Look Again
(unreleased) - 5/80

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1) Lies (infoMP3)
2) That's Just Life (infoReal Audio)
3) Obsession (infoReal Audio)
4) Snake in the Grass (infoReal Audio)
5) Should I Say a Word? (infoReal Audio)
6) Difference (infoReal Audio)
7) Everyone's a Holiday (infoMP3)
8) Subway Song (infoReal Audio)
9) Everybody Had It With You (infoMP3)
10) Jungle Book (infoReal Audio)
11) The Other Side (infoMP3)
12) Look Again (infoReal Audio)


Look Again, the second album, was to show how far we'd come in such a short time.

Well, we'd gone somewhere pretty far, just not necessarily in the right direction...

So there we were, top draws in L.A., able to get into any club for free, enjoying the perks, the adulation, and the endless questions about when the new record would come out.

You see, we'd been coming out with a bunch of really good new songs during and immediately after the recording of the first album, and had worked them so far into the set that we were by the end of '79 playing more non album songs than album songs.

So we clearly needed to get moving on a new album.

Now, Jack Reynolds had just left in November, John Frank had just joined, and I had no idea how radically this little move was going to change the sound. We knew, after all the heat we took for the "tameness" of L.A. Explosion, that the followup album was going to have to be hard and loud.

Other things were happening, as well. Bomp had sunk a boatload of money into the first album, and hadn't made anything back.

They were therefore

A. Somewhat leery to finance another studio album of the same ilk.
B. Financially unable to finance another studio album of the same ilk.

I'm afraid we behaved a bit ungraciously to Greg Shaw and the gang back then, but we were, as you know, young and stupid. Bomp's counter proposal was to do a live album showcasing the new songs. In retrospect a brilliant idea, and one that might have changed the rest of my life. At the time it sounded like a copout, like Bomp didn't want to support us. Oh well.

The result was that we decided to find a studio that would allow us to record the album on spec (i.e. no money up front - we were broke as well), in exchange for a percentage of the royalties. The studio that went for this deal (name of which escapes me at the time) had as co-owner a fledgling producer named Jo Julian, founder of the band Berlin, and about to produce the first Oingo Boingo single. The deal was, they would let us record if we used Jo Julian. We agreed.

Vitus was upset with me at the time for a couple of reasons. (I'm sure there are more than a couple but you'll have to ask him.) I had pretty much run things for the first album, insofar as I could. I'd written every instrument overdub up in advance, supervised all the recording, and gotten my way for a majority of the mixes. Vitus, who after all had initially joined the Last only as official Band Recorder, felt left out of the very process that had attracted him to the Last in the first place.

Therefore, I decided to let Vitus run things this time around. Knowing that it would be quite impossible for that to happen if I were in the same room, I effectively banned myself from the mixing booth from Day One. But more on that later.

Finally, the first album was universally (at that time) considered a powerless, overproduced disappointment. Now, our live sound was more ferocious than ever, and the material stood on its own pretty well. I therefore vowed to absolutely curtail overdubs, to create as raw and honest a testament of what we sounded like at the time.

You can guess where this is going - yep, in an attempt to do better, we did just about everything completely wrong. The result is certainly raw and honest, but it's more like a raw and honest testament of what we sounded like on a bad night at rehearsal without monitors and coming down with the flu. There are many who like the record anyway, and indeed I admit it has its moments, but compared to what it could have been...

Besides, you'll soon be able to judge for yourself, right here on this little site.

At any rate, it's all a moot point. Word on the street after this one was completely done was "Sounds good, when will you be finishing it?" Our response: "It is finished." Response from person on the street: a disappointed "Oh..."

Now, Look Again (named after the song, and also a possibly clever title for a second album - then again, possibly not) was to have been our triumphant follow up to L.A. Explosion. The material was strong enough, the timing seemed right, and we went into the project convinced that this thing would lead to great success.

No major label would touch the thing with a ten foot pole (though SST wanted to put it out, again, more on all that elsewhere), we watched our following shrink throughout 1980, and then entered a five year period where nothing would ever go right again.

This album has never, ever been released.

