Now you’ve done it- now you’ve really done it
Now you’ve given it all away
Made your decision like a natural woman
You’ll regret it all someday
Left home with a broken promise
Clothes on your back and an IOU
Don’t think that you can ever change me
I don’t give shit what you do
And I, I can sleep at night
I don’t care if it’s right
I won’t put up a fight
I don’t need you no more
Haven’t seen you in 48 hours
Haven’t called, haven’t said a word
Left a message with your old man’s girlfriend
She just hung up like she hadn’t heard
I can take it, I can really take it
I can see that I will be all right
I’m sick of your naggin’ bullshit
I’m tired of the spit and spite
Don’t try to make me say I’m sorry
It won’t work, not like a thousand times before
I told you once, I told you runnin’
Don’t let your fat ass get hit by the door
And I, I’m fine on my own
I can live alone- don’t think you’re the only one
I don’t care what you do
Someday soon, you’ll be sorry
You’ll regret all the things you’ve done
Someday soon, you’ll be sad and lonely
But it will be too late, cuz I’ll be gone
Most of the songs on this album are pretty cynical about love, as the title suggests, and this one is good as any to start them off. This project took so long (over 2 years, while the band was in a state of upheaval) that it spans the breakup of one of my relationships, through the starting until the stormy ending of another, so the songs are kind of directed at no one in particular, just all the heartless girls who fucked me around (I may share some of blame, but hey, let them write their own songs slamming me).
This song was subconsciously (that’s my story, anyway) lifted from an Alice Cooper lick. We played it live regularly, even after we switched to cover tunes. It was the first one written for the Project 4 sessions, what we called the 4th proposed album before we basically abandoned it.
This was one of last 6 songs the band worked on together in the studio and the only real “Vengeance” songs on the album, in that we all had input on them.
Stay, stay if you will
Listen to me as I sing out the words soft and still
Listen to more than the words
Hear, hear what I say
Beneath all the layers of guilt stripped away
You can feel more than the words
Come to me lay down beside me and cling to me
Pour out the sound of your heart as you sing
To my eyes
Stay, stay with me now
Reach out and touch all the things
That your mind won’t allow
There’s nothing holding you here
Close, close out your world
Forget all the madness
The sorrow and pain you’ve endured
Just one more step and you’re free
Open the door let me into your memory
Tell me your fears secret lies, sins and jealousies
Why, why do you wait?
There’s nothing more I can do to believe in you
Try to imagine what eyes never see
Look beyond the hard horizon
Just below the sun rising
Between the earth and the sky and the sea
Open your eyes and see me
This one, with the opener, sets the pattern, the rockers are cynical and bitter, the slow songs are more idealistic and melodic. Its hard to be cynically melodic, for me. Very nice song, musically, I like this one a lot, still.
I like how the string hits come in on the second half of the second verse, and the interlude just before it, working with the guitars. I think my lead vocals work when they really kick in and get gritty. The intro is sketchy, though.
This is one of those songs that sits around for years, at least some of the riffs and parts of it. The opening bass part was in a song for the Bad Crazy sessions but I abandoned it but still kept the lick around. I had been doing that bridge part on guitar since before I started playing bass in the band, I just never figured out how to use it. It seemed to fit in this very unconventional song.
Chuck does a nice job with the rolls and fills on that part. I remember he was having trouble thinking of different rolls so it wouldn’t all sound like bomp-de-biddle-bomp and Mike sticking his head out of the control room door and telling him ideas for rolls, just “singing” them, and we pieced it together with punch-ins as much as possible, which is tough with drums, it doesn’t work at all over cymbal decay.
The vocal parts still sound a little out here and there, we had gotten very ambitious at this point about stacking them. Also evident is my fascination with the Ensoniq Mirage (as well as Curt, he liked it so much he bought one too) and it was used to the hilt on this song. Sampled violins, strings and flutes back the first part. I especially like the “stings” on the second verse after the little interlude.
The fade-out over the dissonance works nice too, a bitch to mix down, a lot of elements.Mike and I spent a lot of time on this one, but the backing vocals still sound a bit out to me. On the build-up Mike added a nice guitar part, and I went for a heavy-metal reggae feel on the ending. The ending fill lead is the last stuff Curt recorded with Vengeance.
