Ongoing Reflectamenta

by John Tabacco

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1.
LIGHTEN UP FRANCIS Francis remembers Cries as he sips his coffee That night in September Renda and him back to the tracks To flirt with the dead – make a connection Slip between worlds and come out the end Hoping to feel like a new resurrected God And see their friends Lighten up Francis you’re a dough boy At a Mexican Wedding Lighten up Francis you’re poor boy Wrapped up in regrettings The past is always on your mind She’s gone! Come back to the living Francis and Renda Two of the brightest bulbs you’d meet Questioned their routines Searching for answers down the street take’m up to the end of the station No one around to mess up their plans Both of them seeing the light in the tunnel Holding hands Till the other ran Lighten up Francis you’re a dough boy At a Mexican Wedding Lighten up Francis you’re poor boy Wrapped up in regrettings Lighten up Francis you’re a dough boy At a Mexican Wedding Lighten up Francis you’re poor boy Wrapped up in regrettings The past is always on your mind She’s gone! Come back to the living Is there any point to this story? A lapse of common sense - perhaps And death - it plagues us with cosmic riddles The answers availed to us mere mortals Once we kick ourselves over the fence Perhaps… And we start living life again… Gotta start living life again Start living life again ...Oh yeah! Lighten up Francis you’re a dough boy At a Mexican Wedding I said, lighten up Francis you’re poor boy Wrapped up in regrettings Lighten up Francis you’re a dough boy At a Mexican Wedding Lighten up Francis you’re poor boy Wrapped up in regrettings The past is always on your mind She’s gone! Come back to the living!
2.
THE BIG MACHINE 47 Sad does sadness Mad does madness There’s a sweet spot in-between Corks and Mayfers Karmic wafers All fuel for the big machine As we’re going down that road to nowhere Now here What does it matter? Lights and cameras Crisis actors Every shot like a Kubrick scene Snakes and ladders Baseball batters Hitting homers on borrowed dreams Moksha waters Cosmic orders All fuel for the big machine All fuel for the big machine in bed Fortune cookie is read: “You will find the truth inside a lie” Sad does sadness Mad does madness There’s a sweet spot in-between Lights and cameras Crisis actors Every shot like a Kubrick scene Chutes and ladders Baseball batters Hitting homers on borrowed dreams Moksha waters Cosmic orders All fuel for the big machine For the big machine In bed
3.
Pisces is the next of kin That’s where it begins The smell of your skin Down to the recipe at the bottom of the ocean Where it lies in the sea trees of the nebula sun Cold damp opening for the tomb of the lost crusader Fishing for bait it’s the closer for the whole shebang Prime rate! Stop! It’s a winner. The barracuda sleeps tonight from reading the Sunday paper’s news.
4.
DOWN TIME Get on the highway and head for the shore Catch my reflection in the sky I got this feeling I’ve been here before but I don't know why Could it be that… Down time headin' 'round again When I try to reach real high someone always moves the sky Down time and I'm found again maybe it's not that tragic... Cokes on the dashboard and sun in our eyes Who could ever want for more? Some say we're children just filled with surprised And laughing like before But I know that... Down time headin' 'round again When I try to reach real high someone always moves the sky Down time and I'm found again - maybe it's not that tragic... Down time headin' 'round again Missed the cradle when it fell Another day is shot to hell Down time and I’m found again Maybe it's not that tragic... Blind ambition got me no where fast Heard the phone ring but I missed my calling Took a new step made it last We're strangers in paradise tonight Down time headin' 'round again When I try to reach real high someone always moves the sky Down time and I'm found again maybe it's not that tragic... Down time headin' 'round again Missed the cradle when it fell Another day is shot to hell Down time and I’m found again maybe it's not that tragic... Down time Down time Down time Down time
5.
A Woman Named Vengeance What were you like in your formative years? Did you have any toys did you have any tears? Did your mother conceive you in horror or heat? Did you suck at the bosom of truth or deceit? Did you torture your dolls Did you cuddle your pets? Was your childhood sunshine or only regrets? If I looked in your closet, tell me what will I see? A chest full of bones or a tea set for three? Your life is a riddle, I don't have a clue I wish you were simple But there's nothing I can do to get through to you A woman named Vengeance That is your name A woman named Vengeance As clear as the shape of my face A woman named Vengeance Your mystery remains A woman named Vengeance The reasons locked inside But I won't run and hide You're all that I've got today Were you Valedictorian? Did you go to the prom? Or spend the night looking for something to bomb? Did you make your mom proud, Does your father stand tall? Should I look for your face on the post office wall? Did you play make believe Did you wear your mom's heels? Rip the legs off of spiders, just to see how it feels? Were you ever a mother Were you ever someone's wife? Should I ask all these questions or maybe think twice? Your life is a riddle I don't have a clue I wish you were simple But there's nothing I can do to get through to you A woman named Vengeance That is your name A woman named Vengeance As clear as the shape of my face A woman named Vengeance Your mystery remains A woman named Vengeance The reasons locked inside But I won't run and hide You're all that I've got in bed A woman named Vengeance A woman named Vengeance That's all that I've got A woman named Vengeance A woman named Vengeance A woman named Vengeance That's all that I've got A woman named Vengeance
