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Life and Death Album Cover | Jerry Boutot Music


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Also available in CD format at CDBaby – http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jerryboutot6


 Lyrics Pages

Liner Notes

I’d like to thank my old friend Gordy from New Milford CT for coining the phrase Scary Tales. When we were busy doing crazy stuff like getting his Harley home from Kent Falls at night while tripping with no headlights, or nailing fireworks to the picnic tables at the pavilion at Candlewood Lake in New Milford, he nicknamed me Scary Jerry then and the songs I was writing at the time he referred to as Scary Tales. Over the years, the name Scaryman was hung on me like an old hat by Mark the Shark Rosatto at East Coast Music Mall. When I finally got around to registering Scaryman-dot-com, I found someone else was using it so I figured Scary Jerry and Scary Tales was what it should be. Thanks, Gordy! Also, I’d like to thank my brother Mark Boutot for his drumming on Waiting and Waiting and Hole In The Ground (both reverse engineered by me using a Sequencer and Drum Machine – but that’s how he plays I’m not kidding!) and Steve Leite for the Bass lines on both tunes.

The Story Behind The Album

In the early 1980’s I worked as a Mainframe Computer Operator for the Donald Grenier corporation in Mahopac, NY. It was my very first Computer Operator job.I remember as if it was yesterday the interview I had with the manager, Bob Stengle. He offered me $5.00 an hour and to work on 2nd shift. There was a guy named Ritchie that trained me.In any event, I was responsible for running all of the tape backups and special data processing jobs from around 6:00 PM till 2:00 AM. It was a salary position, so the cool thing was that if I finished early I could leave early. I worked by myself, for the most part, and one night I sat down at the keyboard to start writing the lyrics for a new song. The jobs were all finished and I felt like just hanging out and writing. I think one of the consultants, Doug, had smoked some weed with me that night and I was feeling a little bit creative. So I sat down to write a new song. I had no idea at all what I was going to write, or what about. I just felt like writing. Then something incredible happened. It was as if the creative faucet had been turned on and everything just came out all by itself. The lyrics for the entire album, from the first song to the last, were written in that one sitting. I still have the original green-bar computer paper that the songs were printed on. With only a few exceptions, the lyrics you hear on the album now are the exact same lyrics that I wrote that night. I think the entire album was done in less than three hours (lyrics, that is). This was way before the “Dark Waters” album I did with Randy McQuilkin, and I had no equipment whatsoever. I borrowed my girlfriend’s guitar and I used my own form of guitar tableture and some tableture paper I had created with a pencil and paper and I wrote the music for the first 4 songs on paper, conceptually. I’ve got no formal music training, and I didn’t even know tableture existed as a “real thing” or how to properly code it, so I made up my own system at the time. So I wrote the first 4 songs music and put them away for later. At one point about a year later I wrote this really sexually charged song called “Waiting and Waiting” for this girl Barb. I was trying to get in her pants and so I wrote this song about how I was waiting and waiting to basically fuck the shit out of her, and it worked. I finally got to fuck the shit out of her. Great. But the song needed a home so I thought it should go into the Life and Death album so I put it in between the Teenage Years song “Violence and Excitement” and the coming into true adulthood song “Time Flies”. It thought it was appropriate since the stages of life in Life and Death didn’t include anything from the early adult stage. I thought a song about lust and sex was perfect for it. The only problem, I didn’t do that until the early 90’s when I wrote the remaining music for the rest of the life and death album. You see, I had accumulated a fairly large recording studio built around an Atari 1040ST computer and an Audio-Technical 4-Track recorder. I wrote a few song “sketches” using it like “The Caveman” and “Whistling Winds”, and then I recorded the entire “Since You’ve Been Away” album using that setup (the original version). I moved to a rented house in Marbledale, CT in 1991 and that’s where I finished the Life and Death album. I whipped out my written music from the first 4 songs, along with Waiting and Waiting, and those 5 songs went down surprisingly intact. Meaning that what I wrote on paper needed almost no changes whatsoever. Just a couple of tweaks. Then, I actually wrote the music for the next two songs during production (Time Flies and Where Did My Life Go). Another example of complete and total synchronicity is with the last song, Hole In The Ground. During the late 80’s and 1990, I had a band named Mission Control, which comprised of my brother Mark Boutot on the drums, Steve Leite on the bass, and Dan LaChance on 2nd guitar and Keyboards, as well as myself on guitar and keys and singing. We had created this song called “In The Line Of Fire” which was a total jam-out instrumental. That song came from a bunch of jam tapes me and my brother Mark did where we just jammed out and recorded it, then I went and dubbed some of the best parts of the jam onto another tape and re-arranged the order to come up with the music for the song. Me and Mark worked on it and fleshed it out and eventually the band did it live. I remember Mike Young pulling me around the dance floor on a chair I was standing on while jamming out with this song. That’s the amazing thing. I wrote the lyrics for Hole In The Ground in the early 80’s, and the music for In The Line Of Fire in the late 80’s (maybe 1989?) and then in 1991 or 1992 I took the two and married them into the song you hear now. It’s as if they were made for each other, but had nothing to do with each other. It’s pretty cool when you think about it, and then listen to the song with the singing and lyrics and realize they two were created so disparately from each other. You don’t need millions… This album was recorded with the following equipment (as I remember it)

