skid row

Skid Row in My Mind

(Blackie Farrell)
Piano: Danny Levin
Bass: Jon Blondell
“Peggy, the Cocktail Drum”: Chris
Electric guitar: Don Margraf

If there’s anybody out there who loves Blackie Farrell and his songs as much as Bill Kirchen does, it’s Chris. . . and a few thousand others of us. There was never any doubt we had to do some Blackie on this album, but what songs? There are hundreds of good ones and none for a girl to sing. They’re all about life on one side of the great gender divide. But Bill recently recorded one of the best Blackie ever wrote, it had been on my mind. One night in a cold flash I realized only one word in “Skid Row” had to change, and the song would go straight to the broken hearts of millions of trapped women. I had to juggle a whole line to flip the gender, and I’m sure Blackie’s comin after me with a hockey stick some day, but to hear Chris sing a Blackie song . . . I’ll take the check.

In the studio for the final vocal it was just me and the engineer at the board. Chris was having an awful time getting through the last line. Take four, five, six, the waterworks wouldn’t stop. The engineer looked at me and said, “What’s her connection to this song anyway?” I couldn’t think what to answer, I just thought, man there are some people lucky enough not to know this.