6.
QUEEN AND A KNIGHT She's got the devil in her eyes And she don't care about your lies Her game of love is pretty rough And though you think you're pretty tough She'll have you crying out "enough" 'Cause she's a queen and a knight A queen and a knight Keep you guessing A queen and a knight A queen and a knight A curse or blessing Don't say nothing stupid Or she'll get all down and cupid With an arrow straight through your heart Straight through your heart! You've got a fancy London flat And you might think that you're all that But when you're steppin' off the street It's not your equal that you'll meet She'll have you beggin' at her feet 'Cause she's a queen and a knight A queen and a knight Keep you guessing A queen and a knight A queen and a knight A curse or blessing Don't say nothing stupid Or she'll get all down and cupid on your ass! No second chances No regrets Leather boots and cigarettes Full of chains and chain of fools All beggin' her to make the rules She lets 'em them know their beneath her station "Cause her name is Domination Lou! He's talkin' German Kissing French He straps you tightly to the bench He says he'll please you with her lips And then he'll scratch you with her fingertips While your sacred package gets whipped 'Cause she's a queen and a knight A queen and a knight Keep you guessing A queen and a knight A queen and a knight A curse or blessing A queen and a knight A queen and a knight She'll keep you guessing Don't say nothin' stupid Or she'll get all down and cupid With an arrow straight through your heart
7.
Bota Batta Bota Batta Bota Batta Bota Batta! Big ole' calamine brother and his holding crew are forcing my offspring to deprive me of oxygen. It is working.
8.
NO MATTER THE COMMOTION Every day's a gift when I hold it in my heart It makes me wanna sing no matter the commotion Every day's a gift when I hold it in my heart Even if for only just a moment
9.
REST OF MY LIFE Major pain conspiracy straight up ahead Pretty much that's all I see before I get into bed Waves of sadness fill my day - so hopeless I could cry But not enough to do me in I just go to sleep with you in my mind It's OK It's alright I'll be fine If I can dream of you the rest of my life I don't care I don't mind If I can dream of you the rest of my life It's OK It's a sign If I can dream of you the rest of my life I know you'll come around Is it a particle or a wave that is dancing in my eyes A matrix world reality of ones and zero lies No escaping no relief The program fix is in The only thing I look forward to Is when my sleep begins It's OK It's alright I'll be fine If I can dream of you the rest of my life I don't care I don't mind If I can dream of you the rest of my life It's OK It's a sign If I can dream of you the rest of my life I don't care I don't mind If I can dream of you the rest of my life I don't know who you are Have we always shared this space? By the looks of it the fall is coming I'm preparing for the final chase Meeting you face to face It's OK It's alright I'll be fine If I can dream of you the rest of my life I don't care I don't mind If I can dream of you the rest of my life It's OK It's a sign If I can dream of you the rest of my life I don't care I don't mind If I can dream of you the rest of my life If I can dream of you I'll be fine
10.
11.
WE MAY CALL YOU STATUE (2018) We may call you statue We may call you a seal We may burn the hairs on your brow Depends on how we feel We may tie you to a soap box We may have you play a fool We may hold you for ransom Or strip your golden rules ‘Cause you’re a slice of moldy clay Rather clueless and unreserved But that’s beside the point you see It doesn’t matter to much to we (And it was at this point the nitrous oxide started to wear off... Dig?) We can sell you a “Edsel” We can chain you in spikes We can coat you with rayon Or disconnect your pipes It’s a freedom you can count on It’s a freedom to rejoice It’s a freedom you will live with And you haven’t got a choice ‘Cause you’re a slice of moldy clay Rather vapid and un-preserved And like a traffic light in space We’d rather see you than have you heard (The Happy Feet Puppet Dance plays here…) We may call you statue We may force you to steal We may feed you the God you believe To us it’s no big deal It’s a dogma you can count on It’s a dogma to rejoice It’s a dogma you will live with And you’ll never have a voice! (May have something to do with the DENTIST!) ‘Cause you’re a slice of moldy clay Rather helpless and unreserved But that’s beside the point you see It doesn’t matter to much to WE! Because we’re willing to take you home I said, we’re willing to take you home! Take you home Yes, we're willing to take you home Home - you gaze up to see your soul If you only knew... YOU'RE GONNA DIE SOMEDAY Scarepuck City Parade Where the actions speak louder than