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Lyrics - "Mondo Royale" CD

© 1992 - 1999 jake starr / fandango

"Mondo Royale"

hey, i like this spark between us
and i say, i like you where you are
and i like this sunny day
and like the way we play
and i like it when you say
i've gotta reach on down inside my pocket

whoah, what's inside my head
whoah, like words i've never said
whoah, down inside my soul
whaoh, but my heart is gold

hey, i'm always close to danger
and i say, i wear it like a coat
and you like the way i gloat
everytime i read your note
and you like it when the waves caress you
knock you down as they undress you

This is one of the three songs that Steve and I wrote during the transition period during January 1996 of losing Johnny Epiphone on guitar and gaining James Marlowe. Anyway, I was stuck for a title until I came up with the line about reaching down into my pocket. It seemed to fit. We worked this one out with Steve's brother Matt on guitar right before James joined the band. I dig this one cuz it's got a Doors/Animals feel to it, plus traces of Black Sabbath. Also, note the "Whoah, whoah" chorus that you can find in most Misfits songs.

Vodka Tonic Blues
when i walk i won't see you there
i can't feel my legs i can't feel you near
got the world locked up in a little ball
never been so blind not to see you fall

i got the world i got the prize
my glass is empty but i've still got the ice
i don't need to run
i don't need to hide
i can read your thoughts but i don't know why
so come and tell me

and i feel it, too, my love

you speak to me you speak out loud
your lips will move and tell the promise you vowed
i ain't got no glass
i ain't got no ice
i can breathe again looking into your eyes
so come and save me

come unto me

Another one of Steve's riffs from the Epiphone/Marlowe transition days. When i first heard this song, I thought of a 70s arena rock song like Aerosmith's "Dream On," so I wrote the melody and lyrics to be very tongue-in-cheek. It's actually about a fictional meeting of Claire Danes and Charles Bukowski in a bar seen through his eyes. I guess you wouldn't pick that up immediately, eh? I was using "Vodka Tonic Blues" as a working title until Steve said he liked it, so I kept it. Listening to it now, I don't think the irony comes through in the words. Maybe I'm too close to it though.

unclean when i look in the mirror
scowl falls when i turn away
unclean when you're getting nearer
running fast till the break of day

she follows me wherever i go
black cloak flowing and stars to show
where to find her i'll never know
i'm left unwashed and alone

unclean when i drink from the fountain
black acid burns me up from within

dirt all over me alright
it never washes away
dirt all over me tonight
why can't i ever escape?

The third riff of Steve's from the Epiphone/Marlowe transition days of January 1996. I was thinking about this girl I used to date who said she was a witch. We only played this one a few times live.

got a picture on my wall autographed by you
you wrote a little epithet that never rang quite true

don't go astray
cuz i'm on it
don't let it sway
cuz i'm on it

twenty dollars in my wallet can take me to the stars
i feel you permeate my skin and leave me full of scars

you can't purify me
you can't feel my pain
you can't purify me
you don't feel my pain
feel my pain

white lightning in my blood - rapture to the end
white heat just burns me up like a loving friend

"Twenty dollars in my wallet can take me to the stars." What more can I say? I started writing this song to a girl and it turned into a "get high" song. Whatever . . . it sounds good. James brought this into practice and i came up with the entire melody on the spot. You know it's good. We made a video for this song that should be up on the website soon, if not on regular rotation on MTV.

6 and 6 Is
6 and 6 is 13
believe me every word i mean
sweet young thing from down the lane
five more minutes and you'll feel the same

i'm begging you to stay
but everytime you drive away
when all i'm trying to do is say

8 and 8 is 17
disco and my beauty queen
two great tastes that never fail
five more minutes and i'll be back in jail

I always loved the song "7 and 7 Is" by Arthur Lee and Love, so I started writing a poem called "6 and 6 Is" in late 1995 when Johnny Epiphone was in the band. Unfortunately, the words never fit into anything that we were doing at the time. I believe this was the first song that James brought into Adam West. The words are pretty silly (as are most of mine), but lyrical traces of the Chocolate Watchband can be found.

Rocks Will Fall
slide over here
over where i can see your face
slide over here
over where i can find a trace

wind in my hair
makes me feel like i'm going somewhere
wind in my hair
on my back heralds secret attacks

dark comes again
just 'round the bend
covers your head
and it's real
of all thngs to say
i'm on my way
shake you all day

flies on the wall
rocks will fall down to block my way
flies on the wall
rocks will fall down to cancel my stay

This is one of my faves. It's like two separate songs between the verses and the choruses. I think Steve actually had two different songs written and pieced them together. I honestly have no idea what I'm talking about in this one. I just started singing whatever popped into my head and what rhymed. In the studio, I sang the verses into a telephone and my vocal track was picked up on a mic set up on the other end. The effect didn't work that well, so we ditched it in the mix.

