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Author: Subject: History of the New Songs?

A Peach Supreme





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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 12:35 PM
Looking at "Firing Line", "High Cost of Low Living", "Desdemona", "Old Before My Time" (the ones that were written by Gregg/Warren and co. purposely for the new record - ie, not covers or retreads), I was wondering if anyone knew the exact nature of their composition. To me, these 4 are the essence of the new record, so I am very curious to see how they came to fruition.

I've heard Butch say that Gregg had a bunch of songs lying around that Warren helped him finish, so I'm sure a few of these are those songs. Then again, 3 of them ("Firing Line", "Old Before My Time" and "High Cost...") sound very "Warren" to me, which leads me to believe that maybe Warren was the catalyst for most of the material...

Anyone have any clues?

 

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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 05:28 PM
Warren pretty much wrote "Old Before My Time" on his own. He hadn't intended it for ABB. Gregg insisted they played it. "Desdemona" & "High Cost" were collaborations between the two of them based on ideas that were already lying around. I don't remember who had what idea first! (I know that is no help!) I don't think I ever asked about "Firing Line".
 

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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 05:48 PM
I am kind of suprised tht Warren did most of the work on Old before my time. It sounds a lot like some Gregg solo, and seems so autobiographical for Gregg. I thought it was his with some help from Warren. Will we ever know?

 

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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 05:52 PM
It shows just how great Warren is, and it also shows (not to ruffle feathers) just how little Gregg has written over the past decade. I am really dying to hear a song that was penned by Gregg and Gregg alone.

 

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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 06:36 PM
Warren once said that one of the frustrations with the ABB when he and Woody decided to leave had to do with the fact that there were only really 3 new ABB songs in a 2 year period and 2 of them, Warren was singing himself. But he countered that with "But Gregg has written some of the greatest songs ever written like 'Midnight Rider' so I don't think the guy ever has to write another song". And the truth of it is, I don't think Gregg is going to do too many more on his own. You can't force songs. Gregg still writes, but really only seems to enjoy it in a collaboration situation. That's fine by me. I don't care if he writes on his own or with others. There have been several written (co-written) with Gregg in the last 15 years or so, that have NOT been used with the ABB. I hope they dig some of those up and use them. And in my opinion anyway, it seems to me that Gregg doesn't have too many filler songs. The one's he's involved in writing are usually (regardless of poor performance) excellent songs. -- I would like to see Oteil & Derek's writing ability used more in the mix. "Walk Like a Man" will make an amazing ABB classic someday.

[Edited on 3/10/2003 by PauliG]

 

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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 06:43 PM
I had forgot about that song PauliG, I was hoping that it would make it on the Albumn I spoke to Otiel about it and he said it may make it but that someone else would sing it. I thought he did a great job with it and it would be perfect to have him sing a song at a show.
 
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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 06:49 PM
Incidentally, the songs Warren was referring to were:
"Worried Down with the Blues" written by Warren, Allen & John Jaworowicz.
"I Know I Oughtta Leave" written by Dickey.
"Tombstone Eyes" written and Dickey.

"Worried Down with the Blues" was brought out in 1995, dropped, brought back in 1996, and stayed with the ABB until Warren & Allen left. Brought back when Warren returned in 2001.
"I Know I Oughtta Leave" was originally brought out in 1995 with Gregg singing and was almost immediately dropped because Dickey was unhappy with it. Then it was brought back in 1996 with Warren singing and was eventually dropped when Warren & Allen left, because Dickey still wasn't happy with it. He took the end riff and used it as the main riff for "Let's Get Together" after his departure from the ABB.
"Tombstone Eyes" was brought out in 1996 and dropped at the end of the year because Dickey wasn't happy with it. It was then re-written and re-arranged as "Those Eyes Again" and performed with the Jack lineup in 1997. They dropped that because Dickey STILL wasn't happy with it and re-wrote it as "Good Times (Don't Fade Away)" performed in 1999 with both the Jack & Derek lineups. Dropped it again. Then after his departure, he went back to the original "Tombstone Eyes" version and recorded it with his solo band.
There was another song from that era that was dropped immediately. Another Dickey original, sung by Dickey, that he was never happy with called "You Can't Get to Heaven on a Ten Dollar Bill".

 

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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 06:52 PM
Yes I talked to Oteil about that song too. He told me the same thing. I guess wasn't happy with the lyrics either. And I know he doesn't like singing too much. I LOVE that song. One of my all-time favourite Derek Trucks guitar solos is in the second (and final) performance of that song on 8-2-00! I feel that if they could do that, cover Jack Pearson's "I'm Not Crying" and write a few more songs they could already have an amazing follow up to HITTIN' THE NOTE! hee hee. I'm getting ahead myself here.
 

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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 08:05 PM
The idea that a song really isn't a good Gregg song unless Gregg writes it alone ignoresthe fact that few writers write primarily by themselves anymore. With the demand for quality songs that most bands have, collaboration breaks through places a writer is stuck and gives a wider range of creative imput. For instance, most songs written in Nashville (and a lot of them are really good) are collaborative efforts. Even within the ABB canon look at some of Dickey's collaborations that are part of the core setlist or just great infrequently played gems of the last few years. No One to Run With, Bad Rain, Kind of Bird, True Gravity, Shine It on are all collaborations. Collaborative composition is just a way of life.

Another suspicion and someone who was there from the beginning may have to affirm or shoot this down. I suspect some of the things that are credited as solo compositions from the pre 1976 era have their roots in jams where someone picked up a riff and built a song around it or a raw sketch of a song got fleshed out in rehersals. I can't imagine Gregg coming in with all the principal riffs in Black Hearted Woman for example. Today with the change in the amount of time band members spend playing music together when they aren't touring or simply the amount of time they don't tour, much of the interactions that made the classic music has to be replaced with intentionally collaborative efforts. I also suspect some of the solo credits of the past might have more writers in the present workplace

 

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  posted on 3/10/2003 at 08:06 PM
Pauli... that's a very different version of the story behind Old Before My Time than the one I've heard...

 

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  posted on 3/11/2003 at 02:44 PM
quote:
Pauli... that's a very different version of the story behind Old Before My Time than the one I've heard...


What is the story you have heard for Old B4 my time?

 

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  posted on 3/11/2003 at 05:16 PM
Basically, that all the words were Gregg's, but Warren organized them and made one song out of a bunch of different ideas.

 

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  posted on 3/11/2003 at 05:25 PM
Hmmm... Those are two very contrasting stories... Paulie G's makes more sense, as the song does sound very "Warren" and since Warren has been on one of those rolls lately...

I guess we'll never know...

 

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  posted on 3/11/2003 at 05:27 PM
I don't know whose story comes from where...

Is Warren ever not on a roll?

 

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  posted on 3/12/2003 at 12:55 PM
Yeah, I could be remembering wrong though! I actually was talking to Warren about a BUNCH of songs including some Mule songs, so I could have my stories messed up.
 

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  posted on 3/13/2003 at 09:42 PM
Is the song "Rocking Horse" the same song that is on Govt Mules album? I know they've been playing it quite a bit since Warren came back.
Anybody know? (Haven't been able to get the album yet)

 

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  posted on 3/14/2003 at 12:31 AM
Yup, same song.

 

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  posted on 3/14/2003 at 07:58 AM
That's not the story I heard on "Old Before My Time" either.
Anyone know what 'trunk songs' are? (I'm asking that rhetorically.)

 
 


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