—Joe Nolte

Lies (Joe Nolte, Summer 1978)

It was a Friday night and you were working late
She called and said she couldn't wait
And when you just stood there without a thing to say
A million other voices crashed into

Another night in the dark, you heard them say
Another night and another day
Of boredom, frustration, tears and regrets
Forever you will hold the memories of her

Lies lies lies and you
Don't look now I think it's through
Lies lies lies it's true
Can't run now the rent is due
Talkin' 'bout you

Oh when I really believe all the things that they say
I'm ready for St. Peter's gates
And here's a lesson for you when you're played like a fool
And you don't know what you're gonna do

It's just a brand new game that everybody plays
You gotta save your face
'Cause all their words won't save you from the

Night, night, night and you
Don't look now I think it's through
Lies Lies Lies it's true
Can't run now the rent is due
Talkin' 'bout you

So I was working at a burger joint in El Segundo, and a co-worker had just been stood up by a female co-worker (both teenagers) because he'd had to work late at said burger joint on a Friday night. The song's a true story.

This friend wanted to have a birthday party at the place after hours, and since they were all teens and I was (barely) old enough to buy beer, I got roped into the shenanigans. I bought multitudes of beer for a bunch of El Segundo teens, the party went on far too late, I was two hours late showing up for work the following morning (which only further aggravated the owner, who had shown up to find all the trash cans overflowing with empty beer bottles), and eventually everyone got busted.

It was at that party I debuted "Lies", to a bunch of drunken teens, many of whom would become devoted fans a year later.

—Joe Nolte

That's Just Life (Joe Nolte, 2/17/78)

People turn their heads to me
Happens all the time
Only shoulderblades I see
Every single time

Guess I outta know by now
I'm just not wanted anyhow
One more club that don't allow
The like of me around

I don't mind
That's just life
It's all right
It's the only one I know

Had enough of politics
It's just a lot of words
Everything's been tried before
Nothing ever works

People try and change the world
Say they'll make a better world
They get in and they get old
Same as all the rest

Rock 'n' Roll is here to stay
So they said in '58
All the rest is history
You know what I mean

Guess we oughta know by now
No one wants it anyhow
The world's a club that don't allow
The likes of us around

You don't mind
You call it life
But is it right when there's nowhere else to go?

We had played a show at the Whiskey A Go Go in February, sharing the bill with the Zippers, among many others. Watching another band from the audience, I noticed the current drummer from the Germs bouncing around in front of me, just to my left. Immediately to my left was a surly, mean and getting meaner by the second looking biker dude who was probably twice the guy's size. Said biker was directly behind Germs drummer guy, who, unwittingly, kept bouncing up and down and back and forth, and accidentally and unknowingly repeatedly bouncing slightly into the biker dude.

Biker dude finally decides enough is enough, makes a fist, and begins to rear back his arm.
Well, Germs fan that I am, I had to do something. So I grabbed Biker dude's arm (remember, he was probably twice as big as me as well), and attempted to give him my most earnest "we're all just having fun" smile.

Biker dude looks at me incredulously, begins to rear back the aforementioned arm in my direction, and I shudder to think what would have happened had not the Whiskey bouncers shown up at that moment.

Now - if you're a Whiskey bouncer and you have a choice between an 800 pound biker or a 120 pound me, who would you choose?

So I was thrown out of the Whiskey, scant hours after having been on its stage.

In retrospect, the bouncers probably saved my life, as far as I know no violence ensued subsequently, and I probably could've gotten back in the club ten minutes later.

At the time, however, I was outraged. I hadn't started the trouble - I was trying to prevent a fight! (Remember, I was young and stupid.) Anyway, this song came out of all that, the first line conceived being "One more club that don't allow the likes of you inside".

—Joe Nolte

Obsession (Joe Nolte, 1/20/80)

Once in a dream - a time
Long years ago I recall
I found myself before a wall of stone and bricks cracked with the years
And I swore to free them all
For it lay between me and someone
A girl I had never seen
Once that was me - watching and waiting
That was my dream till I found you

Once in a dream I cried
At the foot of a gate I could not pass through
Once I denied, I locked it inside
But you felt the same way too
And girl, I'd do most anything to be your friend
I'd stay with you - I know I could - right to the end
I'd do most anything you say

