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Fred Clark / Blog

Happy Fun children's album

Happy Fun is now released and available at cdbaby.com and itunes. Watch the video of the title track here on reverbnation or youtube.com/fredclarktv

Lyric Series--Destination Unknown

Destination Unknown was written in 1999 and appears on the Dakin album. The song was written in the spirit of the "outlaw country" genre of music, and partially inspired by the "Moocher" character (played by Jackie Earle Haley) in the 1979 movie "Breaking Away". In the song, the main character is an unemployed, homeless, alcoholic who does not want anyone to have authority over him. He realizes he has a problem and although he says he wants to better his life, he's not really willing to do what it takes to better his situation. This is one of my fav songs from the Dakin album. I love the lyrics. I've always thought of the song as the background and/or basis of a screenplay movie. DESTINATION UNKNOWN The sun comes up and I go down I'm wearing a whiskey bottle frown again I lost my job and it's hard to see what it is God wants from me today Destination unknown I hope I find a home and a way to make some dough someday soon someday soon Days go by and the roosters crow I wish I had somewhere to go I guess if I could only find a job then I won't be just some poor slob on the street Destination unknown I hope I find a home and a way to make some dough someday soon someday soon What do you know I found some work but wouldn't you know it my boss he's a jerk I can't take the stress I need my space I'm punching out don't need this rat race anymore Freedom has a price you see can you truly let it be I wonder I'm down and out I'm just a bum I see my future in a bottle of rum oh no Destination unknown I hope I find a home and a way to make some dough someday soon someday soon Destination unknown I hope I find a home and a way to make some dough someday soon someday soon C1999 P2000 Fred W Clark Rockout Records/Surfmonk Music ASCAP ....and so comes an end to my Lyric Series, at least until the next album comes out. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Lyric Series--Just Another Day--Part 2

continued.... Anyway, I have had many questions over the years concerning Michael Stipe. There is no feud. Like I said, the one time we met it was a good time, and this was a few years before he attained his superstardom. I seriously doubt that Michael remembers me, knows who I am, has heard this song, or any of my other songs for that matter. It doesn't bother me anymore about what he thinks about our old town or school. I've come to realize more over time that I felt somewhat alienated and isolated from the crowd back in the day much like he did. If he said something in an article, it was just something he blurted out during one moment in time, then moved on. I did the same. Doesn't mean I feel that way now. FYI--the catsup bottle reference is for the World's Largest Catsup Bottle Water Tower, located in Collinsville. I am actually considering recording some alternate versions of some of my songs, and "Just Another Day" is at the top of the list. If I do, It would be a total rewrite of the JAD lyrics as you know them. I made my solo debut just a few days after writing the song, and included it in the set. I got a little tongue tied during the verse and sang "pathetic life" although it had been written as "prophetic life". After my performance, several people told me they really liked "the pathetic life song" so I kept that as the lyric! I played the coffee house circuit for over a year after that, and my attempts to start a new band was unsuccessful. my career was starting to slow down when a friend of mine, Jim Clinard, wanted to videotape a performance of the song along with an interview. That videotape was later viewed by Kelly Laster, who wanted the song included in his feature film, "Manifest Of The Heart", which led to the recording of my first CD, and the rest is history. JUST ANOTHER DAY Some may say I have an interesting life ask my daughter or my ex-wife I'm a working guy without a lot to say but maybe I'll talk maybe today It's just another day in my life just another day in my pathetic life just another day in my life and it don't seem all that special to me Spent some time out in L.A. worked real hard for little pay but I made some friends maybe you know maybe you've seen them on a tv show It's just another day in my life just another day in my pathetic life just another day in my life and it don't seem all that special to me I just want somebody to hold to call my own before I grow old I got a word or two for Michael Stipe say what you want cause you got the right but some of us here in this catsup bottle town don't deserve to be cut down It's just another day in my life just another day in my pathetic life just another day in my life and it don't seem all that special to me C1994 P1996 Fred W Clark Rockout Records/Surfmonk Music ASCAP

