Song Analysis: Finger Nine, by DrumWild

This entry is to showcase a song from a collection of songs that I wrote and recorded in 2017. The name of the album was The Year of My Birth [2017]. I had almost called it The Year of My Death [2017] to represent the death of my old self. Good thing I didn’t go that route, as two people close to me died shortly after I started working on it.

There will be a link to stream the entire album for free at the end of this blog entry.

As things go with a collection of songs, some are better than others, and I most definitely have my favorites. Today, I’ll be writing about my favorite track on the album, Finger Nine.


On stage at The Whisky a Go-Go, late 2009, filling in with the band.

ORIGINS
In late 2009, I was hired to fill in last-minute for a band that had a gig at The Whisky on the Sunset Strip. They had paid $600 for the privilege of playing a 25-minute set on the stage, and would have to pay extra fees if they could not perform.

I had originally agreed to do the work for pay. But I liked the songs, and the band had some monthly gigs lined up on their Facebook page, so I decided to forego the pay for this one gig if I could get in on the money for those monthly gigs.

Of course, I would later find out that those gigs listed on Facebook were not real gigs, and were only there to make the band look busy so they could get more gigs. By this point, I had moved into an apartment that the band leader’s parents owned, so I was pretty much “in” the project.

That promise was replaced by another promise, which was joint ownership of a recording studio. I invested money for years, paying half of most supplies and 100% of other supplies, as well as installing my own gear. I would later be told that I “contributed nothing,” and would lose my investment and all of my gear.

The Control Room of the recording studio that I helped build. My total loss is estimated at $10,000.

That is another story unto itself. Today, I’m writing about the singer, Aaron. I will not use his last name, or the last name of anyone else, to protect the guilty.


ABOUT AARON
He was the “singer” of the band, and I use that term loosely. He was unable to improve as a performer, and rejected anything resembling help, since he viewed it as criticism. The owner of the band would taunt and criticize him a lot, so he was conditioned to be weak.

He would proudly refer to himself as “The Nine-Fingered Singer,” as if the number of fingers you have has anything at all to do with singing. Last I heard, he’s now the six-fingered construction worker, but I digress.

He actually quit the band shortly after announcing to all of us that he’s an alcoholic. This was after he was severely late for a rehearsal and had to get a beer first before starting. His announcement went something like this:

“Hey, guys. So, like, I just figured out that I’m an alcoholic so I need you guys to help me out. I decided that I have a three beer limit. I’m warning you ahead of time that I will try to drink more than three. If I go for another beer, you guys have to stand up and fight me.”

Ah, personal responsibility.

After he quit, the band and studio owner, Chester, said horrible things about him. Some of them were homophobic slurs. He accused Aaron’s wife of being a transsexual woman, so there’s also transphobia. Chester had absolutely NOTHING good or nice to say about Aaron.

This makes it all the more curious and funny that Aaron would email me to defend Chester for the song, “Peppered in Salt,” which is also on this album. “Peppered in Salt” was about Chester the studio scammer, and a woman named Kristen who was a cancer scammer who took me for a bunch of money. This album truly pivoted around these two people, who effectively destroyed my life.

In his email, Aaron wrote about how he wanted to “hug” me around the throat until I died.

His death threat was forwarded to the local police at the time, and were also given to the police where I live now. So if anything happens to me, my family, or anyone in my life, Aaron is their primary suspect, and he will be automatically arrested by default.


Single artwork for “Finger Nine” by Junior Martin.

INSPIRATION FOR THE SONG
After Aaron threatened my life for that song, I felt inspired to write a song specifically about him. It’s amazing what can come out of a weak death threat. Of course, he would never say that to anyone’s face.

So with a wimpy-yet-fresh death threat in my mind, I decided to start writing and recording at the same time.

The entire process to write and record this song took about 25 minutes.

The music was inspired by a track that I had heard the night before called “Mexico” by Billy Momo. They’re fantastic. In particular, it was the running bass line that moved me.

“Mexico” by Billy Momo.

The lyrics were inspired by my dealings with Aaron, especially since he was the one who called me to ask if I could fill in for their drummer, who was supposedly flaking out. I would later learn that I was brought in just to mess with him.

A link for the album will be at the end. But here, you can listen to the song “Finger Nine” right now, and then read the lyrics and the story behind them below.


LYRICS, EXPLAINED
“Finger Nine”
by DrumWild
The Year of My Birth [2017]

You hit me up in your time of need
I filled your cup so casually
Cracked a Coors and ditched the wine
All for you, Finger Nine

This is in reference to him contacting me in desperation, because they were supposedly running out of time to find a replacement for drums. I was able to step into their situation very easily and quickly. “Ditch the wine” is a reference to me foregoing payment for the emergency fill-in gig.

Later that week, we did the show
Packin’ ’em deep at The Whisky a Go-Go
Just sign me up, don’t pay the fine
My brother in arms, Finger Nine

This references the venue where we performed, and the band had a decent enough crowd show up, which at the time confirmed to me that I was making a good decision. I would be wrong. Again, referencing that he doesn’t have to pay me. “Brother in arms” is reference to the fact that I was a band member and we were in it together.

After this section, I give the song a “Two Tickets to Paradise” style guitar solo.

The weakest one was the first to go
You couldn’t handle the Bastard Code
We tried to help, but you just stopped tryin’
You shit on us, Finger Nine

As noted previously, Aaron was the weakest member of the band, and he was the first one to quit. He whined a lot about Jesus and some other things, which was odd. I hadn’t pegged him for a whiner, but I should have guessed. The “Bastard Code” was a name Chester had for the “code of ethics” that the band members needed to have in order to be involved. We all tried to help Aaron, but he wussied out. After that, Chester talked shit about him for two months solid.

You couldn’t hold your drink, threw hissy fits
You talked a big game and then you quit
The game is over, you’re out of time
Go fuck yourself, Finger Nine

As noted earlier, Aaron self-diagnosed as an alcoholic. After that, he was a consistent whiner about everything. He would talk about how he was going to improve, and how we were going to do some big shows, but he ended up quitting. I think the rest speaks for itself.

After this, the main guitar solo kicks in. I had to write and record a solo for my guitar lessons with Zoot Horn Rollo, so why not fit it in a song? I got high marks for the solo, and an extra pat on the back for the motif at the end.

Fade out.


IN THE END
I suppose that this is some kind of silver lining for all the crap I had to endure with these people. There are many things that I can say about this experience, but I’d most definitely not call it boring.

I don’t know if I’ll write about any other songs from this collection/album in the future. But it could happen. In the meanwhile, you can stream the entire album for free on SoundCloud. Thanks for reading, and see you soon.

Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

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