It Doesn’t Matter How You Get There

Editor’s note: This past Monday was Dave’s birthday and after all his hard work making it possible to still have new Native tracks (more to come! Really! Just wait!) and telling stories from the heyday of the band, we’d like to give him a big round of applause and gratitude. So, Dave, wishing you a very happy birthday and a fantastic year filled with music, comics, and new stories worth sharing!

As Native prepared for our first album, we rather rashly jettisoned quite a few songs that would have been real corkers.

I suppose it was because of two things: 1) We were writing a lot more collaboratively than before, and wanted to ride that thang! 2) Many of the older tunes were meant for a different singer, and Mat Hutt was having to adjust to keys that weren’t right for him. If we changed the key, oftentimes the feel of the original was lost. 3) We now had John Epstein in the band on keyboards, and we felt we were in a new era. (Indeed, to this day Native’s eras are demarcated by who was on keys)

Okay… three reasons why great songs like Something Worth Remembering, Blue Room, Down, Love’s Lost, Water, and Balloo never had studio versions. In many ways, this is a pity because an album with just those songs would have been terrific!

There are two notable exceptions – Interested Third Party – the song that drove Anthony out of the band for being “too cute,” (which it was!), and the epic, magnum opus, grande finale – The Sea.

But today, let’s focus on a song written specifically for the album.

Today’s tune could be accused of falling into the ‘too cute’ category, indeed I have been in that camp for many a year. But, the new mastering job by our ace engineer, Jonathan Vergara, has revealed subtleties that the old cd kept hidden, and I find myself dancing, and snapping my fingers to it now, which never happened before!

Although, it only has one verse, I remember everyone pitching ideas, and riffs, so that it became a truly collaborative effort and although rather slight in content and length, I can see how it paved the way to so many Native masterpieces down the road.

Let’s see if my earworm becomes yours?

Put your finger on a globe, or the button on a CD player, and —

Go

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Native Was Carried Away

Hey ho, folk!

Dave Thomas here, back from summer vacation, batteries totally recharged, tan firmly fading, underwear on backwards, and standing ready to delve once again into the history, myth, lore, facts, figures, and apochyphal nonsense pertaining to everyone’s favorite band that’s called Native!!

As we saw in the vast archive of rarities left behind in the vast Native vault (and compiled in Nativology Vols. 1-4), there are many hitherto unheard songs, untold tales, and unsung heroes & villains in this band’s legacy, and I, as curator of the vault, have the solemn duty to shine a light on the highs, explain the middles, and not be shy of exposing the low’s.

Today, I want to take us back to the storied year of 1994, when the Clinton in the Oval Office was a sax player named Bill, cars got 3 miles to the gallon, phones were the size of canteloupes, and the ink was still dry on Rudy Guiliani’s pact with Satan!

For some arcane reason, I, your humble narrator, was tapped as lyricist for the song that would serve as the opening number on our eponymous first album.

I filled it with wonderful angst-riddled wordplay and rhymes as I wrote about my favorite subject – myself. The suspicions in the pit I found myself in the middle of harked back to a previous band, a previous love, a previous job, and all the devilments found therein.

Even more incredibly, I was allowed to vent my frustrations in another song that would lead off side two of the cassette version! (Remember cassettes? Remember side twos?)

It was a task I quite enjoyed, so fittingly – I was not to do it again for quite some time, when Sweet Intensity appeared on our third album, Exhale On Spring Street.

But, in hindsight and to be utterly fair, my verbal misgivings would not long be needed as Mat Hutt and John Wood rose to the task of lyricification with great ease and alacrity. And after all, they were well-supplied with all the angst, and teeth-gnashing frustration required for great rock’n roll verbiage. And, they were soon joined by John Epstein and Michael Jaimes who penned their own opuses, which we will address in future missives.

What you are about to hear today is a much-improved, remastered version of this epic tune. Actually, ‘remastered’ might be a misnomer since the original album does not seem to have been mastered at all! Last year Jonathan Vergara, lord of the dark art of mastering, lent his touch to the album, and it bloomed like a perennial after a rainstorm.

Anyway, enough of these word-things, click the link below and wrap your earworms around what would be the opening salvo of Native’s claim to a seat among the heirarchy of toppermost of the poppermost talents in the Pantheon of A-listers.

I think I can safely say, you’ll be —

Carried Away