(UPDATE: This song & the ones below now out on Six Songs In July.)
In the late spring, early summer of 1984 I was malingering in a house some friends Jenny and Jim were subletting on Baker Street in Charlottesville. Yeah, watching cable (my first extended exposure to MTV), washing dishes at an Indian restaurant (until I was fired), eating lentils (and little else).
And recording songs on an 8-track reel-to-reel that Brian Daley was nice enough to let me use. Indeed it was Brian's generous offer, with no prompting from me. Downtime when he and his band mates from Rude Buddha weren't recording in the basement, I could thread a scratch reel of tape and record a song of my own.
In spite of my lack of experience with serious recording equipment, I recorded four songs. Running Scared was one of those.
While Running Scared had already been written weeks before, I believe Mary Magazine had just been written.
I only recall that in the months previous, when I'd lived above a pipe shop that mostly sold sweatshirts, my neighbor Sean was constantly playing Elvis Costello's Imperial Bedroom. I loved that record, every damn song on it, and could not get sick of hearing it. So you can blame Sean and Elvis for the above.
Here and in the other songs above there's the beat of a Synsonics drum machine. It was a fun gizmo and I'd used it for a while by this point. An early rack delay of Brian's gave the guitar its gallop. I think there's a keyboard part in there somewhere played on a tiny Casio my friend Jim had.
It's Time, the fourth song, is good in some ways and embarrassing in others. I'll sneak it on when no one's looking.
Aside from Rude Buddha, I recall Baby Opaque playing at Baker Street. The guitarist Todd was an actual (i.e. non-malingering) housemate. The drummer Michael was one of the first person in my undoubtedly sheltered life to mention Weekly World News.
After several weeks in this house of music, it was time to malinger someplace else. My friend Bob and I flew standby on People Express to England and wended our way to Paris . . .