Just a Couple of Kids

The youngest smallest smartest kid in my High School classes was tough. In the middle of 1st grade, they moved me to 2nd grade in the little 2-room country school I attended.

Volga and Range both had 2-room school houses, with 1st through 3rd in one room, 4th through 6th in the other. About 10 kids in each grade; 60 total in the school. We moved in after the school year started so I had the last seat in the 1st graders. When I was promoted, I didn’t even have to move my desk, I was just the first seat in the 2nd graders.

Bullying was a big part of my life when I was younger. Whether it was the bully’s natural desire to attack the defenseless, or a reaction to my, I’ll admit, sometimes abrasive personality, I spent more time running through school hallways or running home than most kids.

Nowadays, injustice makes my blood boil. I have to work to keep my reactions reasonable but still passionate.

Okay, that’s way darker than I intended. Here’s how the song was recorded which, as a songwriter, feels kinda cool.

Just a Couple of Kids

It was pouring rain. Not quite Texas thunderstorm, but northern California’s reasonable facsimile thereof. Just rain, no thunder or lightning.

For a lark, I connected two mic cables and hauled the microphone onto the back deck. It was a raised wooden deck covered by the roof of the house. Down below was another wooden deck at ground level. The rest of the yard, sadly, was concrete. Not great for the Little One to play in, but excellent for the sound of rain slashing away at the earth.

Not knowing when the rain would stop, I wanted to record the vocals right away, with the rain in the background. More efficient to just record the rain, then overdub, but I wanted to do it live. Since I’d written the music for the song 10 minutes before (using lyrics which came to me all of a piece, as fast as my hand could write) I knew I wasn’t going to play guitar and sing at the same time. It needed a twangy electric, anyway, and I know better than to play electric guitar in the rain. (Comments about knowing to come in out of it are unnecessary. Really.)

Trusting my sense of rhythm, I sang the vocal track a capella and hoped for the best. Then I dragged it all back inside and recorded the twangy guitar by playing behind the last pickup on my Strat, where the twang lives.

It turned out well enough that it’s the song I open my shows with now.

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