Behind Lonely on my Saddle, Frank and Stripper
In this episode of how I wrote it... I'm going to fill you in on three of our newest releases. I find it interesting how inspiration hits me and how it turns out. Crazy how our minds work. Mine just happens to be easily amused so these two work great for my sense of humor.
So to start, there's Lonely on my Saddle. A few people have heard the story, so this is for the rest of you. I can never remember what old tv show it originated on... one of the late night variety shows. A comedian, I couldn't even say who had a short bit about the worlds shortest saddest country song and proceeded to sing "It's so lonely on my saddle since my horse died." It struck my mom's funny bone and it stuck in her head. Growing up I don't know how many times I either heard it or sang it. After I wrote my first song I vowed I would make it into a full song for my mom. Lee vowed to beat me to it. It took quite a while, writing lyrics is the easy part for me. I have a knack for it. Writing melodies on the other hand... I have to be inspired. I work tirelessly for that... So... I had a little lick in my head and I just sat on a tractor we used to have in the driveway playing the three notes over and over and over. I came up with the bulk of the 2nd verse with no real direction in mind. Over the next few weeks I pieced it together a bit at a time. When I established to myself it was going to be Lonely on my saddle, things started to click. Once I realized the verse I had written was the 2nd verse not the 1st I was able to get it all down. So, now not only do I have a song you can hear on the radio, I also have bragging rights because I wrote it before Lee could!
Frank is one of our newest songs as well as being one of our latest releases. There isn't much of a story behind it but it was a fun one to write. I can't really tell you where I got the idea but I'm guessing I was walking around delivering mail when it hit me. The concept was there, let me be frank... but what made it click in my head was my dad's nickname. A few of his older friends call him Frank instead of his given name, Doug. Honestly, I was never very curious about it, it's just how it was with certain friends of his. I didn't find out until after the song was written when I asked him, it was harassment about a guy they had all worked with named... you guessed it, Frank, who wasn't a model employee I guess. Somehow dad got stuck with the nickname after that. The other concept I had for the song came from a couple of military buddies of mine who shall not be named. They were both young and single when we went to a military school together. We were nowhere near home and they wanted to have a little fun without any issues after the fact... so, they used one another's names when they went out so no local girl could fall in love with them... It didn't work very well though when I used their correct names because I wasn't in on the game. So the idea was born. As I walked around I started putting the song together in my head. By the time I got to take a break I had it all together, every line and every note. In my ten minute break, I wrote it all down in my phone. Now when I got home I had to test my theory on which chords would actually work... and for once, they did. Easiest song I've ever written. I'm so grateful everyone seems to like it as much as I do.
Now for the story of Stripper Stole My Truck. The names and places of this story have been changed to protect the innocent, and not so innocent. So let me start by saying, the story is entirely fictional.... however I do know a guy who had his jeep borrowed by a dancer... Anyway the idea came from a friend. We were having a normal conversation (normal for us anyway), and the conversation was coming to an end. He was telling me his plans for the night were to visit a gentlemen's club mostly because he was bored... it was a tuesday. Now I'm not judgmental, but I am hilarious. I started giving him hell that he spends too much at those places and he went often enough the girls all knew him by name. I kept ribbing him telling him by the time they were done with him they'd have his house and his truck. I told him I would be expecting his call the next day after he signed the title to said truck over to some girl. I said i could hear him already... oh man, a stripper stole my truck. I immediately stopped. I knew instantly that was a country song. I didn't know what kind of country song it was but I knew it was one. I set it in my mind I was going to write the song that night. When I got home from work I told my wife I needed 15 minutes to try to write. I sat in our spare bedroom with my guitar and a notebook. My daughter who was 3 at the time wasn't content with me locking her out so she banged on the door consistently yelling at me to tell her what I was doing. Over the noise I managed to produce the basic chord structure and started writing lyrics. Originally the song started with a slower pace and a narrative of a guy telling another guy to buckle up for a story of betrayal and woe. Then it ramped up to basically what the song is today. It didn't take me long to just cut that part out of the song, its already too long as it is. (good luck trying to sell a song even one second over the recommended 3 minutes 30 seconds!) In the end 15 minutes was all it took. After Julie had our daughter to bed she asked me to play it for her. I warned her she might not like it, since I was a little on the risky side. When I finished she looked at me blank expression on her face. I said, "well?"
"I hate it" she said. "I hate it, because I didn't want to like it!" Since then it has been one of our most requested songs at shows and one of the most fun songs to play. Its also the only song we've gotten to perform for actual superstars. When you tell, Larry Stewart, Tim Rushlow and Richie McDonald you have a song called Stripper Stole My Truck... you have their attention.