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Steve Key: Songs/Lyrics

First Guitar

(Steve Key)
May 29, 2012
Steve Key Songs (BMI)
Written in Portland OR, circa 1984.
Originally released on a two-song demo tape with "Christmas Hideaway", later expanded to a cassette album. This version was released on "New Hope" (Local Folkel Records 1990)
Recorded and mixed at Splice of Life, Brighton MA, June '89 to January '90
Produced by Darleen Wilson, engineered by Coleman Rogers
Bass: Richard Gates
Dobro: Martin Grosswendt
Harmonies: Janet Feld, David Holmes

I probably read a story like this somewhere, but there's no relation to my life experience. I can't remember why I wrote it, but I know I did back in Portland around '84. I had some fantasy of recording a single with this song on Side A and "Christmas Hideaway" on Side B. My steady gig in Portland was playing for tips at a restaurant called Acapulco's Gold. The owner said he would finance the single, but after I'd recorded full-band demos of the two songs, he backed off that promise. Maybe that was the beginning of the end of my time in Portland.

When I hear the harmonies by Janet Feld and David Holmes, I think of their trio with Jim Henry. I heard the trio once in Amherst MA -- I drove up from New York just to hear them cover my song "New Hope". Feld and Holmes also recorded harmonies on the song "New Hope", and two other songs on that album, "Portland Rain" and "Desperado Sister".
Remember when you got your first guitar
A Sears & Roebuck Silvertone on Christmas Day
You played all night, trying to get it right
Soloing the way you saw Chuck Berry play*
Encouraged by your friends to play the hoots at the Bitter End
Where you'd sing "la na na na, la na na na, la na na na ..."

And remember hitchin' in the snow to join your friends out west in San Francisco
You saw the Airplane in the park, and the protest after dark
About the war and the ones who died in Ohio
But too many songs inspired by the needle and the fire
So you'd sing "la na na na, la na na na, la na na na ..."

And remember when your daughter asked
What happened in the sixties and who the Beatles were
So you went into the closet, pulled out that first guitar
And you sang "For What It's Worth" and "Let It Be" for her
And you told her all about the times that would never be again
When you'd sing "la na na na, la na na na, la na na na ..."
And how you treasure all those times that will never be again
Singing "la na na na, la na na na, la na na na ..."

*I now sing it as "the way you saw George Harrison play", as a better tie-in to the Beatles reference at the end