[Home]Come Back From San Francisco

On the album Shirley Simms sings Come Back from San Francisco, which implies her lover is bisexual ('Should pretty boys in discos / distract you from your novel'). Which means it can still be consistent for Stephin Merritt to sing the song in live performance, as he does when Shirley is not there (rather than asking Claudia Gonson to sing it). This lover could be anyone's ('all of New York City misses you'). Does the wind need trees?

The closing line of the song ("Damn you, I've never stayed up as late as this") initially strikes many listeners as a non sequitur, although, on reflection, it seems to refer to the difficulties inherent in having a telephone conversation over a three-hour difference in time zones.

LD Beghtol writes:

One of many versions of this song… The first version I sang on also featured Bertie Marshall (legendary punk rocker and novelist — see [his site]), which may have been for the 6ths album then in the works — this was in summer 1997 I think.

Then Stephin started again with me singing the backing vocals against some Broadway singer belting it out, which was just awful and he erased.

Then it got recorded with Shirley singing lead, and that’s the version you hear on 69 Love Songs. There’s a funny moment where I cue myself with a quiet “mmmmmm…” just before the first chorus, which inadvertently got left in the final mix, much to my joy!


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Last edited 2005-2-23 8:06 pm by Alec (diff)