Chapter 7 of Love and War includes: Downbound Train, Mister Bass Man, Forgiven, and Livin' La Vida Loca.
Camera moves slowly down a street in suburban Los Angeles. At the end of the block, the camera stops and pushes in on a house with a wide driveway and a foreclosure sign out front.
Inside, the house is empty with wall to wall carpeting, wood paneling, and mood lighting. The camera moves slowly through the house.
In the first bedroom there is a doll lying in the corner. We hear someone singing a lullaby: “Hush little baby, don’t you cry.”
In the next bedroom there is a poster of Tom Brady on the wall. We hear a teenager say: “Hey dad, I made the varsity!”
In the last bedroom, we hear the muted sounds of a couple who have just finished making love...
Mister Bass Man
In his short life, bassist Jaco Pastorius forged an international reputation as a composer, teacher, and shit-hot player. He helped to establish Weather Report as the world’s most popular jazz-fusion band and later toured with Herbie Hancock and Joni Mitchell. Although definitely a jazz man, he played with a frenetic, consuming energy that would have been right at home in Cream or on Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland sessions.
Pastorius started out on the drums, following in the footsteps of his father, Jack, a professional jazz drummer. Last month he ended up dead at age 35, the victim of a September 12 beating at the hands of a club manager in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Pastorius was homeless...
I am so ashamed
My son would always ask
“Daddy, why do you work so much?”
He wanted my time, he wanted my touch
I didn’t know how to explain
Ten hours work a day
Builds up so much stress, so much pain
I couldn’t just go right home
I had to have a few
Watch the game with my guys
So I could try to come home
Without that glazed look in my eyes
At least that’s what I told his mother
I couldn’t tell my son
He was already under the covers...
Livin' La Vida Loca
Going back to his early 80s stint in Metallica, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine has written some great songs, but “Breadline” from the new album Risk may be the best one yet. It starts with just a thick, lovely guitar figure as Mustaine lets out a raspy wail: “Ain’t got no job/ Ain’t got no smoke / Ain’t got no car / This life’s a joke.” In come the drums, and it seems we’re off on a typical Megadeth journey in defense of some kid forced into life on the streets.
But it turns out that our hero is a downsized middle manager (“Used to call the shots / Now he can’t connect the dots / He’s a mover and a shaker / Getting closer to his maker”). Mustaine has written what may be the first song to deal with the reality that the fastest-growing segment of the poor in America is now the discarded white collar worker...