The Green Pajamas

The Story Of Kim The Waitress

by Joe Ross

Kim was a waitress at an all night diner called Mr. Ed's Coffee Shop in West Seattle where we used to hang out back in the summer of 1984. We would meet up with friends there after rehearsal/recording (there wasn’t much of a distinction in those days; we jammed when we rehearsed and we recorded when we jammed) to have a late night meal. There we’d sit for hours drinking coffee, joking and scheming, planning the next thing, sometimes writing little verses and doodling on the paper place mats. We wrote the lyrics to more than a few "Summer Of Lust" era songs at a booth in that coffee shop.

One late night in particular --just as the song says-- we sat in the corner booth drinking coffee and writing juvenile limericks which we would immediately crumple up after being passed around the table with all of us cracking up. Kim, who was very cute indeed, worked the graveyard shift and over the months had become the innocent object of our fancy; and I remember that one particularly dirty little poem was even titled, "Ode to Kim The Waitress".

The actual song was created in early January 1985, during a late night jam session at my house with just Jeff and me. I remember Jeff sat at the drum set tapping the kick drum and high hat with his feet while simultaneously plucking the bass and singing while I noodled around on an electric guitar. With our favorite waitress still on his mind his ad-lib lyrics and melody flowed effortlessly; very catchy and spontaneous. And as fortune would have it, I had a tape recorder rolling or we never would have remembered how the song went in the morning. Over the next few days Jeff refined the song and the band started rehearsing it.

Although it wasn’t yet part of our live repertoire we just knew "Kim The Waitress" was the song we had to do in a real studio. We had recently been approached by a producer named Tom Dyer (who ran Green Monkey Records) to record at his studio, so we booked a day there to record it. The session took place on May 4, 1985, in Tom’s claustrophobic basement studio at his house in Queen Anne. With Tom at the helm, Jeff played bass, I played electric guitar, Karl played drums and Steven played the sitar that I borrowed for the occasion --none of us had ever played a sitar before but Steven really did a fine job. (When I played the recording to the guy that I had borrowed it from, he was so impressed that he sold the sitar to me for $40) The master tape sat for a whole year before Green Monkey Records finally released it as our first single in May 1986.

A few years later I became better acquainted with Kim when she was going out with a good friend of mine. At first she didn’t know about the song, although it was becoming well known locally by then, and she was really thrilled (much to my relief) when she finally heard it. I still get Christmas cards from her signed, Kim The Waitress.

-Joe Ross

LYRICS Kim The Waitress