Veteran rockers Coney Hatch recently released their very first live album, "Postcard From Germany." To celebrate we asked Carl Dixon to tell us about the single "It's About A Girl". Here is the story:
Songwriting is a funny thing. Sometimes an idea bursts through the clouds and in fifteen minutes or so you've latched onto something magical. Sometimes you spend years getting it right, like a painter who can't get the canvas to look like what he's imagining, dabbing and daubing, then painting over a section or starting again.
It's About A Girl had both elements. Maybe twenty years ago the chorus popped into my head exactly as you hear it today, then the 6/4-time guitar riff quickly followed. "Ha" I thought, "here comes one now".
I'd been thinking about how so many things I've done in my life were, at their root, undertaken to make a female notice me and think I'm great. That thought quickly extended to include the behaviour of almost everyone on earth. It's about a girl; it's always about a girl.
Dashed off the best lyrics I could think of to support the premise but my verses didn't hit the mark. So... I set it aside with the intention of coming back and nailing the lyrics.
Time went by. Coney Hatch was on one of our lengthy breaks from each other, but the song continued to pop up in my thoughts every so often; oh yeah, that's good, I've got to spend some time on it. Many events transpired to lead Coney Hatch back to a new album deal, and in 2012 we began work on CH4, our first new album in 28 years! It's About A Girl was hovering in the background of my thoughts but we had to prioritise more completed songs. On the last day of bed tracks recording we sent the guitar player home with cause, and we three remaining decided to bang out something to make use of the remaining time on the session.
I volunteered Girl even though it wasn't ready because I had a firm idea of the arrangement and musical parts, and what wasn't ready I made up on the spot.
Hatch have been playing together so long that we're instinctive on how to read each other and Dave Ketchum our drummer laid down a cracking good bed track.
That and another bed for a song that Andy Curran wrote completed our day, but both songs stayed in that very rough state for 8 more years.
Finally we decided to include new studio tracks, on a live album from Germany we were releasing, using this material we'd left hanging. That's always been a spur to my creativity, knowing that I have a deadline, someone's expecting this to get done and I don't want it to go out half-assed! The lyrics flowered to complete the song picture in a way I could stand behind, even though I was still altering a line here, a word there right up until the final vocal session.
I like how the song is punchy and pokes a little fun but in a wry, gentle way.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here