Jim Carroll workshop – continues – 6


Sherlock Holmes –  illustration by Sidney Paget

transcription of Jim Carroll’s 1986 Naropa workshop continues

JC: Now I’m going to play this..

(JC: here, can you cue this up? first song on Side A – Student: Sure)

This is some of the stuff. I shouldn’t really play this either, but this is the stuff with a couple of new songs I wrote with me and  (Ray) Manzarek – I think this one’s called.. This is a real rough mix. I made.. I had the engineer make it while the guitar guy was doing his lead lines.. so.. I figured I just wanted to write songs now that had a kind of, you know, didn’t have anything  heavy happening in them, in a certain way. And I’m a real Sherlock Holmes fan, so.. I think, the day before..  I wrote this, the day before I’m flying out there to make the demos, the good demos, in the fancy studio, and we had – what was it? – Well, I saw, like, a Sherlock Holmes thing on [tv] on Channel 13 Mystery Theater – and I was thinking – And, on the plane, I wrote this lyric.[Jim deciphers the lyrics] – I think it says: –  “I want to put my mind and find a proper solution just like Sherlock Holmes/I want to lay in a couch and figure things out just like Sherlock Holmes/I want…  At first I put “I want to lay on a sofa and figure things out..” These are the little things you find when you’re singing it. “Lay on a sofa” and then you realize I want to “lay on a couch” and “figure things out”. You know, “a couch” and “out” are a lot better than “sofa”and “out”. If I said “I want to lay on a sofa and think things over”, that might have been okay! – “I want to lay on a sofa and read the author” – But and then..what..and where does it go? –

And then.. but whre does it go? – there’s a little change in the music and then it goesI want to catch that man in Central Park/who leaps from bushes in the dark – a little pause – “A shaved head.. – and a synth-line or a jump.. snare – (I told the (engineer) I wanted a snare-hit then but (Ray) Manzarek said, “No, let them play a synth line there” – “A shaved head – [Waaa  – JC imitates the synthesizer] dressed like a loggerattacking random twilight joggers. And this version doesn’t have it, but then it goes, “And on every corpse, he leaves strange poems/But I’m going to snag him just like Sherlock Holmes” – (This one just has  “But I’m going to snag him just like Sherlock Holmes”). Then it goes into a little instrumental that says… The bridge is.. “I want to stand up straight, stand up tall/I want to win the final battle at the waterfall”/ “I want to play the violin, be left for months alone/never hear the dial tone on a telephone”/ “When it rings, I’m a total wreck/It’s like pliers tightening around my neck”/ “I feel these mysteries in my soul/I feel them just like Sherlock Holmes” – And then the last verse is, “I want a doctor like Watson to amaze and dazzle, just like Sherlock Holmes”/”I want to hide my secrets in Morroccan slippers..” [that’s where he hid his syringe  – “the seven -percent solution” – (I’m) a real Holmsophile – holmsophile? – that doesn’t sound right, does it! – shit!) –

And then there was.. how does it go? – “I want to.. I want do something then.. it’s that same change..I want to..  I forget that part. And then it goes ‘I want to.. ”  It says something and then it says “I want to.. I want to find that trash that finds a means to kill/that is worse than the hounds of the Baskerville(s)” /And uncover women at uptown parties/who agents for Professor Moriarty”/ They got blow-guns and good darts disguised as combs/But I’m going to catch them just like Sherlock Holmes”
So that one – I’ll play that one, and then I’ll play a song that is a little more relevant to something.

[It’s a good band, a good band – Rough mix though – deaf engineer, chickenshack studio with the rain falling on the roof … ] – Jim plays the “rough mix” of his Sherlock Holmes song. Here it is recorded by Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers (sic) [from the album Twisted Tales (posthumously released, 2013]

It has a real long fade I don’t want to subject you to it, you know…to be continued

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately forty-six-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately fifty-four-and-a-quarter minutes in]  

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