Album: Static Transmission
. . .
The hot streak initiated by Here Comes The Miracles continued on Steve Wynn’s next album, 2003’s Static Transmission, which was credited to Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3. Naturally, the Miracle 3 had four people: long-time accomplices Linda Pitmon on drums, Bob DeCastro on bass, hot shot guitarist Jason Victor — who would eventually join Wynn in The Dream Syndicate 3.0 — and Chris Cacavas on keyboards (though the album does say “with” in his credit, so I guess technically, he wasn’t a Miracle 3, but I’m not going to let that get in the way of a cheap joke).
And so it should surprise noone that my favorite song on Static Transmission was the one that both prefigured the new Dream Syndicate while going all the way back to The Days of Wine and Roses. That would be the rip-roaring “Amphetamine,” which started off with noisy, scratchy rhythm guitar from Wynn, and was both musically and lyrically what you want a song called “Amphetamine” to be.
On the seventh hour of the seventh day
The seventh son was looking for a seventh-stage getaway
The word came down from a blinding light
You got one chance, you’d better do it right
Of corse, by the time Wynn starts singing that verse, Victor has already kicked out some electric razor blade hot wire leads, setting the stage for Wynn’s tale of speed and dange.
I was driving down on the 101
It was late at night and I was thinking ’bout the things that I’d done
All of my regrets and and all of my fears
I was slipping the car from gear to gear to gear
Man, I really got going, started picking up speed
I hit 135 and I had everything that I’d need
Started shaking bad, fearing for my life
I let go of the wheel and I flew into the night
And just like that, it’s solo time. First Wynn recreates flying off into the night, and then, he and Jason do a twin guitar lead like they’re the boys who just sped back into town, before both taking off into their own directions, with Victor doing everything he can to reduce his guitar and your speakers to a pile of ashes, just a fucking fantastic pile on debris setting up the last verses.
God bless the child, god bless his soul
God perish the idea that he will die before he’s old
Gotta be cool, you gotta behave
Man, there’ll be time for that when I’m lying in my grave
You gotta watch your step, or you gonna lose your way
Take heed of your elders, do everything they say
Yeah, I gotta watch out for the man who tolls the bells
But if I fear for the devil and I fear for myself Lord I’m gonna have to fear for everybody else
That last long line was accompanied by a massive, pounding Pitmon tom beat, after which everybody starts singing what I think is “na na na na na na yeah!” as Wynn sings the outro verses, always ending with “I’m gonna live / Until the day I die”
After that, it’s just the backing vocals singing “na na na na na yeah” until “Amphetamine” finally fades out. To get a good idea of how much madness this all is, check out the live at KEXP video below. It’s fantastic.
“Amphetamine” Live on KEXP, 2011
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