Three and a Half Letters

Album: Chickenfoot III (2011)
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  • This Chickenfoot III track finds the band tackling the world's economy. Speaking with guitarist Joe Satriani explained how the song came together: "Carter (the band's manager) had been asking Sam (Hagar) to write a topical song about the economic situation. 'I need a job' was the line that was being used. At the same time, Sam started going through letters that he had received from fans, and a lot of them were pretty desperate. He got the idea to put it all together. He called me and said that in the verses he was going to read some of the letters, and in the choruses he was going to scream 'I need a job!' The plan was that at the end of each chorus I would just go nuts on guitar. Sam didn't want me to sketch out or demo what I would do. Total, gut-reaction spontaneity was what he had in mind. I did write out the main framework for the song, though. The band got together on the last day of recording, and we went for it live in one take - raw, unchecked emotions. For the solo sections, I stepped on the Proctavia and went crazy. We added a second guitar for the chorus chords and moved the live solo guitar to the center and added delays hard left and right."
  • Hagar's lyrics are based on about 20 letters from down-on-their-luck fans, which he transformed into three lyrical epistles. At the end of each of Hagar's three virtually spoken parts, he starts screaming, "I need a job" as the rest of the band go nuts on their instruments. He told the Associated Press. "My manager, (John) Carter, who died earlier this year, kept telling me to write a song about people needing jobs. I told him, 'Sounds country.' But it all came together for me when I got this letter from a guy in Afghanistan and at the end of it he wrote, 'I need a job, brother. Can you help?' All of sudden, I realized there was a song there."
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