Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

The Anatomy of a Song

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

The Anatomy of a Song

Article excerpt

Actually, when I got the idea [for "Train of Fools"], first I wrote another song. It was still called "Train of Fools," and it was kind of fat Elvis, [sings] "hoo-a hoo-a train of fools." I was under the gun to make a song in the next 24 hours, because in 48 hours I was going to be in the studio with my band. I finished this dreadful thing, but it wasn't good enough. So I backed up, and miraculously I was able to do it with the same song [title]. Usually that's so tainted you've got to put it away for a while.

But what is this train of fools? I knew it was a really solid concept. And so I started coming up with the idea of these characters and their backgrounds. It was kind of a morality play, I guess. The way I described it later, long after the record was made, it was almost like an episode of Twilight Zone. I could just hear Rod Serling, "Here's the gambler and here's the loser and here's the pretty maiden who's deceitful." Anyway, the song was basically done, and I actually went into the studio and recorded it with the band, but I just felt that the song was incomplete. It had a narrative, it took you on a little description of the journey, but it didn't have a conclusion. And so I said, it's got to be more. Even though the song was already recorded, I was willing to throw it out.

So I was working on "Train of Fools" and there was the line, "One will be addicted / Chained to the devil's cross / That one's going to die before he's old." That was really where the song ended, and it went into the chorus. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.