A few years back I rented a V8 Ford Mustang convertible and took a road trip across the western United States. Route 66 of course! as well as taking in Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, San Jose, Monterey, Los Angeles and San Diego and many many other places in between and beyond. By far the best, and stand out point was taking that beast over the Golden Gate Bridge from Sascilido into downtown San Francisco. Boys and their toys eh!
The track Bullitt is my homage to the film of the same name starring Steve McQueen and featuring the wonderful soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin. I’ve loved San Francisco from afar, as a boy growing up in the 60s and 70s, glued to the TV watching Ironside and The Streets of San Francisco. The film was and is an icon, and visiting SF, trying to identify where scenes were shot became an experience in itself, discovering what has to be California’s best City.
It was TBCs’ first ever track, created in a damp, cold basement in playwright Jim Allen’s old house in Middleton, Manchester. Although only a rough demo remained of it after it was shelved, I decided to resurrect the track this past autumn and breathe new life into it. I don’t think I was prepared for how it would turn out, but I’d say it’s raised the bar for TBC by a country mile. The quirky bassline glues to the v8 drum rhythm like a hypertensive jazz impresario on a high octane rush of Dexedrine! (that’s very Ken Keseyesque). Adding some massive jingly jangly wall-of-sound guitars elevate the track to new heights and is very reminiscent of The Chameleons in their WDAMB period. Well, why wouldn’t it be? I grew up with that band, and they left a lasting impression.
Recording the track in my own studio took a week! Three days were dedicated to the drums and although I had Brian’s original recording to work from I decided to completely re-record using some amazing drum samples from Apple’s Producer Drum series. Doing it this way meant I could also track tempo more accurately. Bass, guitars and the vocal were then added to the cauldron and simmered with a little spice! The track is not yet complete to my ultimate satisfaction. I still only view it as a demo, but I’m taking the decision to release it as is, in the hope that some record company might want to show some faith in my music and give me a financial hand.
So here it is. Warts and all. Bullitt.