friend

Release Date: 6/02

Album: 232 DAYS ON THE ROAD

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Lyrics:

What words of venom fall from your lips

So adept at poison penmanship

I am not your inferior

Don't tar me with that brush

Every motive is not

Ulterior

 

There were no means to justify this end

I only wanted to be your friend

 

Poetic license to abuse

Don't you dare use your art as an excuse

Artists don't prevaricate

And it's your impressionistic portraits that

I don't appreciate

 

You've got the whole world in your reflective lens

So you bite the hand that extends

 

The truth that hurts has naught to do

With your vituperation endless

I wish godspeed to you

But I bet you die friendless

 

I'm a rubber ball, you're a stick of glue

If I'm a social climber then so are you

So don't give me that elitist bit

Unless you're looking in a mirror

Bet you can't spell "hypocrite."

Musicians:

Adam - vocals, guitars
Severo Jornacion
- vocals, bass
Kurt Medlin - drums

Adam sez:

This is one of those songs that you really like, but just gets lost in the shuffle somehow, and never really gets noticed.

Before KEEP YOURSELF AMUSED I had written about 20 songs for the band that never got used, some of which I really liked. The studio portion of 232 DAYS ON THE ROAD was a way to put a period on the Cockeyed Ghost era by revisiting some very early songs that never got recorded or demoed. My favorite of these was "Friend" (originally titled "I Only Wanted To Be Your Friend") which was considered for every single Cockeyed Ghost album but never quite made the cut. It's long, midtempo, and wordy, but I like the chorus and it's loping midtempo air of quiet and deeply felt hurt. And the little guitar tag at the end sounded so sad and poignant, it was like it was saying goodbye to a whole era of my life. Which it was, kind of.

The other thing about "Friend" that I remember is that in 1994 -- the first year of Cockeyed Ghost -- I was writing so many songs that we actually had a "product testing show" once where we played 10 new songs and then we passed out a little scorecard that the audience then handed in to tell us what they thought of the songs. Yes, we were dorks, and proud of it. Kurt still has one of these stuck up on the wall behind his kit. Anyway, we must not have done too well in the final voting because of all these songs, only "Disappear," "Dogs that Say No" and "Friend" ever got recorded, the last of these eight years later (and in fact despite my liking for the song I think it was only ever played live twice, at that show and at the 232 DAYS release party in '02). So you'll never hear, for example, "Say Now," the endless rumination on the word "now" in pop music ("It says repetitive/it says redundant/it says repetitive/nows are abundant/at the end of a sentence in a hit song you gotta say now/say now/say now, now"). Sorry about that.

It's a natural and not unhealthy human trait when someone first approaches us in friendship to be a little wary...but I refuse to believe that it's impossible for someone to practice kindess without an underlying motive...which was the subject of "Have a Nice Day" on YOU DON'T KNOW ME, too. When you're nice to someone and then they turn around and behave like a complete prick, well, that's taking wariness to what I think is an unnecessary extreme. That's what this song is about.

Severo gets a couple of lines of lead vocal in the bridge (which only happened once during his time with Cockeyed Ghost), which was newly added in 2002. The rest of the song was written in 1994.

"Friend" was written about a particular person, but I'm going to stay mute about who it was.

Obscure lyrics:

"vituperation" -- sustained and bitter railing and condemnation.

"prevaricate" -- lie

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