Shoe Boxes and Barber Chairs

"Back then we were all trying to make our selves attractive places for songs to land. Believing ... knowing ... that all songs like heartbreak, tobacco, old cars, pool halls, lipstick, hats alcohol, and motels ... and they like folks that stay up all night long. But you don't catch songs at this time like moths or lizards; rahter, they, the songs themselves, have places and people they visit like ghosts. We were all busy, loving music, but moreover wanting music to love us ... and for songs to love being around us, the way some are good with animals or clay or children or old people or ships. It felt as if we shared the experience of having been abducted by songs, and the hangover, the bandage, the night in jail, the wrecked car, the tattoo, the broken window, or the wine stains on the carpet were evidence of the scars to prove it, and the songs are here in my throat like a lightning bug. Some will die before morning and they will be sung once but never again, and others will be like riddles, and each time they are sung, a new ring of understanding is dicovered or revealed to you ... some of these songs are like pictures with big ears, out of focus, taped together; some are footprints or birdbaths pr just scratches on a new car ... Songs don't like to be recorded any more than birds like to be put in shoe boxes or children to sit still in barber chairs. But you do want songs to be such that if they ever did hear themselves they wouldn't be embarressed..."

- Charles Schwab
Los Angeles, 1989

(Used Songs by Tom Waits)

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