And it ain’t always been easy
We’ve had our share of ups and downs
But through it all girl
We always had each other
Please don’t take it all away from me now
I’d give back all of my tomorrows
To get back one more yesterday
The years I spent with you were the
Best years of my life
I always thought you felt the same
Along the lines of Goodbye ’89 musically, out to write a power ballad for the album, and this is what I came up with.
More whining about lost love, this time, instead of lost youth and opportunities. Very nice melodic solo by Curt, we could always count on him coming up with something fresh, original, technically proficient and still very fitting with our style. I got the idea for the rise in key during the solo from “These Are the Days of Our Lives” from the Queen Innuendo album, which had come out not long before.
I also noticed years later I’d lifted a line from “Me and Bobby McGee”, which is kind of weird. We also played this song live, with Mike on acoustic. He might have switched to electric halfway through, I can’t remember. We were doing Seasons of Wither at the time and he played acoustic on that.
We also did Queen’s ’39 with me on 12-string and Mike on 6-string acoutics and Chuck on the kick halfway through and everyone singing backups. This song was part of an acoustic mini-set in our main set during that period.
I think Someday, Stay, Sonora, Don’t Say Goodnight, Bad Day and Terminal Man would have made a stellar beginning to a new phase of Vengeance Incorporated, but the scene had changed too much with grunge coming in and the touring scene had also changed too much. There were very very few places where you could play originals and actually get paid. We had switched to mostly covers by now, Motley Crue, Extreme, Queensryche, Guns & Roses, Queen, Aerosmith etc. but even that scene was drying up.
All this led to a change in everyone’s attitude and only Mike came up with a song for the new project. We were pretty much a spent force, which is why we abandoned this album and I ended up finishing it and putting it together myself.
Don’t touch the phone
Don’t call that girl
She’s got the power to burn
You’re gonna fuck up-gonna wreck your world
She’s got the will and the key to your heart
She’s got the power to make you start it all again
Leave it alone, you’d better
Gonna just let it lay
If you pick up that phone you’ve got
The rest of your life to pay
Don’t let her into your mind
Don’t let her see it cry
She’s got you believing you’re nothing
If you’re nothing if you’re not with her
You don’t need all that pain
That’s not why you are here
You deserve better than that
You’ve got your whole life
You know you’re nothin’- less than nothin’
If you’re not with that girl
How can you face another day
How can you face the whole world
What makes you think you’re worth
Anything if you’re not with her
If she thinks you’re good for nothing
Then that’s all you’re good for
You gotta run, you gotta go
If you’re gonna live on you got to let her go
Ultra-bitter techno-grind screamer.
I think I was trying to do White Zombie here, a kind of low-budget version. Basically I got a concept and made up the lyrics as I tracked the vocals. Reading the lyrics without the music they seem a little disjointed, but they scan very naturally with the music.
The ending I really let loose with some pain and primal scream therapy. Got that woman right out of my system, as well as quantities of phlegm. As an added attraction, if you can decipher the words, the chorus is me screaming her actual phone number at the time (without the area code, so it was of limited use to anyone wanting to research our influences).
Alas, its long dead now, just like her, to me. So there.
Got a rush like a thousand miles an hour
Got a burn like a freezing rain
Hold tight to a steel steamin’ diesel
100 megatons of fire and pain
I see your eyes and they burn with a fever
Like the glare of the midday sun
Cross the desert like a snake-bit weasel
Doin’ ev’rything that shouldn’t be done
Oh Billy, why’d you have to do it?
Why’d you have to go too far
Shoot first, then you broke the window
Burnin’ off the wheels of your car
Told that same old story once too often
’bout the way they shot him down
Didn’t mean to kill his wife and children
They just lived too fast baby
You ended up shootin’ out the end of your gun
Pressure’s on like a red hot pistol
Needed cash, had to make our way South
Robbed a cantina outside Magdelena
The bar-man put one right in your mouth
Told that same old story once too often
’bout the way they shot him down
You didn’t mean to die last Sunday
You just went too far Billy
Ended up, speaking out the end of your gun
Got a rush like one hundred miles an hour
Got a freeze like a burning rain
You just lived way too fast
You just went way to far
Ended up on the wrong side of a gun
This is supposed to be the story of a guy who gets involved with a girl named Billy who talks him into doing armed robberies, and supposedly no one would be harmed, but she goes on a shooting rampage and kills innocent people just for a thrill kill. Then she ends up getting shot down. Lots of desert imagery.Good premise for a movie or something, probably been done.
