Put Your Faith in Me | Crooked Roads

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About the artist

I grew up in the New Hampshire countryside, in a little town. A thousand people. Time was slow. Had about three friends. We rode bikes around the village common, played football with their older brothers, or war. I spent a lot of time in the woods. I wanted to see animals. They were magical to me. A brook ran behind our house. I fished for trout or caught crawfish in the summer and walked along it like a path in the winter. Shelves of ice on the rocks, quiet. I drew pictures a lot. That was my thing. Dad played guitar, piano and trombone. I plunked out some melodies I liked on the piano. Like “The Entertainer” and “Maple Leaf Rag.” Mom had Beatles records. They made me think if there is a God, He’s speaking through these guys. That music was unbelievably bright and bursting. Never thought about doing what they did.

Middle School. New town. More people, new kids. Trying to be popular, trying to fit in. Wear the right shoes. Played trumpet in the band mostly because Dad wanted me to. Things go on like this through high school. Magic dies. Typical.

College. Harvard to be exact. First time in the “big city.” Feel lost. But something’s waking up inside. Take some philosophy, meet some interesting kids. Join the Harvard Lampoon, a humor rag. I kinda fit there. Decide to be a writer. Short stories.

Summer after junior year, I’m staying with my Mom in California where she moved. I put on Dylan’s Freewheelin’ record. Comes on like a ghost—from some other realm. Cuts right through everything. Also reading DH Lawrence & Nietzsche. Instinct. I learn some chords on the guitar.

Graduation. Real world. “Poetry” starts coming into my head and I write it down. Weird things that I don’t show to anyone, except once to Robert Bly. He likes it, tells me to work at it. On the outside, I move to LA to write comedy with a buddy & we get an agent. But I can’t take LA and move north. Write a screenplay, option it to Warner Bros. Keep playing guitar on my own, until eventually I write some songs. Melodies come to me, sometimes like magic, sometimes when I work at it. Mostly it’s the lyrics that take time. I want every word to matter.