I’ve had just a riff of a song in my head for the past two weeks and I did everything I knew to find out what it was. “Heartbreak, loneliness….” I searched the web, I asked friends. I dug out my old cassette tapes. Nothing. I knew that the song was from the years, way back, when I lived with Cameron on Santa Clara Street in Ventura, getting schooled on the cool. Black hair dye, crinoline skirts, poetry readings before they were slams, thrift scavenging, lemon yogurt, surf boards, diners: my late twenties. We were listening to a lot of music, watching a lot of movies, smoking a lot of weed and living good, for the most part. Not even extensive reminiscing brought the song back for me. I had to go to the source. Here’s my email communication with Cam (I’ve added links):
Me: A question only you can answer. Santa Clara days: what’s the song that has the background refrain, “Heartbreak, Loneliness…” and it goes on? It’s been in my head for weeks now and I can’t find it or remember it fully.
Cam: The “heart break… loneliness” refrain was from the intro to a Screaming Jay Hawkins song “Constipation Blues“. If you heard my tape loop manipulation version it most likely had a backing looped intro musical track from Henry Mancini’s “Baby Elephant Walk.” I think it was sped up about twice normal speed on an old Tascam Porta-studio 1. I don’t really remember the motivation behind that combination of sounds but it did seem to have humorous effect. I think I faded the vocal portion in and out and panned it so the heart breaks and lonlinesses would change from left to right while the doot-doot-doo-doo..doot-doo-doo just rambled around like a train in circle. Kind of dizzying and ridiculous ultimately.
Dizzying and ridiculous enough to transport me and keep me for weeks.