This is the image I have set as my desktop on my monitor in my little recording studio. When you're working on a particularly tricky guitar part, or trying sing something in tune, it's great to look up and find Johnny Cash expressing his admiration for your efforts right in your face.
Johnny's digit was particularly erect last night as I was putting the finishing touches on a new recording. I've mentioned having borrowed a Rickenbacker 360-12 from a neighbor, and I'd wanted to do some serious jangling in a hurry. I wasted a couple of weeks on a version of XTC's "Mayor of Simpleton," but became unimpressed with my bass playing and knocked it on the head. Maybe I'll pick it back up again, maybe not.
A few days ago in the grocery store, the house PA squirted out a favorite old chestnut that I hadn't heard in eons. (Yes, I get most of my music-appreciation done while shopping for milk and bread these days.) It immediately became blisteringly self-evident that this was the perfect Tribute to the 12-String Rick and decided then and there to work it up.
A few years ago I was in a band, Scooby Don't, that covered this song. The drummer (who occasionally pops his head in here as Xtcfan) sang the lead part, and it will become apparent why -- the melody rather sadistically concentrates itself at exactly that point where a natural baritone such as myself has to break and go into head-voice. On the first pass, I tried to simply sing it an octave lower, but the result made Johnny especially affectionate. I looked up while mixing it and said, "Johnny, you couldn't be righter."
You're gonna hear a wobble or two in there. You snickering baritones -- you try singing it!
Another amusing thing: I discovered that I'd been playing the riff wrong in Scooby Don't. Sorry, former bandmates.
Ladies and gentlemen, from those glorious Late Eighties, the Era of Jangle and Wonderment, I give you the incomparable La's There She Goes!
Slightly later edit: Next up, The Monkees' "What Am I Doing Hanging 'Round?" That'd be a great jangle number.