3. Supersonic Wave
At first, I felt a little shy about writing about this song since it’s rather explicit. At least that’s what iTunes parental advisory label indicated. Well, sex in music isn’t really new, now, is it. But that is 'other people'. Supersonic Wave is personal.
In its lowest form, to be completely candid, this is a song about feeling pent up. In its highest form, it’s about riding all the ecstatic waves of love that are possible in this world. The truth, as always, is in the middle of these two fantasies. This is a song about yearning, and as it turned out, merging.
As a song subject, yearning lends itself to some glorious musical tensions. It’s fortunate – if only for my art - that yearning is a subject that I know something about, being a disgruntled ‘studio widow’ with John spending up to 16 hours a day in the studio. Later, when he was home with me, there was nothing left. He was totally spent, emotionally and physically. And like the selfish twenty-something I was, I became bored, spoiled, even.
Looking back on these times, I had a fleeting awareness that my desire to write my own songs was to get more of my love's attention. It was true, I wanted the same status given to the artists he produced in his studio. I wanted his time, his focus. So, in his spare time, John set me up with Studio Vision on a little Mac Classic, a Casio electric piano; and a Roland Sound Canvas. Regardless of the initial motivation, it just so happened that this was exactly what I was meant to do. And I used this desire to drive learning to program and arrange the songs in my head.
My desire for 'more, more, more' is obvious in this song but like many things that make me feel a tad too vulnerable, I throw on a shade of humour. When recording the verses, I just couldn't take my sexy seriously, so I imagined myself being a drag king channeling Elvis. Besides, no one but Elvis could match the predatory, playful energy I wanted to project and I almost fooled myself into thinking I sounded a bit like him. (Thanks, 'slapback echo'!)
It's a sassy, epic rock fantasy - perhaps not as lofty as my other attempts - yet, it remains special to me because it acknowledges a part of women that we often cloak in shadow. That part of us that dreams of being the powerful seductress, winning control over circumstances by virtue of her will, by virtue of her desire, and her sexuality.
When one hears John’s screaming guitar licks on here, it’s easy to see he was in on the 'joke'. He never said it out loud but he knew exactly what this song was about, channeling his own wizardry into his performances on guitar, bass, drums; and the final mix. It's only now that I realize he was thoroughly empathizing with my predicament -- our predicament.
In reality, no one can serve two masters. And while I can’t speak for John, the proof is in the performance and in the history. For me, Supersonic Wave is a long-awaited conjugal visit between two imprisoned, but innocent souls, willingly blind to the fact that, in the end, only Music would win.
© 1999 Veronica Start