SONGBOOK: FOR ANYONE

The Great Snowstorm of 2008 kept most Portlanders in their homes for a few days, and in that time, Bartleby (then just eight months old) and I hunkered down, me at my kitchen table and he in my open guitar case, and pounded out "For Anyone". My girlfriend at the time, upon hearing the song, asked me if it was a Springsteen cover and in early versions it might as well have been. Over time and edits it morphed into the woozy 6/8 thing that appears on Heart of a Dog. We missed the mark on that, in my opinion. I had no idea how to arrange the song and I still don't. 

On the rare occasion we did play "For Anyone", the Honkies turned it into a twangy, barroom thing that nearly lurched its way to what I'd imagined but never quite made it there. I never tried the four-on-the-floor arrangement with that band which is ridiculous in retrospect but, whatever. It wasn't a song that came up much. I played it mostly at solo shows and I guess it was in watching those shows that Star Anna took a liking to the tune and asked if I'd help her rearrange it for inclusion on the solo record on which she had been working. That arrangement is by far my favorite but it was tailored to the way Star sings and what she can do vocally, and she's got a lot more talent to work with in that department than I ever will, as evidenced by her recording.

I wasn't credited on Star's recording, despite the fact that I had co-produced, arranged, and made every guitar sound on "For Anyone" and a handful of other songs that wound up on Go to Hell. Given the fact that I had treated Star and anyone else close to me without an ounce of kindness or honesty in the months leading up to my departure from Seattle and throughout all of the disaster that followed, I can't say I blame her. I am proud of that work, though, credit or not.

"For Anyone" was written in anticipation for a break up that never came, at least not in that way. I never found myself sprawled out across my apartment floor, Bartleby at my side, mourning love's violent death. By the time the breakup did come, it was the winter of 2010, and I was on my way to Seattle.

I'm back in Portland now after bouncing around a while, and Bartleby, nine years old this past April Fool's Day, is just a few miles north, keeping my folks company. I started playing "For Anyone" again this last month or so and I still don't feel like I have it. If somebody finally figures out how it goes, please let me know.