Los Angeles, CA – “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart Now Baby” – January 28, 1999

I awoke with my insecurities screaming.  My nighttime demons haven’t visited me in quite some time and I feel their abuse more intensely as a result.   Without Kipp, I have no one except my pen and journal to console me. The last resident in this hotel room smoked cigars, I’m sure of it, despite the “Smoke-Free Room” signs plastered everywhere and the sweet-stale stench adds insult to injury.

In the dream I just arrived from, I’d been on the phone with my lawyer finishing up a conversation when I “by the way” -ed him.

“By the way, Fred, what’s up with that movie soundtrack we were going out for?  ‘Anywhere But Here.’  Did the producers like Mom’s and my song “Amity” for it?” Pause.

“Uh…..” said dream Fred, “we didn’t get it.”  My dream heart felt soggy.

“Really?  We didn’t get it?  I thought it was a done deal.  Do you know why they passed on it?”

“Yes,” Said Fred “but I don’t think I should tell you…” I woke up feeling guilty, exhausted, and frantic.

I lie in the dark, holding my breath, eyes shut thinking about the audition I have tomorrow for the role of Janis Joplin.  After my ego-petting-zoo experience playing at the Hollywood Bowl with Dad, I somehow wound up with a movie agent despite my disinterest or talent.  Nevertheless, Rick Ax, having seen me perform, insists I have natural talent and sends me for auditions whenever I noncommittally roll through town for music-related things.  I’ve read for “High Fidelity,” “Coyote Ugly” and “Three Kings” and nothing has ever come of it, and never before have I cared.  But… playing Janis in a movie depicting her life would be something else.

I stare at the space between my blanket hem and a crooked sprinkler in the blue-grey ceiling, clutching my anxious rabbit of a heart.   I imagine myself in a casting director’s office trying to mimic Janis Joplin, an impossible task if there ever was one. As I read the lines, everyone starts laughing at me. 

“Sorry, sorry,” they apologize not being able to help themselves, “Please go on,” they insist before exploding into uncontrollable hysterics again.

I turn over, nearly taking out the Aztec-patterned lamp on the bedside table in this wretched downtown Hollywood hotel. I’m hoping to shake the night demons but they come at me from a new angle: Music.   

I hear people saying, “I don’t hear the hit.”  “Where’s the single?” I’m desperate and sad and letting everyone down.  I’ve gotten way over my head.  I feel trapped.  I’ve got to get out of here!!!

It’s noon:30 when I wake up again, slightly hungover. I splash water on my face and answer the door when Scott Sax, my writing partner from Warner-Chappel, knocks.  He drives the demons out with his funky suit jacket and Puff Daddy hat and his sweet, cool, funny vibe.

Together, we partially write, two songs, “All This Time,” and “March Like Soldiers.” He is a lifesaver. I am honored to get to write with him. Thank GOD he came when he did.

Los Angeles, CA – “Snapshot at a Quarter Century ” – January 6, 1999

It’s the day before my 25th birthday and my moods are as tropical as a pina colada.  I cannot stand the way I feel in my skin.  I look fat and bloated especially when I smile which makes me frown and feel worse.  My eyelids feel too heavy to open and my hair feels like straw.  

The fact that it’s a glorious day and I’m in a green Mustang convertible, sipping a mocha frappuccino outside a Starbucks on Sunset Strip just proves that happiness is not contingent on external circumstances.  Joy is an inside job. 

Let’s see, how can I summersault myself into a different way of metabolizing this moment….

I’m wearing my tight red sweater.  Golden, shoe-string braids hang lightly over my shoulders. The breeze is cool on my cheeks and life is actually pretty sweet.  I mean fuck it,that my new barrettes flew out of the window as I cruised down the 10.  Fuck it that my pants feel tight around my waist.  I am a totally powerful babe and pitying myself for being a woman is not, and has never been helpful.

There, that’s better.

Dad called while I was grabbing breakfast at “The Firehouse” in Venice.  Over an egg white omelet and hot coco, he congratulated me on making it to a quarter century.

“You’re half my age and you’ll never be younger than half my age EVER again!” He reported enthusiastically which I thought was a very dad-like calculation to have made.  I thanked him for inviting me to this life and letting me tag along for a while on his.  He liked that.

“That’s a good thing for you to say my Sal.”

