Lead Foot Lucy

I started recording my follow-up CD to bikini in November 2002. I began with a leftover tune I had from bikini that just took me forever to get down - You're Part Of It. The song turned out OK, but it wasn't a super start to Lead Foot Lucy, as six months later, I had just one complete song. Then, in the summer of 2003, my family was preparing to move, which forced me to take a few months off from recording. I did buckle down and pump some songs out, though, like Love The Bomb, Tonight, and 44, so things were looking up by the end of 2003.

Around this time, I decided to do a 4-song EP CD entitled STOP WORLD PEACE. It wasn't really a preview of Lead Foot Lucy, as just Love The Bomb was included on it, but it did give me a sense of accomplishment which I really needed at the time. It also let my friends know that I was still alive and making weird music.

I early 2004, I whipped out I Kill and Another Time And Place in a two-week period, which gave me six completed tunes. This is when I decided to make Lead Foot Lucy an eight-song CD, which left two more tracks to complete. Early on I decided to do a cover and I started working on The English Beat's Save It For Later, but it wasn't clicking so I scrapped the whole thing. Tim Randolph and I started a version of Led Zeppelin's Houses Of The Holy, but again I wasn't happy with the basic tracks. We re-did the basics and the final version which is on Lead Foot Lucy turned out well, thanks to Tim's playing and the fact we slowed it down and de-tuned a bit. For the eighth song, I took some of the chords from I Kill and turned it into a rocking instrumental, Primordial Soup Of The Day (I Kill reprise), finishing the CD in early May 2004.

Although there are only eight songs, there is over 33 minutes of music on there, with seven of the eight tunes having vocals. I picked up themes from bikini (Speedvision, Mile Marker Unknown) and ran with them (44, I Kill). I was more into getting a good groove in the song, than complex chord changes and such.

With all of my CDs to date, I learn something new each time during the recording process. With Lead Foot Lucy, I learned to double and triple my bass tracks (including octaves). I also got down some cool vocal harmonies on some of the new songs. For bikini, I kept all of the songs very short. With Lead Foot Lucy, I seemed to have gone back to the four-plus minute range - oh well. Lastly, I now find it harder to write an instrumental than a song with a vocal melody line. Very strange indeed.

Yes, that's a Lucy Liu caricature on the cover. Thanks Lisa Jane for the CD title!

Lucy Liu © 2002 Caricature Zone @


click to view CD cover

click to view CD back

click to view CD insert liner notes

click to view CD foldout/booklet back

I Kill
Love The Bomb
Houses Of The Holy**
Another Time And Place
Primordial Soup Of The Day (I Kill reprise)
You're Part Of It

1 -44*
I wrote the basic tracks for 44 on my bass in August 2003 and then laid down four tracks of drums (two left, two right) which really made it sound cool… I was going to make it an instrumental, but there seemed to be an obvious melody line in there, so I threw in two lines which get repeated… the tune has a dark side to it, so the lyrics play that out - "I see lying to please her" and "Lies die in the freezer"… kind of a "Poe-ish" vibe going on with a murder being thought out… stopping the nagging by lying and then being freed of the lies through their death and potential cold storage… Tim Randolph came through big on lead guitar, really capturing the tone and texture I was looking for… you can tell that it's a guitar, but his bends and trem work give it an certain weirdness that I couldn't even begin to describe to him - didn't need to, he just got it… the title? that's the murder weapon… LYRICS
GEAR--major drums (4 separate tracks!) from my Boss Dr. Rhythm… I also have six tracks of bass going on (PBass x4, Hohner guitar [octave-up] and Yamaha keyboard), and six keyboard tracks (Yamaha)… I layered my vocals with four tracks and Tim used my Charvel for the awesome guitar track, recorded on December 5, 2003… 22 total tracks…

2 -I Kill
I recorded this song during the "home stretch" run for Lucy in January 2004… I used my Carvin Bolt with a weird tuning and tried to keep it fairly short and simple… the lyrics are a continuation of 44, with the "main character" of 44 having committed the crime and now feeling the guilt and wanting to join the victim to stop the agony - again, very "Poe-ish"… some songs take me months to complete, but this one came together pretty quickly - less than a week from start to finish… I meant to have a guitar-based chorus, but wasn't quite happy with it, so I messed around on the keyboard and came up with the descending line… LYRICS
GEAR--five guitar tracks make up the song, all played on my Carvin Bolt tuned to D G C G A E… drums courtesy of Dr. Rhythm… four tracks of PBass (including octave), four keyboard tracks, and five tracks of vocals… I used my E-Bow for the end "solo"… the intro is a one-track mix of the guitar ring and the drums played through a heavy rotary, before the verse vocals start in and everything spreads… 22 total tracks…

3 -Love The Bomb
I wanted to include a new song on STOP WORLD PEACE, my 2004 4-song EP CD, so I picked this song as a preview to Lead Foot Lucy… this is the same version - no remix or anything… I recorded this song between May and July 2003… this is the first song I ever recorded where I had the melody line and backing chords in my head first, and then transferred them to guitar… I wrote the tune when I got my Dean Nouveau CR electric/acoustic… instead of plugging it in, I miked it which gives it a more honest tone… I recorded the vocals at a neighbor friend's home while I was house-sitting… I more or less stumbled on the "bomb" harmony in the chorus… the lyrics were inspired by the 1964 Stanley Kubrick movie, "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" and the then-current Operation: Iraqi Freedom… instead of a guitar solo, I wrote in a different drum patch and put a little Motown Spiritual in there (or however one would describe the break)… God, death, and sunshine… LYRICS
GEAR--the left and right guitar tracks are five each, with my Dean Nouveau CR making up the main parts… I also used my Hohner G3T for the phased verse adds and my Gibson Les Paul Special and Kramer Neptune for the bridge section… the rotary guitar during the chorus is my Silvertone LP Standard, while the clean chorus guitar is my Epiphone 335 Dot… the guitar during the weird break is my Fender Mini Stratocaster… I also used my Peavey EVH Plus for the section right after the break… the bass is my Yamaha keyboard… note that I added extra bass drum percussion for the middle break… I even added a touch of flange to the entire drum track for the break… the opening bomb is a bass drum with some serious reverb… 27 total tracks…

