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Three odd songs that didn’t seem to fit on any of the albums of the last few years, or in the pipeline, so I decided to release them as an EP in September 2016

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What Good Is This Old Guitar?

In 1972, I’d travelled to Munich in search of musical work and adventure, on the recommendation of a drummer I’d briefly worked with in a covers band in Oxfordshire (The Glass Triangle, if I remember correctly). I played the folk clubs with my battered old Giusseppe guitar, and after a brief stint as a “rock” DJ in a nightclub, I stumbled across the job of Musical Director for Abi Ofarim and Tom Winter, who had just completed an album for CBS. Their Production company Prom Music also signed me as an artist to record an album (which I never did, and that’s another story altogether) and, as my old Giusseppe guitar was not fit for either touring with the Ofarim & Winter Band, nor for recording, they advanced me a sum of money to buy a new guitar. So off to the Guitar Shop with an unlimited budget I shot - intending to buy my dream guitar - either a Gibson J200, or a Martin D45. Odd things guitars. Despite trying just about every premium American guitar in the store, I settled on a hand made German guitar, a Hoyer. It just felt right. It cost about £140 (the Martin would have been at least 3 or 4 times that). Now it’s almost a certainty that had I bought the Martin, an expensive and highly sought after guitar both then and even more so now, it is unlikely I’d still own it today. Being broke is an occupational hazard for most musicians, and an expensive guitar is likely to be called upon to provide cash in strapped times. The Hoyer though, despite being as good a guitar as any, from the moment I bought it had no real re-sale value. No-one wanted to buy a Hoyer, so despite tough times over the following decades, there was never enough value in that old guitar to force me to sell it.

The poor thing has suffered for such loyalty though - it was sitting on the back seat of a Jaguar 420G that I wrote off on a bridge in Nottinghamshire in the mid 70s - and survived, having the door handle rammed through its side. Repaired, it then suffered the indignity of having a hammer smashed through the soundboard, courtesy of a jealous (or simply mad) lover….. repaired, again. That old guitar has been halfway around the world with me, it helped me hitchhike across the USA in 1982 - on several rides I was told it was only because I was carrying a guitar (and therefore couldn’t possibly be an axe murderer…) that the driver picked me up. It was a little disconcerting though to be told by a rather large Texan woman that if her old man “caught me riding with a long-hair he’d most surely use that new gun I bought him for his birthday.” - this’ll do me - I’ll get out here if you don’t mind…

It suffered further at the hands of a savage New York winter in 1991. Taking it to a gig from my over-heated apartment I arrived at the gig to find daylight showing through the back - the sudden drop in temperature - it was around minus 25 outside - had simply caused the wood to split violently. That’s one repair still pending…. actually it plays fine and hasn’t particularly affected the sound, and it’s going to be a pricey fix so…. it hangs in my studio behind me as I type. It’s still a joy to play.

So in 2014 I decided it deserved a love-song of its own, having been an inspiration in the creation of so many for others.

Lyrics underneath the player


Jesus & The Moon


a look at life from the gutter to the road, and back again. An itinerant musician all my life, I was inspired to write this whilst recalling a time back in the 90s when I found myself lying in the gutter at 5am in NYC, with the rather large boot of a crack-head mugger holding my head down, whilst his partner rifled through my pockets…..the song was written a short while before the DR SCARDO band came together, and did feature in the live set, but never made it onto the album.

The Treadmill


I really can’t recall why I wrote this odd little song - back in 2009, a particularly bleak look at love and not-love and…. anyway it was briefly in the DR SCARDO band live set but never made it to the album, and the demo version with the band just didn’t quite make it. I don’t think I’ve ever played it live as solo, and though I tried to record it with a couple of different ensemble formations since DR SCARDO, it never quite worked. Putting this EP together I thought I’d record it bare-bones, and this version is the very first recorded take - I meant to come back to it, but when I listened through the next day I decided this version captured the song’s meaning and intent well, and did not entice me to try and improve on it.




What Good Is This Old Guitar?

What good is this old guitar?
that I’ve dragged from city to city
carried around with me
can’t settle down with me
oh no.

yeah what good is this old piece of wood to me?
that suffers my angry blows
or soft tender love never knows
when fingers bleed
on ebony

yeah what good is this old guitar
won’t somebody tell me
it’s done nothing but sell me
songs that I bring
to a world that won’t sing
in my key

and though we don’t have much to show for this life just a few crazy songs
I would be sad to lose my trusted old friend.

well I found you in ’72
and I should have known better then
to tie myself down so young
give up my freedom unsung
hitched to a runaway
bride

You promised me nothing it’s true
but I pledged you my honesty
my world-weary poetry
you humoured me
placated me

so what good is this old guitar?
that I’ve carried around with me
sat at home painfully
re-arranging the facts
just to cover my tracks in a song

and though we don’t have much to show for this life just a few crazy songs
I would be sad to lose my trusted old friend.

What good is this old guitar?
Now that I’m turning grey
Do we still have some songs to play?
but in an easier key
don’t be so hard on me
and we don’t have much to show for this life just a few crazy songs...

© 2014 Simon Scardanelli/Musica Scardanelli


Jesus & The Moon



Lying in the gutter, a bottle in my hand
Staring up at Jesus and the Moon
Kicked out of this city, but as far as I can tell
There’s never been a town I’ve left too soon

And the places I remember
Are the ones I should forget
Where the taste of dirt and danger keeps me sane.
And the faces I remember
Are the ones I’ve never met
All the World’s a perfect stranger who knows my name.

Standing by the roadside, got some letters in my hand
Some of them been trailing me for years.
Don’t suppose I’ll read them, but I keep them just in case
They’ll maybe tell me something I want to hear.

And the letters that I’ve written
Are the ones I’ve never sent
Full of words I’ve never spoken, or never meant.
And the times I wouldn’t listen
Are the times I can’t forget
Full of laughter, love and treasures I’ve not seen yet

Lying in the gutter, got the stars above my head
and I’m staring up at Jesus and the Moon
Well I’ve worn so many welcomes
Like dusty scuffed up shoes
And I’ve walked away from sadness and the blues

And the faces I remember
Are the ones I’ve never met
All the World’s a perfect stranger who knows my name.
And the times I wouldn’t listen
Are the times I can’t forget
Full of laughter, love and treasures I’ve not seen yet

© 2011 Simon Scardanelli/Musica Scardanelli


The Treadmill


I’ve laid upon this bed before
and worn these sheets threadbare
the candle low, the leaky steam
this house of ill-repair

The curtains torn - the light breaks through
it dances with the dust
that settles slowly - finest coat
of aged grey-skinned rust

I've said I do a thousand times
T'was true but twice at best
and now this jaded pillow talk
lies yellowed in my chest

the same old disappearing act
the same old rules apply
to each until his needs are met
from those who will supply

So here we go with senses red
and fire-torn rips of thigh
I stand inside this blackened heart
the treadmill of desire

The dying breath of needless love
the bleeding and the pain
The broken-hearted rollercoaster
treadmill wins again

I've laid upon this bed before
and worn these sheets threadbare
the candle low, the leaky steam
this house of ill-repair


© 2009 Simon Scardanelli/Musica Scardanelli