Aspen, CO – “Post-Gig Gifts” -The Howlin’ Wolf – December 29, 1998

We’ve played The Howling Wolf two nights in a row.

My audience is so generous.  People shower me with unmerited gifts after shows.  Some give me pot, some mushrooms, some validation, some drunken hugs, and sometimes someone gives me pieces of myself I thought I’d lost for good or didn’t even know to miss.  Sometimes it’s a photograph or the recollection of a summer day our paths crossed at a county fair.  These are the most precious of post-gig gifts. The true benefit of celebrity affiliation is that people collect pieces of your life you didn’t know to make precious in the moment. Here are a few such gifts.

Vail, CO – “Pre-Famous Faces” – Garton’s – December 21, 1998

On Garton’s walls, hang pictures of bands playing on its stage before they were famous.  A barely recognizable 23-year-old Sheryl Crow with what looks like a blond poodle glued to her head rocks out from an unpresumptuous black frame.  A framed, faded press clipping reads “Dave Matthews Band plays Gatrton’s,” and shows what looks like a picture of a glorified high school garageband.  There are many other impressive pre-famous faces entombed in glass and unimpressive frames bolted to Garton’s walls.  I felt grateful to be among such a crew of musicians.

The show was a huge success.   I managed to sell 40 CDs! and finally (phew) made a profit ($100 bucks) on a gig alone. 

The band stayed up late, long past closing time. Long after the audience had gone home and the bolts on the doors had bit their mechanical locks. With the staff and bartenders we drank wine and played pool and a handsome guy named Dax from LA flirted with me and I let him. When we left the club at 3:00, Dax carried my guitar down to the van to say goodnight. He kissed me a little goodbye too.

The band condo was a refrigerator with beige rugs to hide beige stains and cigarette burns.  Out of three rooms, I got the one with the king-size bed.  With an unexpected 5th wave of energy, we gathered out in the living room, perched on the arms of tweed couches and rummaged through plastic swag bags generously left for us from the staff at Garton’s.  We traded each other chocolates for granola bars and Advil for Dentine. I found a pair of black sweatpants in the closet and put them on.  It was cold and I didn’t care whose they were.  We fell asleep one step ahead of the sun. The next afternoon, on our way back to Boulder, the boys bought me floor mats for Moby for Christmas.  They’re the best.

Breckenridge, CO – “Camp-Smoke-A-Lot-A-Ganga” – Joshua’s – December 19, 1998

I slept amongst moth balls last night after our Breck show in our sound guy, Howard’s basement. Howard is probably the nicest guy I’ve ever met but his windowless, cement, cellar walls reminded me of a prison cell. I fell asleep to The Door’s, singing “This is the End.” Plumes of ganga smoke made phantom, puppet-like shadows against vibrant red and orange hallucinogenic posters stuck to the wall with masking tape.  In the night, the cold crept between the felting in my supplied wool army green blanket like an unwelcome lover. As I struggled to recall the events of the show earlier, I regretted taking that final hit off of Howard’s Alice In Wonderland-looking hooka pipe.

The drive to Breckenridge had been breathtaking I recalled, with arrow-sharp switchbacks, each offering a new angle on a jagged sky.  Silent mountains stared disappointedly down at us like overdemanding parents wondering what to do with a wayward child. 

Zuba, Kipp’s band, played Joshua’s the night before and we choreographed a meet-up at the Frisco “Loaf & Jug” to exchange Zuba CDs for my best friend Nisa.   Colorado Bands are constantly crossing tracks through the mountains. Occasionally we ask favors of one another like “Hey, we sold out of CDs last night at the venue you’re playing tonight.  Can you sneak into my ol’ lady’s shack on 12th and Pine and pick up a case of 30 for us.  Try not to scare the dog.”  or “Our bass player’s girlfriend’s sister’s hairdresser needs a ride from the gig in Vail to Telluride.  Can you swing by Eagle and grab her after your gig in Aspen?”

Early for our rendezvous with Zuba, I peed between two cars in the parking lot.  We slow-strolled “Loaf & Jug’s” isles, loading up on chocolate-covered pretzels and machine-milked mochas.  The sun was riding the horizon low, like a cowboy in a tired saddle.  We kicked at dirty islands of snow parked between 18-wheelers as we waited for Zuba to appear.  When their rust-red van pulled next to Moby their band poured out like crinkled socks from an overstuffed drawer.  We exchanged hugs, recent gig war stories, and a case of Zuba CDs for my best friend Nisa.   Nisa looked adorable in her ironic polyester Lily Pulitzer pants, fuzzy orange sweater, and butterfly hair clips.  Our bandmates mingled for a tailgate smoke and a coffee then, once again, we were ships in the night.

Kenny, Nisa, Brian & Friends

After soundcheck we grabbed all-you-can-eat linguini at “Rasta Pasta” and Howard took us back to his place “Camp-Smoke-A-Lot-A-Ganga,” where we all got naked and took an epic hot tub under newly hung stars surrounded by a playground of untouched snow.

The place was packed when we got back to Joshua’s to play at 10:00 PM.  Annoyingly, no one had been collecting money from the door so by the night’s end, we only broke even after paying Howard and our bar bill.

I think it’s fair to say our first set was…. hum….. challenging. There was a distinct split between audience members who might be future fans and those who just out to get piss-stinking drunk. Our second set was much better and Howard said we’d gotten a great response for our first time in Breckenridge. He reassured us, “Breck’s listening crowd only comes out to Joshua’s about twice a year and they came for you.”  It made us feel better.

Boulder, CO – “My Stomach Aches for my Mama” – December 17, 1998

I’m feeling sick to my stomach.  Perhaps it’s because of the severe intestinal flu that sent me to the ER for an anti-nausea IV in the middle of the night on Monday.  More likely it’s from the confounding questions my new booking agent, Cassy Burbeck needs answers to before he can start booking a national tour for me.  Casey wants to know: What’s my budget? What’s on my rider? Who’s in my band? What is my stage plot (what even is a stage plot?) Will we be ready in time for the Lillith Fair?  Where do I see myself in 6 months?  A year?  A decade?  I can’t imagine where I’ll be in 6 days let alone 6 months.  But I need a booking agent.  Booking myself is just the pits!  Venues stiff me and won’t call back to confirm the show beforehand.  Having booked my shows for three months now, I know exactly how much I’d pay not to have to do this job anymore, and when Casey says the going rate for agents is 10% of all gigs, that seems more than fair to me.

But my stomach still hurts, even after reconciling with my choice to hire Casey and answer all his scary questions and when I ask my stomach to tell me what’s at the root of its dis-ease an image pops up in my mind of my mama.  Earlier in the week, she was driving in her car, just minding her own business and was delighted when one of her songs came on the radio.  As she retold the story to me later in the evening on the phone, I imagined her bopping along to “You’re so Vain,” or “Jesse” or “Coming Around Again” as she threaded her way home, over backroads lined with puckerbrush and winter white slush on Martha’s Vineyard. 

At the end of her song, the DJ took a random caller who said “I saw Carly Simon at the anti-impeachment rally the other day and she looked awful.  I tell ya, I used to dig her when she was hanging around with James Taylor but she’s gotten OLD man.”  My mama recounted the insouciant caller with a New York accent.

“Yeah, her skin’s all wrinkly.” agreed the DJ.

“I guess that’s what happens when ya get old.” the caller theorized, “Your skin starts fallin’ off the bone.” They both laughed.  My mama cried all day.  I would too.  “It’s not fair mama.” I told her, “You’re sooooo beautiful! You’re timeless. You’re so talented. You’re a legend!” and I thought ‘why am I going into this profession?!?!

As I hung up I just kept telling myself ‘It’ll be OK. The work I’ve done on myself will spare me the worst of my ego’s weaponry down the line.’  But more than anything, I worry about getting hijacked by the spotlight and imprisoned by the applause.  Here are some exercises I promise myself to do to avoid the consequences of my future successes and failures.

  1. I’ll make fun of myself.
  2. I’ll make a point of enjoying other’s successes.
  3. I’ll separate my self-worth from my music’s value to others.
  4. I’ll never be jealous or bitter.
  5. I’ll never do anything just because it’ll “look good,” or “boost my image.”
  6. I’ll believe in everyone I surround myself with.
  7. I’ll stay curious and humble and trust my decisions.
  8. I won’t trust anyone.

I hope it’s enough. I’m sorry mama. It’s not fair. My stomach aches for you.

Boulder, CO – “Opening for Little Feet” – Fox Theater – December 13, 1998

I woke up on a sunburnt, brown, valore couch belonging to Charlie, a pal of a pal of a pal of Kipps who put us up after a late night turned into an early morning.  A river bent itself around the small timber-frame shack like a boa constrictor.  I noticed other lumps sleeping on other surfaces around the bright livingroom and registered them as musicians from various bands passing through town. Their instruments lay naked in various semi-precarious possitions. A guitarist was actually using his ax as a pillow. I picked at an unreasonable amount of dog hair in the blanket covering me, before realizing it actually was the dog’s blanket.  A golden retriever stared at me with hunched ears.  I imagined the inquisitive expression he wore pertained to my insensitivity having robbed him of his comforter overnight.

We opened for Little Feet at the Fox last night and the audience drank us up like a sponge.  Valiant fans shushed and shooed stray voices that arose to inadvertently distract them from earview.  They thought I was funny too and they laughed in tandem as I told only semi-funny jokes and danced around in gold and green shimmering stage lights.  I wasn’t even nervous.  But there’s nothing like a horrendous gig to make all subsequent gigs feel freeing and nothing could have been as horrendous as the gig in Telluride.

As I repositioned my sleep-kinked body to make room for the disgruntled dog, Charlie appeared in blue boxers and a head full of electrified hair.  Coffee in hand and lashes pasted shut he stole the space I’d just freed for his pup and muttered “I like you’re CD more than Alanis Morrissette’s” then, promptly fell asleep to open-mouth chainsaw the air with snoring. The other bodies sang along.

Telluride, CO – “You never lose your boyfriend, you just lose your turn” – The Fly Me To The Moon Saloon – December 12, 1998

We played the “Fly Me To The Moon Saloon,” a low-ceilinged, mine shaft of a venue tucked under the fluffy white skirts of Telluride’s main street. It’s known to book the best bands the state has to offer and It’s the first spot I ever cut my teeth (I played there solo opening for Acoustic Junction at Jazz Fest 1994 while my dad played the main stage). “The Moon,” as it’s known by the locals, is where I wrote “Red Room” and it is the “saloon” my Tomboy Bride “..walks in the backdoor” of in verse one. 

Telluride was home to me all last year and became the backdrop for many of my songs.  I named my album after reading a book by the same name by Harriet Fish Backus, a pioneering woman who came to Telluride at the turn of the century with her husband to forge a new life.  Tomboy is a ghost town now.  Its boarded windows and sunken roofs haunt Telluride from 3,000 feet above its ski bum head.  But once, it was home to hard-working gold miners who imported wives from places like New York and Califonia to tend their houses while they went off to extract ore from the mountains.  These new brides would be left for months at a time to fend for themselves 11,500 feet above sea level, under 7 feet of snow. 

I identified with these women when I moved to Telluride and Harriet (Hattie) in particular.  I fancied myself a modern-day version of her if I’m immodest, leaving home, venturing alone into the snow-covered mountains, wild-eyed at the mercy of the unknown.  I wrote the song “Tomboy Bride about Hattie, about us.  About all pioneering spirited ladies who dare to cut their own paths across the wilderness with fearless hearts.   

Here’s some backstory about Tomboy Bride’s chorus:

“With her long hair, waterfall down” references Bridal Vail Falls, a hike with a waterfall above town that looks up, like a lover, at the town of Tomboy.

“And her wild ways, wind through the town” is about the whipping wind that busts through Telluride’s wide streets straight through the continental divide. Getting hit with a gust is like a toast made to pioneering-spirited women.

“And her pipe smoke, clouds in the sky” is about clouds that sit on the town in the mornings and remind me of a smoking badass babe who doesn’t care who she offends.

“Please marry me, be my Tomboy Bride.”  These will be my husband’s lyrics when he comes to ask for my hand.

I’d been looking forward to the show for weeks. My local friends were coming and I knew the room like the bottom of a beer can but… No one told us we were playing during “Arizona Days.”  Once a year, the mountain runs a week-long “ski free” special for Arizonans,’  who are bussed into town, wearing Aztec multicolored blanket coats and leather Akubra hats.  With more style than grace, they dive straight down steeps which churn them up and spit them out at the bottom.  Local hospitals and bars are equally full of our southern brethren during “Arizona Days” and despite casts and splints, these people want to dance.  We, my friends, are not a dance band.

