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March 13, 2011 / John Sieger

Nashville Bum

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This song was inspired by two stories I heard when I was in Nashville. One was told to me by Mike McAdam, a great session and touring guitarist and he swears it’s true. At the intersection of West End and Murphy road, Mike was sitting at a light. He looked to his left and saw a tricked out monster pickup with every option, the maximum amount of wheels, chrome, extra lights—you name it. It smelled like money. On his right, the rattiest truck he’d ever seen. Belching smoke, falling apart and, in general, a disgrace to the very idea of pickups. One last glance before the light changed revealed—and I swear this is exactly what he told me—Garth Brooks in the shiny beast and Townes VanZandt in the wreck! The other story would be easier to credit if I could remember who told, but I can’t. I may have had a PBR or two in me when it was told. A guy pulls up to the back of a Music Row building in his convertible (a lot of the offices are alley accessible) with his radio blasting a  country tune. A guy pulls himself out of dumpster and shouts at him, “Turn that up, that’s one I wrote!” I wish this song was peppier, but I like the premise. A guy buys songs from a bum in Music City. The bum turns up dead. They find the guys name in his pocket, call him and he arranges a very quiet service, making sure no one shows and then continues to collect the massive royalty checks. (Then, in a move that defies any kind of logic, he writes a song about it and blows his cover!)


© 2011 John Sieger


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