Paul deLay's notes on the songs on Heavy Rotation

OVER MONEY: My wife and I very rarely quarrel, but we did reach a frustration point with the bills one time. It really shakes me up when things aren't harmonious because we' re usually so much in the groove. I don't ever want to say anything to her in anger. When something puts a hurt in me like that, I have to write a song. That tune had been in the works for a good five years. It was nice to finally nail it down.

SO NEAR: This is a straight-ahead lust kind of thing. Before I met Meggie I had a crush on a waitress down in Ashland, and she might have been the inspiration. I wonder how many guys have noticed how angelic a cocktail waitress can look when she has the light of a cash register shining on her face. It's very flattering. I like the guitar solo because Peter broke a string right at the end of it. He gave it everything he had.

GIVIN' UP THE BODY: This came from driving around outside Chicago. We were heading west, working with the Chicago guys [the Rockin' Johnny Band, who backed Paul on deLay Does Chicago] on a couple of week-long tours. It was really something for an Oregon boy like me to see the harshness of the land. The little factory towns, the row houses, the dead lawns and the dead trees, and the worn-out brick and the looming factory in the background. All the businesses were boarded up except the corner tavern. It looked hellish and I tried here to empathize with those people. It must be hard living that way.

REMEMBER ME: I woke up one morning in the prison camp and this song was already going in my head. I started working on it and two weeks later my mom died when I was so close to getting out. They wouldn't let me go see her when she was fading. Two weeks! The prison band was gigging in the visiting room and all the guys in there knew that she had died. What was being sent to me is what was in the lyrics here.

LOVE GROWN COLD: I was listening to a lot of gospel music at the time I wrote this. I was really into Clarence Fountain and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. Louis did great organ and Dan did some wonderful horn lines.

WEALTHY MAN: I'm a big fan of Chicago blues and Johnny Young and I was trying to write something in that style. I think we did a pretty fair job...

IT ISN'T EASY BEING BIG: For all it's goofiness, this really has a lot of the qualities of a good blues tune. It has double entendre, straight-ahead bragging, and genuine pain. That's where you' ve got go to write the good stuff. You've got to give up a piece of yourself to make it decent. It's a cinch I'm not going to get elected on the lady-killer ticket. So I go to an average Joe perspective. I do think the good Lord is making me this size so I don't lose my edge.

I'LL QUIT YOU TOMORROW: This is the all-purpose addiction tune and it should apply to a lot of folks. Almost everyone's got something that's getting into their wallet, in between them and a real good time.

AIN'T FEELIN' THAT LOVE NO MORE: This was designed to be a nice Jr. Walker, get up and dance, old-school tune. And to feature Dan.

RAINY MARIE: This was about when I used to go see my kid and we'd go do something. She was pretty young and we'd go to a movie or hang in the park. But on the entire drive home she'd cry like crazy and I wasn't used to that, being the kind of father I am, which is really terrible. Throwing gifts at the problem was my idea of how to be a dad. I wanted to sing some of this in French but I couldn't get the proper Cajun French accent.

BESS & ERNIE'S RIB JOINT: This song is more reporting than anything else. Just like at the beginning of the song, there's a soul food place right near my home. I'd been driving by and finally went inside and there was sadness in the air. I asked around and found out the guy's wife had passed away recently. It was just like it came out in the song. There was the sign about the saggy pants. I felt so bad for the guy it gave me the blues. I worked on the song for three days. I remember being down in the laundry room when I got that last verse about the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. It's about the passing of an era, about a time when things were a little less dangerous in that part of town [North Portland].

IN THE POCKET: It's a groove the band does extremely well, that uptown jazzy swinging blues thing. I was in a crunch for time and I kinda slapped that lyric on there. But it's not hard for me to slap something that affectionate on there for my wife. In the pocket is musician talk for having a really good steady beat, finding the groove and staying right there. When it's all dialed in like that it makes the players really comfortable.

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