Bad Crazy lyrics

Bad Crazy

Tiger Shark
It’s Not Over
Bad Crazy
Meltdown
Goodbye ’89
Damned If You Do
Beijing
Beast With Two Backs
Nomad
Liar
Chase the Dragon
Nightmare Landscape

all lyrics by Guy
© 1992 Vengeance Incorporated used by permission
click song title to view lyrics/ liner notes

Tiger Shark

You glide through the streets like a Tiger Shark
Relentless thin cold blade of steel
Prowling the shadow world after dark
Consumed by the danger you feel
Jet black flat eye of the hammerhead
Suddenly burns with desire
The sky is alive like an animal
Streetlights still burn frozen fire
Night creatures creep through the dream of the city heat
Dawn is a lifetime away
Children are screaming through jaws of a nightmare
Lost and forgotten by day
Death from below (running and screaming for mercy)
Jaws of the Tiger Shark(you sense the death in his smile)
Open your eyes (don’t try to run)
He’s already there
White water churns and turns crimson red
Teeth of the tiger attack
Accept the caress of the Tiger Shark
Feel his love fade into black

I knew these lyrics sucked when I wrote them.

Just going for a generic metal attitude. Musically, it was the best song to open the CD with.

We also opened our shows with Tiger Shark during this period. I do like Mike and Curt’s solos, I think they each came up with the rhythm part that backs up their solos.

The guts of this song were from a song Mike wrote for Brat, but which they consequently butchered to the point he disowned it, and then reused the intro and main lick here. I think I wrote the music to the chorus part, but was never really happy with it.

It intro was very cool for an opener song, very epic, then it kicks in. Lots of fun live and really set the mood for the show.

It’s Not Over (’til I Say It’s Over)

Well you been around for a long, long time
Thought I saw you yesterday
Now I wake to find you been on my mind
And you just won’t go away
I can’t deny it’s an empty lie
It’s a wasted, broken life
I need you and I want you back
But it hurts too much to try
There’s been too much said that you can’t forget
And you never will forgive
Sometimes we just cut too deep
And it hits you where you live
I better get it through my head
You’re never, never comin’ back
It doesn’t matter any more
Now I lie awake in a dreamless sleep
In a mindless senseless daze
There’s a black hole where you used to be
And I haven’t slept for days
Who would have thought it would come to this?
Who would have guessed the end
Like a blinding flash of clear, blue light
Now there’s no need to pretend
It’s not over ’til it’s over
Believe what I say
Lost and lonely, barely living
Trapped in yesterday
It’s not over ’til it’s over, never go away
It’s not over ’til I say it’s over
Wait another day
It’s not over
I been around for a long, long time
Thought you saw me yesterday
Now you find I been on your mind
And I just won’t go away
You better get it through your head
I’m never, never comin’ back
It doesn’t matter anymore, doesn’t matter

My perception of a friend’s break-up with his girl. Still stands up okay I think. This one was an intentionally commercial effort. We had been asked to do at least one by the company and our manager, I don’t know if we consciously sat down and said, “ok, this is going to be the single, let’s write it,” but it turned out nice anyway, still our style.

I like the glockenspiel in the prechorus. We worked endlessly on these backing vocals, I think Mike and I did them like 4 times, every time we listened back they seemed slightly off and we’d try it again. Great solo by Curt. I don’t think we ever did this live, but it would have been a good one so I don’t remember why we didn’t try it. I think the long chorus was too epic for live, maybe.

The outro link was inspired by the coda Queen does on “Take My Breath Away” and is just a snippet of the chorus run backwards through a tape echo: voila, backwards fade-in echo intead of fade-out. In those days you had to take the tape off and splice it back in backwards to do that, then repeat the process. Now it’s easily done digitally, in fact all editing is so much easier. We actually used to cut the tape and remove sections of songs or rearrange them.

At 30 ips it’s surprisingly easy to hit right on the beat and the cut is almost imperceptible. That is, if you demagnatize your razor blade. If not, you get an audible “click”!

