Thursday, August 14, 2008

From a Hitherto Unreported Conversation in the Studio of Peter Gabriel, 1984

"I need some help with this. It's a great tune, but I'm struggling with the lyric. I can't figure out which tool works best."

"Tool? Lyrics? You lost me."

"Let me play you a few."

I want to be.... your lawn mower

"Lawn mower? What?"

"Y'know... I want to keep you in shape, help you look good, be the thing that caresses you..."

"Cuts you down if you grow too high?"

"Okay, maybe not. How about this:"

I want to be.... your screwdriver


"The most useful tool there is. Plus, y'know, the pun."

"Spare me. Next?"

I want to be.... your bread toaster

"Toaster? You've got to be kidding me."

"Sure. The toaster is the friendliest kitchen appliance. 'Lives there a man with a soul so dead/He's never to his toaster said--'"

"Enough. No. Toaster will not do. And adding "bread" to make the rhythm work is just lame. You got anything else?"

"Yeah, but nothing I like. Y'know... Egg beater, air conditioner, tape recorder, sledgehammer... nothing seems to work."

"Wait, what about that last one?"

"What, egg beater?"

"No, the other. Sledgehammer."

"Sledgehammer? You've got to be kidding me. I want to smash her to bits?"

"No you want to build her things. Y'know... train tracks, airplanes..."

"That's ridiculous. Way too violent. Anyway a screwdriver is much more useful in building generally."

"Yeah, but you have the whole juvenile-sex pun thing working against you."

"What, like you've never heard the expression 'hammer her?' No way. I am not going with sledgehammer."

"Fine, whatever. You asked my advice, I gave it."

"Hmm. We'll work on it later. In the meantime, what about this other lyric I'm working on: Bunker hill? Highgate hill? Sparrow hill? Signal hill? What do you think sounds best?"

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