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Story Behind The Song - True Obsessions
09 September 2002
Story Behind The Song - True Obsessions


ROCK BOX
I don't regret much of the things I've recorded, but this piece comes close. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I may have been trying write something along the lines of typical 'guitar hero radio song' fare. It just goes to prove that you should never try to be something you are not. The song didn't come out badly at all, it's just not 'marty.' Music is a never-ending learning process.

ESPIONAGE
I always wanted to use this word as a song title. This song has it all, heavy riffs, Cacophony-like note sequences and typical MF solos, but on top of that, I did some rare experimenting with aggressive funk playing. I'm particularly proud of a bass line that I wrote for this song. Even bass ace Tony Franklin complimented it when I was teaching it to him! One guitar solo has a particularly high bent note in it. That was done by a little trickery. As I bent the note, my guitar tech pushed down on the string above the nut (guitar talk?) to make the note go impossibly high. So there it is!

LAST SEPTEMBER
Oh, the dulcet tones of Marty Friedman?I have no idea how this song came out. I had originally written a ballad called, "Forgotten Me" about romantic encounters on lonely nights on the road. Co-producer and engineer Steve Fontano absolutely could not stand the lyrics so we re-wrote the lyrics and changed the title. Hey, I never said I was Richard Marx! Anyway, I like the guitar solo in this one.

INTOXICATED
Another case of 'where in the world did that melody come from?' For some reason this light, happy almost r&b theme entered my mind. I mixed it with some sad Marty melodies and a heavy metal breakdown at the end, and there you have it. This was the only tune on the record that Jimmy Haslip played on. His style fit so well for the r&b part. Of course I had Tony Franklin bust out the heavy artillery on the rock part. I played this tune live on TV in Japan a few times.

SHINE ON ME
Great vocals by Stanley Rose! I worked him into the ground, there must be 100 harmony parts in this tune and he did them all himself. A real trooper. This was a fun song to do, I don't really have any others like it. Carmine Appice played some solid drums here.

RIO
I was in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on tour and I was stuck in my hotel room writing this song. I really wanted to go out and check out the town, but the lobby was pure chaos with fans all over the place so the promoter's staff wouldn't allow us out of our rooms. I was kind of bummed out, here I was in this great party town, surrounded by thousands of friends and fans, and I couldn't even leave my room. I just sat up and wrote this tune. When I recorded it in Phoenix, my friend and excellent guitarist, Angus Clark came to visit me in the studio. I don't know what it is, whenever a good musician is watching me play, I kind of have to pull out my best stuff. Why don't I just play like that all the time?

LIVE AND LEARN
Can someone tell me what these lyrics mean??? This tune rocks. The rhythm guitar kind of reminds me of what I was doing in Megadeth and the solo has a few cool twists and turns in it. The majority of the rhythm and lead guitar was played on the very first "KE-1 Marty Friedman model" guitar that Jackson made for me before they were released for sale to the public.

HANDS OF TIME
I had played on the demo of this ballad San Francisco while I was in Cacophony. I always remembered the tune and coincidentally enough, it was written by co-producer and engineer Steve Fontano. This was the most expensive song to do on the album. I originally had Stanley sing it but it was out of his range, so I flew Jesse Bradman to LA to sing it. Then, despite Jesse's flawless performance, I had Max Norman come in and computer tune every syllable of the vocal track. It's a nice song, but maybe it would fit better on a Backstreet Boys record than on the record from Megadeth's guitarist...

GLOWING PATH
We had already toured the U.S. twice on Youthanasia, and this song was written on the 3rd time around. Three times around the country means that we've already hit all the New Yorks and LAs and now we were playing the Kalamazoos and Poughkeepsies. Lots of time in strange hotel rooms writing music. It's easy to get bored on these long tours of tertiary cities so writing music kept me out of trouble to some extent.

THE YEARNING
Lots of good playing in this song, but when I listen to it, I can't help but ask myself, "What was I aiming at?" I just don't know. It's just music. It's a bit unfocused and is indicative of my frame of mind recording this record. It was my first solo album for a major label (EMI) and I was torn between writing vocal songs, which the label wanted, and doing the instrumental songs that I wanted. Tying it all together was quite a task, and I don't feel that I tied it all together convincingly. This record is my most disjointed and this song is a perfect example of a lot of good ideas with a haphazard arrangement. That said, I still think that the melody at the end is pretty cool.

FAREWELL
By far my favorite song on the record. At times it reminds me of that big instrumental on Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". There is a guitar and piano melody in the middle of the song which absolutely floors me whenever I hear it. I can't believe that I was the one who wrote it. Sometimes I think that I probably didn't, and that it was probably written by some great composer and I subliminally heard it and lifted it. Sometimes I just can't believe this rock and roller can create such delicate music.

THUNDER MARCH (DEMO)
I recorded this intending to put it on the first Cacophony album, but my amp blew up mid-solo(really!) and couldn't finish the song. That's why there are some scratch guitar tracks here. There was literally smoke coming out of the 100 watt amp head which was in the control room. As it burned, the tone kept getting better and better, so we kept the tape rolling as smoke filled the room, but then after a few minutes, the amp stopped completely. There are some serious tuning issues in this version, which I left in the mix for posterity.
 
 
 
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