A couple of weeks ago Gary suggested I start a song with a bass line. I don’t play the bass, hadn’t ever picked one up, but I’ve tried enough of his crazy ideas to know that they are not crazy at all. Mostly they have to do with limitations. I seem to prefer choices. Maybe it’s a California thing. Endless summer means endless possibilities. But songwriting is ass-kickingly unfamiliar terrain, and when you’re struggling to get the lay of a land limitations are your friend. A narrow path through brambles. A high beam on a dark night. So I borrowed a bass and starting pawing at it and wrote a song.
It’s about Franz Mesmer, an 18th century German physician who was at the forefront of alternative healing. Mesmer believed that life energy flows through channels in our bodies, coined the term animal magnetism, and successfully treated people for everything from blindness to madness. He was maligned, naturally. He was also a rock star. Mozart was so tight with the doctor he named a character in Cosi Fan Tutte after him. And he left us a word.
The song doesn’t have an ending yet. Loud guitars would be nice.