The wind was hollering when we arrived in town.  I was last out of the van and managed to lock my corduroy jacket in the back while trying unsuccessfully to unstick my static-clinging skirt from my unshaven leg hair.  Guitar in hand and teeth clenched I bent my head into the wind and headed toward the saloon. 

Backstage in the green room, I scrawled the lyrics to the song I’d written there, “Red Room,”  on the wall. When we took the stage at 10:15, we were greeted by a crowd who, unable to use us to dance too, treated us like we were invisible.  They smoked and smoked and smoked and got drunk and yelled over us.  Nobody listened and nobody cared we were up there. Often no one noticed a song had ended. 

At set break, I had to run into all the boys I kissed last year (which was a few more than I’d accounted for)  In Telluride, the saying goes “You never lose your boyfriend, you just lose your turn.”  As we took the stage for a second humiliating act, the manager, Rodney pulled me aside.

“I was just told you have 45 minutes left.  That’s wrong, right?!?!”

“No, I mean, yes, we do only have 45 minutes left,”  I told him

“No.  You have to have more.  Didn’t Kipp tell you?  You’re doing 3 sets – 45 minutes a piece.”  The idea of staring out at a sea of smoke and Aztec print and old flames and beer goggled eyes for an extra set made me want to tie my guitar strings in a knot.  Instead, I said, “I guess I could ask the boys to do a 30-minute jam.” My eyebrows lifted like crane wings over my incredulous expression. Rodney simply replied,

“Yeah, do that.  It’ll help cover your guarantee.” Ouch.

At the end of an ego-bruising 30-minute jam, Rodney handed me $300 bucks plus $105 we made in CD sales and charged us for the beer.  I need a booking agent.

On the ride home, we stopped at a Safeway.  I bought carrots, hummus, and Pons blackhead strips. The whole band got in on the act.  I love my guys.

Vail, CO – “First Headline” – The Double Diamond – December 6, 1998

Jeremy is predictably late, so even though I begged him to be on time for this, our first real headlining show, it was no surprise to anyone he wasn’t there for soundcheck at 5:00.   But when Jeremy wasn’t there at 6:00 or at 7:00 either, Greg (our sound man and Brian’s brother) checked his mic and guitar for him and we figured he’d make it to the venue before dinner.

But when he still wasn’t there by 8:00 and then 9:00, we started getting worried. It was Colorado’s first big snowfall of the season, and some roads were being closed for those without snow tires or 4-wheel drive.  “Mercury’s in Retrograde” explained the large busted hostess overhearing our predicament.   I checked the state police report for accidents but Kipp reassured me, “Jeremy has a four-wheel, brand-new Rodeo. He’ll be fine.”   

When Jeremy called at 9:30 we were just sitting down to dinner at an Asian fusion place in town.  

“I’ve been in an accident!” he reported, “I flipped my car twice!  My car is totally totaled, man.” He sounded a little high.

“Are you alright?!?!  Where are you?” I yelled over the dinner time din.  “Kipp is coming to get you,” I reassured him.

“No.  Oh, no, no.  Well, thank Kipp for me but, no I’m OK, but I’m an hour away and I ain’t gonna make the show.”

“Where are you, Jeremy?!” His story was beginning to sound a bit fishy.

“I’m in a uh, uh a town near Vail,” he said fishing for a name. 

“Where?!” I wanted to know.

“Uh, a Best Western?”

Did he think I was a complete moron?  He clearly never intended to make it to this gig.  There was no way he was in an accident, a Best Western or an hour away.  This was complete bullshit.

Kipp grabbed the phone out of my hand and told Jeremy in no uncertain terms he was coming to get him.  At this, Jeremy pitched a fit.

“You’re so selfish man,” I heard his defensiveness bleed through the receiver.  “You think I’d make it to the show after I got in an accident man?!?  Who are you man?!  If you showed up in a van right now to pick me up man, I swear man, I would NOT get in that car with you man!” The line went dead and Kipp hugged me.   I stared at a poster of a volcano erupting on a wall and then one of a rainforest scene.  Tears fell out of my face.  Kenny and Brian came to my rescue.  They hugged me and rested their foreheads on my shoulders.  Though Jeremy was absent, for the first time, I felt like I had a real band. 

