Carl

Release Date: 3/99

Album: THE SCAPEGOAT FACTORY

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Lyrics:

INSTRUMENTAL

Musicians:

Ineko Saito - bass
Adam
- all other instruments

Adam sez:

For such an innocuous little surf instrumental, "Coda for Carl" has a long and tortuous history. It was originally written for the Japanese pop band Manic 5-0, for which I was the drummer, and started life as "B-Side Song." Manic 5-0 couldn't really play (and that included me as drummer), and even though the structure of the song is complex, if you sit down and play it, it's extremely simple...the little break is just the same two note guitar line repeated over and over descending half steps.

Anyhows, by the time we played live it was renamed "*****'s Theme," with ***** being a local photographer and scenester who had a reputation for showing up at the shows of all the girl bands with video camera in hand, and perhaps occasionally shooting from rather too low of an angle, particularly if someone was wearing a skirt. I hated this guy and once when he went off to pee and left it unattended, I went so far as to drop my pants and wave my dick in front of his camera, because I knew a penis was the last thing he wanted to see on one of his little girl band movies. I remember Darian Sahanaja witnessed this and he was highly amused.

Anyhows, I knew at some point ***** would show up at one of our shows and I really did not like that very much; it just seemed like we should turn the tables on him somehow, otherwise it was like we were participating in something we didn't really approve of. My idea was to have lead singer and bassist Ineko Saito (who played bass on this track; I played everything else) announce the song in fractured English and say, "This next song is about anal sex. It's called *****'s Theme," and then start the song, knowing that her English pronunciation would be iffy enough that everyone would stand around wondering if she'd really said what she thought she'd said, decide that they hadn't, and we'd never actually get in trouble for dissing *****. Which is exactly what happened.

Because of its Japanese female membership (or perhaps our prowess as a band, though I somehow doubt this), and also because Ineko had a real social streak, Manic 5-0 attracted a number of musicians who wanted to join and/or take it over, most notably Jeffrey Pierce of The Gun Club just before his untimely death. It's a little known fact that I was in Manic 5-0 during its later period with none other than Faster Pussycat guitarist Brent Muskat! Brent was actually a pretty nice guy and I enjoyed playing with him. The funny thing about this is that even though Brent was the epitomy of an '80s metal guitar hero he could never remember the guitar part to this song! He kept coming back and asking me to show it to him again.

Anyway, Manic 5-0 broke up right about the time I was under pressure to come up with songs for THE SCAPEGOAT FACTORY. Around that time Beach Boy Carl Wilson passed away, and I thought it would be cool to name the song after him as a tribute, because people forget that before he was the angelic voice of the Beach Boys, he was just a teenaged kid playing surf guitar.

One review erroneously referred to this song as a wordless a cappella vocal piece, which is bizarre because as it happens there WAS supposed to be a second half to "Coda" which was just exactly that, in tribute to Carl's vocal abilities. I did start recording it but quickly abandoned the idea because I hadn't thought it out very thoroughly and, well, it's not much of a tribute to a great singer if your own vocal sucks ass.

Carl and Dennis Wilson were both big vocal influences on me, though, and after several years of development as a singer, I was able to do a more fitting tribute, and get away with it without embarassing myself, on the LONG PROMISED ROAD album. Later still (in 2008) I was musical director (and Chaos the house band) at the Carl Wilson Foundation concert that marked the 10th anniversary of his death. Quite an honor.

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