Lyric Series---Just Another Day--Part 1

Written in 1994, "Just Another Day" appears on the CD of the same title. In 1987 I wrote a song, "Fade To Grey", which uses the "Just Another Day" chorus music as it's verse. "Fade To Grey" went through several rewrites over the years, and I was never totally satisfied with the results. My solo debut was to be on March 27, 1994 at an open mike night at the Stagger Inn Again in Edwardsville, IL. A few days prior to that I came up with a drone string riff and put it together with the "Fade To Grey" chorus. For the lyrics, I came up with the first thing that came to mind, but the basic theme was that despite sometimes being the center of attention, and despite whatever (low level) of celebrity I may have attained, I had to deal with the same regular guy, mundane, dysfunctional issues as everyone else. At the time I was dealing with a depression brought on by a divorce, and it was consuming me. My accomplishments were really secondary to the pain I was experiencing. For some reason I decide to add a third verse--the Stipe/catsup bottle verse. First I must tell you that although we attended the same high school, I did not know Michael Stipe, he was three years ahead of me in school. Yes, I saw him around town once in awhile, and he knew several of my friends. I did meet him right about the time R.E.M.'s second record came out. Me and some friends got to spend about an hour with him, and it was a good time. Years later, there was an article in which he had some not-so-kind comments about our town and school. It just bothered me a bit because I felt me and some of my friends did not fit into the "characterless" description Mr.Stipe had alluded to in the article. (Do you see the dysfunction and conflict within me within the song?) to be continued..... ASCAP

Lyric Series---Mary Rose

"Mary Rose" was written in 1999 and appears on the Dakin CD. First I must say that I don't know anyone named Mary Rose. My goal for this song was to evoke images of a simpler time, a simpler type of love, and it was just a name I came up with that had an old fashioned sound to it. I used phrases that reminded me of the 1890's to the early 1960's. MARY ROSE Hey there Mary Rose I see you bought yourself a new set of clothes I've been meaning to ask you out I know a little juke joint where we can twist and shout Hey Mary Rose Hey Mary Rose Rockin' to the band walkin' hand in hand learning true love ways in these lazy summer days hey Mary Rose Mary Rose Hey there Mary Rose your grace and beauty is a site to behold you know I like the way you move lady your radiance illuminates the room hey Mary Rose hey Mary Rose Rockin' to the band walkin' hand in hand learning true love ways in these lazy summer days hey Mary Rose Mary Rose I could fall in love with you because of everything you do yes I could fall in love with you because of everything you do hey Mary Rose Mary Rose Mary Rose hey Mary Rose hey Mary Rose hey Mary Rose Mary Rose hey Mary Rose hey Mary Rose hey Mary Rose Mary Rose hey Mary Rose hey Mary Rose hey Mary Rose hey Mary Rose C1999 P2000 Fred W Clark Rockout Records/Surfmonk Music ASCAP

