In the Nuthouse is one of my very early songs. I wrote it when I was seventeen. I’d been playing guitar for about a year, and was just starting to get on top of it. (In fact, I was probably over-compensating, playing too fast to make up for my lack of technical skill.)
Now when you’re seventeen, sitting down in front of an ordinary tape recorder writing songs, you’re very conscious that the sound you’re getting isn’t anything like what you hear on the radio, or a professional CD bought from the store. In fact, it sounds flat-out weird. And if you’re anything like me, you conclude that weirdness must be your lot in life. That’s pretty much the theme of In the Nuthouse. Since I couldn’t play “normal” music, then I was going to embrace weirdness for its own sake.
Now, years later, my circumstances have changed a little. I’m more musically literate. I’ve got a lot more gear. I can record complete songs, with drums and bass. I’m pretty close to getting professional sounding results. What’s more, I’ve got all these old cassette tapes, which are unlistenable in themselves, but which contain literally hundreds of songs. I decided to remake a lot of those old songs — rewrite them and record them, using all the songwriting tricks I’ve learned since.
In the Nuthouse posed a bit of a dilemma for me. What on earth was I going to do with such a nutty over the top song, to tone it down and make it more sophisticated? I got held up for weeks pondering that question. In the end, I decided to leave it as it was, and just add bass and drums. The bridge section (with the guitar solo) is new, and the lyrics are a little better defined, but in every other respect, this is the exact song I wrote when I was seventeen.
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