I can’t count the number of times I’ve woken up from a dead sleep in the morning, only to hear music playing in my head, and for it take the better part of ten minutes of humming it before I realize that I’ve been producing and arranging in my sleep.
This one is no exception; I could see a red velvet room, adorned with gaudy tinsel, streamers and flashing 60-watt lightbulbs, with a one-man “band” playing a euphonium, a bass drum and micro-drumkit, strumming a white Vox “teardrop” guitar and singing in a high, abrupt-but-crooning falsetto. The man was Ron Howard, dressed as his character Richie Cunningham from Happy Days, and singing like Roy Orbison. He wore Buddy Holly glasses and a red-green-white plaid shirt with a bow tie. Every so often, he would gyrate for effect and a sort of “bendy” dance, and an invisible audience of teenage girls would go wild and scream. I was standing somewhere in the room watching him — perhaps producing the performance for television.
The music was clearly meant to be very staccato and obtuse — the kind of non-funky whiteboy beat that Outkast achieved so magnificently with “Hey Ya” — so I had that as a point of reference by the time I awoke.
I think the full arrangement of string synth and organ was meant to contradict the punchiness of the opening beats. Either way, it’s a personal favorite to this day.