Pandora's PlayHouse by Sananda Maitreya Track by Track

by Carl Wiser

Sananda Maitreya goes though the songs on his album Pandora's PlayHouse, explaining the themes and concepts.

Life is like a SPOILED SUPERMODEL WHO KNOWS THAT EVERYONE wants TO BE WITH HER

Sananda Maitreya could have relaxed into his celebrity, but has instead pushed forward on a quest for meaning and enlightenment, expressed in his music and his words. As Terence Trent D'Arby, he became a huge star, with a #1 hit ("Wishing Well") and endless adulation (his supermodel analogy certainly comes from first-hand experience). In the '00s, he took his new name, and with it, became a new person. Here's what he told us in 2007:

TTD had died. His psyche had been shot full of so many arrows that he could no longer hold his spirit. After intense pain I meditated for a new spirit, a new will, a new identity. Sananda Maitreya is an opportunity for me, this spirit, to live with a new psyche and use it to continue my work, the work I came to earth for.

That work continues with Pandora's PlayHouse, a musical journey of 28 tracks across two volumes. It's steeped in philosophy and mythology with songs about Rod Steiger, Prince, Italian women, our place in the universe, and many other topics. (In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first human woman, kind of like the biblical Eve. The gods gave her gifts, including a jar that when she opened, unleashed the evils and vices that now fill the world.) The concepts are intricate and need to be explored with an open mind, but the music will come to you right away - it grooves, swings, and rocks. And Maitreya's voice still sounds like he got his own gift from the gods.

In this track by track, he guides us through the album, which you can buy or stream on March 15, 2021.

Volume 1

1. Pandora's Plight (02:09)

"PANDORA'S PLIGHT" Is simply that HER POWER WILL ALWAYS BE FEARED and RESENTED INSTEAD OF PRAISED. She will have attached to her image all of the things we fail to understand and accept, while being denied the fruits of her glory.

And WHAT WE DENY IN HER, WE DENY IN OURSELVES. For PANDORA is the mirror To our INNER WORLD, the basis and backdrop of all reflection.

But she accepts this because THEY ARE THE TERMS ON WHICH SHE AGREED TO SERVE Humanity. She knows quite well that we've still quite a long ways to go.

So until WE get to THE LOVE, for her, it must be ALL ABOUT THE WORK. Since TIME IS ALWAYS ON HER SIDE!


2. Time Is On My Side (02:55)

As my history reflects, it'd be super clear to anyone with attention that I consider myself not just a FAN of THE ROLLING STONES, but indeed a DISCIPLE, a "Devotee."

Perhaps only the BEATLES have had the same influence on my psyche. In my PANTHEON OF GODS Of Olympus, they occupy the highest rank, their beards and heads scratched by fog infested clouds. Fed by the finest grains, meats, cheeses, spirits and other Godly Delights.

They themselves covered this song which was originally sung by the great IRMA THOMAS, if memory serves. It is one of the few songs where the original AND the cover version were instant classics of form and function.

For many years I've held this song in reserve in my heart as a possible song to record. That dream came to fruition when I were asked by the stellar IRENE GRANDI to record with her for a project she were undertaking. I suggested "Time Is On My Side" and she flipped for the idea. So we did it and I hope that we didn't break it. It's awesome that it took a great Italian artist to finally raise this song from me as does a snake charmer playing a flute beings the cobra from the mouth of the basket.


3. Don't Break My Balls (03:03)

Every songwriter worth their salt wants to write THE UNIVERSAL SONG, the one with the "Universal Sentiment" that can be readily comprehended anywhere in the world at any time. A song that one hopes that everyone can relate to and bring to attention the connective tissue that we all share as members of the HUMAN RACE, the only race there is.

With "DON'T BREAK MY BALLS," I just MAY have come up with a Universal Sentiment with which ALL MEN and GOOD PERSONS CAN AGREE. As a nationalized Italian citizen, I can promise you one thing, "Don't Break My Balls" is as GENDER NEUTRAL a phrase, (as well as multigenerational) that you will find anywhere in the world. AND, an unofficial motto of Italian life and culture.

Apparently it is often cited as THE VERY FIRST PHRASE ITALIAN BABIES SAY after "MAMA."

NON ROMPERE LE PALLE!