Once I was wise - I laughed
At the very idea that I would succumb
To the pain and the madness - the stuff of my dreams
Then I laid eyes on you
Now I can't concentrate - it's hard to live from day to day
The things I feel for you I don't dare even say
But that's alright because you know anyway

Now in my dreams I see your hair
Caressed by the winds that brought you there
See the days just die in the sunlight - oh

Once I had dreams - you know
You had the same dreams too
Years take their toll, but somewhere inside
Something led me to you - to you

See the days just die in the sunlight
Stars explode with the truth
See the days just die in the sunlight
Stars explode with the truth
Stars explode, turn gray in the morning
All on account of you
Sunlight strives - through the haze I tried
To find a memory of you - I cried

The mid-part ("See the days just die in the sunlight, etc.) was written, words and music, on December 3, 1976 as a bridge for a current song of Mike's called "Garden of Youth". Since we'd never done anything with that song, I stole the bridge for this one. The rest of this song evolved out of a fake Dylan thing I'd come up with October 8, 1978, but never finished, and the resulting combination as revised was written for "G", who I actually may end up naming.

Lyrically the usual over romantic nonsense, although I have actually had the dreams described in the song.

—Joe Nolte

Snake in the Grass (Vitus Mataré)

People draw lines where there ain't no lines
And they put you on the other side
You try to please all, but you miss someone
Whose hand's been cut and dried

Finally get to sing and dance all night
Finally get to see the morning light

Catch a ride from time to time
Along the airwaves of your mind
But ugly sounds still fill your ears
You thought you'd left behind

Finally get to sing and dance all night
A scene that seems to happen every night
finally get to see the morning light

But in that light you see it lying there
Just rolling in the grass
It waits for yo to cut your skin
The next time that you pass

A knife in the water - a snake in the grass

There's a feeling true that comes to you
That something could go wrong
And the silent age that held this city back for way too long

Visions of the minions in their riot gear
Suddenly you know there'll be no dancing here

Suddenly you feel you're not alone, you're in a crowd
Suddenly you see the other side

Finally get to sing and dance all night
A scene that seems to happen every night
Finally get to see the morning light

We've been getting held down so goddamn long
We're starting to get wrecked
If this damn thing don't turn around
Gonna see some violence

A knife in the water - a snake in the grass
Turn it around - see the other side


Brother Mike had noticed by this time that I wasn't adding music to any of his lyrics anymore (you'll recall that some of the first proto-Last songs resulted from such a collaboration), so he gave Vitus a bunch of Lyrics, including a song called "Pounding", which Vitus dutifully set to music. Vitus also managed to add a couple of in retrospect fairly mean Mike-directed lines of his own.

At any rate, by early '80 the happy merging of Punk and Pop people that had defined the latter half of 1979 and lined the pockets of happy club owners was beginning to dissolve. This dissolution would, among other things lead to our slow decline from the top of the scene by the end of Summer. Vitus, presciently intuiting what horrors were to come, took the "Pounding" music, shuffled it all about, and came up with "Snake in the Grass".

The principal prophetic line was "People draw lines where there ain't no lines and they put you on the other side."

Lines were, indeed, shortly drawn, and we did indeed find ourselves, by August 1980, on the wrong side.

—Joe Nolte

Should I Say a Word? (Vitus Mataré)

I saw her yesterday
I fell in love
In love

Seen here many times before
Close my eyes, I wanna see some more
Disappears like grains of sand
That pop up near no matter where I am

I see her walk on by
I fell my heartbeat surround me
Blood rushes drown me

Never take my eyes off her
If only I could have a word with her
Never could I speak out loud
She's disappeared into a crowd

Girl, just another girl
Tried so hard to convince myself
'Til now that never worked
That's just what I tell myself
I don't believe a word
Just another girl

Think you're oh bad news
Well I'll have news for you someday
So what you got to lose
No one wants it anyway
Now I find myself standing in line
Just wasting my time

I've seen her many times before
Always dream of things in store
Don't notice me, but that's all right
I petrify when she's in sight

Girl, just another girl
Tried to make myself believe
Somehow that never worked
Just another girl
Alone in the world

But maybe, just maybe
She's not the same that drives me insane
Yeah maybe, just maybe
I'll forget what I've seen, hold onto my dream


Another Vitus composition, and one of the ones I butchered unmercifully, earning lasting resentment from Vitus.