Bad Crazy

Before I began I was born to be bad
They didn’t wanna have me but
Somehow I was had
Born out of a bottle- rollin’ on a Saturday night
Livin’ wasn’t easy when the child was young
Daddy took to stealin’ and Mama, she got hung
No one could save me
So I had to learn to get out and fight
Out on the rocks they broke both my hands
Beat me so badly that I couldn’t stand
Couldn’t fight them all alone so I ran
Tried to get away but they kept on callin’ me
Made myself a livin’ for me out on the street
Hustlin’ and dealin’ and
Rollin’ the whores and the freaks (and the junkies)
Saw what I liked and took everything
I thought I could steal
Danger is waiting for you out of the light
Your future’s impaled
On the end of a switchblade knife
Hunger and pain are the
Only things that you ever feel
It’s all that is real
Gnawed at my bones like a rat in a trap
Stretched me so far that I finally snapped
Got to get the monkey off of my back
Tried to get away but they kept on clawing me
Bad Crazy you know you’ve gone insane
Well you can see the madness in my eyes
Can’t survive if you don’t stay alive
You can’t be free until you die

How I might have turned out in another life, and still may. Has a few nice phrases. The title song, and it sets the mood for the LP. I’ve told the story dozens of times in interviews, but the idea for the title of the song (and the album) came from an interview with one of the people who knew Charles Manson in the early years.

“Charlie was crazy, but he wasn’t good, happy, party crazy. He was Bad Crazy“.

The break is lifted from a West Side Story tune. I remember it took forever for the band to come around to doing it, they thought I was nuts and this song took a lot of banging around on to get it usable, but finally Chuck came up with a great groove and then it worked and didn’t seem so weird anymore, but while we were working out the arrangement I remember Curt putting his guitar off in disgust and saying “You always come up with this weird shit”.

Meltdown

Left alone between the ashes
Afraid to move, afraid of standing still
And it’s too late to change
You are runnin’ from the pain of the frozen rain
And you’re cryin’ out your name
But no one gives a damn
And there’s no place to hide
Once you thought you knew the way
To everything you wanted
Now you wonder if you’ll catch that
Dragon that you hunted
You look around, your friends have gone
They’ve left you standing naked and alone
As long as you can hear what I’m saying
You’re still alive
You still got a reason to breathe
As long as you can see where you’re going
You still got time
It’s never too late to change
All of your life you can still feel the need
All of your life you have tried to be free

I like this one so much musically that it shades my opinion. The lyrics fit, and might mean something, what more do you want? I did get a reference to another song in there, Chase the Dragon.

This is one of my babies, I worked on it for a long time getting the arrangement just right, then I played all the instruments on it. Mike helped with the vocals and Chuck reprogrammed the drums after we were done (according to legend). Mike came up with the vocal rise on “dragon that you hunted”, which I think is very nice.

I think the long ending with the contrapuntal harmonies was influenced by Queen’s “The Prophet’s Song”, in which they do something similar, accapella.

Goodbye ’89

Goodbye ’89, goodbye ’89 good bye
We are lost and locked in changes
As the decade slowly dies
Though our mem’ries surely fade
Don’t forget the plans we made
Left behind now in the distance
With the year of ’89
Can’t believe I’m ten years older
Ten years ago today
Looking back it doesn’t seem so long
But if I could have looked ahead And gone another way
Would ev’rything still ended up so wrong?
Someone older, wiser told me how it ought to be
I was too young to listen at the time
So I dreamed and wandered blindly
Through the best years of my life
The wasted effort seems like such a crime
But recalling all the days gone by
And things I left undone
Can’t remember how they got away
If I could still go back and change it all
And relive ev’ry one
What would be the price I’d have to pay
But let me be the first to say
When I look at myself today
I wouldn’t have done it any other way

One of the few really good songs, musically and lyrically, I feel like I had ever written, up to that time. In truth, it had taken Mike and me dragging the band along to broaden the range of music we could do. That’s one reason I did Meltdown by myself, it would have been too much of a hassle to try to get the band involved.

There was always grumbling about “wimpiness”. Mike and I were long-time Queen fans, so I think we were more open to being heavy on some songs and changing gears on another. Of course, we never got rich and famous doing this, so maybe we were fucked. This one stands up unplugged, not many of these do. A really personal song, one of the few I didn’t disguise or hold back my meaning.

Now its ten years later (UPDATE: now more than 25) as I write this and it seems even more poignant, if I can be so pretentious as to use that word. It ends with saying everything happens that is supposed to happen, something I believe. Kind of fatalistic, maybe.

