Burning Me Out

Release Date: 4/01





I was in a rock band

We got a record deal

I said "somebody pinch me,

'cos this can't be real."

And on the day of release

I drove to the record store

I bought one for my mother

Then I bought ten more


And now it's three years older

And I'm extremely poor

But now our label say it's the big one,

the one we've waited for

and now we gotta tour

And on the day of departure

We performed in a record store

And asked "where's our money?"

They said "We're not sure."


And when we asked them why

They said you gotta call this other guy

And that's the first time we were told

That the label had just been sold


Now they're burning me out of the record store

We won't return your phone calls

We won't support your tours

From San Diego to Boston

We slept on floors

And I'm not sure I wanna do this anymore


Now all we wanted to know

Is do we go or stay?

They say, "we're not able to speak for the label.

Call back in three days."

And then we met an attorney

Her name was Nancy J.

She said it's time to split, and so she filed a writ

And she made them pay


And so they gave us back our rights

But here's the part that really bites

They said before we do,

We're gonna have to clear the racks of you


And now they're burning me out of the record store

Because nobody loves you, not any more

This is supposed to be music, but it feels like war

And I'm not sure I wanna do this anymore


(guitar solo)


Lying in the lamplight's green iridescent glow

Tried to remember the last time I ever felt this low

I was a sad teenager with a Fender bass

And that's what made me happy, that's my place


Now we've got a new album

We think it's pretty good

Maybe this time it'll go better

Knock on wood


I may never be famous, but what does it matter

If it just makes you lame-ass, meaner and fatter

And kills the only thing you care about

So if you like this song, I'm flattered but

Please remember what you love

The rest you can do without

Heed the lesson that I've learned

Or you just might get burned out


But now they're putting me back in the record store

We're gonna do promotion, I think we're gonna tour

As for the future, well, that remains obscure

But hereĆ­s the record of my story

And maybe I'll see you 'round in the record store


Adam - vocals, guitars
Robert Ramos - vocals, bass
Severo Jornacion - vocals, guitar
Kurt Medlin - drums

Adam sez:

Originally entitled "Burn Out," my initial idea was to have a song similar to the Ramones, but the song wound up containing so many byzantine key and chord changes that it was almost impossible to keep straight which was which (the song drifts back and forth between B, C and C# almost randomly). The Ramones would have never bothered. The words to this song were written in the van on the way to a gig in Phoenix; it was among the last songs written for the album and was self-consciously the most punk-oriented song on a comparatively (to the prior CG albums) mellow record.

This is, of course, the song that deals with the collapse of the Big Deal label and what had happened to us in the time since we'd disappeared in '99. The lead vocal is passed between me, Robert and Severo with each person picking up the story chronologically at the point they joined the band. I don't have much to add to it...it's pretty much exactly how it went down, right down to the name of the lawyer, Nancy J. Wenger, who helped extricate us from the mess we were in (although we never actually filed a writ). Getting the rights back to my masters was one of my proudest-ever moments. The legalities of the Big Deal dissolution were complicated and one of the parties was refusing to even talk to us. I found a clause in our contract (it's the one, for your industry lawyers out there, that automatically exercises an option period if the label forgets to overtly do so) normally used to screw musicians and suggested that if we were clever about it we could do some jujitsu with it and turn it around back on the people that weren't answering our calls. Nancy took that idea and ran with it, and within a week we had everything back. Given our experience, I was really tickled by that.

I actually feel positively about the Big Deal experience as a whole. There were some things about being signed that were frustrating, but on the balance, I preferred it to not being signed. What really pissed me off about the whole thing was in the closing days, when peoples' livelihoods were hanging in the balance, there were people deliberately lying to us and messing with our lives. I thought that was fucked up, frankly. But whatever our disagreements, we owe the gang at Big Deal a lot and even though we never quite got the big push from them (they were gearing up for it with SCAPEGOAT) most of our three year run with them they treated us pretty well.

When this song came out on 232 DAYS ON THE ROAD, the pressing plant broke the two sections of the song title into different song IDs, meaning half the songs on the album were wrongly ID'd, which played havoc with our attempts to get the album played on college radio.

By the way, the title of the song arises from an industry practice of recalling and destroying all the unsold copies of an artist's albums when the label goes under. Which happily, didn't actually happen in our case...a sympathetic Big Deal employee smuggled them out to us, and I sold every last one of them on the road.

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