Woke Up on the Ceiling
woke up on the ceiling
had it all twisted around in my head

it all looked pretty hazy
then i looked at the back of my hand

she thought that i was faking
well i showed her how to feel

I always considered this one a joke song, mainly because it was just a silly Black Sabbath jam that turned into a real (?) song. This was one of Steve's riffs that we started playing at the end of practice and it evolved into what you hear today. I got the title from a Sisters of Mercy song that had the line: "Acid on the floor so she walks on the ceiling." We recorded this live in the studio in one take to get a "real" version of it, sloppiness and all.

drag racing just the other day
you waved the flag at me and made me pay
you said i'd never ever make you stay
now it looks like i'll get my way

there are no seatbelts in my van
and no speedbumps
come catch me if you can

shag carpet on walls and floor
a stocked wet-bar by the cattle door
high-octane cocktail make you roll and more
and that's not all that i have in store

curtis mayfield pushing "pusherman"
isaac hayes is waiting in the can
your gams are up and spinning like a fan
as we cross into the promised land

Our show closer ad infinitum! I had a vision of a 70s custom van with shag carpet interior, a wet bar, and blaxploitation soul cranking. So this ex-convict lech drives around, combing the junior high schools for nubile tarts. Am I a sick bastard or what?

wanna see me cry
wanna see me crying
wanna see me crying out
till i'm left with a heart that's dry
do i have to try
do i keep on trying
do i try to get it back
to thoughts that passed me by

cuz everything you wanted left me misery
and everything you wanted left me up a tree
you think that i'm undaunted
forever ever haunted by your memory

with a roll of the dice
my degree is changing
i watch it change and rearrange
as my world goes rolling by

did you see me cry
did you see me crying
did you hear me calling out
when i left you all alone
did i do it clean or have i been too tidy
have i gone beyond that point-
i'll never get back home

I wrote this song back in 1994 when Bill Crandall was in Adam West. After a few rehearsals, Bill more or less rejected it, so it sat around for two years until I showed it to Steve and James in February 1996. Originally, this song was a slower, acoustic number with a "doo doo" chorus that I thankfully ejected. Steve and James reinterpreted the song as you hear it today: more of a 60s rave up than a stupid ballad.

Wrong-way Ronnie
mainline's down so you gotta go through your nose
spiked your arm and you've even spiked between your toes
spilled your stash so you snort the shit off the floor
can't pay the man so he'll knock your ass around some more

say what you're gonna say
it doesn't matter any way
always go the wrong way
always go the wrong way
wrong-way ronnie won't live another day

buried your girlfriend buried her six feet down
you got her hooked then you watched her fall asleep and drown
had to bail cuz the cops were knocking on your door
twenty-eight years and you're nothing but a junkie whore

James brought this song from one of his previous bands, I.F.U. and even recorded a studio version with the band Death Camp Skinny. He brought it into Adam West, but he couldn't remember the words or the vocal melody, so I came up with what you hear today. While my lyrics are about a fuck-up junkie, James told me his words were more about fucking. Imagine that?

Upside Down
all my life is in the past
i reflect but it can't last
she walked out forever more
lock me nail shut the door

upside down is where i'm at
too confused to go to bat
left me here within these walls
left me here without a pause

when i'm upside down

here i am i'm all alone
here i sit upon my throne
lonely king no subjects here
was i right i'll always fear

This song was written just a few weeks before we went in to record "Mondo Royale." This started out as one of Steve's riffs that he was unknowingly playing in different time signatures much to Tom's chagrin. When Tom pointed out that first it was in 9/8 time, then in 10, we thought it would be cool to incorporate both time signatures. I had a bit of difficulty coming up with a melody that would play off the off-time, but i think this song turned out great. I wrote it when my girlfriend left and moved back in with her mom for a week or so. She came back and I got a great song out of the experience.

Cream Cheese

This wordless little ditty is 100% Steve. You can ask him what's it's about.

What Happened?!?

Not a song, but a funny anecdote nonetheless. When we were laying down the basic tracks for "6 and 6 Is," we had a perfect take except that Tom dropped a stick at the very end and ruined it. I came into the room and asked, "What happened?" to which Tom threw his sticks and screamed, "FUCK!" This lead to the only "fight" Tom and I have had since we've been playing together. I thought this bit of studio chatter deserved its own track on the CD.

Venus in Furs

Quite simply my favorite Velvet Underground song. When Adam West was invited to perform at a "Tribute to Sterling Morrison" concert in 1995, I chose this song and "There She Goes Again" to play. Steve listened to the Velvet's version and totally reinterpreted the song for us. In fact, the only recognizable part is the vocal melody. We decided to record this and include it as the only cover song on "Mondo Royale."

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