Tag Archives: Phil Collins

Day 5 – One More Night

No text yet from the band, so I rise and shower again because I can. By the time I’m out, the phone is ringing and they’re on their way.

I check out, gulp down all snacks left in the room, cram my clothes in my bags, and rush a block over to a cafe… But too late, they pull up and I’m in the van.

We decide to hit Stuart’s favorite music store. Some of our cables are bad, we’re low on batteries and strings, and I need a new China. It turns out that I had smashed out a shard at the last show and the cymbal had lost all sustain.

On the way, we pass Steve Albini’s studio in a massive yet virtually unmarked brick building. Awesome!

Andy’s in Chicago is a musician’s dream. All the obscure equipment you would usually have to order, and none of the usual inventory found everywhere else.

As I pass through each room, it feels like I am progressing deeper and deeper into a dream. I wonder if I will forget to ever leave. Each room is filled with delights

In the back of the store is a gong room. Massive gongs with $3k price tags hang on the walls. Stuart proceeds to play every single one. We all wish we could have afforded a gong, and had the space in the trailer to haul it. The lush resonance filling the room overcomes me, and I involuntarily sit.

Then Stuart finds a cute gong and whacks it. It sounds amazing! All the right overtones! Yet so small! I snatch it up immediately, grab a China, and I’m cooking with gas.

And so begins the long dark tollway of the soul, as we exit through the Chicago tollbooths, across the nation’s toll roads toward Cambridge.

Stuart has the most entertaining conversations with tollbooth personnel.

“Hey. ”
“That will be $20.23”
“Here’s your money.”
“Okay, good day.”
“NIGHT!”

“You have a tunnel under your booth! Do you use it?”
Silence.

“how much?”
” Sir, this is not the correct ticket.”
“Okay, have a good one.” Starts to pull forward.
“Sir, you have to pay!”
“I’m trying to!”

One time we pull up to the booth and hear screams. The agent is watching a horror flick on a little TV.

We run low on cash and start scrounging.

It’s the graveyard shift, and so Joel takes the helm. He is so affable. This isn’t his first rodeo. He never has a complaint.

We start to bide the time by deconstructing Phil Collin’s “One More Night”. Everyone awake agrees that we have such high regard for Phil Collins, that it is particularly egregious that he would allow such a poorly written afterthought to be released. The fact that it performed well is perhaps only a testament to the radio machine at the time, certainly not to any finesse of expression.

The song starts out asking for one more night. Then, he selfishly asks her to help him if he stumbles, even though presumably she’s not interested.

Then he repeats himself that he will not wait forever to receive said one more night.

In the next chorus, he drives the point hone that he really thinks she’s with someone else.

Lastly, in the bridge, he gets all stalker like with the iconicly poorly rhymed lyrics:

Like a river to the sea
I will always be with you
And if you sail away
I will follow you

So, he is going to stalk her basically. And let’s also rhyme you with you.

I lose count of the booths and drift off to sleep in the back.

Some good news about lyrics

While driving to the airport, getting ready to leave the big island of Hawaii after an amaaazing trip, I was dreading the inevitable long wait at an ugly airport (being in Hawaii does not do much to improve it) (As Douglas Adams once said, and I am paraphrasing, “In no human language can you find the phrase, ‘As pretty as an airport'”) and so I was already in a critical mood when I heard “One More Night” on the car radio for the zillionth time. That’s when it occurred to me just how really bad the lyrics are.

Like a river to the sea,

I will always be with you

And if you ever sail away,

I will follow you

These are not good lyrics. He rhymed “you” with “you”. And the metaphor is confusing, yet also cliche.  But seeing as I am no longer in the hating mood, let’s look at the good news: It did reach #1 in the US.

So maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about writing good lyrics.

In the meantime, Turn it On is a good song with a good message. And so is Land of Confusion. Good video, too. Really captures the height of the Cold War. Watch it to the end. Hopefully these two songs are how he’s remembered.