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August 5, 2011 / John Sieger

Do It

Click: Do It

I had a whole other essay written for this song and decided to scrap it. It was turning into a harangue about the music business. It’s true that three expensive producers took a crack at this song a long time ago and it wound up costing that much more. They were all trying to capture something they heard on the demo— something the band could and still does play live without any problem at all. This song has never failed us live—the worst that might have happenned is a forgotten lyric or maybe a fudged solo here and there. But it is a fail-proof tune, almost indestructible live and it always delivers me to a happy rockin’ place and I would hope the rest of the band and the audience too. So no harangue, just a brief history:

In the eighties I was infatuated with dance music and a band called NRBQ. I wrote this song trying to make good on both of those crushes. The dance part is easy to hook into when you play in a great band Like The R&B Cadets, which featured three of my Semi-Twang brothers (one literally my brother, Mike), along with Robin Pluer and Paul Cebar, two great performers who were kind of Milwaukee’s Sweethearts at the time. Listening to a Paul’s record collection, which didn’t seem to be missing anything important in the American (or other) Music story, was a great influence. Many of our long drives were spent savoring that and the ridiculously gifted NRBQ, who should have been as big as the Beatles. By the time we recorded this, The Cadets were no more and Semi-Twang was in the studio with Chris Thomas, a Brit who had studied under Sir George Martin and actually produced The Beatles on one cut (Bungalow Bill)! Ringers were called in to flesh things out and somehow the spirit of the original demo was not captured. No surprise if you have read any of my posts on demo-itis. Have no fear, two other producers, Mitchell Froom and Jerry Harrison each took a swing at this curve ball of a song. All three versions had something, but they didn’t have “it.” Jerry even pulled Bob Jennings’ great synth solo off of our 4-track demo and flew it into the the track in an effort to capture it. As it turned out, the Chris Thomas version made it onto the record, and that was a decision made higher up than artist or producer. We still do this song and it gives me great pleasure every time I start chiming that guitar intro. To this day, I’m not sure I’ve ever topped this joyful little ditty.

© 2011 John Sieger


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