Damned If You Do

Listen to me- listen if you wanna go far
You better do what I say
You better slow down the car
Your sound is too scattered
And there’s too much guitar
But if you do what I say
Then I’ll make you a star
Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t
I’ve listened to your music
I don’t like what I hear
But I can do something with it
If you give me a year
I’m in total control let’s make it perfectly clear
But I’m in with the big boys
So there’s nothing to fear
Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t
So you might as well play with yourself
Your clothes have to change, gotta mousse up your hair
If you don’t get more commercial you won’t go anywhere
I been around and I know what they want
And they don’t want you
I know the market and I know what will sell
I know the secrets for a fee I will tell
That’s why I’m rich and famous and that’s
Why I live so well Just look at me
Gotta change the logo, the look and the name
Your songs are too different
Or else they’re the same
Throw out half the parts you know the
Beat’s so god-damned lame
I’m in with the labels, now hear what I say
I just had lunch with a VP today
I’ll get you a contract but first you’ll pay
You’re damned if you do
And you’re damned if you don’t
Damned if you will
And you’re damned if you won’t
Fools spouting ignorant, useless advice
Fingers are in your pie, everyone wants their slice
Ev’rybody’s talkin’ try n’ tell me how to live
I don’t know what they mean
The lamer they are the more they think they know
Ev’rybody anybody anytime at all
Sneer at what they can’t see
I’ve had all I can stand I can’t stand no more
Shut up and Fuck off you don’t know thing
It’s amazing how stupid you are
Can’t comprehend it’s all over your head
Asshole you’re too dumb to care

About one of our managers, obviously. Some of the lyrics are actual things he said. One of my rants about the frustrations of the biz.

I remember laying down the vocals to this one, really committed to grinding them out bitterly to get the attitude across. I think I succeeded, it’s pretty bitter.

Beijing

Walls built of adamant towers of jade
Enter the gates of the city of pain
Warlords in armor and courtiers in silks
Blind peasants grovel and die in the filth of
Beijing
Forbidden city of shadow and stealth
Cathay of spices and infinite wealth
Fierce Mongol tribesmen and palace intrigue
Almond-eyed maidens from out of a dream
Night falls like flames from the dragon in flight
Thieves and assassins lurk waiting to strike
In Beijing
Emperor sends terror and death through the streets
Soldiers on stallions like jackals to meat
Traitors are torn from the bowels of the deep
Heads set on pikes in the fell castle keep
Ming dynasty rules with a cold iron hand
Sere wind of disease and a curse on the land
Evil and splendor- the tyrants regime
Anger and passion- the concubine screams
City of fire and water and earth
Cradle of knowledge and wisdom’s rebirth
Ancient god’s kingdom of Buddah and Zen
Rises to engulf the orient again
Enter the gates of the fortress Beijing
Terror and hate, evil tortures Beijing
Almond-eyed maidens of pagan desire
The Yin and the Yang and the universe entire

Very pseudo-literary, nice phrases. I didn’t do any research, just wrote Chinese things out of my head, so it may be inaccurate. If so, my apologies to the Ming dynasty. May have been nice fellas for all I know. I wrote this just before the Tianamin square thing, so it was kinda prophetic or symbolic of modern China by the time it came out.

Very high range, I could never pull this one off live, but we did do a video to it. I remember Chuck was having trouble coming up with a beat that matched the lick, so I put on “Gates of Babylon” by Rainbow, I knew it would work, it was the same type of riff. More Arabic feel and scale than Chinese, but I just started writing and it turned Chinese.

Beast With Two Backs

There’s a burning taste of whiskey on your lips
The scent of Chanel in your hair
Sharp shock synapses sense the swaying of your hips
Sweet smell of passion in the air
Two boxers sweating, swirling, swept into the sea
Slick sleek emotion of your thighs
Meat grinder pushing, pounding, pulsate to the beat
Green glint of madness in your eyes
You’re in the saddle of the beast
You know the pain brings you release
Broken on the master’s bridle
Riding in into the final call
Slide into the saber dance
That cuts your soul in half
Slip in sync, you’re part of the machine
Sword of fire pierce your vitals
Pain brings you release
The world explodes, the sky recedes
Drive-in movie cartoon soundtrack
Whistles in your ears
Silken slap of skin against your flesh
Temptress teasing, squirming squeezing
Moan under her breath
Riding’ in the saddle of the beast
Ride ’em cowboy
You throw your head back and
Release a silent scream
I taste the nectar at your breast
Blue steel stallion, drunk with power
Spent but unafraid
Lust hasn’t finished with you yet
Feel your hunger, feed your need
Soft candy in my hand
Caught within our sultry velvet vise
Rubber puppet, was it worth it
Do you pay the price?
Ridin’ in the saddle of the beast

