Release Date: 4/01, 3/08





live with Cockeyed Ghost (2009)



live solo (2008)




Ludlow 6:18

One last look out the rear window

At the daylight kissing night

Red and blue and white

But I only left behind the things that seemed already gone

Double six my miles per hour

And the highway I drive on

Maybe just to heat and dust or to a brighter dawn

Switch headlights on, dashboard digits flashing green

Reveal I passed through Ludlow at 6:18


Passing my own ghost

I came unto the ocean

Not eleven years ago

Drunk on what I didnít know,

You know that I loved that first surfer girl

Who kissed me on the sand

I loved the glorious futility of playing in a band

But did you know those hillside letters used to spell "Hollywoodland?"

I guess the city drops what it donít need

Especially if at last you donít succeed


Ludlow 6:18

A light off in the distance

We find our home in the strangest places

Experiences, faces

Ebb and flow

Are those the only things to which I can belong?

I can capture them in moments

But I canít stay there too long

All that lies behind me now or ahead, or I could be wrong

Maybe in the end thatís all my life will mean

The mise en scene of Ludlow 6:18


Adam - vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, tambourine
Robert Ramos - bass, vocals
Severo Jornacion - guitar, vocals
Kurt Medlin - drums

Adam sez:

After debacle that was THE SCAPEGOAT FACTORY release, there was a year when the band struggled just to stay afloat. I had just reconstituted the band and was playing with a group of people I was happy with, so my memories of that time are good ones, but we were also aware that as far as the outside world was concerned, the band and I were done; after our label collapsed, we were just another band that came close and didn't make it.

There was not a lot of interest in a fourth Cockeyed Ghost record. We all knew that if we were going to bother to make another CD, it had to be outstanding, or else there would be absolutely no point. Moreover, I knew I hadn't yet made a record that was as good as I could do...even SCAPEGOAT, while it had gotten unbelievable reviews, was right after the band had been totally changed, and I had to raise my game playing and singing in a hurry, plus come up with a bunch of songs to meet the release deadline. Despite the 4 1/2 star rave in allmusic and other places, I knew it could have been better if we'd had more time.

When I'd finished this song and "Karma Frog" I knew I was going to be able to make the album I had in my head. They were among the first to be written and in those two songs, I managed to get the lyrics just the way I wanted them, despite having to tell fairly complicated stories in each. I was especially proud of the line about the missing part of the Hollywood sign being a metaphor for the guy in the song. I remember playing those songs for the band for the first time (this one on piano for some reason, the first and last time it was ever performed that way), and Robert going, to my great relief, "damn. This is going to be a great album!" "Yes!" The band couldn't wait to get started on it. That's the kind of teamwork and attitude we all had going on for this recording.

We recorded two versions of this song. On the first one, I didn't bring my guitar rig and I didn't really like the tinny Telecaster I used on the session, and I thought the drums could have a deeper pocket, so we recorded it again. We did all the overdubs on that and then we trashed that and went back to the first one, and did them all again. Such was the LUDLOW 6:18 album. Every note didn't have to be perfect, but it had to FEEL exactly right. When we revisited the song on DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT, we were actually able to graft the two versions together, with a few very minor additions (subtle keyboards, acoustic guitar and a tambourine), which would have done in 2001 if we'd had the technology; to compensate for the flaws in the track we wound up really overcompressing the song on the album.

Ludlow 6:18 is not a passage from the Bible, as I'm often asked, sometimes by actual Christians, which I find disturbing. Like, the Book of Ludlow? Hello?!? The song and album are named after a real town in the California desert (6:18 was chosen for dusk time at fall), the last little town you go through heading east on I-40 (and, in olden days, Route 66), before you hit about 100 miles of nothing. [Insert symbolism here] I had the title of the album before I had much else -- holding on to that image of the car driving through the desert at sundown helped keep me in the mindset of writing about loss and nostalgia for insignficant moments in our lives. The story of a disillusioned musician leaving Los Angeles for the last time, destination unknown, provided the frame for the rest of the record. If you think of it as a concept of the album, the beginning and end of the album are the last things chronologically (The overture "Ground 0:00" is actually the ending of the story); the songs in between are flashbacks.

The back cover photo of the album, dark as it is, does indeed show a car just west of Ludlow on Route 66 heading into town at sundown, bound for points east. The only problem with this scenario is that since about 1974, it is impossible. Old Route 66 dead ends about half a mile east of town. To approach Ludlow from the east on Route 66 doing 66 miles an hour, you would have to get off I-40, make two right turns, drive down the road 'til it dead-ends, turn around and then get up as much speed as you can, hopefully not mowing down any of the customers gassing up at the Chevron as you do it.

Or you would need to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle to drive 10 miles on the railroad access road from the Lavic Rd. offramp west of Ludlow to the stub of Route 66 that emerges from under the interstate at the edge of town. Neither is a likely scenario for our hero. But hey. I was also troubled by the question of "do car clocks really have green digits?" and then I bought a new car and it did. So I felt better about that.

Stew once pointed out to me that "mise en scene" is mispronounced and in the correct pronunciation would not rhyme. He was delighted by this because he thought I was intentionally messing with French intellectuals, but actually I was just stupid. Besides, the use of cinematic terminology melded so well with the movie-like vibe of the record, that I probably wouldn't have changed it anyway even had I known better.

The chord progression and melody for the verse of the song aren't particularly original, but I can't say that I ripped it off from any particular song, since it's been used so often; "I Can Hear Music," by the Beach Boys, "Sunrise" by Eric Carmen and "Cruel To Be Kind" by Nick Lowe all have about the same thing going on. The guitar riff is a partial lift from, believe it or not, Shaun Cassidy's version of "Hey Deanie." The real hook comes from the bass line, and that's all Robert Ramos (who also does the difficult high harmony on the second verse in his distinctive style). The only drag about the DKN version, which I consider definitive, is that the bass part gets a little lost in the newer version. Like many of the LUDLOW 6:18 songs the melody is high and difficult to sing, but once I had it, it became one of my favorite songs to perform live.

©2001 Adam Marsland (BMI)

Return to "Lyrics and Stories" Main Page

Return Home