“My brother Greg can play a little guitar Sal,” said Brian.  “I have an idea, meet us back at the Diamond.  We’ll borrow a guitar from Paul at Howlin’ Wolf and start teaching Greg how to play the songs.”  It was a real last resort but there was nothing left to lose.  When I returned to the club the boys were in the dressing room, instruments in hand. “Let’s do this!” I said.

Our green room was humid with our nervous energy.  The stench of late-night parties and other band’s B.O. haunted the room.  We drank red wine from clear plastic cups and wiped the mirrors down when they fogged up with our enthusiasm.  With 40 minutes till the show, we crammed the mandatory ingredients for 8 songs into a guy who only knew how to play guitar a little.  We laughed at the impossibility of the situation and cursed Jeremy between sips.  There wasn’t a spare second to change into stage clothes in private. Between lyrics, I’d simply holler “Boys, close your eyes!” whip off my shirt, exchange it with a blouse, and yell “OK, Open,” repeating this exercise until I was stage-ready.

Greg McRae

At 11:15 Greg was as ready as he would be.  He felt confident, at least with the first set, and I propped cheat sheets on a scarecrow-like music stand for him on stage.  I entered the spotlight, and explained we were a man down but had enlisted a guy who knew a little guitar, to play our songs “What’s your name again?” I joked at Greg who joined me from stage left.  The audience roared and cheered on our courage as we set off into the unknown. 

Perhaps it was our low expectations or the grace of Dr. Theater but we pulled it off.  We knew intuitively which bridges to cut and what solos to modify.  We were in sync.  During the set break, between signing CDs and taking pictures, I taught Greg the second set and the last 8 songs sounded even better than the first.  People danced and clapped and bought CDs and congratulated us on a great first show.  We loaded up Moby as the last flurries of the early morning fell across Aspen mountains. 

Hitting our crusty, curtesy band-room beds I felt grateful, not angry. Though I must admit, I did get a twinge of satisfaction when I turned off the light and Kenny uttered, “Take that, Jeremy!”

Boulder, CO – “Jeremy (Guitar) Quit” – December 4, 1998

Jeremy (guitar) quit the band yesterday.  I called to give him a van departure time for our gig at The Double Diamond in Aspen tomorrow.  I could hear him over the phone beating around the bush, his feet shuffling and kicking at a snow bank in his backyard.  After some hemming and hawing, I insisted he tell me what was going on.

  • He told me he was broke (despite a $2,500 sound system he just bought himself).
  • He told me he lives in a crack den (the condo I rented on his behalf in central Boulder.  Not a crack den)
  • He told me he wanted to move to New York with his brother and “play the scene.”  I don’t think he knew what he meant by “play the scene” but he made it sound cooler than what I was doing for sure.

I was torn between resenting the hell out of him and feeling deeply relieved.  He’s been a headache since he arrived in Boulder and his departure will gratefully put an end to my babysitting and tippy-toeing around him. Still, I must acknowledge, The Sally Taylor Band will be losing a great talent in him when he goes.  My big takeaways from my experiment hiring Jeremy are the following:

  1. All that glitters is not gold.  It is better to hire a talented, loyal player than a brilliant self-centered one.
  2. Don’t trust a promise made by a guitar player hiding behind mirrored aviator sunglasses and
  3. Mr. Jeremy probably just needs some good antidepressants and a little dose of grow the fuck up. 

I told him lightheartedly to just concentrate on making it through December with me and then he could do whatever he wanted.   I let him know what time and place Moby was leaving from in the morning.  More hemming and hawing ensued and I could tell he wanted to say more than his ego could afford. “For the love of God Jeremy, please just tell me what’s on your mind.” Awkwardly he said, “I’m gonna make my way up to the gig tomorrow in my own car.”  

“Why?” I asked.

“I might want to bring some friends,” he said. I suggested he bring them up in Moby, ” That’s why I got a 15-passenger van.” I said

“Well,” he said, “I might want to leave after the show.”

“You want to leave Aspen after the show at 2:30 in the morning to drive 4 hours back to Boulder?!?!”

“I might,” he said. I had no more fight in me and relented, “OK, but this is a big show for us.  Please be on time for Soundcheck at 5 pm.”

I hung up with a sign telling myself “Better things are on the horizon.”  I can’t explain my optimism, but the future feels tingly from here, like a newly brushed set of teeth.   I say this even though all the songs I’ve written in the past month are crap and now I have to find a new guitar player.