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INSTITUTION OF RECOVERING MUSICIANS
by Dr.Joey Only
Used to call me Canadian Woody Guthrie,
Used to call me Anarchist Stompin Tom Connors,
used to call me and call me before I became a goner,
used to recognize me from way over yonder and flash photographs and papparazi transponders that lit up with each new song I pondered,
everyone wanted to be the first reporter to catch me after recordin,
but I washed up before I succeeded on the wrong side of border and law and order.
Previously I was Johnny Anti-Cash because I rejected the values modernity has,
they wouldn’t call me Cash or Johnny Paycheque or Dolly Credit Card or Hank Bank Statement when no one ever worked harder at rejecting and objecting to Nashville’s glam obsessions,
they never called me a Daredevil from the Ozark Mountains and lately they aint callin me nothin.
They wrote on my report card that I was hard on myself like cement,
I read it in grade three and asked mom what self esteem meant,
then they reviewed my records but forgot to push play,
so they say this album sounds like nothin,
the truth was they never listened,
before they locked me into the prison of failed musicians,
something somewhere between a rehab center and a psych ward they’ve put us in,
there’s no rock and roll in here,
they sing old old fashioned hymns in this sanctuary of sick musicians,
they won’t even allow gospel because rhythm encourages dancing which is the gateway to heroin,
if you walk the corridors of dissonant chords and play out of tune pianos with your nose and guitars with your arms and nose and organs with your organ and direct the choir of liars while suppressing all desire they might not condemn you to eternal fire,
it’s possible to escape institutionalized rape,
but you will have to scrape by to survive five years of being out of shape,
they’re releasing my albums on 8 track tapes and don’t care that people use Mp3 players and gave up country music to listen to Slayer.
I wanted to be the wordsmith who forges poetry out of iron,
and makes metal music but I wanted to be the next Waylon Jennings,
but the producer took me to the forge and melted me down and molded me into something I am not,
you heard the songs we made but you just forgot about it a lot,
they called me the New Kid and Silly Vanilli and told me to blame my pain on the rain when I wanted to sing home on the range.
They called me Vanilli Ice Cube and marketed me in Cuba at the whim of a producer named Grand Pooh-bah Humbug Doo-Dah,
he claims he looked to the future and saw me sitting on a tonne of money,
liars are really that funny.
I would rather be Lawrence Welk than a one hit wonder,
I would rather be a tornado of thunder and blow down the walls that plundered me of every thought I’d wondered,
I’d rather be an earthquake so that nobody could ever take away my next big break,
so I could make this institution shake until my intuition makes the walls fall so that all the trapped artists in the hold can break free of their mold,
the producer was the warden and you did what you were told,
now we can escape those conservative conservatory to put on concerts and constantly tell our stories.
The problem with losing your mind is you can’t remember where you might have left it,
you’re just a shell who looks like he’s been through hell,
the clock is well after twelve.
I wanted to be the next best thing but didn’t remember how to sing,
my lost mind forgot how to play in 4/4 time,
I forgot how to make words rhyme,
it made songs that resembled slime and reduced me to a life of drug induced crime and beer with a hint of lime.
I willed myself to be the next Willie Nelson but ended up pretending,
it was never and never ending and continually extending,
I had the no hit blues that I drowned with booze until the institution decided to choose me and spit me out,
it chewed on my dreams and screamed at my very being,
cause I wanted to be the next Stompin Johnny-Guthrie-Willie-Waylon and me,
the next Hank Willie Stompin Tom shootin songs out of my sex pistols while raking in handfuls of godamned mammom.
I wanted to be the next Woody and the failure has been killing me,
all that disappointment ended with my pink slip and gave me a name tag that read ‘hello, my name is trouble’,
got any medication for musicians with addictions?
If I get through this I promise I will never sing again,
I’ll join the Army and play in the marching band.
You don’t have to understand my tragic lesson,
I just ask that someone would finally listen.
If no one wants to hear me sing anything then I just ask that you pretend to hear my story before my pre-mature end,
for lack of friends or compassion I’m coming to the last course of action,
either detoxification, extinction, anti-depression or reforestation,
when I rot down and feed everything as my last artistic act in the world,
my dissintegration is the basis of new life to happen…the end of this half man/half mad musician…let me out and I’ll do what I can.