words And words that make the scene ignite like gasoline To burn a quick friend on the side And you question what does it mean? As a dark machine steals for your seat You’ll fight as those who watch will stare and twitch a lot And take a few bets on the side Hide? The situation’s clear : Convinced you have no reason, Here you are and still your actions are the same No matter where you go - what you do - or what you say A little voice reminds you that you’re gonna die someday! COLD AND EMPTY Cold and empty I wanna go back home Home - remember when I felt assured? When I felt secure Cold and worthless Hey, I just don’t belong Alone - I travel in a circle-line If I should die... Maybe Just maybe I’ll return again And maybe Just maybe, I’ll reach the spinal end to find I’ve always been... Cold and empty I wanna go back home Home - I gaze up to see your glow If you only knew How I long for you Home! I wanna go back... Home! I said I wanna go back! Ah, you know I gotta go back I wanna taste those bright orange colored faces I wanna hear the sight of your umbrellas Home I gaze up to see your face If you only knew How I long for you
12.
I Know 02:48
I KNOW I know there is a great place I know there's more to come I know is filled with love and light And it's waiting for everyone And it's waiting for everyone I know there is a great place I know there's more to come I know it's just a breath away And it's waiting for everyone And it's waiting for everyone I opened my heart Reached down inside my soul Best way to start is letting the fear go Guess it's written in the stone When it's time to go back home I'll be there I know I'll understand I know there is a great place I know there's more to come I know is filled with love and light And it's waiting for everyone And it's waiting for everyone For everyone For everyone I know
13.
TRIP TO CLEVELAND (2008) Susan and I had to take her son James to Meadville (a Dr. Seuss sounding place that lies next to Erie Pennsylvania). It was a four o’clock in the morning drop off at a deserted Pizza Hut parking lot. The reason? Father's day. James was gonna see his dad. It was a grueling three hour long car trip from Honesdale PA that was peppered with stimulating talk about Star Wars, pin point accurate shout outs of "There's a Toys R Us Mom!", the existence of God, the importance of having Winterfresh™ gum at all times and Beatle worship. I dosed off once or twice. Nonetheless, the father and son transaction worked out smoothly and Susan and I ended up at a nice hotel right in Lake Erie. Well, not actually in the lake of course (insert wet dream joke here) but near by. The bed in our room was by far the most comfortable one I've ever slept in. Seriously. I was so comfortable I almost cried. Any position you slept in was equally as comfortable as the next. And when I woke up my muscles didn't hurt, make back felt great, I didn’t feel nauseous nor did I have one of those terrible migraines. In other words, I did not feel normal. Good points so early in the trip. Cool. Another plus was the people in Erie seemed so friendly and accommodating. I guess everyone wakes up in that kind of bed around there, (eerie). Of course I must not forget to mention that Susan fulfilled one of her perverted life long dreams, which was to stick her big toe in the actual lake. Much to her surprise she really enjoyed it and so did her toe. Lake Erie looks like a friggin’ ocean. It's stupid big but lacks the menacing qualities you might find staring into the ominous Atlantic. The Erie beach is no smooth tropical carpet but we had fun skimming and collecting very alluring flat stones under a clear blue sky. Despite the sun bearing down on us we did not get a tan or feel tired. Actually, we felt pretty good. Anyway, our stay at Lake Erie was a brief one due to the fact that we had a reservation waiting for us on the outskirts of Cleveland, Erie’s next-door neighbor. Our initial goal: to check out the one and only Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. And that we did, after driving around the city of Cleveland four or five times marveling at the fact that no one was around! It was like a vacant movie set. All I remember seeing were two bored looking statues: One of Alexander Hamilton and the other his rival Thomas Jefferson and a sleazy little fellow walking a garishly painted Chinese hooker to his pimped up Chevy Nova. There’s a song in there we joked. Slowly a wave of depression fell upon us but we figured that would change once we reached our hotel on the outskirts of Cleveland and had a bite to eat. We cruised around quite a bit looking for a hospitable dining venue but all we came across were dubious greasy fast food joints and closed "cash your paycheck here" places. By 9:30pm on a slightly damp Saturday evening we eventually found an Italian restaurant that was on the verge of closing for the night. Our New York accents convinced them other wise and we were served a nice –a - taliano meal. Well, I thought it was good. I think I was just so hungry a bag of fried cigarette buts would have been a blessing at that point. We scarfed down our meal and headed back to the hotel complaining about how we did not take advantage of the last room we stayed in with it’s comfy bed and Jacuzzi. This time around the bed was uncomfortable, the scenery drab and we woke up feeling miserable (in other words