He'd produced a solo demo for me in early '80, as we were busily choosing and (mostly) writing material for the upcoming recording sessions. I liked the song - a lot - but it didn't flow real well - it was disjointed and strange and may well have been better than what I did to it, but... Ah well, you live and learn.

I chopped the thing up, added a little bit of music (very little), and even threw in a ska section (I was very into ska and rockabilly at the time - I would turn another Vitus song into rockabilly, which became Sin #2).

I like it, but Vitus doesn't like his singing on it, and this has been one of the principal reasons "Look Again" has never come out.

He'll kill us if we put this one online.

We may anyway.

He doesn't know where I live.

—Joe Nolte

Difference (Joe Nolte, 6/10/79)

The day I first saw you
The day I realized I was in love with you
I would not have believed that it would be the last I'd ever see of you
You told me you were not like all the rest
You said you had a difference
You drove into the night, and I believed though I did not know what you meant

A dream to dream
You told me you had waited for a year to fill your dream
And then we let it slip away like dreams do
Like the other dreams I've seen
I know I should have called
I should forget
I know some people could forget
Some people never dream, but with a little difference you look within

And I saw you

Sometimes I still wish I could find a way that would have made you understand
You had it in your hand, but you must have gone and found another band
The sidewalks shared my dreams
To the nightime streets I traveled once I came
While people watched T.V.
'Cause with a little difference it's not the same

So I hit the streets again
And suddenly I felt like I did then
Still I felt the wind
And it was singing of a chance again

And in a vision I watched as the whole damn thing unwound
While the doctors and lawyers and cops just stood around
They stood 'round
The walls fell to the ground

You know you must believe
You know it must come down
They shiver with the sound
When you feel it, too, it'll call for you
It's tumbling down

Come the 17th, the only killers on the streets are the police
Some people might have died
Some people shook their heads and stayed inside
Some people left L.A.
Some people joined the rockabilly train
Some people watch T.V.
But with a little difference you look within
And I saw you...

This is possibly my favorite of anything I've ever written. It is certainly the favorite of many O.G. Last fans. This one was written for "A" (I don't think there are any other "A"'s, are there?

The song consists of a few similar sounding verses and a (musically) completely different middle section. If you have therefore come to the immediately obvious conclusion - you're right! The verses and the mid section did indeed start life as two completely different songs-in-progress - the only two, in fact, that I was working on while immersed in the recording of "L. A. Explosion". Had no real subject matter for either of them, they were mostly just music with the odd lyric here and there, and I wasn't getting anywhere with either of them.

Then met "A", had an all-too-brief almost flirtatious moment, almost hooked up subsequently and didn't, and two weeks later, on March 17, learned upon my arrival at a punk show in Downtown L. A. that I had fallen into yet another "over before it began" scenario.

Which would have been good enough song material - however it was somewhat (initially) mitigated, and ultimately enhanced, by what was to unfold that strange evening.

For this was the evening of the infamous Elk's Lodge Riot. I'll probably say more elsewhere about that (personally getting thrown down a huge flight of stairs by one of L.A.'s Finest, etc), but suffice it to say that losing said girl combined with the riot was irresistible. I immediately threw the two songs-in-progress together, and began to work in earnest.

As one may discern from the dates, it would be nearly three months before I finished the song. Part of this is attributable to the fact that we were completely immersed in "L.A. Explosion" sessions, the rest attributable to the fact that I wanted to get this one exactly right.

I did.

—Joe Nolte

Everyone's a Holiday (Vitus Mataré)

Everyone's a holiday
Pop right up and pass away
Never see another face
Slip away without a trace

A world's on fire and oh, don't ask why
Your world's on fire - burning you

Candlelight call in the dead
Show us what lies up ahead
Never see behind your mask
The path ahead lights only black

What do you do when everyone you see knows that it's true
They say your world is burning down
Everyone agrees your way of life can't last another day
So they say...
So they say...

Sunlight call it a day
Summertime waste away
Treasures are to burn
The precious blackened urn
A world in trouble ashes and rubble

Your world is burning down, down to the ground...

