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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Half Life of Absolution
Category: Specific Tunes
From: David Suspanic (San Francisco, CA, USA)

Pat: One of my favorite tunes that the PMG has ever done is Half Life of Absolution. Could you explain how it took shape over the years? Also was it performed on the Letter From Home tour, I could have sworn that you guys did it at the show I saw as part of the 'Pre-Record' tour to Letter From Home at The Palace Theater in Albany, NY. Thanks a bunch! DS

Pat’s Answer:

that tune has a unique history; quite unlike any of the other tunes in our book. it was written for a gig that i did in around 1985 with a trumpet player from japan who is a friend of mine named tiger okoshi. he is a great player. we did a quartet gig with dave holland on bass, and paul wertico on drums. i wrote the body of the tune during the soundcheck that day. then, later, we worked up a version of it with the group - with pedro. somehow, it didn't fly - we didn't really have an arrangement that worked, and i couldn't find the right sound for the melody. (it was great on the trumpet which is what i was thinking of when i wrote it)

then, a few years later, we tried it again, for a tour in japan - we all even came a day early to work out an arrangement of it - we played it once - and then never again for years after that. then, just before the europe tour that was the one that we recorded "the road to you" on - we tried one more time - by this time i had an idea for a new guitar sound, which is represented on the record. for the final try at it - lyle added a lot of his brilliant harmonic ideas to the reharmoninization of the melody that happens at the end which really made it exciting to play. it is a really fun song to perform - maybe next tour we will do it again...