The Last Guitar

by Nick Harper

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about

At last Nick releases the follow-up to the acclaimed 'Miracles..'. With songs from his treks to play concerts for the Love Hope Strength Foundation on Mt. Everest, Machu Picchu, Mt. Kilimanjaro and beyond; A Film Noiresque short story put to music, and the singing debut of his daughter Lily amongst others this one is a rocker with a heart.

credits

released October 6, 2010

Written, recorded and Produced by NH.
Mixed by Tchad Blake

Bass on For You by Billy-Bob Noxious
Pop Fiction drums by Jacker
Silly Daddy vocal by Lily Harper
Additional sonic cherries and production by Tchad Blake

Photography and artwork by Alec Carmichael at aleccarmichael.org

Ayes and ears:
Jackie, Tank, Borth, Jo, Matt. E. Jones, Sarah, Cliff, charlotte, Felix, Cy, fal, Karen, Justin, Lily and all the residents of a small hamlet in Wiltshire.

Thanks: Steve at Weatherbox
Mike, James and Shannon and everyone else involved with the Love, Hope, Strength Foundation:
www.lovehopestrength.org
Last, but not least: Brian Dunn

Hey Bomb? were the last words of Sgt. Pinback (not his real name) (RIP)
The Story Of My Heart is a beautiful little book written by Richard Jeffries
Nicky Slionski narrated Pop Fiction and was inspired by Stash, Rigby Reardon and Dave Graney.
Jim Crow Is Dead came from a moment of optimism when Obama got in.
..38 On and Ama.. are inspired by Love Hope Strength, Monica Weston and Nepal and it's people.
the rest you know. They are all in there somewhere.

Love you. Bye. Nx

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about

Nick Harper England, UK

Hi Harpernauts.

To celebrate a great 2016 Nick has put together a band for a mini-tour this Autumn - check out all the dates over at harperspace.com

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Track Name: One Of The 38
I walk the street slow like the man with no name,
Into the bar before the show, but on another plane,
And the faces turn my way, I narrow my eyes,
Like I met my maker, but I did not die,
But there’ll be no gunplay, no widow to cry,
And the undertaker walks on by,

Wherever I go, whatever my fate,
I’ll always be one of the 38.

I’m in the house of the Lord,
It seems colder within,
Though it’s filled with the voices of the cherubim,
And in the tiny houses with the lights on inside,
Where the little devils play seek and hide,
But there’s a bigger picture,
There’s a world out there,
What are you troubles? What are your cares?

Wherever I go, whatever my fate,
I’ll always be one of the 38,
Whatever I do, whatever awaits,
I’ll always be one of the 38.
Track Name: For You
I was the white horse rider, riding in the song for you,
On the point of the divider plotting a course for you,
You know I love you to bits, I ride through the cyclone for you,
Just to get to put my lips on the microphone for you,

I play guitar and I sing,
I never said I said anything,
But when I said what I said I could say it for you.

I was the insider sending out a message for you
I had enigma deciphered, an endless one liner for you
But now the code lies broken and it’s all blown open for you
And when the ride is done you will know that I have come for you,

I play guitar and I sing,
I never said I said anything,
But when I said what I said I could say it for you,
When I played what I played I was playing for you.

And I always wanted to write for you,
It never ever mattered what I said,
All the words in the world and everything else I left unsaid
Would only take their true form in your head,

I play guitar and I sing,
I never said I said anything,
But when I said what I said I could say it for you,
When I played what I played I was playing for you,
So every song I ever sang I sang for you,
And the last song I ever sing will be for you,
And the very last words that I ever sing will be for you.
Track Name: The Story Of My Heart
Here’s a story, a rough guide,
I didn’t write it down because it’s coming from the inside,
It’s a story with no names, no times, no places,
A story with no games, just the rhymes of the faces,
Yes I climbed another mountain,
Yes I dropped another coin in another fountain
And the creature’s back from the black abyss,
I told you a kiss is never just a kiss,
I told you at the start
This is the story of my heart

This is a story from the campfire when the blaze burns low,
And the embers tire and you get up to go,
One look in my eyes and it will all burst aflame,
One look and you will know why it’ll never be the same,
The face rock solid with the tears that cried themselves dry,
It’s not a singalong,
It’s not a joke,
It’s not a lullaby for a tethered goat,
I told you at the start,
This is the story of my heart.
Track Name: Ama Dablam
100 Miles,
With you right by my side,
Where the golden boulder blows,
To the left and to the right,
Avalanches roll and flow,
The earth quaked beneath the sight,
I didn’t know whether to laugh,
Or whether to cry,

Wherever I go, whatever I do,
Whatever I know, whatever I knew,
Whatever I say, whatever I play, whatever I do,
I’m taking this picture of you home,
To remember I’m richer to have known,
Someone as beautiful as you,
Ama Dablam.

