Oh, the sweet enthusiasm of youth! Not that sweet enthusiasm is limited to the young; I like to think that I can still be sweet and enthusiastic every so often. But there's just a different quality to the efforts we make earlier in life, I think, for better or worse or both. In that frame of mind, every so often I revisit my audio archives to grin or cringe or rawk owt, and I decided to rescue this song I wrote and recorded in 1983, "The Fun Has Just Begun." It's so ramshackle yet kind of cool; all its many issues that used to bug me just don't anymore, because I hear that combination of dedicated effort and total sloth that defines me pretty well and it makes me smile.

It's certainly of the early-'80s "cowpunk" genre, probably inspired from bands like Jason & The Scorchers, and was recorded in a huge metal pole barn at my parents' house in the woods of central Wisconsin. The deer and squirrels and herons and mosquitos were of NO HELP to me musically, so if I wanted to make a song, I had to do it all myself on my '80s-sweet 4-track Tascam cassette recorder. I'd have to do each part in one go, since I had no editing or "punch in" skills. This was such a laborious task for me, since I'm not a great musician, so that even if there were mistakes I would keep individual instrument tracks as "GOOD ENOUGH DAMMIT," unless I had a total failure like getting my fingers caught in the bass strings or dropping my drumsticks or completely forgetting a chord charge. Then I would swear loudly and ruin the take anyway.

Here's the stellar barn recording instrumentation for ya:

-- Two vocals, Shure SM 57 mic.
-- A single snare drum, the same one I used for band in grade school, mic-ed with the Shure. Timing is, sadly, my own.
-- Two guitar parts, '76 Les Paul Custom. For the rhythm part I just PLUGGED IT INTO THE BOARD (sigh), and for the lead it's coming through an Acoustic amp, mic-ed again with the Shure because it was my only mic, after all. Yes, that's me playing slide at the end. I don't know how to play slide. I also don't know how to play lead.
-- 1980 Fender short-scale bass, plugged into the board.
-- a tambourine.

So there were are...full of hiss and massive source distortion, and I just kinda love it. I think underneath it all, it's a good song, and that is nice. You can download it HERE on Soundcloud if you like. I made a video for it because I've been dying to use this old K-tel mood ring/mood shirt commercial stuff!

"The Fun Has Just Began" - Marianne

And a little trivia: back inna day, a Famous Rock Star heard this and asked me if it was about him. Totally taken aback, I truthfully told him that no, it wasn't and raised an eyebrow. Jeez. Some people are so dramatic.


(photo by Dena Tarlin, Chicago 1984)