Vitus' homage to the Mae West film Every Day's a Holiday. A lovely example of dark humor and pop hooks - the chorus especially being arguably the most Beatle-esque thing he's ever done. The demo he made of this was great, and the strange harmony that should not exist thing during the "World in trouble - ashes and rubble" part was taken note for note from Vitus' original. Unlike others, this is an extremely faithful version of what he had originally intended.

Oh, wait - I take that back. Damn, I was so proud of myself for a second, thinking I'd resisted the opportunity to meddle in one of his songs.

You see, that mid-section, based mostly on the chorus, was mine, words and (adapted) music. The demo version was just verse/chorus/verse/chorus, and I thought it might benefit from an extra part.

Guilty as charged, again! Forgive me, Vitus...

—Joe Nolte

Subway Song (Vitus Mataré)

The city and the streets are getting tight
But I can't sleep at night
There's a shadow hanging over me

No city sleeps at night
The sky caves in and the streets get tight
Dark shadows crush the light
'Til nothing's black and nothing's white
Way below and out of sight
A city cellar full of fright

Can't keep my distance anyway
Can't wait up for the light of day
I haven't got a lot to say

I take the subway home
I stand for all to see
I sit here all alone
There's something wrong with me
I feel the engines drone
Ah, must be the enemy

Can't control my destiny
I'm the one sprung from the seed
Lord, what's hanging over me?

I take the subway home
I sit here all alone
I feel the engines drone
I must be the enemy


Ah, yes, speaking of Vitus and my meddling, this is the definitive example. I really wanted to do a rockabilly song, but hadn't come up with anything. Vitus had demoed a song earlier that year that was essentially a slow, creepy, gothic, million voiced chant, with the haunting refrain "I take the subway home" repeated over and over. It was chilling and cool, and I had no idea how we would ever be able to do it live. The arrangement was, literally, a whole lot of Vitus voices chanting over a subdued organ.

Just for fun, I was sitting in the basement of the Church and goofing around, and started doing the thing with a rockabilly rhythm.

It worked - real well, in fact.

The lyrics are Vitus', and emerged (relatively) unscathed. Ditto for the music, though I did add enough room for some cool rockabilly licks.

Vitus hated the arrangement.

Then people began congratulating him on an outstanding composition.

Hopefully that mollified him, somewhat.

For me, I never worried about ruffling feathers in the late '70's. My concern was to create the best versions of the best songs possible, and I did not differentiate between dissecting and mixing up my own songs, or anyone else's.

By early 1980, I began to feel bad, that I had been meddling too much. I backed away, just in time for the "Look Again" sessions, stopped meddling as much, and let The Last become a more democratic organization.

Which is partly why we fell so fast from our exalted position in the early 80's, and which is probably why this album was never released.

—Joe Nolte

Everybody Had It With You (Joe Nolte, 1980)

Everywhere I run
I always hear about the things you've done
And it seems like you've been doing it with everyone
And it seems so strange when I hear them say
And I feel that I've been used
I wonder if it's true
I wonder why you had to do the things they say that you do

Sleeping alone at night
It's not fun it's not cool it's not right
Especially when I feel that I should keep you in sight

And it makes me shake and it makes this poor heart break
When you go out and hang around and then you say
You don't know why I'm blue when everybody had it with you
Every day I feel I'm even more of a fool

'Cause now I know the things they say to me are true
Everybody had it with you
Everybody wants to do it to you
Everybody knows the things that you do

So I talk to the walls and I laugh
But I just can't sleep at night, you know you're driving me mad
Oh darlin' I'm so sad
And I never thought you'd hurt so bad
But I guess I gotta try and understand what you do
'Cause if I try, I know that I can have it with you


In 1973 I wrote a song called "Wharf Rat", for a rock opera Vitus was creating. This was of course right in the middle of our strange prog-gone-crazy era, about which I trust I have or will write more about elsewhere.

I was frantically producing "songs to order" in early '80, as we were about to record this album and the roster of songs wasn't yet satisfying to me.

On August 20, 1977, I'd written a song called "Don't Go" (true story, written for "R", who had just told me that I made her nervous), which had nearly ended up on "L.A. Explosion" but didn't. (A definitive band version of this has never been recorded, though a reasonable 4 track demo exists somewhere.)