normal). Our continental breakfast was top notch. McDonalds™. I’ll say no more. With a coffee in hand, Susan behind the wheel, we headed toward the actual city of Cleveland again, this time listening to Paul McCartney's latest CD, “Memory Almost Full”, (perfect optimistic music to set the day off). We navigated our way to the Rock and Roll Hall of fame with ease. No need for a GPS. It's a uniquely odd shaped building with various sides jutting out over Lake Erie. Ya can’t miss it. All Susan and I kept thinking was “God, it must get nasty here in the winter time when the lake effect snow hits”. Fortunately, the weather was a seasonable 74 degrees Fahrenheit with just a speck of clouds to ornate the cities small skyline. Parking was a breeze. Eight bucks for the day. We sauntered in through the big glass doors and were immediately greeted by personnel who quickly forced us to have our picture taken for security reasons. I suspected they were just hoping we’d buy the photos on our way out but no matter; we paid our twenty - dollar a pop tickets and proceeded to the lower level where apparently all the cool stuff was. And cool it was. The first point of interest was a slew of well-worn guitars in glass cases. Some played by Jerry Garcia, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix etc... I could still hear them ringing. Then as we entered into the main room, we were confronted by a myriad of psychedelic rock and roll fashion, rare 45s, collectible LP sleeves and various musical paraphernalia. Susan realized that she had the same taste in clothes as Hendrix and that both of us could only find ourselves wearing outfits more geared towards heavier gospel singers. The rock and roll dudes like Jagger and Richards and Bowie were skinny beyond belief. I guess a diet of heroin and more heroin will do that to you. Our eyes were quickly mesmerized on Michael Jackson's sparkling glove spinning around in a glass box. That was rock and roll? Ok. I guess it depend on how one would use such a glove. Then there was John Lennon's faded yellow Sgt. Pepper suit. It looked rather surreal without the Beatle filling it out. I wondered what it smelled like? We came across a revealing college letter Madonna wrote to her friend just before she ventured off to New York City. I doubt she ever thought her scribblings would be scrutinized so many years later under glass. It would have been more interesting if it was written on toilet paper in blood. Nonetheless, Susan found it intriguing and somewhat inspiring but I kept wondering what Madonna had to do with Rock and Roll. Well, she was skinny. Meanwhile, I dug the red ZZ Top car used in their videos and the actual drafts of Beatle lyrics were fascinating as well as some of the old school report cards. Apparently Jim Morrison was an A student who eventually veered off into wise-ass land. The progression was interesting. If only the lighting in the room was brighter it would have been easier to read these historic documents, but I guess that shadowy atmosphere is what hides all the stains. We buzzed right through the first floor in an hour and covered most of the rest of the Hall in another two. Somewhere around the top floor we came upon a large three screen viewing theater. They were showing footage of all the inductees from the Hall's inception to the present. To get there though you have to travel down a dark hallway and on the right side of the wall are gold etchings of all your musical heroes signatures. I found that fascinating. You can surmise a lot about a person’s personality by the way they sign their John Hancock. Some signatures even looked like logos. Nice penmanship Jackie Wilson! As Susan and I left the building (without Elvis) I could not help but feel sad that I was and never will be part of this musical history. Rock and Roll was a thing of the 20th century. That's it. It's over. Never again will you see that type of talent and excitement grace the stages. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame basically tells you from the start that this is it! From here on in the music world is all Myspace, iTunes, Spotify, guitar hero video games and 100% disposable. No more mystique. But perhaps it's always been that way. I just didn't notice it because it was new at the time and I was young and impressionable or just plain stupid! But man, did I look forward to that next Zappa or Paul Simon or Elton John or Stevie Wonder record. It was worth every saved, lawn-cutting dollar. Every anxious second, dreaming, waiting for it to arrive at the local record store, (even that a thing of the past now). The smell of a vinyl record can still bring a tear to my eyes. Those pieces of cardboard and plastic were my salvation. And if I were lucky maybe one of my heroes would show up on a talk show while I was crying my way through dinner, tackling the awkwardness of high school! Back then in the 70’s just to get a glimpse into the workings of some magical, musical genius was a rare gift indeed, (nothing like today’s in your face immediacy of Youtube). The playing field has been leveled. All you can eat 24/ 7. I miss that earlier time. The rock and roll illusion was special. Real special. It was something to worship and be in awe of. It gave me a reason to live. But as the Steely Dan song "Pretzel Logic" goes: "Those days are gone forever – over a long time ago". "Oh yeah"!

