LUCKY BUMS (Memorial Edition)
Written by Dave Alvin – Performed by Dave Alvin &
other big brother, Chris Gaffney passed away Thursday morning,
April 17, 2008.
I had another song prepared for this
months download but with the recent
sudden and tragic passing of my best friend Chris Gaffney, it
proper to re-release TWO LUCKY BUMS. Nothing could better express
Chris's friendship meant to me than this duet I wrote for the
two of us.
This version is a bit different than the previously released
one. Just a few
days before Chris died, I added two old pals of ours to the
Jackson on the stand up bass and Don Heffington on the drums.
have played on various recordings and in various barrooms with
Chris and I
over the years so it made sense to fill out the track a little
their subtle but invaluable assistance. Our trusted engineer,
Adams, did a beautiful re-mix that brought much more dynamics
and color to
the track while keeping its essential intimacy intact.
really don't know what else to say right now, but I feel that
I have to say something. First of all, I want to again thank
everyone that sent messages to Chris and donated funds to his
cause. It means more than you'll know to Chris, his family and
me. We are still raising money at www.helpgaff.com to help with
the existing medical bills and other various expenses including
a forthcoming memorial service.
After twenty-some years I have thousands of memories of Chris.
Through those years of songs, laughs, countless barrooms, eternal
highways, broken hearts, screw-ups, bail outs, close calls,
busted strings, elusive dreams, flat tires, stalled engines,
hard hangovers, bad gigs, great gigs, in between gigs, tragedies,
triumphs, secret jokes, bad TV, worse food and now, tears, Gaffney
always had my back. I never had to worry about nothing or nobody
if Gaffney was with me. I don't know what I ever did to deserve
it but, God, I was blessed to have Chris Gaffney as my best
Chris's and my friend, B.J. in Omaha, said it best for me in
yesterday. She said that I now have a "wild angel looking
out for me."
Yeah, I do believe that's true.
I'll still see you in Cuervo, brother.
words behind the song, Two Lucky Bums:
Out in the lonely, high desert plains
of New Mexico is a tiny, semi
abandoned town called Cuervo. Fifteen or twenty mostly dilapidated
made of rock, adobe and wood. My best guess is that they were
one hundred years ago but they could be much older. In their
the buildings appear not to have been constructed by human hands
but to have
risen out of the surrounding sand, rock and chaparral landscape
own power. That's about all I know about Cuervo.
Now, what does Cuervo have to do with
TWO LUCKY BUMS, a duet that I wrote
for myself and my best pal, Chris Gaffney (from the Hacienda
Well, for many years after Gaffney and I first stumbled on to
Cuervo late one night while on tour, he
and I have fantasized about buying the quasi ghost town and
dragging all our other friends along with us. Of course we don't
cash to do it but it's a nice little dream for a couple of musician/bums.
We've spent more than a few hours on various highways and continents
wildly improbable plans for our small desert paradise. Whenever
driving near Cuervo, we always stop and say something wistful
lines of, "Someday, Gaffney" or "Someday, Alvin."
Eventually I figured if we
ever did find ourselves in the unlikely position of possessing
the potentially ludicrous experience would probably be like
an old Bing
Crosby and Bob Hope "road" movie. THE ROAD TO CUERVO,
I guess. And that
movie would need some songs so I'd better write some. TWO LUCKY
just be the theme song.
The song is a bit different for Gaffney
and me. I've always been a fan of
Crosby's laid back vocals and also a fan of the great 1930's
and 40's pop
songwriters but I have never attempted writing anything in that
style but I figured, "What the Hell?" I guess it's
a tribute of sorts to
Crosby, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, etc. Beside singing
with me, Chris
plays some sweet, accordion licks while I strum some rudimentary
guitar. Craig Parker Adams did his usual superb recording job
at his Winslow
Court Studio in Los Angeles and our buddy Kurt Mahoney took
Gaffney and I had a real gas recording TWO LUCKY BUMS and I
you get a kick out of it. Until we meet again, see you in Cuervo.
Dave Alvin 12/3/07