“When it’s good, it’s really good, when it’s bad…I go to pieces”

What a great line from one of Bowie’s finest compositions.

I’m actually going to say something about writing, but first this message from the land of The Diamond Dogs.

Check out the lyrics. I think they are pretty close to the ones I copied here, though I hear a couple of words differently. I’ll italicize those and add my meager two cents worth in parentheses. (They are probably wrong, but if nothing else…they’ll show you where my head has been at since I was, oh, about twelve years old.)

Listen along for the full on experience! It’s so worth it, even with the slight digital pauses between movements that aren’t there on the real thing. Bowie’s lead guitar, metallic and scrappy, and his sax, tortured and asthmatic, have never sung together so majestically. And speaking of singing…one of Bowie’s best vocal performances ever.

Adam Lambert doesn’t have this album in a frame for nothing.

“It’s safe in the city to love in a doorway
To wrangle some screams from the dawn
And isn’t it me, putting pain in a stranger?
Like a portrait in flesh, who trails on a leash
Will you see that I’m scared and I’m lonely?
So I’ll break up my room, and yawn and I
Run to the center of things
Where the knowing one says:

Boys, Boys, it’s a sweet thing
Boys, Boys, it’s a sweet thing, sweet thing
If you want it, Boys, get it here, thing
‘Cause hope, Boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing

I’m glad that you’re older than me
Makes me feel important and free
Does that make you smile, isn’t that me?
I’m in your way, and I’ll steal every moment
If this trade is a curse, then I’ll bless you
And turn to the crossroads of Hamburg, as in (Hamburgers and)

Boys, Boys, it’s a sweet thing
Boys, Boys, it’s a sweet thing, sweet thing
If you want it, Boys, get it here, thing
‘Cause hope, Boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing

[Part Two: Candidate]

I’ll make you a deal, like any other candidate
We’ll pretend we’re walking home ’cause your future’s at stake
My set (scent) is amazing, it even smells like a street
There’s a bar at the end where I can meet you and your friend
Someone scrawled on the wall “I smell the blood of Les Tricoteuses”
Who wrote up (made up) scandals in other bars

I’m having so much fun with the poisonous people
Spreading rumors and lies and stories they made up
Some make you sing and some make you scream
One makes you wish that you’d never been seen
But there’s a shop on the corner that’s selling papier mache
Making bullet-proof faces; Charlie Manson, Cassius Clay
“If you want it, Boys, get it here, thing”

So you scream out of line:
“I want you! I need you! Anyone out there? Any time?”
Tres butch little number whines, “Hey dirty (girly), I want you
When it’s good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad I go to pieces”
If you want it, Boys, get it here, thing

Well, on the street where you live I could not hold up my head
For I put all I have in another bed
On another floor, in the back of a car
In the cellar of a church with the door ajar
Well, I guess we must be looking for a different kind
But we can’t stop trying ’til we break up our minds
‘Til the sun drips blood on the seedy young knights
Who press you on the ground while shaking in fright
I guess we could cruise down one more time
With you by my side, it should be fine
We’ll buy some drugs and watch a band
Then jump in the river holding hands

[Part Three: Sweet Thing (Reprise)]

If you want it, boys, get it here, thing
‘Cause hope, boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing

Is it nice in your snow storm, freezing your brain?
Do you think that your face looks the same?
Then let it be, it’s all I ever wanted
It’s a street with a deal, and a taste
It’s got claws (balls), it’s got me, it’s got you …”

SO. Great writing.

I muddle along in my own private heaven and hell, working on the sequel to Another Rock Star. Today, here’s what I wrote in my “progress and planning” log, meant only for my eyes to see. Meant only for the occasional outbursts nobody wants to hear.

AUGUST 30, 16

Was it this hard the first time? Finding “board” instead of “bored”? Messed up punctuation like ?.

Finding mixed verb tenses when I have already read this shit on my Kindle work file?

True, I guess, about printing it on paper. Your eyes see it better.

I mean, CRAP. At this moment, I wonder WHY DO I DO THIS?

It’s so fucking tedious; hard. Do other writers feel like this? I long to do it-then when I’m doing it —sometimes it’s torture.

And yeah. Sometimes it’s bliss.

I read a book about writing once called Just Open A Vein. Maybe I need to go find it.

That’s how easy it is to try to write a good book. If it was truly easy, everybody would do it.


So why did I share this?

“When it’s good it’s really good, but when it’s bad I go to pieces.”

Until next time…slap some Bowie on the turntable and open your soul.  Remember what Ziggy said:



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