“Dreaming Waylon’s Dreams”

Waylon, Are You Pissed?

Why We Did What We Did To Waylon Jennings (God Rest His Soul). No Shit.

On Friday, January 5th we were all at Closer Recording Studios on Howard Street in San Francisco. Mr. Chuck Prophet and Stephanie Finch were upstairs in their closet-sized office and Tim Mooney, Nate Cavalieri, David Manning and I (John Murry), were downstairs in the main studio control room. J.J. Wiesler was in his studio down the hall with Max Butler, Mark Pistel and Robbie on drums. Sean Coleman was there, too. He's got a room upstairs where he's constantly building strange electronic shit or tearing strange electronic shit apart. Figuring out which he's doing when is an impossibility. Sean and Tim own the studio. The studio, like every self-respecting establishment, has a high-falutin', fancy smancy alarm system to keep folks out. We didn't know it can keep people in, as well. Sean left, set the code, and went somewhere. We didn't know he'd left for some time. He's like that, all slinky and stuff; like a garden snake in tall grass. Tim, on the other hand, is of a different breed entirely. He writes everything down. Perhaps it's years of drumming that's beaten his capacity for memory into submission, but he can't remember a goddam thing. He writes down phone numbers, atm card pin numbers, addresses (including his own), license plate numbers, prices of combo meals at Burger King along with their corresponding menu numbers, etc. He didn't write down the disarm code for the alarm or the alarm company's phone number. In addition, he'd left his cell phone with Sean's number in his Ranchero (he call's in a "truck" but its a car without backseats). Furthermore, Sean lives with his girlfriend and her name is Nickie and nobody knew her last name. The home phone is in her name (we tried 411 repeatedly). Ridiculous, huh? We were locked in. No two ways about it. No one way about it, really. The fridge contained two chocolate bars and one of those big-ass Costco jars of peanut butter. And beer. We drank, ate peanut butter; tried to figure out what to do. Chuck Prophet was pissed. He and Stephanie wouldn't come downstairs and wouldn't let us come up. Needless to say, after a few hours had passed Chuck got hungry and, food - in particular stale Mr. Goodbar's - holding a certain magical power over him, he and Stephanie came down. They brought with them as a sort of peace offering a battery powered record player and a Waylon Jennings LP. The record was, by mutual agreement among all gathered around the dinky heater eating peanut butter and drinking stale beer, his best: "Dreaming My Dreams With You". We listened to it once. We listened to it twice. The third time around J.J. joked that, since we were temporarily incarcerated until Sean returned, we oughta re-record the album in full. We all laughed half-heartedly. Chuck did not laugh. He had this creepy look in his eye. It kinda grew into a "hey man, i got this really good shit to smoke" whole face thing and then he started talking. He started talking really damn fast. Yes, this crazy alpha-dog son of a bitch was saying. We would do the fucking thing. We would re-record the record with all new interpretations of the songs. We had no power. We were half drunk, didn't want to argue because peanut butter makes your mouth REALLY sticky and it kinda starts to hurt if you try to talk too much, and so we gave in. J.J. had all the gear up and running in no time. Guitars, amps, mandolins, basses, drums, a Casiotone key-tar thing, and assorted crap was gathered together. We started recording, beginning with "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" and going straight on through to "Bob Wills Is Still The King". Sean came back late Saturday night. We scared him; not looking so good and all: smelling like peanut butter, cigarettes, and beer and what not. The rest is history. Recorded history.

—John Murry

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