I just thought it was interesting to take it from the aspect that the girl drags the guy into a life of violence instead of the usual opposite effect. Love literally kills here.There was supposed to be a guitar solo in the middle where the spoken part is, but it never got done. I guess I just forgot about it because it would have been simple to throw one in myself or Mike could have done it, Curt being unavailable by the time I got around to cleaning up all the tracks and mixing it all down.
Maybe I’ll throw one in there and remix it, the mix is not so good anyway.
I can’t change your mind
So how can I change your heart
You say that we’re better off if we’re apart
Well I’m sorry to disagree
But that’s not how it feels to me
There’s a look in your eyes
That I’ve never seen before
Why can’t we go back to how it used to be
What have I lost that you used to see in me
I know that I’m still the same
But in your eyes I guess I’ve changed
It’s nobody’s fault
But I’ll be happy to take the blame
Tell me why you stopped believin’
How can I go on breathin’
If you go away, I won’t last another day
I miss you, even when I’m dreamin’
My heart is sore and grievin’
I can’t help but believin’
You’ll be back some day
I’m crazy, and I don’t know how to tell you
I’m out of lines to sell you
I only hope you’ll see
That we were meant to be
You and me- meant to be- you and me
I can’t change your mind
So how can I change your heart
You say we’re better off if we’re apart
Well I’m sorry to disagree
But that’s not how it feels to me
This is one of my favorites, and a direction we might have tried if the band had continued. I had intended to try to get the band to play if we could make it more of a power ballad, but it would have been a struggle.
There was kind of a curse to doing the involved and heavily produced demos I was doing at the time, because I got a real picture in my head and on tape of exactly how I wanted the song to go, and was pretty proficient at programming a drum machine, then trying to get Chuck to reproduce it almost exactly, which, looking back, was probably very frustrating for him, and I’m sorry about it now, but hey, the stuff sounds pretty good so I think it was worth it.
On the instrumental break, when that riff comes in, particularly, I had a feel I wanted to get, with those accents, then back to the regular beat after so many measure, back and forth, and I remember persisting in getting it just the way I wanted it. I realize now I must have been a prick to work with sometimes.
It’s a very definite groove and much different than anything on previous albums, but Chuck is a pretty versatile drummer and stayed with us after Vengeance folded and we played alternative stuff and radio music, and this isn’t much different from that, even if it is worlds away from metal.
This is very melodic but with metal elements, the guitars. It would have been heavier had Curt and Mike contributed the guitars instead of me, and probably with less strings. A very complete song, lyrically and musically. I put some serious time in on this one, playing all the instruments myself on the demo, and everything but the drums on the final version.
You can hear Mike’s voice on the top register in the backing vocals on the last chorus. I think he played the main rhythm electric too. On all our power ballads, the electric guitar slides in like that. It’s kind of funny to listen to now.
I can remember not so long ago
I never thought this would end
Years passed on mindlessly, day after day
I never counted them then
Time stretched in front of me
One day I woke to find
I’d left the dream behind me
Long ago, far away, spinning through space
Tomorrow seemed so warm and clear
Now it’s the morning I can’t bear to face
Now it’s the future I fear
God release me from this place
Have I fallen from your grace
What is this I’ve become
I’ve only begun to live
I don’t deserve what is coming to me
What have I done so wrong
Minute by minute, it’s slipping away
I know I don’t have very long
I raise my eyes to the sky
God, I don’t want to die
Have you forsaken me?
Why are you taking me now?
And I’m facing the end
I’m the Terminal Man
Cry for the lives that I’ll never see
Dreams that lie broken inside
Damned and condemned, an innocent man
But still on my feet, still alive
And I scream in my mind
Can you hear me at all, do you care?
Sweet father in heaven, save me
From death’s dark despair
Why don’t you answer a word that I say
How many days are there left
’til I’m cold in the grave
Oh Jesus save me
A new dawn begins with the promise of life
So much to do and so little time
To love and to laugh, to hold and be held
A lifetime to spend before sleep
I’ll never see a son, fall in love, be someone
Never live to be old
Why have you taken my soul?
