forever

Release Date: 3/99 (Japan) 9/04 (U.S.)

Album: THE SCAPEGOAT FACTORY (Japanese release only); RARITIES VOL. 2; POP UNDER THE SURFACE VOL. 4

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Lyrics:

Watching the sun go down

On everything I've come to know

I don't need the night to tell me

It's time to go

 

I've spent 18 years in the dark

Running from the unknown

I don't need a hand to hold me

I'll go it alone

 

Staring out a rear view window

Of a car pointed outward bound

I will fight no more forever

I will never come back to this town

 

Everything I was ever warned

About breaking free from the crowd

I don't care what a freak I may be

I'll shout it out loud

 

Because I have come this far

And I will go farther still

And I don't need a fool's approval

What's more I never will

 

Believe in God, but you couldn't believe in me

Now the rest of my life is a beautiful mystery

Musicians:

Adam - vocals, guitars, keyboard
Robert Ramos
- bass
Kurt Medlin - drums, percussion

Adam sez:

"I Will Fight No More Forever" was one of several one-off tracks recorded between THE SCAPEGOAT FACTORY and LUDLOW 6:18, the period where I really started to find my feet in the studio after the learning experience of cutting SCAPEGOAT, to a large degree, on my own. I like nearly everything that we did in this time frame and this is probably the best of all of them, despite the fact that it was a rush job that was completely recorded and mixed in one day.

The backstory is this: we had a manager during the time that was helping us out and throwing a few bones now and then, and he had heard that an upcoming movie, VARSITY BLUES, was shy a closing theme and if we could get them something within the next three days he would submit it for us. He gave me a rough idea of the storyline and as soon as I got off the phone I went right out to the back porch and wrote this song, with the idea of the credits rolling in mind, and called Steve Refling to see if he had any available studio time.

The band was already due to come over the next day to do the photo shoot for THE SCAPEGOAT FACTORY's album cover; the album had been finished for a few months but it wasn't due to be released until the next year (and wound up being, in fact, the very last release on the original Big Deal label). The photos of the band rehearsing on the inside of the album are actually of us rehearsing this song.

Once we had it, more or less, we then went out with no real set plan to go shoot an album cover. As fate would have it, Robert had had to bring his 8 year-old daughter, Jody, along that day and she was very restive as we wandered around Van Nuys trying to think of something to take a picture of that would make a good album cover. We would up in a dirt lot on an abandoned railroad track -- I'd had a bunch of ideas, one of which was having me play a Wurlitzer on the track. We tried that and other photos but none really had anything special about them. Jody got more and more pissy to the point where Robert started to scold her. It was at that point that we found an old teddy bear that someone had discarded on the track, and someone -- I think it was me, but I'm not sure -- had the idea to shoot her standing on the track holding the teddy bear. And so Jody unwittingly became the focal point of the album cover and as you can see from the picture, she wasn't particularly happy about it. When we had the record release party six months later though, she was quietly beaming as dozens of people asked her to autograph it.

Anyway, back to "I Will Fight No More Forever," which of course was Chief Joseph's surrender statement after the Nez Pierce war, but otherwise has no other connection to the song besides sounding evocative. At first I didn't take this song very seriously, and in fact the tape box has puckishly written on it as the title "That Song That Sounds Like Grant Lee Buffalo Doing the Pretenders Movie Anthem." Which, while accurate, probably is a little unfair to the song. I was particularly impoverished about that time and so we had to nail the recording and mixing all in one day. This is the main reason why this is one of very few Cockeyed Ghost tracks not to feature any harmony or background vocals whatsoever -- it may even be the only one. It didn't really need them. I was very focused on putting in a polished vocal and this is one of the first recordings where I used the top end of my range and without it sounding forced. For that matter the whole track, driven by Robert's moving bass line -- the guy really was a genius at coming up with hooky bass parts -- opens up and moves slowly and elegaically to the climax five minutes later, underpinned by chimy guitars, organ and pitch-perfect drums from Kurt (Severo hadn't yet joined the band and doesn't appear on this recording). The guitar solo is also one of the best I've ever come up with. In mastering, we wound up accentuating the unintentioned mimicking of the Monkees' "Porpoise Song" ending, adding reverb and a swell on the organ.

Despite the song's un-organic origins and hasty recording, other than a couple of the movie-induced lines in the first verse, I would not change a thing about this track. To my mind, it's one of the most evocative things Cockeyed Ghost ever did, and I wish all songs could come together this quickly and smoothly. And, of course, all for naught, as Collective Soul's "Run" wound up being used. What the hell, Collective Soul! The song did wind up being used as a bonus track on the Japanese release of SCAPEGOAT, but otherwise it's basically unknown. I wanted to put it in on DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT, but I got shot down by, well, everybody. It also appeared on an obscure compilation album at some point, which I'd forgotten until I noticed recently whatever label that put it out is now selling it as a digital download. Grrr.

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