Long Hot Summer Long Hot Summer I wrote just as I was finishing Soul Searchin' and it didn't fit with what I was dong on that record but I wrote it in the summer, excuse me, the fall of 1988 and we had these back-to-back days of above 100 degree temperatures in Los Angeles and after about four days people were shooting each other on the freeway and murder was up all over the southland. I just started thinking about it - this is not gonna change, you know, we are creating this for ourselves year after year. We're basically screwing up the weather. Long Hot Summer is really about a portrait of urban desperation, you know, as the guy in the song is saying - he's just wiping his brow, the whole thing. It's very hot and steamy and there's no way out and so that's sort-of my take on Long Hot Summer. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He Took Advantage Well, on the surface you would think it was about a guy who came in between a nice relationship - a third guy who was a no-good guy who sort-of screwed things up for people. You know, I kept thinking about Ronald Reagan and how we're all living with the residue of Reaganomics and he's like, you know, riding off into the sunset you know, ready to go on and write his book, you know, and everything is okay as far as he is concerned. I just thought he was a horrible president and as thought he got on television and told us everything we wanted to hear and then did nothing of what he said he was gonna do. Uh, he didn't even take care of the rich which is what we expected him to do. He didn't even do that. I mean, I just think he was a really bad president and I think it's ... I think we'll be paying for the rest of our lives. I just didn't want to see him getting away with it without me at least saying, "Hey, you weren't so great as far as I was concerned." So, I think he took advantage. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brave New World Well, you know, again, sometimes as I jokingly said there's all these great titles without me having necessarily to think of them. But Brave New World just seemed right. I was looking at my daughter Taylor who was trying to learn how to walk and when you have a child a lot of things change about how you look at the world. All of a sudden, I';m a little more concerned about what this place is going to be like in fifty years from now. You know it's no longer just 'I'm not going to be here so who cares' and also at this time there's all this revolution going on. You know the song has like a lot of different elements involved. Maybe I'm thinking about little Taylor Marie when I say you'll find the strength to stand up on your own and live in this Brave New World, but you know, I was also reading The Stand by Stephen King. In the book at that time they're trying to reorganize the planet after a huge plague wiped out 99% of the population. There's so many different things that sort-of go into the writing of these songs. It's also about all the revolution that's happened in Eastern Europe and the upheaval and the way we sort-of have been seeing that Communism doesn't work. Imagine if we had blown ourselves up ten years ago how stupid we would feel. Just because somebody else has a different economic system or a different form of government. It was madness to think we were that close to pressing the button on each other. Now we've started to to see this play out over the last couple of years. The Berlin Wall comes down. Sometimes we have to destroy what exists in order to create something new. There's just a lot of nations that have been going through this for the last few years so I started thinking about this guy who would be turning to his daughter and sort-of saying, you know - it's like war in the verses and then in the chorus eh says but don't worry, it'll all be over soon. It'll be alright, I'll be back. So I took all these elements together and wrote this crazy futuristic war song called Brave New World which was very haunting and very enchanting if you would. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Big Life: You know I've heard two phrases that have really stuck with me. One is: "Money is seldom accompanied by taste". If you were to go into ten homes in Beverly Hills I swear to God, nine of them would be horribly decorated and you'd wonder what a waste of money, you know. And the other one is that "money never cared who it hung out with" which is also true. So I just started thinking that I run into some people who I think give money a bad name and so I just imagined this sort of obnoxious guy who was sort-of a combination of Donald Trump and Ted Turner and George Steinbrenner and other media-type people who would be getting onto a flight from New York to L.A. and immediately everybody on the plane hears what this guy's talking about. You know, 'I'm with Stallone and and I'm skiing in Aspen with Jack and Cher and I own a baseball team. By the way, do you want to get into the movies? and what's your name? And I'm going out to Hollywood - maybe you want to come with me. We'll just go in my limousine. We're having a big party.' I mean, I've seen this thing played out for so long, you know, so often that I just decided to just take a crack at writing this song called Big Life and so you know I wrote this tune and basically it's this braggadocios guy who gets on this airplane and is trying to impress this girl with his long list of , you know, why he's cool, all his money, his accomplishments, investments and stuff. Actually, big life, the phrase "big life," it's funny, you know, I've come to ... uh, my life has gotten more complicated in the last fifteen years. You know, life does get more complicated, you know, and I would just come into work sometimes and go, 'phew!' like that in L.A. and they would say, 'What's wrong?' and I'd go, 'Nothing - just Big Life Syndrome."You know, I've got a big life, so I've just been keeping that phrase so that's how that song came about.