I started writing songs in 1988. I wrote just one that year. The year after that, I believe I wrote five. In 1990 I think I got about a dozen. A couple of years later, when I had perhaps forty, it occurred to me that if I didn’t start numbering them, there was a danger of losing track of what I had.
In the spring of 2001, after a month or two with a lot of new material coming, I wrote song number 180, and thought it would be fun to be able to say I had two hundred. I had already discovered what inspiration I could derive from giving myself an organizing principle (the months of the year, for example, was a framework that produced twelve songs very quickly in the fall of 1999, which I plan to release here soon on my album It Was Really Your Roommate I Wanted), and I thought twenty songs, numbered 181-200, and twenty years, 1981-2000, and the songs again came fast.
The method was simply to cast my mind back to each year in turn and write from the first association that inspired something. The girl I met much later who was twelve in 1981; the band I auditioned for but then said no to when they offered me the job in 1982 (presented in the form of a not very loving love song); the 3-Cindy madness of the spring of ’85, the death of my mother in 87, the decision to get married in 91, turning 35 in 1993 (So Vote for Me), moving from New York City to Sweden in 94, the birth of my children in 1995 and 97….
Later that year I wrote what has been my most requested song, I Wanna Die, and took a friend’s advice to make it the first track on the new album.
So there it is: a mantra for the Age of Anxiety, and twenty snapshots of my real life (as it looked inside my own head at least). In the past it’s only been available direct from me, and I am so happy now to be able to send it out into the world at last.
I hope you like it. Tell your friends if you do. I’ve been hiding in my little corner of the world a bit too long now.
Andy Fite, July 6, 2011