  • Atari 1040ST with NO Hard Drive (floppy’s only) using Passport’s Master Tracks Pro sequencing.
  • Some long forgotten MIDI time sync box hooked up to the Atari (which had MIDI in/out built right in!) and the Audio Technica 4-Track.
  • Audio Technica 4-Track 3.5 I.P.S. mixer/recorder. This machine was a beast. It had a 6 channel mixer and XLR inputs. Switchable tape speed between high speed (3.5 I.P.S.) or normal tape speed (1.75 I.P.S.) I can’t remember the model number, but maybe some day I’ll search the web for it and post a link here. It was an amazing piece of equipment for it’s time.
  • Drums were sequenced using the Atari and actually played a KAWAI (or AKAI?) R-50 drum machine. This was a cheaper competitor to the Alesis that came out in the late 80’s and blew everybody away. Funny, but compared to today’s high bit-rate digitally multi-sampled drums like ToonTrack, it was pretty good.
  • Bass guitar was sequenced on a KAWAI K-1 rack-mount synth. I loved these synths and bought 2.
  • Guitars were played by me on an original Ned Steinberger Rutherford-designed American Made headless Steinberger. This is the one with the white pin-stripe and Steinberger in white letters on the body. It had active pickups and a “trans-trem” bridge that could change the tuning of the guitar up or down two half steps and lock it in. It was the best guitar I’ve every owned or played and I regret selling it to this day. I see they’re coming back now with the graphite neck and newly re-designed trans-trem. I’ll have to try one out.
  • Singing was done by me using an ElectroVoice ND something-or-other microphone: it was the one with the Neodymium magnet, and I still have a hard time using anything else today (even though I don’t have it any more, I check Ebay all the time for one in perfect condition).
  • The whole album was played and mixed down to a Fostex 160 high-speed 4-track for masters, then those were played back to the Audio-Technica which recorded them at normal speed. Back then, tape copies were made from those low speed masters.

To get the album ready for the digital world and this release:

  • I borrowed Randy McQuilkin’s (see Dark Waters) Fostex 160 4-Track, pulled out the old tapes, and played the high speed masters into Cubase. From there, I cleaned up the recordings and applied some “Maximizer” and EQ to the recordings. That’s it. Then I mixed down to 44.1 kHz WAVE and there you have it.

Pretty cool, huh? Check out the Lyrics pages below, and on each page you’ll find an Artist Notes section after the lyrics where I try and break down the song and explain what the meaning is behind it. Oh, and by the way, I’m not religious at all. In fact I think religion is, as Neil Peart puts it, “the plague that resists all science”. I do believe in spirituality, and I do believe that there’s a higher power, but the message in the album is that you’re going to be in big trouble when you die and have to face the true creator and are guilty of using him for earthly gain. Enjoy!

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