Pith & Wind -
I write the songs..
It was during the interview I did with Chris
Pearson on 3PBS the other night that I experienced
a personal revelation about songwriting
– and about my songwriting in particular.
Chris played a number of my songs end-to-end,
songs from different eras that have been
written over a forty-year plus period, and
perhaps because I’ve never actually
taken the trouble to subject myself to that
exercise, some of my songwriting idiosyncrasies
became uncomfortably evident to me over
the course of the interview.
As I struggled with this insight I seem
to remember rather defensively trying to
make the point that writing for a band is
a quite different process to writing with,
say, a singer in mind, or even with nobody
in particular in mind. There’re any
amount of examples of songs that, while
they’re perfectly good songs in a
band context, don’t seem to cut it
when an artist other than the band they
were written for or by performs them. The
Beatles have been covered by everybody,
even Spectrum*, with mixed results, and
there are versions of Beatle songs perpetrated
by Frank Sinatra (Something) and
others of that ilk (i.e. Ella Fitzgerald)
during the latter part of their careers,
but there are bands whose output defies
anybody else to tackle it - think of the
entire Pink Floyd songbook for example,
or even a singles-orientated band like The
Kinks - and you would hardly say that this
is a reflection on the quality of the songwriting.
Anyway, Chris opened the show with...