about

"Ongoing Reflectamenta" (a kaleidoscope of songs created from other songs and re-recordings of songs from the distant past), was created in tandem with the mostly instrumental CD,
"Pithy Percussion and Other Sequenced Allusions". Any similarities are not coincidental.

credits

released October 9, 2018

All tracks produced by John Tabacco except:
“Downtime”- Produced by Gian DiMauro and John Tabacco
Recorded and Mixed at Suburban Hermit Studio II***, Stony Brook, NY
Basic tracks for “Downtime”: Recorded, Mixed at Sonic Underground Studios**,
Stony Brook, NY

All Words and Music © by John Tabacco
Published by It Iz What It Iz Music (SESAC) except:
“Downtime” © 1995 by John Tabacco and Gian DiMauro
Published by It Iz What It Iz Music / Slip Code Technology Music (SESAC)

“A Woman Named Vengeance” © 2018 by John Tabacco & Eric P. Nichols

“Queen And A Knight” © 2017 by John Tabacco, Soren Skarback, Lars E. Carlsson

“We’re For The Dark” - Words and Music © 1970 by Peter William Ham
Published by Kobolt Music Pub America OBO Estate for Peter William Ham

'I Know" - Words and Music © 2018 by John Tabacco and Melissa Gould
Published by It Iz What It Iz Music (SESAC)

“Trip To Cleveland (2008)” contains the following background music :
Downtime © 1995 by John Tabacco and Gian DiMauro**
Bikini.com © 1998 by John Tabacco and Meryl Mathews**
Teddy Take Me To The CIty © 2009 by John Tabacco and Susan DeVita***
Burn Away The Haze © 2007 by John Tabacco and Eric Nichols***
Wisty © 1994 by John Tabacco**

JT: Vocals, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Margret Inthrax mentor etc...
Anthony Pomes: Electric Guitar on “Downtime”
Gian DiMauro: Keyboards on “Downtime”
Jerry Dugger: Lead Vocal on “I Know”
Joe Gioglio : Electric Guitar on “Lighten Up Francis”, “They Never Customized”
Laura Tabacco : Flute on Subconscious Collage
CD Design: © 2011 - 2018 by Farben Fosfeen Artwerks
SA3 Mastering - JT

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John Tabacco Stony Brook, New York

John Tabacco is a composer, singer-songwriter, producer, recording engineer, and visual artist.

Like an unfolding musical diary / puzzle, Tabacco’s music and art are constantly being re-worked, juxtaposed and intertwined.

For more info : www.johntabacco.net
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