Anyway, I took the riff from the end of "Don't Go", and used it to start a new song. I wanted to do something Buzzcocks-like, with some of the dynamic of their magnificent song "Lipstick". Shortly into the writing process, I realized that the ersatz Buzzcocks melody I was creating was extraordinarily similar to that old song "Wharf Rat".


So I completed the melody lifting several musical bits note for almost-note straight out of that one, and the song was quickly finished. It was, at the time, a made up scenario, a tongue in cheek parody of my usual true life romantic mishaps.

It's not, contrary to popular belief, directly about "G", though "G" did express alarm that people would assume that. I laughed. I was wrong. People in years to come would indeed assume that, all the way to a rather unkind bit of graffiti on a dressing room wall of the Whisky a Go Go.


—Joe Nolte

Jungle Book (Jeffrey Lee Pierce)

Under the light - Dark parking lot light
Somebody's screaming - yelling into the night
I don't know if he's talking to God, or what
I don't anything - I just keep it shut

Under the light - dark parking lot light
I can look up and I can see the black and blue lights
I can look up and I can think of you
And Santa Monica Boulevard blues
Under the light - under the light

And still there's stupid songs down here
They all cry and I spill my beer
Yeah there's a lot of stupid songs down here
It's all in the Jungle Book
Yeah a lot of looney tunes down here
It's all in the Jungle Book

Well I walked the streets just last night
Some radio was playing some Al Green thing last night
Met up with Suzy and we rode for the town
We got juiced underneath the power lines

Well I saw the kids by the market stand
Rock magazines in their sweating hands
Look at her, you know she's such a dream
I'm always in love with such a dream
Under the lights - under the lights

And still there's a lot of stupid shit songs down here
They all cry and I spill my beer
Yeah a lot of racy tunes down here
It's all in the Jungle Book
Yeah a lot of looney tunes down here
It's all in the Jungle Book

Somebody's calling me far away
After all this time I heard them say
Well I better be stoned when the sun comes down
I heard them say
It's all in the Jungle Book...


By mid 1978 I'd known Back Door Man's Phast Phreddie for a couple of years, but only now started hanging out with him regularly. He knew this guy named Jeff Pierce, who had had a band called the Redlights, and at some point played me the Redlights' "Jungle Book". I was floored, and said "I gotta meet the guy that wrote this!" I did, and from late '78 through early '80 the three of us were inseparable drinking buddies. Now Jeff's dead, Phred's clean and sober, and I'm drinking a rum & coke as I write. Go figure.

(The above is almost verbatim from something I sent to a guy in New York who's writing a bio of Jeff, who as you probably know went on to form the Gun Club and became legendary. As it is Sunday morning, I am not, in fact, drinking rum & coke. At any rate, the best way to tell this story is with a couple of excerpts from the journal I kept in '79. Jeff's band had broken up, and I thought it was criminal that hardly anyone knew "Jungle Book" existed. I liked that song a lot. What follows are a couple of the aforementioned excerpts.)

Jun 1 1979

I called Phred's house. No answer.

Oh well, scratch tonight.

Half hour later I called Phred's again. He was home! Great... we agreed that he should get a bunch of people down there... solace in numbers. He said to call back at 9:00 & he'd know what was happening...

Nobody showed up for like 2 hours so we hung out & got plastered on Mickey's & Tres Equis...

Eventually people arrived... Thee Precisions' bass player, Jeff Pierce, Don Snowden, some people from Carl's Jr... All in all only 2 or 3 girls arrived & they were all taken. Whoopee. So everybody got smashed. I told Jeff that I would give him one month to get the Redlights back together, & then the Last were gonna do "Jungle Book". He couldn't believe I liked the song...

Jun 28 1979

[The Last are playing Gazzari's on a Thursday night in front of 60 people]

2nd set was pretty cool, and encore #1 is now history. We started into "Pushin' Too Hard", bringing it down as Jeff Pierce hit the stage to go into a long fake James Brown-live-record type intro. Then Phreddie hit the stage & the joint went nuts. Everybody danced, people pogoed & twisted side by side. They did the whole crowd tease thing at the end, Jeff cajoling Phred to come back out, etc...

Lots of girls with stars in their eyes. Bill Gazarri had an orgasm. Randall had an orgasm. Mike & David [my brothers] had to clean up the dressing room. Jeff Pierce wrote me out the lyrics to "Jungle Book". He doesn't want to do it so I said "fuck it, the Last will do it."

