael and Rob, and of course they understood it right away. By about the third time through, they had it. So the three of us stood in the control room and laid down the track. Michael came back and redid my guitar, but the bass track you hear was Robert’s first run. Robert Kearns, what a player and singer, what a guy. Plays now for Sheryl Crow.
On the page, the lyric in the middle comes out sounding dark: “I don’t want to be the needle you put in your arm/I don’t want to be your secret suicidal charm.” But the original lines reflect more the humorous attitude I felt for that section. The first one went like this: “I don’t want to be the Beatle that you thought was cool/And I don’t want to be the Rolling Stone found in the pool.” But that seemed a bit too transparent. So I tried this one: “I don’t want to be the horse that shits in your parade, and I don’t to be the Rolling Stone you never laid.” Same problem.
Dave Adams and I believe Rod Abernethy—and maybe others—deserve credit for this song. When I lived in Charlotte, there was a club on Monroe Road near our house, The Midnight Sun. In those days, clubs had live music every night. We soon learned that the Sun stopped taking money at the door at midnight, so Michael, David Plehn and I would go for the band’s last set. At eighteen you could go to the bar for a beer, and sometimes Connie, a.k.a. Foxy, and her psychotic friend whose breath smelled of glue, would saunter up. Connie was a Tarantio girl before Quentin could print his name, and she’d slink up and whisper, “Be-a-good-boy-and-I’ll-buy-you-a-toy.” That was what it was like.
One of the bands I saw there was Glass Moon, Dave Adams’ band. They were all the rave, and justifiably so. YES was just on the scene, and these guys played their music, really played it. There was no other band that could do that. Years later, we’d go to see Dave when he played with The Fabulous Nobs, and the band’s singer Debra Demilo would do Aretha Franklin. The combined English and R&B influences mirrored our own. And so when Michael took the tracks of Eric Cliff to Dave and Rob’s studio, they knew exactly what to do with the song. There is a lot of keyboard work on this song, lots of effects, and the loop at the end, that’s Dave, et. al. – – Phillip Gardner