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Lead singer Rob Thomas wrote this about the time he spent caring for his mother when she was sick with cancer. Thomas was 12 years old when she got the disease, and she was given 6 months to live. She beat it, and by the time Rob was 17, she was healthy and he left home to set out on his own. (thanks, Megan - Tracy, CA)
Thomas chose the time 3 am because it was an hour after the bars usually closed.
This came together when the band was known as Tabitha's Secret (Tabitha was the daughter on the TV show Bewitched). The band played in the Orlando area from 1993 until 1996, when Rob Thomas, Brain Yale and Paul Doucette signed a record deal and left to form Matchbox 20. The 2 members who were left behind continued as Tabitha's Secret and as a result of a lawsuit, were granted the rights to play and record this song, since they played on the demo of this that helped get Matchbox 20 the record deal.
The original version of this that helped get the band signed is acoustic. In 1998, the 2 remaining members of Tabitha's Secret released it on their album Don't Play With Matches. This version sounds a lot like Matchbox 20 and features Rob Thomas on vocals. Tabitha's Secret was allowed to release it, but couldn't mention any association with Matchbox 20 or use any photos of the band. To get around this, they put the names of the 5 members who recorded this (including Thomas) on the album cover.
The song was much slower when they first wrote it. When Matchbox 20 recorded their first album, they gave it a faster tempo.
This was Matchbox Twenty's second hit (after "Push"), and very important for the band because it proved they were not a one-hit-wonder.
Rob Thomas said at his 2006 Cleveland show with Jewel, "When I was younger I wrote songs all the time and at the time I thought they were great, but recently I looked at all the songs I wrote when I was younger and this was the first song I ever wrote that looking back on I still think is good." (thanks, Jen - Cleveland, OH)
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