4. Mama's Boy Blues (04:22)

A mama's boy rejected by his mother's love goes out into the world to join in the fight that the world engages against itself. He finds the fight outside in the streets, the same as matches the ongoing fight within himself. Because IF HE IS NOT WORTHY OF HIS MOTHER'S LOVE, then surely there is no love that he feels worthy of. Meanwhile his mother herself sees that the world IS CORRUPTED by the absence of and the permission to love and be loved. She sees the COST of her withholding the love that heals and makes us all EASIER TO LOVE. And makes life more magical to live.


5. The Ballad Of Rod Steiger (06:26)

We shared mutual friends in our business. Then I got a chance to meet him and get to know his generosity of spirit, as well as the legendary stories he shared with me about his time during and beyond the "Golden Era" of Hollywood. We both lived in Malibu and used the same gas station, jeweler and favorite restaurant. Many of the words in the song came directly from the great maestro's mouth as related to me by himself and others. He was one of a kind and a total original.


6. Don't Leave Me Here! (04:33)

This song speaks of the growing ALIENATION of us from our cultures and the estrangement we feel in the face of A WORLD MOVING AT THE SPEED OF A RUNAWAY TRAIN. We are taught to fear what we don't know and never seem to have enough time to adapt to WHAT WE MUST DO NOW. And it sometimes seems like LIFE IS AGAINST US and that we can ONLY TRUST OURSELVES.

And then, there is the most basic and primal of human emotion, the fear of BEING LEFT ALONE. Because what makes this planet habitable is LOVE. WITHOUT LOVE, WE ARE A HOSTILE PLANET and a danger to ourselves. And sometimes IT TAKES CRISIS TO REFOCUS US on what COMMUNITY MEANS. But while we gather our NEW WITS about us, All We Ask is that you "DON'T LEAVE ME HERE ON MY OWN" because well, THESE BITCHES ARE CRAZY! AIUTO!!


7. Yuki Suzuki (03:26)

A paean to young and innocent love! Our protagonist found himself as a young blade in Japan where he was soon in love with the local ladies living large in the lap of luxuries - luscious legs and liquid lips.

In a swoon by the moon in the month of June (and July), time flew by. And before he knew it, like all sweet dreams, it was gone almost as soon as it came. But the memories, as always, linger on beyond the labels that attach themselves to fables. Perhaps a love letter to Japan, a culture that has always embraced my work with passion and appreciation. And it holds a special place in my heart.


8. Her Kiss (05:48)

I, being an artist am also by default, AN INCURABLE ROMANTIC. Though, mercifully not as idealistic as perhaps my youth betrayed me as.

And no great secret has been made of how deep goes my LOVE FOR THE LADIES. As much a PAIN IN THE ASS that they are, they are a mist necessary and formidable pain in the ass cheeks. YOU CANNOT LIVE WITH THEM, BUT LIVING WITHOUT THEM IS NO LIFE AT ALL.

So it comes down to this fact, "HER KISS" really matters to me!

Because without it, the value of my life can never meet its ultimate worth, nor maximize its expression as but one half of its own conundrum.

And yet, without someone to fight with, what is the purpose of passion but to BURN AWAY THAT WHICH REFUSES TO LOVE? Thematically, the song speaks of Prometheus' love for Pandora.


9. The MadHouse (04:04)

So here we arrive again inside "Pandora's PlayHouse." And we find ourselves CONFRONTED BY OUR GHOSTS, the ghosts that we forget to bring back into our own bosoms. The ghosts we banish to small, secret places and who then have to HAUNT US MORE TO GET OUR ATTENTION. We find a HOUSE IN RUIN, a house dominated by the THINGS THAT USED TO BE. We find that the memories that once drove us are the same memories that now depress us. We find that our SHADOWS HAVE GROWN and taken on a LIFE OF THEIR OWN. And we find that as said by the master ROBERT FROST, "THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH." And it is there where we find a regretful TARZAN "swinging on the vines that still remain." Because here are the rotted beams of EMPIRE trying to set itself on FIRE to take its ashes HIGHER.

SO, WELCOME TO THE MADHOUSE! Because at this point, WHERE ELSE COULD WE POSSIBLY BE?


