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In Memory of Mrs. Maxwell
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Matthew Scott--Synthesizers, drums, bass; John Pfeifer--Vocal, electric guitar, guitar synthesizer, music/lyrics; Produced and mastered at Byte-Size Sound (Lombard, IL)
Free
Rock - Folk Rock
Previous peak charts position #12
Previous peak charts position in subgenre #1
John Pfeifer
2000 John Pfeifer
December 15, 2003
MP3 3.9 MB
128 kbps bitrate
0:00 minutes
Story behind the song
This is a long overdue love song to the girl who used to live across the street from one of us (ed.: oh, like that's supposed to be cryptic?! --look at the friggin' author!). Every now and then I'm visited in dreams by this girl, enjoying a closeness that never was despite being neighbors. In junior high, I played Mr. Maxwell in a play called "The Shock of His Life," and she played my wife. By the time a few years later I was blindsided by what I realized were long-standing feelings for her, she'd moved away. The subject of being visited in dreams, either by past loves-that-weren't or by "girls you know well that you've never met before" (from "Main St.") has long been a favorite topic, and we have many songs which use that theme, "Camilla" for example. We decided to include it on the proposed "cell" album, as it deals with regrets and forever-lost opportunities, and as the "concept" becomes clearer -- or even becomes a concept, for that matter! -- you'll perhaps see that the lyrics in the chorus have taken on an eerie and profound new context. As an aside, a heavily-downplayed and far less effective Nesmith falsetto trick is used on the last "life." This may be the first time John dared to try that; nowadays, you can't get John away from falsettos if your life depended on it. The highest documented falsetto so far (this record being previously held by a Chris Isaak-ian "dream" on our cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over"), is in an upcoming tune, "Sycamore," and registered around C19 (or whatever the note was -- it's up there, though). Matt's two cents- I recall hearing this song for the first time around 1987 or so, and pestered John for years to record it (along with 'Goodbye Look', another personal favorite or mine from the Pfeiferarium). We never did, until our recent 'rebirth', but even then it was strictly acoustic guitar and voice. Despite being convinced he'd be horrified, I slathered the basic arrangement-- slowed-down hiphop groove, big 80's rock drums, and so on-- and it took off from there. This actually was our biggest 'hit' in our days at mp3.com; they'd select it for the daily "recommended" list every few months. It even got front-page placement on October 1st, 2003; it shot to #1 on the Folk Rock chart there, and #301 on the whole site. We found out about a month later. John's Retort -- bravely putting fears aside, I in the end realized that it was Matt's arrangement what actually made the tune, especially how freakin' cool the drums come in at the solo, plus the organ-y stuff, grooves & what-not (the "groove" concept in general, not just here, I was snobby and suspicious about altogether, but now joyfully use them in almost everything). Ok, we can stop stroking ourselves now...
Lyrics
I saw you on the other side of my eyes last night; a veiled facade of one not seen for years. I imagined you on the other side of the street again last night, quite at home in your old room, while I'm alone with my old fears. You saw my eyes quite innocently gazing at your legs; I like to think you were waiting for my praise. Quick--fix your dress--and cover up that dizzying sight; and glance at me in the blink of an eye, and hide our thoughts back in their haze. Mr. Maxwell's been okay; he's been recovering from "The Shock of His Life." But he has dearly missed his wife, who's gone forever down Missouri way. Was it love or lust that made me learn to hurt for you, a girl we all ignored despite your grace? I wish that I could win back all the times I never said how I long to touch your hair, how I live for your embrace. Mr. Maxwell's been okay; he's been recovering from the shock of his life. But he has dearly missed his wife, who's gone forever down Missouri way
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