The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
Fri., Sep. 22. 2023 7:15pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our 19th single of 2023:
PRETTY DRIED UP
"Pretty Tied Up" isn't as well known as the other Guns N' Roses songs we've spoofed, but it did make it onto the Mainstream Rock Top 40. Moreover, it came from Use Your Illusion II, an album that topped the U.S. and U.K. charts and sold over seven million copies, so it's certainly not obscure.
I'd been wanting to do something with that tune since I first heard it in 1991 or '92. I finally got the idea for the title and theme on April 18, 2023. Wayne Bartley (guitars), George Elliott (bass), Rich Mannion (keys), and Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner (drums) helped make it a reality.
As far as biblical chronology goes, "Pretty Dried Up" takes place in the first part of 1 Kings 18, between "Last Rain the Clouds Spill" (1 Kings 17) and "I've Got Elijah Fightin' Baal" (the rest of 1 Kings 18).
It's written from the perspective of Obadiah — not the minor prophet of the same name (different time) but King Ahab's palace administrator. Though he served under a wicked king and queen (Jezebel), Obadiah was a devout believer who had hidden a hundred prophets from being slaughtered while secretly supplying them with food and water, which was getting increasingly hard to find.
The same God who turned the faucet on full blast for 40 days and in nights Noah's time completely shut it off for three and a half years in Elijah's time (1 Kings 17:1, James 5:17). Rain or shine, the LORD is in control ... whether the weather is wetter or water is withheld ... and whenever the weather is better.
We released our initial version of "Matthew 9" in 1993, so this is basically the all-new 30th anniversary edition. My prime purpose in putting out this parody presently was to improve performance and production, but when I took a look at my lyrics and a listen to Lennon and McCartney's original again, I realized I'd left a lot of room for improvement. So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.
There are 20 lines in "Matthew 9," but only three remain from '93. This time around, the words are not as redundant. In fact, they're not redundant at all, aside from the last line repeating the one that precedes it. Our 2023 version also explores aspects of the story we didn't touch upon in '93, like Matthew's bad reputation as a tax collector and how Jesus didn't hold it against him.
I was tickled to get the phrase "I'm so glad my freak flag's been unfurled" in there. First of all, there aren't many words that rhyme with "world." Second, I like a little alliteration. Third, I'd recently been reading a book that used "freak flag" a time or two. The term first rose to prominence in the hippy-dippy '60s, as did "Jesus Freak," so I think it's a cool double-reference ... especially since we're spoofing The Beatles, the group who epitomized that decade.
Tom Milnes contributed heavily to this recording; he sang all the harmonies and played guitar and bass. Replicating the famous feedback at the beginning was a bit of a bugaboo, though, so we got Wayne Bartley to bring the noise.