Q – This is one of my favourite songs of yours and Im looking forward to finally hearing it in stereo when the new collection is released.
But I have always been curious of how lyric-wise it doesn’t seem to sit with the songs on Bad Vibes, and seems to belong more to the ‘vibe’ of your first solo album. Was it a case of a lyric waiting for a tune?
A – When the ‘Ashtrays’ compilation comes out these types of issues will all be cleared up. When I delivered my first solo record to Polydor in 1989 they said ‘Great, but there is no first single.’. This statement had yet to assume it’s broken record status so I went away and wrote some more songs and demoed them. The first two were The ‘L’ Word and Mannish Girl. The recordings were done at Harold Dessau studios in Tribeca, the band being the rhythm section of Certain General, Quine and myself. These songs were rejected by Polydor. I then wrote and recorded No Blue Skies (along with Blame Mary Jane) which Polydor accepted. Finding something to do with a recording which is clearly not a ‘b-side’, but which doesn’t fit in with the albums one is making is a quandry, and I eventually put Mannish Girl out of it’s misery as a Bad Vibes b-side. Quiet out of place, I agree.
In retrospect I think the Dessau recordings are amongst my very best and The ‘L’ Word is far superior (especially Quine’s playing) to Tell Your Sister, which it became, on DGWOMB. Consequently tracks 1 and 2 on ‘Ashtrays’ disc one will be these recordings.