And I’m facing the end
I’m the Terminal Man
About the death of a close friend of a Mike’s and someone I knew also from AIDS. Its kind of a detached view of what it would be like to how you are going to die. This one literally fits the album title. I especially like the little vocal “oooo’s” thing between the first and second verse, I think I was doing Nilsson there. This is one of the few, besides the actual “band songs”, that we spent a lot of time on. However, you can hear the solo is missing and the part where the drum fills go is really empty, something was supposed to go there, I’m sure. Only Someday, Stay, Sonora, Don’t Say and Bad Day were recorded when the band was still active.
The rest were my personal stuff I was messing with and this song and Brother were written by Mike with additions by me plus the melodies and lyrics of course.I really like the drum sound, this was a one-off session I think where we only did this one song, maybe Brother Brother also. The random thing at the end was supposed to fade out, this was probably a rough mix that never got redone. Chuck did a nice job on the fills, I seem to remember Mike coaching him on this one as well. This is his song musically, he wrote all the main riffs. The bridge may have been mine, it sounds like something I’d write (the “cry for the lives” part). Also, going back to it at the end is something I’d do, it’s very random and spacey. This is one of the few we did without Curt that would have been fine as a true Vengeance song.
It’s one of the few of the “extra” songs on which I don’t hate my vocals. I think the vocals were very carefully done on this one song, maybe because it was Mike’s song and we always enjoyed working together and it made it more fun. As I remember, the band was already over while we were working on this, but we were just carrying on as usual. Sort of like the Beatles minus the fame and money and talent.
Just a few lyrics to fill out the musical concept, but the sentiment is genuine. I still love to play live. We turned down the guitar part (which I recorded first) to do the vocals, and ended up out of synch with them, but it worked somehow, so I left it. I spent hours on the stacked guitars, for a two minute song.
I had this chord pattern for ages, maybe before the band, and the concept of the rising counter to the falling guitar line was there from the beginning. Since it was very short I figured I could sneak this one in, I did intend this as a Vengeance song, another one I’d just hack off on my own and then stick into the running order. When I would do that, everyone would be like, what is this song?
Since I was producing I could pretty much do what I wanted, the studio was in my house and I’d sit up all night working on stuff. The other guys never cared all that much about running order of the songs and stuff like that so I had a lot of freedom there. They were pretty cool about my “solo” songs sneaking in there.
Even on Malicious Intent, Judas and Blood Money were pretty much all me except Chuck on drums and Mike on the backing vocals of Judas, and on Bad Crazy I did Meltdown completely by myself, not even with real drums, although Mike contributed vocals and a cool vocal arrangement idea.
On ’89 I did the stacked guitars, and even as far back as Predator, I did all the guitars on Running Blind except splitting the lead solo with Curt, and I did the stacked guitars on a song called Traveller. It was just too difficult to notate it all down, it was just easier to do it myself, when you are talking about 16 or even more guitar parts.
Also, the parts would evolve some as I did them, so working with someone else would have been frustrating. I’m absolutely doing my best Brian May on all of these mentioned, including the end of this song, which is a take-off on the end of Queen’s “Bad Company”. At this late date, I don’t give a shit about admitting where I lifted ideas.
That’s all rock music is, evolution of someone else’s idea.
Don’t wait too long
Don’t wait too long to make a stand
Don’t fear the flame
Just hold the fire in your hand
I hear a voice, inside a distant mem’ry rings
I see a face, a cold and silent thing
When the cross is taken from the hill
And buried in the ground, he’ll come on down
I tasted blood, I heard a pounding in my ears
I wasted time, now time has wasted me
Don’t try to speak
Don’t try to make another sound
I fight the wind, and it spins my head around
When the morning turns to day and then to night
I will be all right
You can’t save the savior
You can’t stop the world
You know you’ll never change a single thing
Caught up by the crossfire
Blown up by the wind
You might as well have never lived
But maybe this is all just a dream
This was intended as a full band song, but it never got past the demo stage, which this obviously is. I guess I just never got around to doing the overdubs, or even a real drum track. I must have liked the song for it to have been included, looking back now I can’t imagine why it was added, its woefully unproduced and unpolished.
