Andy Partridge

“I’d stand there staring out of the window or at the black wooden floor with a guitar, just trying to pull stuff out. I thought, I’m going to write a single. How do you write a single? What’s the most moronic thing I can think of? I know, Manfred Mann’s “5-4-3-2-1″.”

Does Swindon shape the sound of your work?

Yes, because I can see those chalk hills out of the bedroom or attic window upstairs. I can see the trees. I walk the dog in the park where you can see carpets of daisies or in the summer be getting the idea that you’re drowning in flowers. It’s enormously influential in its mundanity, in its everyday. It’s a Victorian park here, it’s a wet alleyway there, it’s a load of cars choking up a length of tarmac there. It’s some people you know and their funny small-town manners. I don’t know about dusty California highways. I don’t know about denim-clad hippies, chicks laid across the bonnet of your Buick ’57. I don’t know about this accepted rock language. It doesn’t speak to me.

Do you remember writing “Senses Working Overtime”?

I’d stand there staring out of the window or at the black wooden floor with a guitar, just trying to pull stuff out. I thought, I’m going to write a single. How do you write a single? What’s the most moronic thing I can think of? I know, Manfred Mann’s “5-4-3-2-1”. Fuckin’ hell, that is so moronic, so obviously that was a hit because before it even gets to you people know what the next lyric is going to be: after 5 it’s going to be 4; the next lyric is going to be 3. Instantly moronically acceptable. So why don’t I use that as a basis and sing “one, two, three, four, five”? I’ve got the chorus. “Five what? What’s five? Five days of the week?” Five senses was the only thing I could think of. So I started to write “one, two, three, four, five senses”. What are they doing? “They’re working,” so you have sensory input. “Wow, they’re working overtime. Good phrase. Working, working overtime, senses working overtime. OK, got it.” So I’ve got “one, two, three, four, five senses working overtime”. It’s got to be instant: it’s got to go crunch, crunch, crunch.

 

 

 

By | 2013-12-10T16:29:44+00:00 December 10th, 2013|Songwriters|0 Comments

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