Lyric Series---Driving Through Georgia

"Driving Through Georgia" was written in 1993 and appears on the Just Another Day CD. In 1993 I was in the midst of a musical hiatus after some time spent in cover bands. The only writing of note in the '90's to that point was "Saint Louis Rockin' Blues" (1991). I was being encouraged by my friends Keith Winkler and Dave Lochmann to resume my career and was considering it, when I decided to take a vacation, my first real vacation as a an adult. In June, I packed my bag and headed off to Panama City, Florida, to hang out at the beach and enjoy the summer sun for a few days. The movie "The Fugitive" opened that week, and seeing I was an extra (playing a cop running into a hotel)I went to watch it. (Don't bother trying to find me in it, unless you are sitting with me and I have my finger on the pause button. Even then, all you can see is the back of my head). Anyway, after Panama City I drove around Florida, first Tampa, then Orlando and Jacksonville. I went to the dog races, an art museum, a minor league baseball game, and saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. It was a good time. The ride home was a drive through the entire length of Georgia. As a I entered Georgia, I decide to listen to some Georgia music. (I am from Collinsville, Illinois, so read into that whatever you may) I was enjoying the scenery, the sights,the smells, and the sounds. I couldn't have been any more than 80 miles into Georgia when I came up with an idea for a song. I couldn't wait to get back home to try to play the music and get the lyrics right. When I returned home, I realized I was going to have something special and that my hiatus was over. I was back in the music biz. I immediately called my old bandmate Michael Gassmann to help me co-write the lyrics. I wanted this new song to continue in the tradition of the song "Alone" that we had co-written about a decade earlier. I told Mike the vibe I was looking for and some of my ideas. I wanted the song to be called "Driving Through Georgia". A few days later he came back to me with the verses. I made a few very minor adjustments to fit the rhythm of my playing, and the anchor song for my early solo career was born. DRIVING THROUGH GEORGIA Filled up my tank down at the Texaco Eighty miles was a lifetime ago and as I drift out of my window I'm thinking of you Driving through driving through driving through Georgia thinking of you Sip of java just to stay alive Rand McNally's sitting by my side memory says there's nowhere to hide 'cause I'm thinking of you Driving through driving through driving through Georgia thinking of you Driving through driving through driving through Georgia thinking of you C1993 P1996 Fred W Clark, Michael E Gassmann Rockout Records/Surfmonk Music (ASCAP)

Lyric Series-- The Ballad Of Mr. O'Donnell's Daughter

The Ballad Of Mr. O'Donnell's Daughter was written in 1999 and appears on the Living In Dakin's Neighborhood CD. This was another case of a simultaneous lyric/chord convergence one day while playing around with my guitar. The first verse and the G-D-F-C chord progression just came to me without any thought whatsoever. Sometimes I just get lucky that way. I knew I wanted it to be an unrequited love type of song, but wasn't quite sure where to go with it. I did know that I wanted to keep the Irish feel to the remainder of the lyrics. I almost immediately turned to Stephen Koritta, told him my basic idea, and asked him what he could do with it. He came back a few days later with the remainder of the song. I made a few tweaks, and voila, it was complete. This song seems to bring up alot of discussion, people asking if this is exposing some sort of dark stalker side of me, and I can assure you it is not, and I think I can say the same thing when it comes to Stephen. There have been many weird theories as to who the subjects are in relation to me, and I can say it is no one--just a figment of my (and Stephen's) imagination. After the fact, I can tell you I did have a good friend I hung out with in high school/college, Lisa O'Donnell, who dated a couple of my friends, and who I did have a bit of an unrequited crush on, but again, I made the connection after the song was written, and I don't consider anyone to be the inspiration, but Lisa is worth mentioning if anything due to the coincidence---or is it my subconcious coming into play? BTW-I love the twist at the last line. THE BALLAD OF MR. O'DONNELL'S DAUGHTER Mr. O'Donnell I noticed your daughter wandering along the field over yonder hand in hand with a wild eyed boy who goes by the name of Danny Malloy His temper is wicked his manner so sly his tongue it grows crooked and he reeks of the rye I thought you should know and it brings me no joy to slander the name of young Danny Malloy A couple days later I noticed your daughter with that boy Danny way down by the water under the dock where the fishing boats tie and may the Lord strike me should this be a lie Mr. O'Donnell I've seen them together side by side on the hay and the heather his voice in a whisper her hair all undone behind the old mill in the afternoon sun Batten the door to her chamber down tight by chance young Danny comes calling at night fetch your prize pistol from out of it's case I'd do the same sir if it were my place Mr. O'Donnell I noticed your daughter wandering along the field over yonder hand in hand with a wild eyed boy how I wish I could be that Danny Malloy C 1999, P 2000, Fred W Clark, Stephen J Koritta, Rockout Records/Surfmonk Music ASCAP All Rights Reserved from the CD Living In Dakin's Neighborhood