On the roof of the world,
Right by the end of the sky,
A little touch of evermore,
Where the heart and soul collide,
You,
Ama Dablam
Track Name: Passing Chord
What if I was to say goodbye today,
And then pass into your endless blue,
And wait for weightlessness to overtake me?
I know that I’d be sad for all the times we had,
But I know that you won’t shed tears about me,
Come on, won’t you let me be your song?

I was mean and untrue to all the good things you do,
But I know that now, I’m going to try somehow,
To make you believe you can’t go on without me,
I know your endless time does not compare to mine,
But I can still drink your wine and laugh and joke about it,
Come on, won’t you let me be your song?

Let me be your melody,
Let me be the rhythm bringing you to me,
Let our love be ever deep and ever long,
I don’t want to be just a passing chord in your song.

Come on, won’t you let me be your song?
Let me be your melody,
Let me be the rhythm bringing you to me,
Let our love be ever true and ever long,
I don’t want to be just a passing chord in your song.
Track Name: Hey Bomb
Are you supposed to be on this mission?
You can abort it’s not too late,
Are you sure you’ve got the order to detonate?
Hey bomb why can’t you learn somehow, what do you say?
Why don’t you return to the bomb bay?
Maybe you can burn another day.

No sight, no smell, no sound, no taste,
Don’t make your move in haste,
Your senseless self must be sure when you explode,
Hey bomb why can’t you learn somehow, what do you say?
Why don’t you return to the bomb bay?
Maybe you can burn another day.
Track Name: Freestyle
Pa was a gunman, he took up the fight,
An old style slinger, he’d aim between the eyes,
When the day came to teach me I lined up my sights,
My aim was deadly, but I shot wide,
Freestyle.

Ma was a teacher with a world-wide smile,
A mother to many, but the blood of mine,
When the day came to show me the world of the wise,
I shot up the town and let the horses ride,
Freestyle.

Hell or high water, mighty and wild,
The son and the daughter, the judge and the tribe,
None could have stopped me taking my line,
You’re better your own way by a country mile,
Freestyle
Track Name: Pop Fiction
It all started when I got word from Conscience Black, a crazy singer I knew that a stiff called Mr Memory and his dame Nostalgia Brown were blabbing about a contract taken out up at Tin Pan Alley. Memory said he’d seen it all before and had worked out the whos and the whys all by himself. Conscience said he was beating his gums about how it ain't right, while Nostalgia turned on the waterworks. So I used up a whole lot of shoe leather on their trail, but everywhere I had them tagged they’d checked out when I come knocking.

Didn’t take long to figure the hit was going to be on Little Miss Music. Everybody knew her - I even picked her up myself a couple of times. She was the sort of dame you could cut it up with good, but never really tame... used to be quite a player back in the day, running with the company, some say she even ran the whole show for a while, 'til she fell in with the video boys and lost her edge. Last I heard she was doing tricks up at Spotify &Vine with a small time punk called Ad Jingles. For old times sake I wanted to keep her in the clear, but I knew I didn’t have a case to take upstairs. All I had was this dumb riff going round my head..

In all the squawking I kept turning up one name: Green. It figures he would want to bump her off cause he was the bankroll behind the whole shebang and she kept stepping on his action. He had boy bands up at the plaza taking plenty of dough, but they were just the front. Down on the street was the real muscle - tribute acts working their hustle in juice houses all over town. Another operation called Muzak cleaned up in the flophouses and diners. Green’s prints were on that too. He even had a split with the syndicate who drip fed downloads to kids through their P C s. He got roughed up once, by a player called the Napster who made the jump up fast, but in the end Green had him greased and he copped a drop.

Then the case went into overtime when I clocked The Piper at an open mike night. Piper was a pimped up troubadour hit man. Sometimes he ran with the rats but mostly he was a lone gun. Conscience had him tabbed on Green’s payroll all along. She said he must have been in town to cancel Music’s ticket. Now I knew I had to find Music fast, but all I had to go on was this dumb riff..