Jul 12 1979

Evidently Vitus was pissed 'cause I'd planned to put "Jungle Book" on the 2nd album. He [didn't want] to tell me, so he told Randall. Randall then called me & said that if we put it on the album, or I played in Jeff's band, I would probably make an enemy out of every Last member.

I was pissed, but reluctantly agreed to cool it, Redlights-wise.

Anyway, we proceeded to play "Jungle Book" throughout the fall of 1979, frequently with Jeff himself singing it. It was a hit, and the band finally relented, and we did indeed (obviously) record it for this album.

Jeff's original is, of course, better.

—Joe Nolte

The Other Side (Joe Nolte, April 2, 1978)

For years you've been running my life
As if I was a slave controlled by your word
"Do this, do that" till I started to scream
But never a sound could be heard

So keep on with your dreaming
It doesn't matter to me
'Cause even now you're sinking
Beneath the web you wove

(Everybody knows) I know I know
(You were wrong) You can't change the world
(All along) See your life work ebb away
As the days run by you
You're gonna have to run and hide

Now I ain't your puppet and I ain't your slave
I don't care what you want me to be
It's been a long time since we started this thing
And you don't mean nothing to me

Now it don't make no difference
What you want to try
Someday I'll go my own way
And bid you all goodbye

(See my life turn oh) I know I know
(You were wrong) You don't have all the answers
(All along) See your life turn dark and gray
As we turn to leave you
You better take a look and try to see

[From the original written lyrics. The refrain at the end was originally going to be: "As we turn to leave you, you're gonna have to open your eyes", and then "As we turn to leave you, you better take a look at yourself".]

Brothers Mike and David were frequently pissed off at me during the golden years of the late seventies. I was at once the oldest brother, as well as leader of the band they found themselves stuck in. I had, in short, become an Authority Figure, the very thing I was railing against in songs and interviews.

Interesting contradiction.

Anyway, as a response, I wrote this, which is an attempt to look at myself through their eyes. ("As we turn to leave you, you better take a look and try to see...")

David did indeed successfully leave, and has since played with everyone from Dave Davies to David Gray to Maria McKee to Wednesday Week.

Mike, however, waits for the phone to ring, waits for me to make The Last active again.
And he doesn't yet know that we have a confirmed gig on Friday, February 22, 2002, at Brennan's Pub.

Yes, I never learn.

The Last rise yet again!

And Luke, if you see this, contact me! I don't have a working number for you...

—Joe Nolte

Look Again (Joe Nolte, April 8, 1980)

LOOK AGAIN - Version 1 - early March, 1980

See my world - woh-oh look again
To the days I forsee I look
And then I look again
I really wish you knew

In the days of my youth, in the back of my mind
I could see if I really tried
The days when I would realize
The dreams that preyed upon my mind

Hey and I often wonder
Why I ever told you
How can you understand the things I do
How can you know what I say is true

Premonitions they run - unbidden they come
Late at night when I'm alone and in my room
And some of them entice, but others
Sing of certain doom

What do you care - 'cause the news is old now
I don't even know that it's true
And I don't mind 'cause of how I feel inside
Nothing has changed and I'm still with you

But if I look hard, real hard far ahead
I don't see - I don't see anything at all
And so my sights are lower now
And so the screen grows small
And it all sinks in as I hear the others say
If I really cared I'd make you go away
And if you knew what I knew what they knew
You'd do the same - you'll deny it, but you would not stay

LOOK AGAIN - Version 2 - March 10, 1980

See my world - woh-oh look at your world
See the days of my youth - woh-oh look again
To the days of my youth I look
And then I look again
I really wish you knew

Take a look at the people around you - the ones
Who attempt to decide your every move
The ones who can't look in your eyes
The ones who always lie - lie - lie

Hey look again - I told you
Now you will know that it's true
Now you're wise, you're onto all their lies
Now you can see and they don't fool you

Look at me - I'm a boy, she said - look again
I'm a kid without a single thing to offer you
I don't wash, I don't own a car
I never finished school

Do you believe all the things she told you
How can she think that it's true
Why does time appear so hard to find
Why can't they leave me alone with you

