Ez Comments

When asked "what kind of music do you play" I always find it difficult to answer, as I find it difficult to categorise myself. I guess I would place myself in the "rock and pop" genre, but I really do approach every song individually. I generally begin with the lyrics as I have something to say in every song. Life, my own experiences, other people's experiences, the human condition, opinions and observations all inspire me to write. The style of music for a particular song will then depend on the subject in the lyric.

When recording a collection of my songs, I choose songs that cover a lot of ground both lyrically and musically. I think about what I would wish for as a listener myself. I look to include all of the emotions. I like a balance between up tempo, laid back, humour, seriousness, cynicism, romance, thoughtfulness and anger. Above all I look to be entertained with variety. With that in my mind, I set about recording Summers Of My Life not necessarily as a concept album, but with a theme throughout. The album follows a journey through a young man's life over several years. There is certainly a beginning and an end to this album.

The album begins with the carefree Fun In The Sun and progresses through a person's life as they fall in love, experience rejection, become analytical, cynical and begin to look back on their life with the realisation of their own mortality. Four songs are genuine "sun" songs, Fun In The Sun, Angry Skies, Otiose and the title track itself. There is also the reference to "sands of time" and "tides of time".

To add to this, I would say that the actual style of music has influences of rock n' roll, rock, acoustic and folk rock, pop, blues, and country.

Ez (EJE) Summer 1999

Following the Eztravaganza "demo" album, which I issued on cassette and distributed around family and friends, I bought a Tascam 4 track analogue, portastudio, tape machine on which I recorded a home demo Christmas EP for pleasure and practice. This was ridiculously entitled Ezkimo, which again I distributed around a few friends and family members. The main reason I bought the home studio, which is referred to as The Ezecutive Suite, was to demo new songs at home as I wrote them. On one occasion, our Sam (Sam Johnson) and I took the tape machine to Andy Glossop's at AMG, where I had recorded Eztravaganza, and we recorded several demos, including Fun In The Sun and Mama's Goin' To The Ball Tonight. We were in absolute hysterics recording these, and I have great memories of the sessions.
Fun In The Sun later became the first song that I recorded with Paul Adshead at Stable Music, and it subsequently gave me the idea for the album. I met Paul through Sam whilst I was recording the Ezkimo home demo, and he was very helpful with microphones and effects boxes. Sam played him the Fun In The Sun demo, and he loved it, and said I had to record it with him. This was a really satisfying song for me, as it felt like the first really professional sounding recording I had made at that point. I was also particularly ezcited about working with the saxophonist Phil Chapman. Phil was a session musician for The Drifters, and their 1970's single You're More Than A Number In My Little Red Book was the first pop record that I ever bought.
Fun In The Sun started out as a rewrite to a song I wrote at school, Live To Die. I decided it was all too depressing at the time, ditched the lyrics, but kept the basis of the melody, livened it up and wrote happy lyrics. The title is one of those clichés that I always believed to be crying out for a song. I wanted to capture several elements of my childhood, family holiday memories of a beautiful Dorset coastal town, Swanage. It has always been like a home from home to our family, and I find it romantic and inspiring. It inspired me to write this song, plus Otiose, Summers Of My Life and Angry Skies to name only a few.
This is a song with an immediate sing-a-long hook that I can imagine being sung by drunken rabble in bars all over Europe. I also wanted to include references to some of my favourite rock and roll stars, capturing a fifties feel, mixed with a seventies glam rock feel. The opening line "the sun is out, the sky is blue" is borrowed from Buddy Holly's "Raining In My Heart". Elvis gets a mention with reference to "Slicin' Sand" from the movie Blue Hawaii, and Cliff Richard's On The Beach is also mentioned, as is Sir Cliff himself.
People continually approach me and say "that Fun In The Sun song could be a mammoth worldwide hit. Why don't you release it as a single in the charts." !!!!???? Any major record companies reading this?????!!!!!
Whoops, the young and innocent guy from the previous song has fallen in love. This song began life as Obbligato, an acoustic, up tempo rock and roll song, but I amended it to The One In Your Life as it is certainly more commercially acceptable and less pretentious. I had started to record a pop version of this at AMG whilst working on Eztravaganza, but never completed it, but Ju and I did record an acoustic home demo, which Ju prefers. However, I am happy with this pure pop version, with great sax from Phil again.
I originally wrote this song at school, during a lesson that I must have been bored with. Although I was happy with the chorus, the verses and middle 8 did not impress me. Then about four or five years ago, Ju suggested to me that I should rewrite the song. The result being Ju's favourite of my own songs. I played the home demo to Paul, as he was searching for a new song for a young female singer he was working with at the time, and he loved it, so they cut a demo of it for "A Song For Europe". It sank without trace, however! This song is third on the "Summers" CD because the guy in the song has now been rejected as "just a good friend".
Another 1990's rewrite of an old school song of mine, which was originally written on Friday 20/03/87. I had to draw the line somewhere with this subject after getting carried away, and therefore had to omit four or five verses. We are the mastez of our own deztiny to a certain eztent, as we make choices, but in turn those choices have an effect on other people's lives, as theirs do on our own. Then, of course, there's circumstance; being in a particular place at a particular time. Ezcetera ezcetera!!!!!
I would ezpect this song to be viewed as the most unpopular, most deprezsing, and most misunderstood of all my songs. Fair enough, but songwriters have to go with their thoughts, feelings and views, and flush out their ideas. I am very proud of this song. It is ezsentially a folk song. The lyrics are not dressed up with imagery, but are purposely direct for effect. The guy in these songs was analytical in "Masters", and is so again here, but he also now reminiscez of his childhood. With age, all that is wrong with the world becomes dreadfully apparent. I wrote this song imagining what the world may become in the future. The sound of the rain at the end of the song is meant as a bit of a joke, because where I live it hardly ever stops raining.
Written for my mum after she attended a Chairman's Ball with my pappy, and purposely written as a duet for our Sam and I, this is a song about how children take their parents for granted. What a laugh we had recording this, and the original demo at AMG. Our Sam is such a nutter, but a great singer!  Our cousin Anthony also appears briefly on harmonica. I still laugh now when I listen to this, and whenever we sing it in concert it is always difficult to refrain from breaking into fits of laughter. A nice change in mood from the previous song. It has become quite a feature of our live shows, as has.....
Sam and I wrote this whilst he was the lead singer of the band Diversion Ends, and I was at school. I've always liked the song. The band generated great energy at their gigs with this, and I always wanted to record it myself. I perform it live as a duet with Sam, but he is only present on brass on this studio version. Sometime we will cut a new version as a duet. A very special song for the pair of us.
The summer theme is ever present in this song, previously recorded for "Eztravaganza". It was ezsential to me to include it on this album, but rather than record a full arrangement similar to the previous version, I opted for an acoustic version, as I always love strumming this song at home. It suits the song, as the guy in the song is simply chilling out, away from all of life's confusion, and feels as though he is drifting on the open seas.
The guy has now divorced, leaving behind children. He is back temporarily with his parents, trying to rebuild his life, reflecting on the past. A simple melody and harmonica part, but very effective. A mention to my friend Howard Platt for his input into the writing of this song. I wrote the lyrics on Monday 20th February 1989, but we wrote the melody together in recent years.
Reflecting on life and lost love again, but at the same coastal town as in "Fun In The Sun." The guy is looking back on summers of his life, recognising how the holiday town has changed over the years. A beautiful acoustic guitar solo from Paul. I used the sound of waves as an intro to the recording to set the scene; an idea influenced by Diversion Ends on a home demo of a song entitled "A Walk On The Beach".
Ez (EJE) January 2002


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