What would you do with a sizeable inheritance?
In Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Spider Robinson tells us what his alter ego, Jake Stonebender, does with all the money that his beloved relative leaves him: goes on a bender of mythological proportions.
The song first appeared in the story The Law Of Conservation Of Pain, interspersed with Jake's descriptions of his and Fast Eddie's solos, and with other narrative relating to the story at hand.
After finding the song again in slightly modfied form in the collection Off The Wall At Callahan's, those few people who bought the Callahan's video game were treated to a special surprise: Spider himself performed four hidden tracks, along with a crew of session musicians; this tune was one of them.
Since very few people discovered this (very good) game, Spider then released a solo album containing those four songs, mingled with readings from his latest novel, Callahan's Key
Spider has a strange version of this song with which he travels: semi-karaoke style, but with his rhythm guitar part also removed from the mix. By playing this CD, he has a portable backing band so that he and Lady Macbeth can perform anywhere.
This song is worth seeking out. The arrangement is bluesy, with a horn section. The lead guitarist is Amos Garrett, a longtime friend of Spider's. The two recorded in separate studios, but Amos certainly gets the feel, as he describes:
"Well," he drawled, "picture a drunken busker...he's staggering through the subway at 4 AM...playing a Hagstrom guitar through a battery-powered Pignose amp for a couple of hookers...and they've inspired him, he's starting to get something going, you know...but he can't quite decide on a key."
The solo even intentionally
deteriorates at the end, mimicking the titular drunkard
becoming all wobbly
The lyrics that once followed were from the CD version of the song. Incidentally, none of the extant versions agree completely on the lyrics (including the two versions (one printed and one sung) on the CD), and i could swear that the solo is different in the game version.
Spider's comments from the liner notes:
The Drunkard’s Song is a true story. I considered exaggerating it
some what for comic effect, but in the end decided to simply set it down
as it happened, without embellishment, the relevant statutes of
limitations having by now expired.
The credits list:
Spider Robinson: vocal, Lady Macbeth
Amos Garrett: lead guitar
Danny Casavant: guitars, banjo
Michael Creber: keyboards
Jerry Adolph: drums
Brian "Nuke" Newcombe: bass
Tom Colcolough: clarinet
Bill Runge: saxophones
Cathy St. Germain: backing vocals
Produced by Danny Casavant and Michael Creber
Recorded & mixed by Paul Baker, Bakerstreet Studios, North Vancouver, B.C.
Spider Robinson, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
Spider Robinson, Off The Wall At Callahan's
Legend Entertainment, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
CST Compliant. Whee.