Monday, April 30, 2007

Shoe Salesman (versions 1 and 2)

shoe salesman (versions 1 and 2)
volume 3 number 11

"every now and then
you find someone
you really like,
but sometimes in the end
they may not
you right..."
and on and on go the bad shoe puns in this, the earliest of my songs ever recorded. written in 1972!
here are two versions in a row. the first is the original way I wrote the song (in a holiday inn room somewhere in ohio).
the second is a "dixieland style" version. at the Americana resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where Royal Recorders Studio was housed there was a jazz group called the Mike Barnett Trio who had played in the Americana lounge/restaurant for 20 years! they graciously came by to record an afternoon of dixieland. I intended to add clarinet, tuba, trombone, trumpet and perhaps even have a guest male singer, but it never got that far.

shoe salesman was written just before I joined Sweetheart, the band Frank Zappa found me in. Sweetheart played regionally across the south and midwest. one saturday we were close enough to the Canadian border we all decided to check out Canada (my first time there). we stopped at a place called the Happy Valley Hotel at about 3:00 in the afternoon. in what seemed to be a conference hall, the canadians were having a "talent contest" and despite the time of day they were well-lubricated (i.e. drunk) and rowdy. as we sat there having a molson my friends in Sweetheart egged me on to get up and play my "shoe salesman" song. just the kind of thing I hate to do, but eventually I gave in. I think I performed admirably and the canadians laughed in all the right places.
when it came time for the judging I won third prize, a canadian 10 dollar bill! (I still have it.)
second prize went to a pair of local favorites who played an accordian duet.
and the first prize?
to the man who ate a beer glass!

acoustic guitar, vocals: adrian
string bass: Mike Barnett
piano: Al Feeny
drums: Charles Mcfarlane
version 1 recorded on january 9, 1990
version 2 recorded on june 27, 1988
engineer: Rich Denhart
assistant: Dan Harjung
recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis.
length: 4:15


  1. Dear Adrian,

    Just have to tell you that I loved "Shoe Salesman" from the moment I heard it...but had forgotten all about it until moments ago when I read this post.

    Like McCartneys 1920s numbers, it isn't for everybody...but anything that makes me laugh is cool by me.


  2. Alex never told me he went to Canada, let alone won a talent show there!