So I ran a few checks up in the Myspace district, where everyone wants to be your friend, but no one's got the lowdown. I left there and paddled downtown and who should crop up, but Memory and Nostalgia Brown. I knew him from way back. She was kind of soft focus but a tad long-faced. They were both soaked and yapping about music and how it used to be and how Green was going to rub her out and it was everyone’s fault and we should all make amends. I was giving them the shove when a street light flickered on and lit up a porchway and there she was - Music. She smiled that smile, looked up at the light and then back to me. “Miss me?” she said. Memory made toward her.. that's when the shots rang out. Music slid back into the portico, but Memory fell on to the steps and laid dead in a pool of blood. I looked up to where the shots had come from and figured the case the moment I saw a shape I knew well, Conscience.
Turns out Memory was the real mark. He was always broadcasting the dirt around town and Conscience was always in the frame, but wouldn't take the rap. She wanted things all sweet and in the end she flipped. She knew how Memory was hot for music and talk of the hit would flush him out and with Memory out of the picture Conscience could go about town all free and easy.
She fed the Piper to me as the fall guy after she told him about a rat problem at the open mike night. Greens role in all this? Well that’s for later, but let's just say the stink goes all the way up to City Hall..

Music took a slug but she was ok. She said she knew a few places out of town she could hole up at til it all cooled off and then she slipped into the night. “Where will I find you?” I shouted. “I’ll be around” she said.
I didn’t even get a chance to thank her for the riff.
Track Name: On
I spoke to an angel, at a place they call Kala Pattar,
She met me half way, I played my guitar,
After the singing she asked me to leave her there,
She said I was good but I must go on.

Here’s where we’ve come to, walking this age old road,
Rest and look back awhile, then we take up the load,
As we go forwards, sure as the day is long,
It’s onwards and upwards, ever on.

Two points on a circle in circumference,
Of the eternal, turning the difference,
Of our existence, forwards to where we went,
One senses the other, deep in the firmament,
Laugh at the danger, laugh in the face of death,
Smile at this stranger when we are short of breath,
Push back the boundaries, see how the heart is strong,
It’s why we climb mountains, why we go ever on.

As I descended I slept as I stumbled down,
Really sleep walking, I could not come around,
Again I heard voices, hallucinationings,
Losing my reason as the gloom came in,

With each step I leave her, she never calls me back,
Over my shoulder, back and beyond the track,
I can return there, I feel her in the song,
Like the mist on the mountain, she helps me along,

I spoke to an angel, at a place they call Kala Pattar,
She met me half way, I played my guitar,
After the singing she asked me to leave her there,
She said I was good.
Track Name: Jim Crow Is Dead
It seemed to take forever,
Watching Jim Crow die,
In the end we all did it together,
Not a one could come to cry,

Cause if you fall into a bucket of shit,
You come up smelling of it,
You’ve got to hold your breath cause you can’t smell the roses,
Everywhere you go people’s holding their noses,
Can we lend a hand to a man in need?
That sounds like a plan to me.

I have a dream amongst the treasure buried in the tribe,
That in the end we all get it together,
Well whatever we gotta get a better vibe,

Cause if you fall into a bucket of shit,
You come up smelling of it,
You’ve got to hold your breath cause you can’t smell the roses,
Everywhere you go people’s holding their noses,
Can we lend a hand to a man in need?
That sounds like a plan to me.

And the evil that men do
Revolves around and comes back to me and you,
Is there a better way we can be instead?
Yes we can,
Jim Crow is dead
Track Name: The Last Guitar
Everyone’s arriving, by plane, by train, by car,
We’ve been punching through the horizon,
To hear the last chord struck on the last guitar,
We’ve taken care of the arrangements,
For the six string scimitar,
We’ve sent seven billion invitations,
To hear the last chord struck on the last guitar,
The last guitar

Drain the last wine lakes make your last big mistakes,
Because anything goes at the end of sale bazaar,
We’ll have the last chicken wings,
The last pineapple rings as the very last fat lady sings,
With rockets for drums and bullets for la la las
We’ll have the last dance, the last romance and nothing will be left to chance,
We’ll have the very last cigar,
We’ll sing all the myths and fables as we jump up on the tables
At the global kamikaze karaoke bar
With the last guitar

I’m not surprised to see you here,
At the biggest bash by far,
Anyone who is anyone will have to hitch a ride on a shooting star
That’s right folks there is no aftershow tonight,
It’s the last guitar
Track Name: Silly Daddy
Silly daddy on the road all alone,
Don’t you know that we’ve been here waiting at home?
Silly daddy change the world with a song,
Don’t you know that we’ve been here all along?
Daddy
Come on home,
Won’t you come on home?
How the time does go,
Won’t you come on home?
Silly daddy mama’s here, you’re out there,
Haven’t you been everywhere?
Why don’t you come home?
Daddy.