This is me coming out of retirement. When we first conceived this album, I was trying to go in a bunch of different ways, and this was the blues song. Has a few nice things in it. Actually, I guess it was only included because we needed more songs for the CD. I never considered it one of my best songs. Curt never did make it back into the studio to do the solo, so the one on the CD is the scratch one I did just to fill it out for the rough mixes.
Sounds Ok I guess, but far from our usual polishing of songs. Also, this is one of the few full songs that don’t have a thing to do with the concept of Love Kills.
It’s been a Bad Day, all around
You got fire in the air
You got bodies on the ground
There ain’t nothin’ left standin’
There ain’t nothin’ alive
You done tore it all down
Until nothin’ survives
You got a pretty good way of
Fuckin’ up my day
Well it started out it was so blue and clear
And I opened my eyes and I saw what I thought
Was gonna be my day
How was I to know what you had in store for me
Was hell on earth
Well we don’t ever agree we don’t see eye to eye
And I laugh at the things that seem to make you cry
Why don’t we just get away from each other for good
Why do you feel like you have to control the situation
Ev’ry time you start to speak
My mind goes blank with hallucination
I wanna quiet life, I wanna rest and think
I wanna know myself-but you won’t shut up
You just won’t leave it alone
If I don’t get a break I know I’ll go insane
Why do you feel that you have to control the situation
Ev’ry time you get n my face
There’s just more aggravation
I hate the way you do those things that you do
The way you walk and speak
The way you act the fool
Why do you always have to be this way
I just can’t see any sense
Of makin’ you stay
Why don’t you just get out of my life
Okay, I give up, you were right
Don’t want to fight about it no more
Livin’ with you is like the third world war
Every time I think I’m finished with you
You start it over and over and over again
You just can’t seem to leave it alone
Pretty self-explanatory. Nice and venomous. The lyrics don’t seem to scan well just reading it, but it was a lot of fun to sing. One you have to hear sung to get the real feel. Written to a particularly pain-in-the-ass blonde I dated at the time. When I showed it to the band, they completely knew who I was talking about and they all fell out laughing. We took so long making albums that usually the project would span several of my failed relationships.
This one was about a girl I was dating long before Love Kills, which was mostly about another girl and a particularly painful separation. As you can tell from the lyrics, parting from the blonde in this song was only relief. She was a perfect example of the paradigm that the hotter a girl was, the more of a pain in the ass she was. This girl was sublimely beautiful, you do the math. She nearly killed me a couple times.
This song was a hold-over from the Bad Crazy days, but I didn’t get it finished in time to get it on there. Chuck is on drums, and Curt and Mike did play rhythm on this and Mike does the hilarious wah-wah solo, so it is a true band effort. We even did this live a couple times as an encore.
When I first saw you
You were shinin’ like a beacon
In the middle of the place
A glowin’ light of happiness
And beauty lit your face
You drew me like the sunshine
Draws the seedling to its birth
And when we met each others eyes
We didn’t touch the earth
Since then I don’t always show it
In my clumsy helpless way
Always picking the wrong thing to say
But I always wanted to be your Only One
In six short months the world has changed
And so have you and I
Something’s come between us
Doesn’t matter when or why
I loved you since I met you
Though you didn’t always see
I think the good outweighed the bad
Though you might disagree
I know sometimes it hurt so bad
That you could hardly see
But when it’s good
Your eyes turn gold and green
And I only wanted to be your Only One
You are so lovely
So bright and beautiful
I hear you whisper
I feel you call to me
I know you’re lonely
And I’m so far away
You know I’m with you
I’ll be right by your side
Try to forget the pain
That’s welling in your breast
Forget the fights and arguments
The pain and all the rest
When it’s all said and done
We loved each other best
When we get through this you will confess
That you only wanted to be my Only One
One of my favorite Vengeance songs (edit: by now, I’ve cooled on this a little and would probably remove it or heavy it up a bit), but maybe it’s just because it was one of the last. Heartfelt lyrics, with some irony I didn’t catch at the time. Contrary to what I had written in the past, this I absolutely wrote to one girl in particular, the opening references the time I met her, the one most of the songs on the album are written about, the hateful ones and the loving ones.
