Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Every Time I Leave (I Leave For Good)

<a href="http://davesmallen.bandcamp.com/track/every-time-i-leave-i-leave-for-good">Every Time I Leave (I Leave For Good) by Dave Smallen</a>

In July 2007, after more than a year on the road, through clubs and theaters across the United States, I returned home to Oakland. The final tour was a bust. I found myself playing to one person at a bar beside a prison in Bakersfield, and my deal with Capitol Records had gone to shit as the company withered and merged and laid off. I was trying to get my record back and settle up the terms in which I'd be let go. I wasn't paying rent anywhere, I didn't have a girlfriend or any shows booked - The future was all blank space and I felt like a failure. I had left my friends and family with such expectation, only to return home with little to show for all I had been through, and torn up in ways I could hardly explain. My car was broken into my first night home, and I took it as a sign to get the hell out.

My brother was living out in Moab Utah, guiding rafting trips on The Colorado River. I got my car window fixed and replaced the stereo, packed all my stuff and headed out to see him. I was in control again, with the comfort of the of the highway in front of me, always moving toward something, and always pulling me further away.

I stayed in Moab for a couple weeks, taking long hikes and helping my brother out on the river. I tried as best I could to express what I had been doing since I last saw him, and hearing my own words, I was proud of all the work I'd done, all the people I'd met and connected to, all the things I'd seen and experienced, but everything felt strange and distant. I was on the threshold of something new, though it wasn't yet clear, and it was time to focus on what was directly in front of me, not far behind.

Early one evening, my brother went off with a couple friends to climb some cliffs as the sun set. I drove out along The Colorado and found a quiet spot to watch the darkness come, but as soon as I had settled, a storm began to roll in - their first storm in more than a month. The clouds were thick, opening up into a heavy rain as I took it back to my brother's. When I arrived, I found the house filled with his friends and roommates, kids who squatted on his property or slept by the river under the stars - all of them taking refuge. I grabbed my guitar, and sitting alone on the back porch beneath a canopy, with flashes of lightening illuminating the surrounding walls of rain, I began to write this song.

[Once summer comes, I strongly suggest listening to this one loud, while driving on a two lane highway with the windows down]

I had to kick this nightclub scene
I drove out into the desert heat
To find my brother where he strays complete
I brought the rain with me

And if I really want to stay alive
There's a part of me that's gotta die
And my brother he's the kindest kind
Don't need to see the light

If I wanted to stay you know that I would
I don't like to be misunderstood
Every time I leave here I leave for good
I know oh I know you're not keeping track
but I keep on coming back
I keep coming back the way you said I would
Every time I leave here I leave for good

There's a girl I don't know her name
I get so lonely I can picture her face
I guess right now we got our separate ways
But I'm gonna marry her one day

And every age that you get in life
There's a sweet and there's an ugly side
I try to be patient for what comes in time
And thankful for what's mine

I keep on running
And I keep crawling home
But the trouble stays with me
Everywhere I go