10. Life's A Bitch (05:11)

Life is A SPIRIT. And life is like a SPOILED SUPERMODEL WHO KNOWS THAT EVERYONE wants TO BE WITH HER. So she can play hard to get, she can be mean, cruel, dominant, playful, capricious. And naturally as with MOST SUPERMODELS, she can get bored easily if not granted enough stimulation and surprise.

So, it cannot be less true that indeed, LIFE'S A BITCH. A point that most of us would agree with. But the KEY is not in denying that Life's A Bitch, but IN MAKING LIFE "YOUR" BITCH. Because LIFE IS THE GREAT WOLF. And in the mind of the wolf, IT WILL ALWAYS CHALLENGE YOUR COMMAND, UNLESS YOU ARE SURE. A man can keep a wolf as a pet, and the man can be the wolf's master. But only for as long as the man is SURE THAT HE IS THE MASTER, because the moment uncertainty creeps into his mind, BY DEFAULT THE WOLF RESUMES CONTROL. There is NO AMBIGUITY with the wolf. YOU are the alpha, or IT IS. And so it is with the gleaming pearl of LIFE. THE ONE SHE RESPECTS MOST, IS THE ONE WHO SEES HER FOR What SHE REALLY IS, A BITCH WAITING TO BE DOMINATED. BY YOUR WILL, your prayers, your wishes and demands. And like MANY A DOMINANT WOMAN, she is waiting for someone to come and relieve her of the pressure of ALWAYS HAVING TO BE IN CHARGE, which slowly takes the LIFE out of her. So YES, LIFE IS A BITCH. SO MAKE HER "your" Bitch. And get on with THE ART OF LIVING! She will only love you MORE for it.


11. The Kings Of Avalon (03:15)

The Kings of Avalon represent the ARCHITECTS OF OUR VARIOUS SOCIETIES. Imagine KING ARTHUR and his KNIGHTS, dividing up the world and running it according to their own separate yet unified mythologies. Some kings rule from the heart, and some are self-serving. Some are passionate about their reigns, while others are asleep and even worse, INDIFFERENT. For them, their people are not ASSETS to be respected, honored and used to best advantage, but to be disdained, scorned and seen as a liability. AND THESE ARE THE MEN THAT SET THE TONE AND NAME THE TUNES WE DANCE TO.

At THEIR tempos, and on their time. And we the people, HONOR THOSE KINGS WHO HONOR US. And, as is our SACRED DUTY, WE HOLD IN DEEP CONTEMPT, THOSE WHO'D ABUSE US and SELL US OUT AS SOON AS THE COINS ARE COUNTED. And to THESE MEN we look to for our salvation? To save US from THEIR SINS! But these are not those kings we admire. THE KINGS OF AVALON WHO REMEMBER THEMSELVES ARE THE SONS OF PROMETHEUS and use what time they are given to further enlighten and heal those they would profit by after the HARVEST has been brought To yield. And THESE bitches are FUNKY!


12. Pie (06:06)

(Inside Pandora's Box)
PIE IN THE SKY WHEN I DIE?
No, I WANT THE WORLD and I WANT IT NOW!
Don't gather my roses for me when I an dead but let me smell them while I am living!
LIFE, IN THIS MOMENT, NOW.


13. Mr. Skeleton (03:25)

You can say that I'm a CROSS and BONES kind of guy. I've always been drawn to the symbolism. I'm a PISCES, and we're some symbolism loving bitches. As a Christian, I am aware that the origins of the CROSS and BONES Was meant to signify that Christ was hung on the cross on a hill composed of other graves, A PLACE OF SKULLS. A BONEYARD. A cross atop bones.

So, early Christian organizations used the symbol of the SKULL and BONES to mark their turf and their products, their brotherhood. The EDWARDIANS took to using SKULLS as "objet d'art" symbolizing the MORTALITY OF ALL AND THE WISE USE OF ONE's time. Because WE ALL, WHOEVER WE ARE, WILL STILL WIND UP LOOKING LIKE THIS!