I’m glad I ended on a positive one now. I played all the instruments except drums and the lead solo, which I wrote and Mike played, because he has a great feel. I composed it but he fixed it up and made it more fluent and cool. I spent a good deal of time sweetening this one up with keys and stuff. There is a neat echo thing going on in the break.
Doc Weasel played this song live a few times, but our bass player had a serious mental block on the chord pattern, or else he didn’t like it and was sabotaging it, which is not out of the question, and we gave it up, but fitting that the last song on the last CD is the last song the three remaining members (me, Mike and Chuck) ever played live. At the time I was really high on this song for some reason, its a fine song, but not so much listening back now.
I’m revising some of these liner notes, first written in ’97, right after the band broke up but some years from our first releases, so then some of the stuff, like this album, was fresh in my mind while others were more dim. Now I find I remember it all about equally and have some new insights I didn’t have then. I’m shamelessly mixing the old recollections with the stuff I’m updating, its all my notes so its all valid. I still have ’97 ones, so if there is ever any actual interest, I’ll post the ’97 and the ’08 and you can compare. UPDATE: further updates throughout, not always noted, in 2023 as I replaced the broken theme.
One of my main differences is that during the time of these sessions, ’96, and when I originally wrote these liner notes, I was still very high on this song and thought it was great. I absolutely meant for it to be a Vengeance song and expected some of the guys to push back because it was in no way, shape or form heavy metal. Now, it seems fine, but the chorus seems really hokey. The bridge is really cool and I like that part, and I enjoy the solo, but the song doesn’t seem like all that.
The production is my typical overblown build-up I reserved for the ballads, a verse with no drums then a big build-up. If I did it now, I’d junk the first verse build-up, it sounds like Only Women Bleed at fast tempo. The ending ride-out is nice, and I remember I had vocal stuff planned I wanted to do with the drum hits, I had programmed them in with the drumm machine on the demo and remember fussing with Chuck to get him to do them.
I had done an incredibly detailed and over-produced demo to this that I would have used if I could have got real drums to synch up to it. I was used to the very strong and regular groove of the drum machine for the bass line, and I sweated him on every beat, making sure they were all spot on. We took an entire session just doing these drums and getting them right.
I think Mike played acoustic for the rough so I could concentrate on listening to the kick through the head phones and make sure the groove was cool, and every single hit was on. This song was a huge project to me and I spent endless time on it, on both versions. Maybe I’m being too hard on it now, but I can remember, and from the existing ’97 notes confirm, how much I thought of this song, and it just doesn’t strike me as all that great now.
I also remember the mix-down was a bitch, there was so much going on. There is a glaring error when the vocals come back in after the bridge.
This was the days before automated mixing boards, or at least I didn’t have one, and I had to make notations on the board itself with removable marker to where the sliders had to go for certain parts of the songs because of using the tracks for several different instruments.
By now I was typically using 4 tracks for drums (kick, snare, right left overhead/toms) 5-6 were electric rhythme, 7-8 were lead guitar and guitar special tracks, 9 was bass, 10-11 acoustic guitar, 12 lead vocals, 13-16 backing vocals. This left nothing for keys or the gong, and keys were throughout the song, so I had to use my typical lead guitar channels for them and put the lead guitar on the backing vocal tracks, since they were no where near the lead I had plenty of time to change stuff.
We always had to a lot of stuff like that. A 24 track would have been great, I would have done 6 or 8 drum tracks and had plenty of room for the other stuff. The 4 backing vocal tracks only tell part of the story though. Mike and I would sing the lowest harmony together 4 times, then bounce it to one channel, and so on until we had 32 parts on all our backing vocals.
Same with the stacked guitars. I’d been doing this sort of thing since I had my 4-track, so I had it down pretty good and rarely messed up other channels. Reading back over the lyrics, much of it could pertain to the band, ‘forget the fights and arguments’ etc. We butted heads many times, over music, girls, drinking, but we stuck it out and put out some great tunes.
The other thing is, from 1980 keg party days until 1996, instead of knocking around from band to band, outside of side projects, through 20-some members coming and going, Vengeance was my main and only band, my Only One. Good song for the last one on the last album.