“Joey”, A Song About Running From the Law with Bruce Hilliard
This was a challenge, and a show in honor of my friends that are requesting different genres. Hard rock, ballads, folk and even bluegrass. People tell me what I sound like, anything from Tom Petty to the Cowsills. And country was the pick of the week. So here it is.
I kept this one simple. Drums, bass, a couple of guitars and one vocal. People ask if I use autotune. No I don’t because most of my songs, anyway, to me, need to sound like a human is telling the story. It’s not all about pegging the notes.
And this song (I named it Joey because Joey sounds like a nice kid, or a baby kangaroo) this song was a good fit...a story song.
The idea of the lyric came from my dad 50 some years ago. On more than one occasion he’d be kicking back after a long day of repairing dogs and cats, reading the paper and watching the evening news on TV.
It was the late 60s...Dad in his recliner with a scotch and water, pontificating about the times: corrupt government, a war and people who didn’t want a war. If that sounds like the same news as today in 2020, well I guess some things never change.
Sometimes in the Aberdeen Daily World newspaper there would be a local story about a young man, a scared kid, that was killed running from the cops. Dad, having been one of those young men, would stop and feel the need to say “I don’t know why those policemen don’t just let the kid get away. They know if they chase him someone is going to get killed. I know I’d try to get away.”
That story stuck with me and was the inspiration behind this song...maybe the fastest lyric I’ve ever written. All I did was to take Dad’s words and try to put them in the right order.
Try to get a visual as to where and when this story took place. It’s totally up to your imagination. It’s really a good candidate for a video, too. It’s a song about a boy that finds himself in a deadly bar fight over a girl...he unintentionally kills his foe, he hears the angels begging him to run for his life and well...the words speak for themselves.