Home > Uncategorized > The Shillelagh Demos (get ’em for free)

The Shillelagh Demos (get ’em for free)

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01. I’m Bound
02. Shine On
03. Strip It All Away
04. Suburban Love
05. Then You Walked In
06. Paddy Says
07. I’ll Do Right by You
08. Music Can Break Your Heart
09. High School Heroes
10. Dave Grohl
11. Take a Walk
12. State of the Union
13. Rock Record
14. Our Only Chance (Is That You Feel the Same)
15. Hand to Mouth
16. The Jukebox Knows
17. The Devil and Chuck Berry

all songs by Tom Flannery
copyright 2009

recorded July, August, September 2009

Ok, here’s what I remember. It was spring of 2009 and I was flush with cash. I had a hidden envelope stuck inside a book on my bookshelf and I kept slipping money in there. For a few years I was doing it. I was gonna make a rock and roll record. With a rock and roll band. Had the studio lined up. Was getting a great deal. The boys were ready. All top notch talent. I already named them. The Shillelaghs. Visions of the Warped Tour danced in my head. The bus. Jimmy Kimmel live. Conan. Groupies. Smashed guitars. Fishing out hotel room windows.

The band heard the songs and were looking forward to some mindless bashing (the songs weren’t exactly complex..three chords and a whiff of ozone). I had written a pile of tunes with screeching guitars and pounding drums playing in the back of my head. My head was playing them really loud too. It was as much fun as one can legally have with a guitar and legal pad.

Had that yellow legal pad and took it everywhere with me. Lyrics were pouring out. When I ran out of space on a page I wrote sideways along the sides. Didn’t want to be wasteful. I wrote songs about teens and booze and girls and music and filled them with angst and stolen riffs and cracked vocals. The lyrics still only exist on that legal pad. I never transcribed them, which is why this is the only record I’ve released that doesn’t include links to the lyrics. They’re in my desk drawer.

And then…..when all was right with the world…..I noticed the envelope had about $20 left in it. Apparently I’d been dipping over the years and was taking out more than I was putting in. By a wide margin. So I broke up the band I had never played with, bought a few sets of strings and some guitar picks, and was dead broke again. Familiar territory. I put the songs aside and wrote “Pete Townshend’s Ghost“, which I still think is the best thing I’ve ever done. So in a way I’m glad it all turned out the way it did.

But these songs. Hmmm. I like them. Rough and sketchy as they might be….filled with flubs and sorta-tuned strings and rock star name dropping. They’re positively warped, mind-bendingly simple, and at times completely incomprehensible. And I’m giving them away for free.

So what’s not to like?

In a bit…


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