I look back to the days of their youth
And I can figure how they ended up this way
They filled their heads so full with lies of love
That only lies remained

And at times I can almost feel compassion, but you know
When they directly interfere with our lives
I wanna shoot them and lose them - destroy them
I wouldn't mind
Girl I only hope that we find the time

Sometimes I succumb and I believe the things they say
They say that I'm too old for you - and say it in a way
That it makes me almost wonder why
I ever wanted you to share my life
I hear disdain in every word they say
And it hit me just the other day

Well someone's gotta pay the price
And I don't know who, but I ain't got the time
I - I - I got someone on my mind
I would take my quest to the other side
But I work - and I WORK - and I WORK
And I wo-o-ork

And I work through the day and the night and I try
To eradicate your memory from my brain
But still I get the shakes, girl
When I hear you call my name
And I know that I won't give up and I won't
Let you go - it doesn't matter what they say
'Cause if you knew that I knew what they knew
And if they knew what you knew what I knew
They'd know there was nothing that they could do
Nothing has changed
And I still love you

LOOK AGAIN - Version 3 (middle only) - April 8, 1980

I look back to the days of their youth
And I can figure how they ended up this way
They filled their heads so full with lies of love
That only lies remained

And in the doom of their folly they tried to ensure
By berating every little thing you do
That they'd destroy every good thing about you
Oh I see it comin' and I wish you knew

See my world - please tell me where you fit
So many things you say hit home and hit deep and I hate it
And I feel so bad - I wish that I was dead
If you don't know why just think about what you said

'Cause I feel like I'm talkin' to a five foot wall
But I won't stop till I know which side you're on

Sometimes I don't know who you are
I try to leave you but I don't get far
But I think I oughta split from here
'Cause I won't find out for a couple of years
Who you are
Someone's gotta pay the price...

LOOK AGAIN - One Version too many (middle only) - Dec 11, 1980

And in the doom of their folly they tried to ensure
By berating every little thing you do
That they'd wear down your mind
And wear away the better part of you

Poison lingers long
After the sting is gone
Things they have said tarry long in my head
I'll probably hear them long after they're dead

And I wonder if I
Should turn and say goodbye
I always seem to make you cry
And someone's gotta pay the price...


Not content with "Difference" as the long magnus opus of the record, I came up with this one, written just before we entered the studio. It is indeed all about "G", and her sadly dear departed mother.

The verses and choruses came pretty quick - I'd been working on them musically off and on since late '79 - but I needed a completely different middle part, ala "Difference". Therefore, having stolen the opening riff from the end of the aforementioned "Don't Go" for "Everbody Had It With You", I now returned to "Don't Go" to steal, lyrically and musically, the lines "I feel so bad I wish that I was dead - If you don't know why just listen to what she said". Working with that, I had my midsection. Just couldn't figure out how to get back to the last verse.

Now, I had written a song in mid '79 called "Work", which I liked (and like) a lot but which nobody else did, so I took one of my favorite parts from it to bridge the mid section back into the last verse.

Lyrically the song is basically just a musical summary of our relationship at the time, with the gory parts left out.

Another of my favorite concoctions.

The song took place in three stages:

Stage 1, the first complete version of the song, was an early attempt at a finished product, in early March of 1980, when the song was still being treated as a normal 2 1/2 minute number. It consisted of a short intro similar to the final version, as well as three verses, with choruses in between. The melody for verse and chorus was already complete.

Stage 2, the version written March 10, 1980 and finished at 6:44pm, included a complete reworking of the lyrics, and essentially became the final song. Even half the midsection was in place at this time - specifically the second half, which included the stuff I stole from my earlier song "WORK". The first half didn't grab me, however, but I let it go at the time and declared the song "finished".

Stage 3 did not happen for nearly a month, but on April 8, 1980 I realized that, having borrowed the chorus from the song "DON'T GO" for "EVERYBODY HAD IT WITH YOU", the rest of that earlier song was now fair game. I therefore, just for an experiment, took a verse from "DON'T GO", messed with it, and threw it into the beginning of the problematic midsection. At this time I also rewrote a lot of the third verse, which led into the midsection. It all worked real good, and now the song WAS complete.

—Joe Nolte

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