Monday, March 09, 2009
Nearly 15 years of bafflement and anxiety have just come to an end. That's the length of time I've been familiar with 'Love Gets Strange' by Nick Lowe on his 1988 album Pinker and Prouder than Previous, and the length of time I've been trying to work out the chords on guitar. I assumed that it was beyond my meagre skills, but as most of Basher's excellent back catalogue can be expressed in four chords at most, I thought it unlikely. I worked out a set of chords that sort of got me through the song unaccompanied (G E Am D on the verses, G F C and one I couldn't quite get on the chorus), but were at noticeable variance with the pitch of the record. The one thing that never occurred to me until just now was that they might have speeded up the master tape. So, I twiddled the pitch control on the turntable until my chords fitted, and once the spot had been found, guess what, Basher's voice sounded more natural and, well, Nick Lowe-ish. It's a subtle difference, but it's been like taking off a pair of tight shoes. And, as the icing on the cake, I've just located the long-lost jewel case for Two Against Nature for Steely Dan, which had fallen down behind a bookshelf. Call it low-effort spring cleaning.