This song has stayed in my set, on and off, for a long time. It only has one stop, it’s not too fast, the chords are easy enough, and it’s not too long. It features the tried-and-true IV-III-vi chord movement I’ve been trotting out since I wrote “Somedays.”
The original recording, featured on Sight & Sound, is a lo-fi recording despite trying to make it Hi-Fi. My studio at the time consisted of a TEAC reel-to-reel 4-track, some stage mics, a 6-channel mixer, and a portable DAT machine. I’d fill up the tracks on the tape, bounce it to the DAT and make another set of overdubs on fresh tape along to that DAT mix. It was such a chore to record yourself at home, and there was no punching in; you had to know your part and play it correctly all the way through. This was a band track, so all three of us needed to play it right at the same time to get a good take. All before the tape ran out or before the police came responding to a noise complaint.
For “Walking Endlessly,” the liner notes from Sight & Sound read: “Nearly axed from the album by an overzealous A&R staff, this recording was an attempt to bring to life the sound of a Chris Isaak type band fronted by an angst-ridden Glen Campbell, thinking too much about Tanya Tucker.”
Fast forward to 2020: For my live cast, who better to capture the “Chris Isaak type band” than Prairie Prince, the drummer from Isaak’s biggest hit, “Wicked Game.” The story is that they recorded that song well over a hundred times to find the groove. I was on a deadline, so I had him play my song just one and a half times.
Next came the internet file back and forth boogie, getting friends to play on the track from their homes- no more or less work than coordinating a Zoom call for your whole family. The band from last week’s live cast is back together- Pete, Tom, Dave, and Prairie.
The lyrics, written when I was 23, describe what sounds like a jumping off point rather than a long journey. “I don’t think I can brave another mile,” and “I can’t get out.” Oh, I think you can.
Live from Tape Vault Studio 10-02-2020
Drums - Prairie Prince; Organ - Dave Amels; Bass - Peter Straus; Guitars - Tom Ayres;
Vocals/Guitar - Chris von Sneidern
And check out the original:
Chris von Sneidern is a musical artist living in San Francisco.