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About "Suspended in Gaffa" by My Scarlet Life

I decided that I wanted to be a singer in 1991, when I began writing songs with a musician friend of mine in Florida. I didn't know much about songwriting or singing for that matter, but I had always loved listening to music. I hadn't heard of Kate Bush yet. When I left Vero Beach, Florida to pursue singing in a larger town, my first stop was Atlanta, Georgia. There I auditioned as a singer for several bands. One guitarist, I don't remember his name, said I should check out Kate Bush because she was his favorite female vocalist and he thought I would like her too.

He made a tape for me. It changed my life.

I never knew that music like that existed. So much soul and passion and emotion, raw and gentle, so intensely feminine, yet so lovingly masculine. It was an eye-opener--it was at that point that I started imagining the possibilities of my own voice. And not only that, her lyrics were so beautiful and poetic, and sung in strange cadences--I felt I was witnessing perfection. It is not the stale perfection that Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey might achieve, but the perfection of a crooked house or a child wearing one shoe or a sweet-natured but ugly dog. The perfection of something that is off center, yet balanced--a Japanese flower arrangement, simple, textural, off-kilter, balanced to perfection, so pleasing to the senses, Kate Bush's music has had an immeasurable influence on my musical life. I am forever in debt to her--and to the guy who's name I don't remember, I am forever thankful. I think there are only two reasons to cover anyone else's song: to do a song better than the original or to take it somewhere it didn't go before. No one can do Kate Bush's songs better than she can--we can only mutate them and make them our own. We debated for a while over whether or not to drop some of the verses--would the song lose meaning? Would we still be doing a cover if a lot of words were dropped? We chose to rearrange the flowers and prune the leaves. I hope she'll like it.

A bit long winded, but I hope you can use it all. Thanks Thomas. I just want to say thank you for allowing me to be a part of your dream--I don't think I ever thanked you. You have helped me fulfill one of my dreams as well. To pay tribute to one of the most talented performers ever. See you soon.

- Julie Schreiber, My Scarlet Life          


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