Track 10 – “Curtain Calls”

I wrote “Curtain Calls” while visiting my brother in Colorado. He lived in Breckenridge at the time, and my sister and I made the trek out to see him in the summer of 1996. One night, we went to a local nightclub and made the scene. As so often happens with nights like that, I came home feeling lonely. So many people, so much mirth, and yet, in the end, we are all alone. After everyone else had gone to bed, I sat out on the back porch beneath one of the biggest skies I’d ever seen and wrote “Curtain Calls.” Like so many songs I was writing at the time, it dealt with the allure of the itinerant life of a musician, the life onto which I was embarking, and the strong ambivalence I felt about it.

An unrelated memory:
“Curtain Calls” was almost the last song I ever wrote. The next day, my brother and a few of his friends were planning to kayak down a river with rapids classified as “Class C,” whatever that was. He asked if my sister and I would like to use his neighbor’s aluminum canoe and join them. It sounded like fun and he assured us that it was no big deal. I won’t drag the story out, but suffice it to say it was, in fact, a big deal. The aluminum canoe hit a rock on the first batch of rapids, and sprang a god-awful leak. There was no bank on either side of the river and I repeatedly had to drag a sinking canoe to whatever purchase I could find while my little sister clung desperately to its bow, the river pulling at her in a terrible game of tug of war. The bright spot? This was back in my days of smoking, and every time we perched atop a rocky outcropping to regroup, I’d unzip the glacine baggie in which I’d been clever enough to secure my Camel Lights and furtively suck down nicotine. My sister and I now laugh about our close call that day, but I think my brother still feels lousy. Maybe he should.

Bonus Question:
Mason jars make an appearance in this song. I’m a big fan. What other of my songs feature Mason jars? And to what similar use as in “Curtain Calls”?


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