Bad Rubber

we were burning bad rubber
I scribbled down the first verse and the chorus of this song in ’75 or so in one of the notebooks I usually kept with me at the gas station I was working at. I had in mind some kind of hot rod gothic epic as told through the sensibility of a French director only in rock instead of film. But it would be fifteen years before I got any farther.

Finally, in 1990 I broke out the notebook and sat down to fill out the song. I’d been going through a fertile period with my writing but I’d hit a slump and thought maybe I could keep busy at the least by cleaning up unfinished biz. But I’m the kind of guy who is dependent on inspiration. And, I’m afraid, that was running as thin as the tires in the song title.

What was, I guess, supposed to explore the interplay between good and evil and will and surrender instead became a series of comic book sketches…

This version takes it all about as seriously as it deserves, giving the song a goofily campy sass… or at least that’s what I hear when I squint real hard.

Oh… and now might be an excellent time to point out that most of what I consider my best work is still ahead. I’ve done a couple of my favorites — and avoided the worst of the stinkers — but I’ve been pacing myself. The best is definitely yet to come. Uh… for what that’s worth.


We were running bad rubber for most of the summer
the oil was a rich dirty black
we were broke as hell, flat for a spell
but there was no thought of going back

Dont talk to me about love
I dont need it at all
Dont talk to me about knowledge
You know we’re living . . . after the fall

We pulled into Winona
on a hot August afternoon
I saw her first,
but my buddy he done saw her too

We pulled into that parking lot
she hopped in the back
my buddy he asked what her name was (she just said)
“Honey, let’s just get out of here fast”

Dont talk to me about love…

we drove all night crossed two state lines
in the morning we had to crash
I asked her waht the hell she done
(she said ya don’t wanta) Know if ya gotta ask

drove down to the Keys and shut down the car
there was nowhere left to go
I turned to her and asked whats next
she said dont ask if ya dont already know

Dont talk to me about love
I dont believe it at all
Dont talk to me about knowledge
You know we’re living . . . after the fall


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