Crumbling Towers


If it’s possible to wait too long to try I think I did
Suddenly I’m feeling all my weight
Didn’t hear the ticking of the clock somehow I missed it
Time just slipped away and now I wonder where it went

Crumbling towers that
Were never more than a fantasy
Seem to have brought me to my knees
If I could make it look like an accident
It’s easier on everyone involved
This time I’m in too deep to run

If there’s a way to get too old I think I’m there
I don’t feel it but I read it in the lines
I see myself reflected in the youth
Resurrected with no proof
Even I can’t believe the lies

Crumbling towers that
Were never more than a fantasy
Seem to have brought me to my knees
If I could make it look like an accident
It’s easier on everyone involved
This time I’m in too deep to run

 

I read somewhere years ago that Keith Richards said he doesn’t write songs, they are just floating around in the air and he catches them or something like that. This song is one of those. I was playing guitar with my step-son Sean playing the drums, and out of nowhere he broke into this really fast straight rock drum beat. I started playing the guitar riff that makes up the opening and choruses of this song, and it was as if the riff was always there. Had to finish the song.

It became apparent to me early on that this song was coming from REM’s Reckoning era, and I embraced it. I have to give years of playing with Ben Gold on the drums credit for my drum programming on this one (as well as If You Could Read My Mind). While I have certainly done my time playing drums, and was a percussion major for a couple of years, Ben’s playing was as a rule about twice as fast as the rest of us were even thinking. So now when I’m programming something this fast I can already hear all the kicks and fills in my head because I got used to hearing them out loud. Once I had a verse-chorus structure I had to complete the song by adding the third part, which in REM eighties songs is two new chords back and forth and some kind of ohs or ahs or Michael going I-Hi-I or something. I decided that ohs were better than ahs or I-Hi-I’s. I threw in a stab at this “Talk Box” effect that I hadn’t tried yet on my Zoom Twin Tube G9.2tt.

I’m sure I wrote the first line first, and it quickly became one of my many songs about realizing I’m old, especially for a wanna be rockstar. Aside from feeling old there’s the realization that, unlike other times in my life where I would just disappear when things got tough and start over, that just isn’t an option anymore.