Girl In Hollywood

Brightwell & Moran

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The story of writing “Girl in Hollywood” This song started with a great guitar riff Woody created, along with some vividly cryptic lyrics that came to him. I’m pretty sure he had the first 2 lines verbatim: “Mom had afternoon daiquiris, sang Tanya Tucker songs in a row.” And then the nuggets of the chorus: “Heroes only get the girl in Hollywood,

The story of writing “Girl in Hollywood” This song started with a great guitar riff Woody created, along with some vividly cryptic lyrics that came to him. I’m pretty sure he had the first 2 lines verbatim: “Mom had afternoon daiquiris, sang Tanya Tucker songs in a row.” And then the nuggets of the chorus: “Heroes only get the girl in Hollywood, with rented billboards on Sunset Boulevard.” As with many of our song collaborations, Woody often provides a striking phrase or compelling image. I bring to the table a need to tell a story and follow a dramatic arc. Then we can dig a little deeper: What is actually happening here? What details do we want to tell, and what do we want to let our audience fill in for themselves? So we started exploring Mom’s story, wondering why she was rocking out to outlaw country music and day drinking. It seemed to be the hallmark of a troubled but resilient woman, whose life had been hard, but she still hung onto her joys and dreams. Was this just her story? We looked to the chorus to inform us: actually, no, there was other information needed to bring the song’s vision to life. Then we entertained the idea in the 2nd Verse that Dad was in the picture too. And maybe he had his own challenges, as his own goals and dreams had to be set aside so he could provide for a family — a family that he was perpetually leaving behind in search of the next job. Perhaps he feared getting used up and tossed out, and never being able to actualize his inner desires. Now we were onto something! The Chorus evolved by using Hollywood images as a metaphor for our deepest dreams, and how our ordinary lives compare to the stuff we see on the silver screen. The gist of the song was that we all hold incredible possibility and beauty in our hearts, but that for many of us, it remains hidden or untapped. By the 3rd Verse, we are finally introduced to the singer of the song, perhaps the child of those parents we talked about earlier. He’s older, but is in touch with his dreams and wants to make them a reality. In fact, the line “I wish I could be out on the road” came directly from our pandemic experience of being cooped up and unable to play shows! On to the Bridge, where we break things down musically, and give a nod to the “ghosts in our past”. Those forces are often the ones that are urging us forward, ancestors inviting us to carry the torch that previous generations have passed to us. Time is of the essence, they say, so go and “get the girl in Hollywood”. Don’t wait to make your dreams a reality. Fun fact: During recording, Dean Baskerville actually used the upbeat and driving theme from “Friends” as a reference track for the band. This sounded a little weird to us at first, but once we got into the groove of the tune, made perfect sense.

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