It was truly an honor to be able to play “Let’s Go Miro”, the song I wrote extolling his candidacy for Burlington Mayor, at Miro Weinberger’s victory party at Nectar’s on March 6, 2012. What made it even more marvelous was the work of three singers and dancers: Julia, Amelia, and Ella, a/k/a “The Mirocialites”. If elections were decided by joie de vivre, this cheerful trio could have bounced Miro to US Senate.
What’s with the headband? The Mirocialites were definitely not going on stage without theirs, and they insisted that I follow suit. Each headband featured a circular “Miro for Mayor” sticker, making it as functional as it was fashionable.
Here’s a big cheer for Dave Gibson’s steady hand on the videocam. Most of all, my eternal gratitude goes to Julia, Amelia, and Ella for taking a chance on an unknown musician like me.
You can guess where this song is going by its first line: “Were you around? Were you in line? / When Mom lit up for the very first time?” But first…the music.
I owe so much of my music education to WRUV-FM, the student-run station at University of Vermont. I used to obsessively record shows when I was in high school, and later as a student at UVM I was lucky enough to become at long last a DJ. Brothers and sisters, believe me when I tell you that I could have died right there and been perfectly happy. In the pre-Internet days, if you wanted to learn about non-mainstream music, college radio was a precious resource without peer.
It was during that time that I came across Parisian zouk megastars Kassav’ and their 1985 hit, “Zouk la Sé Sél Médikaman Nou Ni”. There’s something riveting about its wonderfully spiky rhythms, especially its pedal point bass, a rock-solid anchor keeping all the jittering boats from bouncing out of the marina. That pedal point bass idea stuck with me, and when my song began to take shape, I worked with it, slathered on some soca drums and horns, et voilà, le “Bom-Bom”.
As for the lyrics…Heh. What can I say? I was going for something cheeky and satiric, but, y’know what?, these days, if I really wanted to maximize the shock value, I’d have to change it all around and make it not about Mom but about Grandma.
I started this tune a while back and gave it some temporary name like “Mardi Gras”. It stayed untouched for a couple of years, but it’s finally getting to see the light of day thanks to the sad news that the great Levon Helm has passed away. I’m not claiming it’s worthy of this tremendously soulful man, but Levon gets full credit for inspiring me to pretty it up a bit, get it out there, and, most of all, give it a better name.