Today we continue our series of posts that feature the exclusive premiere of video from GSW’s reunion shows in 2010, lovingly shot and put together by our pal Mike Wren. As with our last post, God Street Wine guitarist Lo Faber tells the tale of the song in the video. Here’s Lo’s take on Other Shore as well as the video of GSW performing the tune at the Gramercy Theatre on July 9, 2010.
Other Shore by Lo Faber
One of a handful of tunes written in the fall of 1988. The band had “formed” but we had no gigs and no name. Aaron, Tom and I were living in a small apartment at West 82nd and Amsterdam, as Aaron and I were attending Manhattan School of Music and Tom was working at Tower Records. This was one of the five songs on our first studio demo recorded that October.
[Photo by Jason Strong]
It was also one of the half dozen or so tunes I co-wrote with drummer Tom Osander over the years. Tom wrote almost all the lyrics; I think my only contribution was the first phrase “Floating down the river, in the country of the Indians, dreaming of the ocean that we left behind.” After that I was stuck, and Tom finished the tune taking it in a totally different direction than I’d had in mind. His lyrics like “so black in my room but there’s light on the square” really remind me of living in that tiny apartment that fall.” At least that’s sort of what’s in my head, but you have to ask Tom if you really want to know what these words are about.
Musically this is similar to Weird Dream in the intro, with those Metheny-like chords. In the beginning we always played the intro with the whole band, but over the years it morphed into just the guitars and that seemed to work nicely. Then it goes to that funky Cm-F groove for the chorus which often works its way into a jam featuring guitar quotes from the Dead’s Feel Like a Stranger. In the early days we very often took that jam into a drum solo.
Another good representative example of the blend of early GSW influences: some mellow Dead flavor, some funk, and some complicated jazz school chords. Never recorded on any album (except for that October 1988 demo tape).
Upcoming God Street Wine Shows:
August 9 – TRI Studios (Free Webcast)
August 10 & 11 – Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley CA
August 16, 17 & 18 – Gramercy Theatre, NYC NY
Thanks to Lo for sharing the story behind the tune.