The Great Master Essayist MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE felt that TO LIVE TOTALLY, ONE MUST EMBRACE DEATH AS A CONSTANT companion. Not out of FEAR OF DEATH, but of APPRECIATION FOR LIFE. I've always adored the writings of Montaigne but FUCK THAT! MR. SKELETON, DON'T YOU COME and DANCE WITH ME! I don't CARE what the skull and bones means, I give a shit about ESOTERIC WRITINGS. JUST KEEP THAT SKINNY ASS SKELETON AWAY FROM ME AND MY FAMILY. I'm not ready to die yet, there are still too many people left for me to piss off before I depart THIS MORTAL COIL, THIS EMERALD REALM. And we can talk about the rest, LATER.


14. GlassHouse (02:09)

Pandora's PlayHouse has many shapes and rooms. Including A GLASSHOUSE.

I was told as a child, that "PEOPLE LIVING IN GLASSHOUSES SHOULDN'T THROW STONES." But no one told me that you couldn't live in a GlassHouse and PLAY The Rolling Stones. For where would I be without Mick and Keith? OR Fred and Barney for that matter! WE ALL LIVE IN A GLASSHOUSE (or maybe a Yellow Submarine?) and can be seen as we are. WE ARE FOOLING NO ONE BUT OURSELVES because we don't hide nearly as well as we suspect. So come out, be yourself and join the world as you are.


Volume 2

1. Pandora's PlayHouse (04:27)

A song that sets the harmonic tone and the psychological subtext for what the project is, AND MY VISION OF AND COLLABORATION WITH PANDORA.

I accept Pandora as an ELEMENTAL SPIRIT. And so, try to make contact with her nature to guide the music being produced. The LAST project, "Prometheus and Pandora" was more about balanced energy. But this is Pandora's project. Pandora isn't about "Balance," she's about DOMINANCE. PERIOD. She knows her place and purpose in space/time and makes NO APOLOGIES about what she must do to keep CONTROL OF HER GARDEN. AND THE RULES SHE MOST RESPECTS are THE ONES SHE HERSELF CREATES. PANDORA'S PLAYHOUSE, A PLACE THAT EXPANDS AS YOU DO!


2. Reflecting Light (04:20)

"LIFE IS HABIT FORMING"

When first approached with the opportunity for collaboration with THE AVALANCHES,
there was an internal discussion regarding the nature of the song and what was the intention of the expression.

WHY THIS SONG?
And why NOW?

We are living in and through a time of unprecedented fear, turmoil and upheaval. All the while seemingly run by people and policies that very much seem to want to SOCIALLY DISTANCE themselves from WE THE PEOPLE.

And our JUDGMENT OF OUR HUMANITY has seemingly crystallized into a place whereby we are expected to maintain hardened postures against ourselves and keep ourselves in places of DENIAL.

WE EACH through trial and error find for ourselves WHAT WORKS in keeping us engaged with the larger meditation of life and its consequences, while balancing our WILL WITH OUR "KARMA." With the various things we INHERIT from our bloodlines, our societies, our triumphs, our tragedies.

Along the way, we stumble, tumble and fall. And then we rise again. We seek to DEPRIVE WHO WE ARE OF THE OXYGEN OF GRACE whereby it is clear that IT HAS BEEN DESIGNED THAT INDEED, "LIFE IS HABIT FORMING," and conspires that we not pass through her membrane without having found the FOUNDATIONAL ELEMENTS for our SECURITY.

In our cultural landscape, we are CONDITIONED TO A HOSTILE WAY of seeing our adopted habits as NEGATIVE, which then presents us with negotiating a negative spirit. And whether we choose sports, mental exercises, philosophy, religion or THE "DREADED DRINK," we are each hard pressed to pass through life without BECOMING ATTACHED to people, places and things that provide sustenance and comfort for the long journey ahead.

And in a negative spirit, we get caught up in our Pavlovian responses and seem that we are "ADDICTS," "RECIDIVISTS," "Sinners," "Opportunists," and various other LABELS that ensure that we will run into dispositions unfriendly to the ANTI-HUMANITARIAN STRAIN OF LIFE that encourages our DEPRESSIONS that suspend our courage, our desires and equilibrium in pursuit of SOLUTIONS to what only TIME and ACCEPTANCE CAN HEAL.

SELF JUDGMENT and REJECTION IS AN ACT OF DAILY CRUCIFIXION that we undertake to align ourselves with a false reality without wisdom or HEART, and our LACK OF UNDERSTANDING only further pushes us deeper into the DARK RECESSES of our PAIN.