Lyric Series--Insane

Insane was written in 1996 and appears on the JAD album. The song was written with the pain of a lost love in mind. The main character is assuming the lost love thinks he has completely "lost it". Although there is serious, realistic issues presented, it was written in the spirit of humor, as evidenced by the music, which is a '50's style 1-6 minor-4-5 progression. INSANE I know you know I've gone insane and I think you think it's just a game I go you go our seperate ways I cry you sigh no love remains The pain I feel is real and I think I've had my fill of pain, of pain 'cause I've gone insane I lose and sing the blues you go away I'm sad and feel bad dark rainy day and I go you go our seperate ways I cry you sigh no love remains The pain I feel is real and i think I've had my fill of pain, of pain 'cause I've gone insane I go you go our seperate ways 'cause I've gone insane C/P 1996 Fred W Clark Rockout Records/Surfmonk Music

Lyric Series---Saga Of The Coffehouse Blues

"Saga Of The Coffehouse Blues" was written in 1997 and appears on Living In Dakin's Neighborhood. Saga is a folk song with a glimpse of some characters one might encounter at a coffeehouse. Laurie the hippy girl represents someone who has been abused and turns to creativity to deal with her pain. Insurance man represents everyone who is dissatisfied with their job and wishes they were doing what they truly love. Tommy represents those unhappily alienated from someone they love, who, although a little down, remains optimistic and hopeful for the future. Elizabeth represents someone who once held great promise, but just didn't quite live up to it, and now is just a gal trying to get by as pleasantly as possible. The coffehouse is a social network where they all feel safe, and a place where they are all hoping to receive some type of validation. SAGA OF THE COFFEEHOUSE BLUES There's a place that I like to go come with me it's down the road inside and sitting at a table is hippy Laurie composing a fable about a dragon and a majorette girl he stole her baton she no longer twirls See the dude with a cup in his hand hates his job of insurance man tries to relax with a cup of joe wishes he could dance in a broadway show but he has a car payment due so he deals business cards to the java crew and this is the saga of the coffeehouse blues coffeehouse blues coffeehouse blues Tommy sings his songs and plays guitar asks questions of who we are hasn't seen his dad in many a year psychotherapy alleviates his fears always winks when you throw him a tip dreams of a gig on a love boat ship and this is the saga of the coffeehouse blues coffeehouse blues coffeehouse blues Elizabeth she keeps the tables clean, once had a date with Charlie Sheen a long time ago way back in her past when she lived her life a little too fast always smiles when she serves a cup well she kind of looks like Ivana Trump and this is the saga of the coffeehouse blues coffeehouse blues coffeehouse blues Just trying to find a friend hoping the pain will end but you won't find the answer here just some time to wipe away a tear and this is the saga of the coffeehouse blues coffeehouse blues coffeehouse blues C 1997 P 2000 Fred W Clark Rockout Records/Surfmonk Music ASCAP

Lyric Series--Horseshoe Lake Road

Horseshoe Lake Road was written in 1994 and appears on the JAD CD. Horseshoe Lake Road is basically a non-highway road connecting Collinsville to Granite City, IL, and is named after Horseshoe Lake. There is a campground there. It was at the time, a fairly non descript road. I don't recall any businesses along the side, just streets leading into subdivisions and some horseradish fields. My memory is somewhat hazy, although it was a street I drove with some regularity. My guess is that these days it is building up, especially since Collinsville has built up so much on nearby 157, where there may soon be a major league soccer team. The song itself is a simple love song, of a love gone, but still appreciated for what it was. Horseshoe Lake Road The best thing that I ever did was to be friends with you I was down and you picked me up You looked at me and you could see what no one else could my days are brighter because of you Do you remember when we kissed again and again do you remember Horseshoe Lake Road Opportunity knocked one day and took you away that's okay your spirit is still with me Do you remember when we kissed again and again do you remember Horseshoe Lake Road C 1994 P 1996 Fred W Clark Rockout Records/Surfmonk Music ASCAP