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 posts, God Street Wine guitarist Lo Faber tells the tale of the song in the video. Here’s Lo’s take on Thirsty as well as the video of GSW performing the tune at the Gramercy Theatre on July 9, 2010.
This one’s a little bit personal, so I’d prefer not to say much about the meaning of the lyrics. What I will tell you is that the chorus, “and it rained” etc, was drawn–borrowed?–stolen?–directly from a passage in a Tom Robbins novel, either “Still Life With Woodpecker” or “Another Roadside Atttraction”–I think the latter. It was Bevo who got me into Tom Robbins and I think on a long cross country tour in the winter of 1993-1994 I read most of his early novels. I can also report that “Thirsty” was written in Fort Collins, Colorado, mostly at my friend Lynn’s house. East Coast people, by the way, might not realize that “Conoco” is a gas station chain that becomes ubiquitous once you get west of the Mississippi River.
[Photo by Jeremy Gordon]
How did this tune fit into our career saga? That’s easier to explain. It was the last new tune written before we began pre-production for the album that became $1.99 Romances, and the lovable music biz tycoon brothers who signed us to our first major label deal were quite convinced that this one was going to be our big runaway breakout single.
They found a tune like “Thirsty” quite accessible, whereas stuff like “Stupid Hat” and “Cheap Utah Blues” left them somewhat nonplussed. I remember them particularly at one college show they had flown out to see, shortly after signing us, and breathing a visible sigh of relief when we played this–”ah, here’s something I can recognize as a pop song.” For our fans it was a bit different. They usually seemed more interested in faster shimmy shake kinds of grooves and more extended jamming explorations. “Thirsty,” being musically pretty much derived from Van Morrison’s Moondance album, sometimes felt like a bit of an anticlimax.
Nonetheless because of the tycoon brothers’ fondness for it–and because we liked it too, of course–it ended up on our most popular album, and for that reason, it eventually became a well known favorite, despite its lack of funkiness or long jams. Strangely it did not become the single from that album, after all–Nightingale was eventually deemed more God Street Wine-like.
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 and Mike for his work on the video.