The Venetian Book of the Dead: song-by-song notes by Kevin Hewick. 4.
Forget the fashion police it was the scope and sharp observation of something like 'Aqualung' that I was after. Alessandro and I were the children of Aqualung/Thick As A Brick/Passion Play/Tommy/Lifehouse/Quadrophenia/Tales From Topographic Oceans/The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway/A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers.. and we wanted one of our own..
..and for it to be 21st century protest songs.
..and for it to be torn from deep within and do justice to the tragedy in the story.. but also to uplift and be a story of hope as well..
I scrapped one lyric called 'Golden Pavements' and wrote a new one called 'Forgive' and that was the key to it all for me - after all the betrayal and conflict somehow there has to be forgiveness or we die with bitter and twisted hearts.
In all this process as well as Alessandro I had constant telephone and webcam contact with Cynthia my wife-to-be, then still living in Texas. From Venice to Houston to Leicester many ideas were explored. It opened me out much more to a collaborative way of thinking and Cynthia was, and is, a perceptive, inspirational critic who played her part in the evolution of the ten final lyrics I wrote. She was the first person to read them and her reactions were crucial to my knowing if I was indeed on the right track with these song words.
It was time to begin grafting vocals onto the tracks and I started sessions with Neil Segrott in his studio in Leicester but after a good start through no fault of Neil's it just didn't seem to work, it felt 'tacked on'..