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David Leonard: Music

I Had To Tell You

Roky Erickson/Clementine Hall

The Richard Lloyd band used to start our live shows with a scorching version of a Roky Erickson song, "Fire Engine", and that song appears on our live album "Real Time".  Richard and I also recorded it for a Warner Brothers Roky Erickson tribute album, "The Pyramid Meets the Eye".  One of the first records I stole from the Columbia Record Club was a Thirteenth Floor Elevators record, so, Roky's long been on my radar.  When I chose this song for my record, there was a question about the lyrics.  So, I tracked down Roky's reclusive co-writer, Clementine Hall, in Northern California, and in a two-hour phone conversation, I learned everything I needed to know about "wicked spirits clinging".  I love that woman--I hope I've made her proud with this track.  That's me playing Jon Hayman's dad's 1949 Martin ten-string Tiple and my '61 J-50.  Steve Holley plays the cajon, Doug Maxwell added a touch of organ, and Sherryl Marshall sings harmony.  Love that woman, too!

Chaos all around me
Wicked spirit clinging
But I can hear you singing
In the corners of my brain

Every doubt abound me
Every sound of riot
Everything is quiet
But the songbird keeps me sane

I can hear your voice
Echoing my voice softly
I can feel your strength
Reinforcing mine

If you fear I'll lose my spirits
Like a drunkard's wasted wine
Don't you even think about it...
I'm feelin' fine