Cut And Run

Release Date: 6/02, 3/08, 8/09

Album: 232 DAYS ON THE ROAD, DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT (live version), GO WEST (studio version)




Cut cut and run
She had a figleaf clenched in her front teeth and I woke up stunned
I gotta find an excuse - one that's convincing and hasn't seen too much use

Round and round the platitudes we go
Trying not to bruise her ego
Trying to creatively restate a mood that equates with Cut and Run

Cut cut it away
The constant replay of the things that make me wanna pay with my own blood
I don't want you to hate me or be cast as the exiting stud

Still a casual chat after supper would be preferable
to these hundred mea culpas but
what is there left to explain when it's simply a plain case of cut and run

Cut cut and run
Cease and desist
when it goes from a fist to a gun
Still there's one more I could name
If we talk about truth then let's talk about sharing the blame

I see the annals of love and hope and sex
As a diagram in the shape of an "X"
We come together in the middle and have some fun
I see you you see me we see each other & it's cut and run

Musicians (Go West version):

Adam - vocal, electric guitar
Evie Sands - lead guitar
Teresa Cowles - bass
Kurt Medlin - drums

Adam sez:

"Cut And Run" is a song with a long and tortuous history, despite being a fairly minor song somehow managing to appear on three separate albums (four if you count the Rarities collection that I believe a demo of it appears on). It was originally written in 1993 when Rivers Cuomo gave me a box of tapes to listen to and I set off on a cross-country road trip to expose myself to some new music. When I got to the east coast, I went camping in the Adirondack Mountains and, sitting at the edge of a lake in the dark, came up with an early version of this song, about an abortive sexual encounter I had just fled from. Later, on the way home, I wrote the final lyrics while driving down I-70 in western Colorado in the middle of the night. It was one of two songs (the other being "Talking About Myself") that was recorded on the very first Cockeyed Ghost demo with Kurt, played a few times, and then it was dropped. I revisited it in my solo touring days and it wound up being one of the previously unreleased songs that was featured on 232 DAYS ON THE ROAD. Likewise, this track was a very late addition to the compilation DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT, representing the solo touring part of my history.

Around 2005 the Chaos Band had started doing this song again, in a rollicking barrelhouse piano version somewhat reminiscent of Joe Jackson. When GO WEST was first conceptualized, it fit in with the theme of disc one and there was some idea we would finally record this version in the studio and give the song a proper recording as part of the album, but when it wound up getting used on DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT, we dropped that plan...having "Cut and Run" appear on 3 of the last 5 albums was really too many times to the well and the song, while cool, wasn't THAT special. So, how did "Cut and Run" not only make the cut, but wind up being one of the standout recordings on the new album in a completely different arrangement? Here's how:

When Teresa joined me on the road for the DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT tour, we had a rough show or two before we decided to sit down and rework the set to showcase our strengths as a duo. I suggested a Motown-influenced bass line to showcase Teresa's playing and underpin the song, and then when drummer Jon Braun joined the tour, we had him add a simple four-on-the-floor beat to create a full band version. We never totally got the stops and starts right, but it still sounded really cool and we played it a few times on tour and it really went well. So that was that.

A year later, after GO WEST was basically all done but for a few tweaks, Evie got asked to do a lucrative gig in New Orleans on the same night the Chaos Band had already been scheduled to play. Not wanting to cancel the gig, Teresa, Kurt and I scrambled to figure out songs we could fill a set with that worked as a three piece. We remembered the arrangement of "Cut and Run" we had done on the road and taught it to Kurt. It was also a really good exercise in keeping our playing simple and using some of the lessons learned during the GO WEST recording about improving our time and feel.

The minute the three of us started up the new "Cut and Run" arrangement it sounded amazing. It was special from the get-go. By the end of the rehearsal it was obvious that, regardless of the song's prior releases, we should record the new version, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would solve a sequencing problem on the album, since not only would the song link "Like Other Men" and "Tread This World So Lightly" thematically, but it would also keep the more rocking "Men" from being orphaned among a bunch of acoustic-sounding tracks. Plus, the punk Motown vibe would add to the album while being unique to itself. We scheduled a last-minute session to record a basic track.

Since this was the very last thing recorded for the album, we got to use the know-how we'd acquired on all the prior tracks. I had been heavily involved in the remixing and by that time had figured out I would have done a lot of things differently to get the sounds right, particularly the drums. I worked closely with Kurt on the drums, even figuring out with him on how to hit the cymbals so that they wouldn't trigger the compressor, and on the arrangement. Likewise when we got to the studio I helped Steve with the mic placement and getting the drum and guitar sounds together. It was the first time I ever got into a recording studio where I felt like I totally knew what I was doing, and we were in and out of there in something like 90 minutes. The second I got home with the basics I started putting the mix together, and the collaboration paid off because one I had the mix roughed out the drums sounded monstrous (and the guitar was pretty bitchin' too). Likewise I was able to find a bold sound for Evie's lead guitar and also reach deep inside for a lead vocal equal parts smarmy and desperate -- however cute and funny the song might have originally sounded, the long fadeout was now downright harrowing and told a story of a sexual dysfunction and fear of intimacy that would lead to the redemption and regret of "Tread This World So Lightly," the awesome Kim Fox song that closes disc one of GO WEST. As the last song recorded for the album, we got to apply all the GO WEST experience to this song and the result was a nearly perfect, ferocious finished track that, to my great pride, both Steve Refling and Earle Mankey singled out for praise.

Oh, and Evie never went to New Orleans after all. The gig got canceled. Wild, huh?

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