Yet, as the great master American poet and philosopher ROBERT FROST intoned; "THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH," and for sure I have come to realize that the "Light At The End Of The Tunnel" is our OWN patient and willing hand.

And there is no greater remedy or solution than to LOVE THYSELF FROM BEGINNING TO END, applying MERCY as an antidote to the RITUAL MADNESS of our culture's expectations of A CARICATURE of a person instead of the REALITY OF A PERSON's journey and the pitfalls, pratfalls and catcalls that will greet a life going through the CHANGES.

BECAUSE ONLY IN SURVIVAL can we embrace the full TRUTH that we are here to GROW AS SPIRITUAL and emotional beings, while shouldering OUR ANCESTORS as they too are moved forward through our actions, decisions and most of all through our FORGIVENESS. We can only REFLECT THE LIGHT that is WITHIN US.

OTHERWISE we are blinded by a light that we cannot see.

The SPOTLIGHT FADES, THE CANDLELIGHT DIMS, And our STREETLIGHT SERENADES lose their echoes while we get lost in the vast expanse of THE DARKNESS we inhabit while waiting for THE LIGHT TO COME.

LIFE IS HABIT FORMING and while we work to free ourselves from ungainly presumptions, WE REFLECT THE LIGHT that acts as the LIGHTHOUSE THAT BRINGS OUR BIG SHIPS safely back into the HARBORS OF CERTAINTY and HEALING.

LOVE IS THE WAY OUT, FAITH IS THE WAY THROUGH. THE REWARD BEING A MUCH GREATER APPRECIATION BOTH FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE, And the PERSONS THAT WE BECAME TO KNOW IN THE PROCESS.

Our ancient Greek ancestors implored us to KNOW THYSELF.

Which we can only understand AFTER seeing the SHAPES WE FORM in both the "LONG DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL" as expressed by SAINT TERESA Of AVILA, as well as in the SHADOWS THAT AWAIT US as finally we settle on the banks and shores of the perpetual SUNRISE that hugs the days with the embrace of the RETURN OF THE SHEER JOY OF BEING ALIVE, since those are OUR SHADOWS AND THEY BELONG TO US as onwards we travel through the MIND OF TIME.

LIFE IS HABIT FORMING and its REFLECTIONS are what we remember and one day CAST IN MARBLE and STONE THE SHAPES OUR HUMANITY FORMED AROUND THE LIGHT we reached within our depths to find!


3. The Queens Of Babylon (03:33)

These women are not those who are interested in EQUALITY. Why would they want to be equal to men? MEN ARE IDIOTS!

So to them, it seems counter-evolutionary to want to be at the same level as those you were meant to lead. THESE WOMEN GET ON WITH THEIR LIVES, and make do as does can. Whether they be nurses or nuns, prime ministers or prostitutes, doctors or drug dealers, mathematicians or mamas, if not all of the above THEY KNOW THAT THEY MATTER. They take their place in the world without complaint. EXCEPT WHEN IT IS TIME TO COMPLAIN. THE QUEENS OF BABYLON, these bad-ass bitches KNOW who they are, and despite the prejudices with which they deal with daily, look it dead in the eye and GET ON WITH IT. And as it stands, PANDORA, as the patron goddess to the working women and mothers of the world, blesses them and takes to heart, the pains they hide.


4. Her Kiss – Acoustic (05:44)

We felt that the project could use a bit of "acoustic scruff," some rough-grained texture to compliment the overall sonic presentation of Pandora's PlayHouse. Something intimate, direct and emotionally soothing. There has always been an appreciation for hearing a simple voice harmonizing with a simple guitar.

Hopefully with this stripped down version of "HER KISS," we achieved this objective. While reprising a recurring theme of the "PlayHouse" of the POWER OF PANDORA'S MAGNETIC GRACE (and the sway it holds over Prometheus, her eternal lover, nemesis, rival, competitor and friend).


5. A Cool Breeze (05:10)

A song that as much as any, gives a glimpse of life INSIDE Pandora's PlayHouse. While in the midst of transformation, the protagonist is seeing his future become present and his fears faced full on for the first time. A cool breeze is coming OVER me, and then a cool breeze is coming AFTER me.

