In which I record a recipe of sorts
You will need:
A healthy dose of ennui
A thorough knowledge of California
Access to incomprehensible amounts of cocaine (think enough to have to scrape out of a mixing board post-session)
Begin on the topic of a female—specifically a “woman,” never a “girl.” Create as many women as desired, but exercise mindfulness: they must exist for the purposes of sexual gratification, spiritual enlightenment, or both. Augment the cast with at least one male character who shall be entangled with said woman/women. The male perspective is the narrative engine; first, second, or third person will do. Add a highway: the 405, maybe, or the PCH. Take care to mention the freeway at least once. Describe everything, but romanticize nothing: you don’t want to be confused with America. While certain substances must be part of the creative process, they do not necessarily have to appear in the lyric, although it never hurts to allude to the characters’ physical and/or emotional self-erosion. Make your lyric just semi-autobiographical enough to arouse suspicion, accusation, or resentment. Take shots at fellow artists if you wish; the degree of tastefulness is up to you. Funnel your hatred of human interaction into the song—that will be what gives it its punch. Women, men, it doesn’t matter whom you hate, as long as it’s someone. Once you have completed these steps, if still alive, reap the fruits of your labor. Bask in the glory. And when the toll of the lifestyle ultimately kills you, take comfort in the fact that generations to come will draw inspiration from you. Kind of like a shimmering light up ahead in the distance.
Happy birthday to the late great Glenn Frey, who would have turned 71 last Wednesday.
Image: from Pinterest