Early one morning, just after waking, we discovered that during the night thieves had tried to steal Kate’s car.  They failed but they made an awful mess with broken window glass everywhere and a trashed steering apparatus. The chaos that followed included factions of AAA disagreeing about where the car should be towed for repair, and disagreements within the repair shops as to whether they could, should, or would fix the car.  

This occurred shortly after the events of October 7th. Compared to the Hamas atrocities and the resulting retribution our incident was minor. But my internal processing of both ran together and mixed with my coming to terms with the realization that a portion of the political left wing wants me dead. They pronounced me death-worthy not for whatever I may have done or refrained from doing, but because I am a Jew. They also have proudly and loudly let it be known that they consider gang rape and the beheading of babies to be acts of commendable heroism. As for binding a living family in barbed wire before setting them on fire, they are saying that the family deserved it because they were born Jewish.  This depraved point of view is coming not from fascists but from self-described “progressives”.  Hate-fueled forces on the far right, I realized, are not the only malignant threats to the welfare of the decent people of the world.  I awoke to this ugly reality as well as to a failed car theft.

I was now living in a landscape with no familiar landmarks or signposts.  My thoughts and emotions were as complex and contradictory as the external situation. I found that making songs that dealt with this complexity helped me gain equilibrium. I made three songs, two of which appear on this album, The Lost Guide and Dreadful Morning. A third, Look-a-Here Lizard Brain is a work-in-progress.

Dreadful Morning contains three sections, each containing two vocal melodies and an instrumental theme.  Each part is set in a different mode or scale. The first section is about the failed theft of the car, the third focusses on the Gaza/Israel situation in which everyone is wrong, and the middle section is about my coming to terms with the shock of discovering that I am despised by those I foolishly thought were friends.

(Jody Stecher/ Vegetiboy Music, BMI)

Wake up dreamer, day is dawning
It’s gonna be an awful morning
Gonna be longing, gonna be gray
Gonna be an awful day

Broke the window as we lay sleeping
Tore out the guts as the horn was beeping
Lights were beaming, alarm was screaming
The scoundrels ran away

Wake up sleeper leave your dreaming
Leave your songs and golden beaming
Your old beliefs in disarray
It’s an awful day

Broke the ways of expectation
Broke the door to conciliation 
Broke the laws of decency
Something broke in me

Wake up pilgrim, day is breaking
Dogs are howling, earth is shaking
Bombs are booming, loss is looming
It’s a broken day

With no fuel there’s no fire
With no skill there’s no hotwire
Too soon to forget/forgive
Walk on and live

Wake up dreamer, day is dawning
It’s gonna be a dreadful morning
Gonna be longing, gonna be gray
Gonna be an awful day