Expressing the sentiment of one who is reborn from the viewpoint of one who EXPERIENCES The MOMENTS IN LIFE to one now capable of INFLUENCING The MOMENTS IN LIFE. Because in Pandora's PlayHouse we learn how to go from those who see life happening TO them to those who see life happening FOR them.


6. One Horse Town (03:33)

And in the spirit of the Zeitgeist we have a song which explains how easily crosses the nexus of JEALOUSY and RACE. And how EVIL hides behind philosophy, tradition, and belief to prevent itself from being seen. "Heritage" as an excuse to HATE.

The main cause of "RACISM" (let's be honest and clear) is NOT anyone's feelings of fear or superiority but the simple fact that WE ARE JEALOUS OF THE OTHER. In any event there is ONLY ONE RACE, the Human Race. So we are all these different tribes that are all unique and special because if nothing else, WE SURVIVED, WE ARE STILL HERE. Even after many, many tribes are not, who've come and gone.

THE WHITE TRIBES ARE JEALOUS OF THE BLACK TRIBES. THE BLACK TRIBES ARE ENVIOUS OF THE WHITE TRIBES, PERIOD. They see each other's gifts and cultural advantages AND LUST TO HAVE WHAT THE OTHER HAS. Which is why they are GREATLY ATTRACTED to the OTHER as well as Why they REPEL one another so passionately. The WHITE TRIBES ARE LUNARS, THE BLACK TRIBES ARE SOLARS and as are magnetically attracted to the other as are planetary bodies orbiting another.

And JUST AS ANGRY AT THE OTHER AS THEY ARE AT THEMSELVES. AND THIS PASSION OFTEN ACTS ITSELF OUT AS VIOLENCE. Since Violence is PASSIONATE LOVE IGNORED and DENIED. Failing to express itself in its original form, it will act out as its opposite, AS LONG AS THE LOVE IS FELT in whatever FORM allows it to be. And this is what ONE HORSE TOWN rides into town to explain. And THEY BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF HE!


7. If This Van Is Rocking (04:20)

My mother used to tell me as a young boy living in Daytona Beach, Florida, that "NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS IN A VAN!"

These were the same vans that used to have bumper stickers that proclaimed, "ASS, GAS, OR GRASS, NOBODY RIDES FOR FREE." Perhaps still the greatest distillation of American Philosophy yet summed up in an epitaph. Followed by yet another popular bumper sticker favored by the era of "Free Love" that made it very clear that: "IF THIS VAN IS ROCKIN', DON'T BOTHER KNOCKIN'."


8. Prometheus Rising (02:57)

"PROMETHEUS RISING" exists as a consequence of making sure that a figure intrinsic to the cosmology of "Prometheus and Pandora" (along with Pegasus) remains close to the action as the narrative continues to take root and unfold.

I wanted something representative of him that was also an instrumental, since Prometheus AS A MASCULINE FORCE and PROTOTYPE needn't express much besides his presence. THE STRONG, SILENT TYPE. THE MAN OF FEW WORDS (and maybe perhaps even fewer emotions). A someone for whom, THE LESS SAID, THE BETTER.

And since the piece is rather short, it codifies the idea that it is better at times to "GET IN and GET OUT" rather than (as the late great Madame Dolores and the Cranberries would say) to "LINGER."


9. In America (03:52)

CHAOS, CORRUPTION, CONFUSION, WELCOME TO THE WORLD OUR SON.
Division, Accusation, Manipulation, Neglect=DAMN. Welcome to America!
Because of course, THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY REMAIN INSANE!
There's NO WAY OUT and NO WAY IN.


10. The Ballad Of Smokey Robinson (04:06)

The man the great master Bob Dylan once called The Greatest Poet in America. The man that John Lennon wanted to emulate on his own terms. And more than likely the man whose music inspired many mothers and fathers to bring us into this world of cause and effect. As well as a man who spoke kindly of me when I first came to his attentions in the ancient mystical days of the '80s.


11. Casa di Vetro (02:33)

YES, ANOTHER SONG I DON'T HAVE TO SING!
THANKS SANANDA!

Another piece of music meant to serve as A BALANCING MECHANISM between Volume 1 and 2 of Pandora's PlayHouse. I liked the idea of balancing the two CDs with a few ECHOES, songs that reflected each other on both "sides" since I put together the songs not based on two CDs, but on two Sides (like in the old days), THE A SIDE and THE B SIDE.

That allowed me to read and interpret the psychology of the project better, allowing each "Side" to temper the other while still presenting each with their own unique personality.

And as a producer of music, I don't have to hear the vocal on every PEICE of work. Nor have I a need for it.

Sometimes it is great to allow music to BREATHE, while knowing that INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IS THE MOST UNIVERSAL MUSIC OF ALL. Because there's no LANGUAGE barrier to get in the way, and no vocal taking up all of the oxygen in the tunes as they shimmy and shake.


12. Excuse Me, But... (03:03)

Upon awaiting the great day when I would be fortunate enough to marry my wonderful SWISS ARMY WIFE, (why Swiss? Because like a Swiss Army knife, she does EVERYTHING), Francesca, some male Italian friends took me out to share a pre-wedding toast.

"Sananda, now you are about to unfold the mystery of why Italian men are so crazy. Because we have to marry Italian women. CIN, CIN!!"

So this piece of a slice of musical pie was meant to articulate how VERY LUCKY IS A MAN WITH AN ITALIAN MOTHER-IN-LAW. And if she's from people from the LAKE COMO AREA, he's even MORE FORTUNATE THAN EVEN HE CAN UNDERSTAND!

And let me say that as a WORLD TRAVELER who's been around the globe enough times to say with confidence that WHEREVER THEY ARE IN THE WORLD, ITALIANS ARE STILL ITALIANS. So God bless them and their very durable, very strong genes. And for having the WISDOM to know WHEN to mate and breed with MEN LIKE ME! EXCUSE ME, BUT...I've got to go now, my mother-in-law is on the phone....


13. Don't Break My Balls (02:55)

The inclusion of this song is for two basic reasons (besides the fact that I like it).

One justification is that THIS IS ACTUALLY THE ORIGINAL VERSION of the song, but when mixing it, I decided that I wanted the last chorus to be just a little longer, which resulted in the version of VOLUME 1.

Which then made this version redundant.

But the Ministry Of Mischief within my matrix asked me to rethink discarding it and INCLUDE IT SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE WAS NO VIABLE DETERMINANT AS AN OBSTACLE TO REALIZATION.

"IT'S MY PROJECT and I SHALL DO AS I CHOOSE," huffily replied the Artist known now as Sananda. So we indulged him and thought it might be a cool idea after all to REPRISE THE SONG OF UNIVERSAL SENTIMENT one more time, before we go, pack up the ponies and take our mining equipment on towards the next promised land, looking, as ever for MORE GOLD, as well as a little bit of space on the mountain!

It provides a nice emotional bookend and perhaps resembles something along the lines of CLOSURE.

So we reprised it to give it a final "Say Goodbye" before it headed off to other pastures in more far away lands, far from convention and above the "Madding Crowd." Heading back up the mountains from which it came. I wrote this song while on a break from work in the coarse, but surreal and serendipitous alpine mountains of Italy.


14. Prince! (03:18)

I wanted to write something simple and heartfelt to honor the wonderful life of my friend and mentor, PRINCE.

There isn't much more to say about it. He was like THE BIG BROTHER YOU DREAM OF HAVING. The one who went before you and made it easier for you to be yourself. He was the idol that proved. Other idols were shady. Master Jackson HATED ME, HARD! But particularly masters Prince and Miles embraced me like a LONG LOST SOUL. One that they knew NEEDED it.

And I've only grown closer to them in the years as I HAVE GROWN. ASTRAL TWINS ARE USUALLY BORN WITHIN four years of the other. And more than anyone, I always felt that Maestro Prince Rogers Nelson and I were fathered by the same spirit. And we are STILL catching up to the genius of his musical legacy and stunning musicianship. We are lucky to have had him. He is the godfather to one of my children so he remains a part of my family. I MISS HIM AND DEDICATE THIS SONG TO HIS MEMORY.

March 12, 2021
Sananda's website is Sananda.org

Some Songfacts interviews:
Maxi Priest
Allee Willis
Richard Ashcroft

Photos: Manuel Scrima

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