55 Feet

I just finished converting my Live and Thinking cassette of 1986 (ish) to digital format. Much of it you will never be allowed to hear, but one song still holds up fairly well. “55 Feet” was born from a convergence of two fears: a fear of heights and fear of drowning. Here’s how the two came together. I was offered a job painting houses with a guy from my brother’s church. He made it clear from the start of the day that he was…unstable. For one thing, he forced us to listen to Christian radio the whole day. But that’s not all. He also never offered my coworker and me a break, even though we were climbing up and down rickety ladders from 8am until well past noon. As I stood up on the ladder painting, I thought of how quickly I would die if I fainted and fell off the ladder. With that thought, my mind turned to other gruesome deaths, specifically a story I had heard about two divers losing their way in the immense network of underground rivers that run below the ground in northern Florida. In my song, the story is told from the point of view of the rescue diver who found their bodies. He is so jolted by what he finds that he loses all hope in humanity, and is standing at a precipice preparing to jump to his death.

Gruesome? Yes. But it makes for a riveting story. Take a listen to “55 Feet.”

By the way, the day ended with crazy Mr. Painter guy asking if we could take a “quick stop” at his house on the way home. He proceeded to take a shower and get ready for a date. I sat in his house for about an hour with nothing to do, exhausted from my near-death painting experience, waiting to finally get home. I declined the next time he offered me a job…

This entry was posted in Live, Rock and/or Roll. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *