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Damn the Speed Limit © 1981 Jerry Boutot

I was Saturday Night drinking JD on ice with a girl I met at Asteroid’s Pub
The bartender’s alright – he’s got good advice. He say “come on man, get into this one”
“Nothing compares to what I’ve got here. It’s called Aurora Borealis – listen to me now…”
“You better not drink it if you’re driving tonight.”
So I drank it down anyway and I fell into darkness

Drunk and on my face I crawled outta the place
Got into my Solar Car – Blast off to the stars
Drunk driving in Outer Space – doing 360’s all over the place
I passed a Policeman – try and catch me if you can

Damn the speed limit – in space you don’t need it
On earth you may need it – in space I never heed it
Damn the speed limit – I go so fast I can’t read it
Stellar Police say goodbye – Warp 5 – I got overdrive.

Let me tell you ’bout my car it’s the dream of the stars
it’s got an anti-matter impulse engine under the hood
And my FM rocks my favorite station from Mars
it’s got two Octiqued Triaxials – they sound real good
Now the Stellar Police are gaining up to me
so I turn up my radio and give it more speed.
Suddenly I see I got 3 after me
so I shift it into overdrive and I went into hyperspace

Drunk driving in outer space.
I really love to race.
Police are so much fun.
They like to chase – I like to run
Drunk driving in outer space – doing 360’s all over the place
Hey mister Policeman – try and catch me if you can

Damn the speed limit – in space you don’t need it
On earth you may need it – in space I never heed it
Damn the speed limit – I go so fast I can’t read it
Stellar Police say goodbye – Warp 5 – I got overdrive.

About the Technology used:

All of the music you hear is programmed. Everything. Drums, Bass, Guitar, and Keyboard. Vocals were recorded by me in early February 2011. Equipment/Instruments:

About the song:

Damn the Speed Limit has a very interesting history, but for a long time I couldn’t or didn’t remember it. But I have to give thanks to my very good friend Bruce Gregory for reminding me about how the song was penned.

The year was 1981 and I was living in a basement apartment of the then-named Stonehenge Apartments in New Milford, CT. There was a group of close friends that hung out there pretty much all the time. It was a tight-knit core group of a few close friends. Bruce, Ron, Rich, Gordy, Ed, Mark… (R.I.P Mark) – that was the core. There were more but I think that’s the real list of the most frequent attendees to the Scary Jerry Multimedia shows. I won’t get into what that was all about. It’s funny but back then it seemed like we had all the time in the world and didn’t really need much money, you know? That little apartment was good enough. The idea of 5000 Square Foot homes and brand new cars never occurred to us, really. All the cars I ever owned back then cost less than $500. In today’s dollars that’s maybe $1500 to $2000, so that ain’t saying much about the quality of our rides.

But I did like to earn a little extra money so I was doing some Guitar lessons for my friend Ron. I had discovered Rush around that time and was doing pretty much nothing but songs from the Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves albums. Ron wanted to learn some of the songs so I started teaching him. He paid me something… don’t remember how much (may have been barter) and we did lessons for a few months. During one of the lessons, we were talking about the band Devo and I said I’d like to write a song like that and Ron said (I paraphrase) “You can’t write New Wave!” and as we were standing there and the challenge was issued, with our guitars strapped over our shoulders and facing each other about 3 feet apart, I just ripped off the main part of the groove of the song:

E-E-F#-G-E-E-F#-G-E-E-F#-G-E-E-F#-G A-A-B-C-A-A-B-C-B-B-C-B-B-A-G-F#

without even thinking. Well, it stuck and I grabbed some paper and wrote out some really rudimentary tablature. There was no recording equipment, not even a little basic cassette recorder, so it was written down.

Some time passed. It may have been the next day, or two days later, or a week or a month… I don’t remember. I was hanging out at Bruce’s parents house in the back yard throwing a Frisbee. Somehow, I don’t know how, but the Frisbee got bent in half and it was being thrown around. Behaving as a bent in half Frisbee should behave, the thing was just wobbling around and was very unpredictable in it’s flight pattern. We were all laughing about it and I (at least I think it was me – could have been Bruce) said something about how the spaceship was pulled over for Drunk Driving in Outer Space and BAM! – that’s all it took to get inspired. I frantically thrashed around begging for somebody to bring me a paper and pencil, and I sat on the lawn in Bruce’s back yard in the sun on a beautiful sunny summer afternoon and knocked off the lyrics to Damn the Speed Limit. The curios thing is, I didn’t relate it to the music yet. It was just words. I followed a pretty straight pentameter in the rhythm of the words, so I guess you could pretty much put it to nearly any 4/4 music if you have the skills. A lot of my songs were written that way: with the music and the lyrics written at totally separate times with no knowledge of the other or any idea that they’d be married. Hole in the Ground was written that way. In fact, that song was an instrumental that my band Mission Control used to play. It was married to the lyrics in 1992 or 1993 when I needed music for the song while doing the Life and Death album. Thing is, the lyrics were written about 6 or 7 YEARS earlier…

So at some point and when it exactly was is lost to history, I married the New Wave chops I hammered out that day with Ron to the lyrics I wrote another day with Bruce and the bent Frisbee. I used to play the song by myself with my electric guitar at parties, and then Bruce started playing his Sax along with it, but it never made it into any band repertoire, mainly because it was a difficult song to nail down the correct style on. Over the years I tried recording it (and I’ve got some pretty bad recordings of it) a few times and it always centered more around synthesizers than guitars. So when I set out to finally release this song, the goal was to make it a mostly guitar, bass, and drums with a little background sax. I’m real pleased with this version and I hope my fans enjoy listening to it as much as I do.

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