I was having a great though all-too-brief conversation with Keifus at his blog (visit often) about this song. Here's the video. (Weird, I know. Imagine that.) I wasn't sure how to format/present this post, so I think I'll do it in bullet points. I miss that bit.
-It only has 3 chords. Keifus and I got into a knock down drag out fight about the fact that technically one could assert that it actually has 5 chords, if you count the open A9 and the Asus. While Keifus is ultimately correct, if you're gonna nitpick, most guitar players would agree that A, A9 and Asus are generally considered 1 chord. The reasoning behind this, if I'm not mistaken, is that the sus and 9 version of the chord, used the way Hoon does in this song, are more melodically driven than chord driven. (Note: It wasn't much of a knock down drag out fight, as you might imagine. More like: "Oh. Good point.")
-There are 2 things instrumentally about this song that, were either omitted, would render the song imperfect.
1.) The addition of the mandolin part (which, ironically I suppose, really underscores the Asus/A9 beautifully)
2.) The bass player plays a double bass
I don't suspect it's a double bass because of the video. It has to be. Note the tone and timbre of the bass sound. Reminds me of this. (That's the end vamp from Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover". Go to about 2 minutes into the video. And yes, they're playing it in 7/4 time.)
-As much as we would like it to be sometimes, life isn't a movie. But if mine were (which it is), this would be the soundtrack to this particular act of my life-movie.
-There are 2 things which every perfect song has to have in order to be perfect: melancholy and joyfulness. This song has them in spades. (And clubs.)
-The cited lyrics quote the second verse as ending this way:
"But I know we all can't stay here forever
So I want to write my words on the face of today
And then they'll paint it."
But I swear, since I first heard this song way back in '94, that he sings:
"Before they paint it."
I think I'm right. But it is odd because that particular quote is on his gravestone. So I might be wrong.
-The entry of the slide guitar and the drums after the 1st verse is highly reminiscent of The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes". Though the drummer doesn't drop from 4 stories on the kick drum the way Moon did, the effect is similar. Further, I wish the guitar solo after verse 2 had used the same slide guitar. More perfect.
-Blind Melon, I thought, was always a departure from the grunge sound, consciously. They were kind of a jam band, which, I think, accounts for the utter funkiness of the bass lines, and the drummer's freewheeling play between the snare and cymbal bell off the beat toward the end of the guitar solo. Really great stuff.
-If I live in Iowa this time next year, today I'd have driven up to grampa's secret river/pond/lake stash in Minnesota (if I could find it) and fish for bullhead.
-I'll admit that the lyrics verge on the trite side, but because they just walk to the edge and yet don't jump, and the fact that they're delivered with an honest and almost innocent earnestness, I'll let them pass. (Read somewhere that the 1st line of the song came to Shannon after he woke up on his mom's couch after a 3-day coke binge.)
The late '80s and early '90s were good years for me. Having a renaissance of truly great rock --- Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, among others -- that's just ham gravy on the mashed potatoes.