Typical metal crotch-rock, as well as an exercise in alliteration, very calculatedly, even sacrificing context to sneak another one in. Mike and I did 6/9 chords as the backing “ahhs” just to be weird. Sounds Ok, but mixed back so far you can hardly tell.

The “ride ’em cowboy” part had all of us whooping it up like a party, but it was too crowded so I mixed that out also, something I always regretted having to do. Funny how you sweat that small stuff when you are so close to the project, and of course no one else would ever notice anyway. I never really was happy with the chorus I wrote to this one. The verses were neat, but the chorus sucked somehow.

Nomad

Naked and blind I been alone all my life
One step ahead of the law
They want me dead, they won’t be takin’ me back
They won’t believe what I saw
Home- God knows I want to go home
A lifetime has gone since I been there
And when will I ever return?
Can’t find my way back home
Late at night I hear a haunting voice in my head
Time to be movin’ along
You better love me while I’m still here
Miss me when I’m gone
I won’t be back- I won’t be back
No road leads home, been on the run all my life
Nobody knows my name
Keep to myself, I never trust anyone
All I need is my blade
Cuz I’m a Nomad and the road is my home
Got to keep movin’- it’s all that I’ve ever known
I’m a Nomad- a silent shark in the night
Nomad- stay in the dark out of sight

The music to this one was mostly written by Curt, without much thought to a melody, and as a consequence I had a tough time fitting one in, so I didn’t make a great effort to shine lyrically. In all honesty, I didn’t like the tune much, thought it was kind of boring and in the old grunge style of metal I wanted to leave behind.

Still, it has some nice lines, and fits in with the basic album concept. We added a line from Goodbye ’89 in part of the solo, where I had inadvertently put the same chord pattern in the solo. Curt often would let me write the rhythm structure and chords to the parts of his songs he would solo over.

We did 9th, 11th and 13th “Batman”-type (the song, not the movie) chords on the choruses, going up a 2nd on each “Nomad” at the end. This does have a beautifully composed solo, and Curt did some nice stuff with finger-picking acoustic guitar on a heavy song. Maybe I just failed to deliver on this one!

This song is pre-ceded with a little link, an acoustic version of a piece of Bad Crazy (I wrote the main lick to Bad Crazy on acoustic guitar) with some rambling, ad lib lyrics. I always loved bands who did little link stuff like this, we did a few on this album.

Liar

Lies, living life full of lies
The truth is just too hard to take
I won’t even try
I- I’ve seen it all
Winning and losing and caught
With your back to the wall
Eyes peering deep in your soul
Seeking out secrets
Eyes that are bright hard and cold
And you think they believe
Deep inside they despise
Your words drip with contempt
As they lap up your lies
Run- run to flee from the pain
Lines on your face as you scream
In despair from the strain
Cry- still the mem’ries remain
Reality comes crashing down like a runaway train
Bonded and sold as a slave
Condemned to a watery grave
Once you could pray to be saved
Now it’s too little and too late
Now it’s too late
Relief from the fire in your brain
But you just couldn’t wait
Feel the ice in your heart
Feel the cold bitter burn
Spinning a web of deceit as the years slowly turn

Don’t have a strong recollection on this one, just a filler song. Started out with the intro, a little bass thing I had been messing around with for years before. I used to use it as a kind of warm-up thing in the studio and just built on it, adding parts. I knew what intervals and chords Curt especially liked and I sort of remember constructing this to please him because he had been put out by a couple other more outre things I’d brought in to the band. We never played this live, it’s very much a filler song to my mind. The break has a few keeper lines. May have been about me exaggerating how our career was going and the bullshit I talked to agents and record companies while they talked it back to me.

