posted on October 24, 2009 at 3:18 am

i am becoming shocked and bemused
at whats happening with my little song
in 1986 i was up at my mothers house at smiths lake, nsw
she had a lovely house on a lake just across from the ocean
there were birds and flowers and snakes and everything
i was up there with my then girlfriend karin jansson
who would later give birth to anna miranda and elektra june
my first set of twin daughters
identical as 2 peas in a pod
but exact opposites of each other in almost every other way
miranda being like karin
elektra being like me
anyhow this was 5 years before those twillies showed up
i ate my dinner…i believe my mum had cooked something
so we ate upstairs with her
she had a big deck you could sit on n see the sea
sometimes we had sandwiches n sat outside n ate
the nightsky was much much blacker than the sydney sky
because we were in the country
and the stars were verily a’twinkling
karin missed sweden a bit and was always trying to find certain stars
in the australian sky…tho she mostly couldnt
so obsessed with finding the big or little dippers was she
that some people started calling her k.j. dipper n then
just dipper
believe it or not
this has nothing to do with the song, really
so after dinner
i probably snuck off to get out of any washing up
and i had a smoke of neils purple heads
or maybe it was richards caterpillars
at any rate
i became
as we druggies say in our vernacular
however unlike a good 95% of people who get stoned
and switch off in front of the telly eating toast
or retreat into headphones world with their fave music
(tho i do that too n heartily approve of course)
some people
like me
n ricky rene maymi
n grant mclennan
n a few others i know n know of
(the beatles fr’instance)
we harness the incredible ability of this plant
to inspire new works of art n music
listen to me n listen fucking hard kids
pot may stunt yer growth
it may send nutty people nuttier
it may give ya cancer of the balls…even if youre a woman
it may promote laziness dirtiness lasciviousness
n a bad attitude towards work n war n phoney baloney bullshit
it makes yer teeth yellow
it makes yer breath stink
it makes you eat toast n watch telly
yes i agree
it is definitely addictive
but something
no one can argue with
no n.a. no scientist no sensible “straight” or whatever
can bloody well argue with
it is extremely condusive to certain types of art
that is my claim
and if you contradict that
then you dont know yer arse from yer elbow
yes this is important to the story
no i am not advocating the use of marijuana to anyone
other than geniuses about to create art
alex grey whom i consider the greatest living artist in the world
says this in his incredible book art psalms
cannabis allows the flowing tongues of bards contact with new modes
of knowing and speaking
(and then)
opening the third eye allows the artist
in everyone access to the divine imagination

alex cautions to use cannabis as a sacrament….wise words indeed
i drift to the piano
in the garage/flat out the back
it was an old pianola n slightly out of tune
old childhood toys of my brothers sat on top
the flat was set slightly high up with a little balcony
out onto the lake and the bush
the insects were out there signalling
the nightbirds were singing etc
i sat down at the piano
i played a standard A minor chord with an A bass note one octave down
actually that was probably the way i always approached a piano
just like i always start on a guitar with one of my G chords
being stoned
i could hear a world of possibilities in that chord
to most other muggles
they wooda heard an A minor chord
but me
being a pseudo genius n being loaded on that sacrament
i go
a ha
a ha ha ha ha
and out comes a little chord progression
gee the second chord sounds good with the A sus chord
but a ha ha ha
on the bass note is a fucking F#
not anF or a G or a D but an F#
the rest o the chords kinda unfold without much effort
indeed the whole thing may have taken a minute if that
my chord progression fell out of the sky
into my random half stupid half genius lap
and guess what?
oh happy day
the melody was simply the notes in the chords modulating a little
so i start humming away
after a while (about another minute) i’m bored with this
and ive lost interest in my little creation
n just about to start mucking around with something else
when karin comes in n says thats good
i say you mean this
i play the progression again
she says yeah..thats good
we then worked on it a bit
sketched out some words
and later that night
i did a really wonky version of it on my ensoniq keyboard
which had a little sequencer in it
its the sound of most of earthed n hex etc
anyway this version was pretty rinky dink
i shrugged my shoulders
whatever…and didnt think that much about it
after all i wrote 4 or 5 songs a week….it was just one more
sometime later
i re arranged it for guitar n bass on my home 8 track recorder
the bass guitar playing that low F#
against the acoustic guitar A sus 4
is much more emphatic than when it was being done by the piano
it had a strange feeling when it hit that was unexpected
but after you heard it once
it seemed so obvious
a weird effect n i’m not sure how its done
anyway i just chuck the C and G and A minor in the middle bit
the bit where the bagpipes are…
when i did my demo
( which is very much the same as the final version)
i had left some space for something there
ie i had 16 bars or whatever of just drum machine
after that second double chorus
i was gonna put something really strange in there
this wasnt gonna be a church song after all
because the church wanted to just write together
which was a very good thing
i probably thought this song a candidate
for what would become the slow crack or something..
so i was gonna do something ambient or electronic in there
after having done the guitars n electric guitars n bass n keys n stuff
but i was tired by then
so i stuck in these most obvious of chords
put a bit of e bow on
and wrapped it up
it sat there on a reel for a while
on a shelf
unaware that it was going to be one of the most covered songs ever
to come out of australia
richard ploog heard it one day at my place n was struck with it
he insisted i played it to the group
the other 2 kinda liked it
but our manager heard it n he insisted it went on next record
me..i was kinda like the other 2
i thought it was ok
but richard (who ironically never played on it)
and manager lembo really dug it n thought it was special
the rest is history
arista immediately saw its potential
promising me it would be a mega hit
i scoffed (as did a few others )
but arista were right
on you tube
i was on there yesterday
i searched utmw
n blow me down with a feather
but everyone n their grandmas hyaena has done a version
theres some walloping successful acts
theres some humble gooseballs at home
just so they can post themselves on youtube playing an easy song
“its a great song..its hard to get it wrong”
says mr brandon flowers very kindly at the end of the killers live version
and thats why on youtube
there are tons of gooseballs at home strumming it on the geetar
and posting emselves on the net
utmw has become this decades knocking on heavens door
can you believe it
your humble scribe has written a fucking gen-u-ine standard
they get the fucking words wrong
they almost always get the chords wrong
they leave out bits…who fucking cares
play it how you like it
it doesnt matter
its a standard
instantly recognizable
for any occasion
from a mega-gig
to a bedroom webcam
for weddings funerals parties bar mitzvahs bah humbugs
birthdays celebrations official ceremonies whatever the hell it is
utmw is yer song
easy ambiguous inoffensive yet with that slight sense of intrigue
a bit of ye olde yearning …or something
check em all out on youtube
some fucking woeful versions there are too
get ready to have a good laugh
i did
i wasnt laughing at them though
i was laughing in delight
that my simple easy song
has gone on to become
an institution in its own right
its an extremely funny thing to watch
coming very soon you will hear more of it
in a big hbo series
and in a big movie just out
hey…its that kinda song

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