There's that line in "Take It Easy" that goes, "We may lose and we may win / but we will never be here again," which gets it perfectly. Sometimes you just have to take the risks.
It's funny; you struggle really hard to be a success and it's your dream to have a hit record (yeah) and be a proper rock star, but there's nearly always a price to pay. "Desperado", on last year's "The Great White Wonder", was about losing your boyfriend /girlfriend through the pressures of failure, and that's really sad, isn't it? Not that we know about this first hand, of course, but you pick up these things. Anyway, "Million Seller" is about how success can also break up a good thing and it really isn't anything you can safely guard against. We know there's this downside to being rich and famous, but perhaps we can avoid it. I hope so.
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
The first time the man at The Record Company heard this song he was "hanging out" with "us guys" in Swansea and every time I hear it, it'll remind me of when he rang the local taxi firm and asked for "a stretch"! The taxi man said they didn't have one but they had a Granada, and the man from The Record Company asked if it was a big Granada!
THE WORLD IS TURNING ON
Another song about Apollo. Every album's got to have one! This is a favourite with The Record Company, and one day when we were in New York they took us to this posh restaurant and we were very embarrassed when all four of them started singing the chorus and we were threatened with being thrown out; being in New York, the waiter was a would-be star of the stage and took offence that the falsetto part was flat!
We were in a hotel in Los Angeles and settling down for breakfast when in walks Randy Bachman, telling the waiter he'd like a bowl of Sugar Babies or half a grapefruit. Randy is great and we had a nice breakfast. He was even nice enough to say that yeah, The Pooh Sticks, he'd heard the name and maybe he'd read a review somewhere. Anyway, we thought it'd be great to have a song called "Grapefruit".
I SAW THE LIGHT
Ever since we recorded this song, we've been wishing we'd got Todd to do it after all. Don't you think he'd have done a good job on the harmonies? Exactly. so now, every time I see Hue, he's desperately trying to write a song called "Tiny Demons" for the next album. You never know, perhaps we'll even be able to afford him by then! Until that happens, though, we'd recommend the Raspberries song called this. We'd recommend just about anything by the Raspberries, but avoid Eric Carmen's solo records. Anyway, I'm getting off the point.
SUSAN SLEEP WALKING
Apparently, Hue's cousin got to know a sleepwalking Susan extremely well one night when they were at camp or something. What do you think? I think that means it probably happened to Hue himself but he's too embarrassed to admit it. Or ashamed of himself. Anyway, "the cousin" claims not to have known the girl was asleep and, another anyway, we're not sure it's possible for someone to sleep through such a thing. Maybe that's why Hue says it wasn't him, come to think of it!
WHEN THE GIRL WANTS TO BE FREE
All through the recordings Hue had been telling us about this new song which was "some sort of ballad" and had two completely different sets of lyrics, but he couldn't decide which to use and wouldn't sing either one to anyone else. Eventually he decided, and this is it. I'm glad he chose this one, although for an hour or so I thought the title was "When The Girl Wants To Be Three" and imagined it being about getting pregnant, which isn't the sort of thing a little girl like me wants to think about, thank you very much!
BABY WANNA GO ROUND WITH ME
This is meant to be Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song", although it's something of a leap of faith, I know. But you must've fallen in love with a pop star sometime in your life, so you'll like this one. Hue came up with this song after having been to six gigs in one week in New York; none of us was with him and as there was at least one girly band every night, we can't tell who it's about. And he's not saying. He's insisting he made it all up. Thing is, there's a theory in the band that it's about catching Amelia's eye at his first Talulah Gosh show!
Coming from Swansea and not from the big city, we're constantly amazed how wound-up lots of people are; they're all strapper-hanging and power-lunching every day in the music industry and it can't do you any good, can it? This little aside was recorded for our man from The Record Company who, Hue says, is so uptight that when we sell 100,000 records he's going to buy him a floatation tank.
For a change, instead of a song about Apollo, here's one she wrote herself. We can't even guess what it's all about. It was a hot summer night ("would you give your throat to the wolf with the red roses?") in Connecticut, up there at Copperhead Lake; we were all swimming with no clothes on under a full moon and next thing we know Apollo's singing "Rainbow Rider" and playing the worst acoustic guitar you can imagine. Just as she reached the middle eight, just like on the record, a thunderstorm started. These things tend to happen in Apollo-land. Anyway, we hid under cover with a cassette of "No Secrets".
GOODBYE DON'T MEAN I'M GONE
This one didn't have a name all the way through the recording so we held a competition for someone to come up with a title. We had a big bit of paper on the wall in the studio for people to write suggestions on and, sure enough, everyone put forward a title or two. But one day, also pinned on the wall, was a note from Baby Ruth telling us she'd packed her bags and had left for home in the night; it was a nice note, and quoted from "I'm In You" that part about being with you wherever you are; and "Goodbye don't mean I'm gone" was how she signed off. We later found out it's also a Carole King song.
JELLY ON A PLATE
Those of you who've been paying attention will remember that every Pooh Sticks record has a big guitar solo, so here it is for this year. You can't hear it, but Paul breaks a string toward the end of the solo, which is why it's not another ten-minute thing, I suppose. Anyway, The Record Company considered that this should be "Jello On A Plate" so it would mean more in America. When they discovered that they couldn't use the copyrighted "Jello" and they realised that this left them with the option of calling the song "Gelatin Dessert On A Plate", they gave up.
THAT WAS THE GREATEST SONG
The chorus is from a 1979 Freeway record, and the rest is written by Hue. I suppose it's really true, a kiss can really set you up for the day, can't it? Like hearing Reunion's "Life Is A Rock" on the breakfast show, which happened today. Which is funny because obviously that line about "eighteen with a bullet" comes from Pete Wingfield's "Breakfast Special" record, another great wake-up. So anyway, from my window I can see the Empire State Building with its patriotic red, white and blue lighting, and I'm wishing Reunions's jumbled song list of a lyric was playing out of my own AM radio at home where it would sound even better. Maybe I'll dream about Swansea tonight and maybe we'll get to go home soon.
Until then, well, the rock machine just keeps on movin', don't it?
love Trudi xxx