December 29, 2017

Minor Secrets of "Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba" Revealed!

Signature tune, I suppose, and all that that entails.

The amp going out in the middle of the song was a fairly typical mid-tour event. Those amplifiers, God love 'em, were exceedingly fragile and not necessarily soldered together all that robustly in the factory... who'd have imagined they'd rattle around in the backs of vans for hours every day for eight weeks at a time several times a year and run at full heat every single night? I can still hear the "tic tic tic tic" sound of the (never-used) reverb doo-dad as the background soundtrack on the road, till it finally rattled itself loose and went silent. It usually wasn't too long thereafter that other things rattled themselves off as well. Eventually a Fonz-like punch in the side of the face wasn't enough to make them behave when they gave out during a set. After which, we'd just stop at a local music store, buy a new used one, and carry the dead one around, sometimes bringing it out to stack up and look cool on stage. That's how KISS started out I think. (The going rate for those was $400 each.) Anyway, that's why I have so many of them now.

Maybe that's what we did on the way from Seattle to wherever after this show, but I'm not sure; it looks like that one had a few good punches left in it.

Anyway, in this case the punch worked and the crowd luckily was able to fill in for the missing sound by screaming away. A better showman might have stuck around to milk the join-together-with-the-band drama instead of scurrying away to attend to the punching, but you know, there were lots of songs left and we weren't getting any younger. As for the song itself, I've written a bit about it recently when posting other vids of it, here and here.

In "primordial" form this one pre-dates most of the Love Is Dead songs. It was not-yet-finished but buzzing in my head during the lengthy, procrastinatory lag between the recording and release of ...and the Women Who Love Them. I'd considered trying to throw together a quickie acoustic version to stick on one of the formats as a hidden track, in fact (because it seemed likely that that release was to be the MTX's last hurrah: and it would have been fitting.) In the event it was saved for the band's subsequent incarnation. I'm not sure it was ever really "finished." People who have followed some of my recent and not so recent complaints about rhymes and such will notice that this breaks most of my dumb little rules repeatedly and flagrantly. I was only just realizing I had an effective lyric-writing rulebook, but it wasn't like I was unaware of it at the time either. Maybe I could have done it better, but it just seemed okay the way it was somehow. And it is, after all, a slightly rueful celebration of imperfection so...

Posted by Dr. Frank at December 29, 2017 05:36 PM