4 -Houses Of The Holy**
this song is made up of the most tracks that I've ever used - 28… I always wanted to cover this song, and one day I was playing it and Tim Randolph showed me the proper chords, so the plan soon called for Tim to play all the guitars… we started off in late 2003 with a version of it, but it was too close and the percussion was too difficult (I was doing it all by hand) so I scrapped it… in February 2004, we tried it again - Tim tuned the guitar down a whole step and we slowed the tempo down to give it a different vibe… Tim also came up with the kick-ass intro… probably my favorite tune on the CD… LYRICS
GEAR--Tim used my Schecter E/A for all the guitar tracks, except the distorted slide part (Silvertone)… I also let him break out my Red Devil II for the end solo, the guitar's only appearance on this CD… three bass tracks courtesy of my PBass, Bronco Bass, and an octave-up from my Scootercaster… also, eight tracks of drums (four left, four right) from the Dr. Rhythm… a couple of tracks of percussion, four tracks of keyboards, and four vocal tracks… 28 total tracks…

5 -Tonight
I recorded this song in March-April 2003, and almost included it on my STOP WORLD PEACE EP CD… the second song I recorded for Lucy… the lyrics for Tonight are based on the temptation of Christ by Satan, and the end of world in terms of the devil's demise… yep, another dark song… Tim Randolph plays the awesome solo and outro… very happy with the way this song turned out, even the vocals… LYRICS
GEAR--I used four different guitars on the song - my Gibson LP Special, Danelectro, Hohner, and Silvertone… one track of my Jazz bass… I also used an Indian drum track from my Dr. Rhythm… there's also three tracks of percussion (shake, ride, cymbal) and an organ track (Yamaha)… Tim played my Jackson for the main solo and my ESP Tel Aviv for the outro… he also used my Kramer Circus for the rhythm part in the main solo… 22 total tracks…

6 -Another Time And Place
the only upbeat song on the CD… the lyrics are based on the memories of my youth… I wrote the song while fooling around with my Smithtone Flintstones guitar synth one day in January 2004 - specifically the accordian patch… I recorded this song right after I finished I Kill… as with I Kill, this song also came together very fast… the song sort of has a "Partridge Family" feel to it… I also used one of Ava's toys for the intro and outro - a toy that mimics an elephant and a monkey… cool vocal harmonies and a I sing the last chorus in Spanish… LYRICS
GEAR--Dr. Rhythm drums with a doubling effect on the chorus section… I tripled the bass line with my Jazz bass and added an octave-up with my Washburn guitar… four tracks of accordian guitar synth from my Smithtone Flintstones… I played the guitar solo on my Silvertone… eight tracks of vocals and one keyboard track… 23 total tracks…

7 -Primordial Soup Of The Day (I Kill reprise)
the only instrumental on the CD… I liked I Kill so much, I decided to write an instrumental around the same chords… not sure where the title came from, though it kept the "dark theme" going, so it's cool… I got a good guitar tone, but the tune drags on a bit… have a weird come back with the ending fade out… there's also about an eight-second reverb pause right after the solo…
GEAR--four tracks of my Bolt guitar tuned to D G C G A E… six drum tracks (three left, three right) from Dr. Rhythm… three bass tracks courtesy of my Jazz bass, PBass, and an octave-up with my friend's Paul Reed Smith McCarty II… I played the guitar solo on my Hohner and the pre-solo on the McCarty II… also, four keyboard tracks and some percussion… 23 total tracks…

8 -You're Part Of It
an absolute nightmare… I had the basic chords left over from the bikini sessions, so I chose this song as my first song to record for the CD, back in November 2002… I had nine basic tracks down (made up of guitar, bass, drums, cymbals, keyboard), and I couldn't seem to get a good handle on the melody line… I kept going back to it over the next several months and finally figured out a way to make it work… I mastered the nine basic tracks on an MD and slowed it down 11% and then recorded it as two tracks (left and right) back on the Fostex recorder… this slowed the song down, obviously de-tuning it (I think it went down just over a whole step)…this put the tune into my limited vocal range and gave the song new life… note: the original nine-track, "regular-speed" version was already tuned down a whole step! (the original tempo was 116)… the lyrics are about the angst I felt at first by bringing Ava into such a crazy world, probably something every father feels at some point… the 'it' is life… because it was basically mastered twice, it has a lot of bass and has a different ambiance than the other songs on the CD… definitely learned something with the song… I still have the original nine-track, "regular-speed" instrumental version on MD - maybe someday I'll do something with that… I actually really like this song - the lyrics and the vocal harmonies are a bit complex and the guitar sounds real thick… LYRICS
GEAR--Dr. Rhythm drum tracks… three guitars make up the verse/chorus sections - my Kramer Neptune, EBMM 316, and Carvin Bolt… I used two guitars (ESP Tel Aviv and Hohner) for the intro and my black Wolfgang for the George Lynch-inspired solo… 12 tracks (yes, 12!) of vocals… 22 total tracks…

* written by D.Smith/T.Randolph 2004
** written by Page/Plant 1975 - intro by T.Randolph
song 3 originally on the 2004 STOP WORLD PEACE EP CD

back to the Lead Foot Lucy page