Parts of the music are reminiscent of Zep’s Achilles Last Stand, one of my fav Zep tunes (and about the only fast one they ever did!), so I felt free to lift a little. The phrasing for the main verse pattern is somewhat like “Falling off the Edge of the World” by Sabbath with Dio. I liked that pattern and used it on Black Ace and Stay in addition to this one.

Chase the Dragon

There’s a cool clear crystal silence
Frozen fire burning
Draws me nearer to the flame
Dark and distant smile reveals nothing
Hooded cobra’s flat unblinking gaze
Nothing matters, nothing lasts, nothing’s real
All else fades before her liquid gaze
Still and silent, sullen silver statue
Fills your head until you doubt you’re sane
I flee through the night and I think I get away
But all roads lead back into the snow
Sparkl’ing shards of shining ice and diamonds
Fill your head and rule your very soul
In the distance there’s a hard horizon
I can see her flashing beacon rise
There’s a fatal flaw that bids me follow blindly
And entranced I walk on mesmerized
I must feed the hunger I can’t heed the warnings
There’s a white-hot need I can’t deny
It sucks me in and then it pulls me under
‘neath her frozen will, strong and alive
You can Chase the Dragon but you’ll never find him
For he’ll pass right through you like a flame
Once you taste forbidden fruit of knowledge
Your life will never be the same
Look deep into the mirror now
Bend to answer her command
Empty cartridge saves your life, this time
Still the gun is in your hand

I started out just fitting in lines to a guitar part I had written, and it started to sound like a song about addiction, another type of Bad Craziness, so I went with it. The verse riff is inspired by Rainbow’s Gate’s of Babylon and the intro a bit like Maiden’s Hallowed Be Thy Name.

I often followed the formula of David Lee Roth and Van Halen; find a song you like, change the intro, change the outro, mess around with the middle and voila, you have a song in the style and feel you like. We lifted the beat and adapted the bass accompaniment from Babylon for Beijing, and there is a line from it in Liar. That song must have affected me deeply, I stole so much of it.

Nightmare Landscape

I don’t know where I’m going
I don’t know where I’m coming from
My past is in the future
Life is over, death has just begun
Millions of tears have been shed from an empty sky
Millions of years have been wasted- why even try
Blank faces stare at the graves as the mothers cry
Accused by their infants dead eyes
Trapped by unborn enemy who
Lies in wait within his silent womb-in his womb
Blind lead the blind as the
Witchdoctor reels out his runes
Crime of the, deal of the, fight of the century
Laugh as the twisted remains writhe in agony
Spent shells in ashes, the dregs of humanity
Dry in the white winter wind
And we’re lost in the desert of a
Nightmare Landscape No landmarks, no touchstone
No sane frame of reference
Martian morning streams through garden window and
Nightmare Landscape is strangely familiar
Run down a highway that’s paved with the prisoners
Scarred by the scarecrows who burn the cornfields
Gaunt silent skeletons stagger to stand
Form ranks and march on to the beat of the drum
Scorn all the warnings and mock all the madmen
Who prophesied peril from progress and pain
Pause now to wonder at smoke on the mountain
Volcano erupts and a sere wind of despair
Suicidal elephant runs rampant down the corridor
Stung by the nettles
The snakes of the third world war
Rogue ape of violence dances in Ecuador
Free to be tortured and die
Billions and billions of years pass in front of me
Nothing is real to me- still I am free to be
It’s the Nightmare Landscape
It’s the landscape of your soul
Come into the landscape, it’s the landscape
Of your soul

I actually dreamed most of the weird images in this song, then woke and wrote down my impressions. Seemed very vivid and profound at the time, like it had some inner meaning about death and war, now it just seems bizarre.

Little wine glass snippet from “’89” barely audible at the end, probably too subtle for anyone to catch but I love that kinda stuff. We had definitely come a long way from out first stuff and had made a real “concept album”, something Mike and I had always loved. This LP was also rehearsed so much before we recorded it we ended up playing just about every song live, even Meltdown.

The only ones that didn’t make it to the set were the high-range Beijing and its intro Gates, plus Chase the Dragon, which didn’t get recorded for the first version sessions (something we did with every album, recorded all the tunes, sat on them, played them live, then rerecorded them). This album was a lot of work and a lot of fun. I could not begin to calculate the number of hours we put in on recording this. A real labor of love.