Daphne Lawless continues her series of backgrounders to the stories on our new album. Artwork by Tricia Hall.
Did I already mention some of these pieces are very old indeed? The introductory 13/8 riff to “Amateur Hour” was bequeathed to me by a guitar player in an old band during Bill Clinton’s first term. Listeners have said it sounds like King Crimson, probably not an accident, since this gentleman was an alumnus of R. Fripp’s Guitar Craft. I tried it out for size in various songs until it fit.
“Amateur Hour” is one of the two expressly political songs on the album. The “amateur hour” when the ordinary people take over from the professionals is, of course, social revolution. The first verse is about my own experiences of political disappointment; the second, a homage to the Arab Spring (once again becoming topical with the uprisings in the United States, Belarus and elsewhere); the third, a reference to a scene of revolutionary violence from Lawrence Miles’ This Town Will Never Let Us Go. The turbulent, driving force of the “King Crimson” riff seemed appropriate.