Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Lizard King

Capped off my first performance at CBGB's 313 Gallery with the following original song, The Lizard King.

The song itself is partly inspired by Jim Morrison and partly the product of chance. Each individual line –and the odd couplet– in the song once belonged to another song I'd written over the previous 20 years.

While sitting at my desk in 1998, waiting for inspiration to hit, I stared down at my feet, and among the scattered pages of lyrics I picked out a line here, a line there. It began as a lark, really. But the result was a unified composition which incredibly makes some kind of sense. I guess today we'd call it a mashup.

Also the product of synchronicity, the choruses each begin with an allusion to the Virgin Mary ('Dolores Our Lady of Sorrows', 'Lolita' and 'Ave Maria').

Somehow, it all just works.

The Lizard King

By Terry O’Gara

And so the lizard king will not return
And we will never know
And we will never learn
What never was will never be
I guess I was one of those that never did believe

In anything, in anything but myself
And I don’t want your help
I know all I need to know of love
And that’s enough
I want to feel the pain
I think it’s better this way

Dolores Our Lady of Sorrows
Was seen at a truck stop in Ohio
But you had to stand on the outside looking in
Well isn’t that typical, hypocritical
But we all gave up a hymn

Singing ‘Holy, Holy
Never let go of me’
And ‘Save me, save me’
From the fric and the frac
Oh if only I believed
In all of this crap

Lolita Our Lady of Toenails
Sits in the grass while I sip my cocktails
Shivinanda says sit still and focus
But I twitch like a hundred thousand locusts

Meanwhile a rock’n’roll angel eats her cocoa puffs in heaven
While a video camera swallows your every move
Desperately you search the house for meaning
While she sits alone in her room

Ave Maria Oh baby
Ave Maria my love
How is it everything we put our faith in
Couldn’t save us in the end

And so the lizard king will not return
And we will never know
And we will never learn
What never was will never be
I guess I was one of those that never did believe–

In anything.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

CBGB's 313 Sessions

April 4, 2005 was my final performance at CBGB's 313 Gallery. In my brief history with the venue, my repetoire included the following original material:

Things Fall Apart
Branded @ Birth
Deep Kiss Nine
Union City
The Lizard King
Love As It Ever Is
Right About Now
Trench Coat Mafia
Honest To Badness
Acid Rain


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

NY Singer/Songwriter Sessions

One day I wake up one day and I experience this awkward enlightenment that I've spent the better part of an otherwise satisfying music career sitting in a recording studio staring at computers. Hey, I got into this thing because I love performance, and now what was I doing?

Well, you'd think a guy like me who's worked with every professional musician in New York would be able to put together a band. I'm not talking about a Let's-Get-A-Record-Deal band; I'm talking about a Let's-Hang-Out-And-Play-Some-Tunes band.

No such luck.

So I pick up the guitar and says I, 'I can play this thing'. After all, I grew up playing the violin and viola – it's just a matter of figuring out this fretboard thingy.

Not exactly.

Years go by.

Okay, but afterwards I'm doing all right as a guitarist and I've been woodshedding my tunes, rearranging them from stunning recording studio creations with symphonic backdrops, and scaling them down to a singer/songwriter format I can accomodate alone, and without backing tracks.

Along the way, I audition for (and get invited to join as a member of) the Singer/Songwriter Sessions. This may or may not mean much to anyone else, but for me, the forum provided a nice vehicle for practicing the live thing.

Finally, my big night arrives, my debut, at CB's 313 Gallery! It's not the main stage upstairs, but I'm an adult now; and I quite like the chill atmosphere here in the basement. Not that it helps my nerves. In fact, I'm a walking anxiety attack. But it actually went okay! And it helped that a bunch of my friends showed up to clap at the appropriate places.

When I got off stage any remaining anxiety melted away and I felt like a new man.