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Almost Great


Bad photo shop of me playing with Zeppelin as backup band

Bad photoshop with Zeppelin as my backup band

"Almost Great from "Jill Comes Alive"

Originally written with Robin Eaton for the musical “Times Square”, this song tells the story of hip, middle-aged, 1970’s NY radio DJ Johnny LaGuardia, who, despite his success, feels he could have done better if only he “had worked a little harder.” Since the song was scrapped from the script, I thought I would change genders and tweak the lyrics and make it my own. I related somewhat to Johnny. I bet we can all relate.

This version was recorded at Jackson Browne’s studio in 2015 in front of a live audience. I’m playing ukulele, Dave Palmer piano, Dave Carpenter bass, and the wonderful Sarah Watson adds harmonies. And, of course, our wonderfully compliant crowd, led by Jackson, sings the last chorus. Browne’s main man, Paul Dieter, captured it on tape. Brad Jones mixed.

Once I had my poems up

On the schoolroom wall

My teacher told my parents that

I had something special

And then she sent my essay to the Iowa Review

I didn’t win a prize

But got an honorable mention

Almost great, almost great

After I left college

I dropped out after two years

I left to NY City

For my musical career

I know it would have happened

But the band they got real jobs

They all got married, moved back to Omaha

Almost great, almost great

If I worked a little harder

I could of been a starter