Fire Escape: The girl with charcoal on her face
Fire Escape: This song appeared on my first release as a solo artist on Rough Trade. It was written around the time my band Birthday was catching it’s wave. I can’t remember if we had our deal with Warners yet. I was living in a house with most of the other members of the band in Sacramento, CA. I had the house to myself that night (which was rare), normally there was any number of people there playing music and having some sort of party.
That night in the big ramshackle of a house, I thought about if there was ever a fire and I had only a few minutes to get out of there, what I would grab. my guitar was always close by and my note book of unfinished ideas was a very cherished thing. Perhaps an old black and white photo of my Mom from when she was a teenager. I started to hunt around for this melody, walking from room to room, I really felt this story resonate with me about this guy who didn’t care about the crap he had, he just wanted to keep his family safe.
I think this song was written pretty much in one night. It never really fit with the band. It really feels like one of the first songs that came out as a 'Jacob Golden' song and amazingly it still feels solid to me. I can still sing it and find my emotion in it maybe now more then ever as a father/husband. I’m still proud of the lyrics.
One of the highest compliments I’ve received was from a musical hero of mine, Mark Hollis the singer of the band Talk Talk. If you haven’t experienced their albums Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stalk, those are the albums to get. Those two albums specifically were like a religious experience for me. So, I got word that Mark liked my record and wanted to come see me play. I was so nervous, he came to a show in London and we had a lovely chat afterwards. He told me he loved how the melody in Fire Escape sort of hovered over the chords. Hearing that from him is still one of moments I’m most proud of. A couple weeks ago I sat down in my studio after saying good night to my daughters and sang this song. Enjoy.
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