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About "Not This Time" by Tom Dunning and Your Boyfriends

I have always loved anthems. They are truly a special kind of song, able to create a sense of belonging in this alienating world. Since my first listening in 1986 of "Not This Time" on the b-side of THE BIG SKY 12" single, it has been my favorite Kate Bush song. It was in fact the song that sparked the whole project for me. I wanted one of my friends to record it for the CD. It turned out that I was more excited about this song than anyone else was, so we figured 'what the heck, take a crack at it'.

I've always heard a pivotal line in the song as "I feel you-and I forget myself", but I've found that the lyrics are written in some places as "I fear you". Well, after years of hearing a song and having it mean something to you, "I fear you" just didn't work for me (personally, I've always had a much harder time dealing with emotional and psychological violence than with physical violence, which may be why I heard the line as "feel you" and not "fear you"). I think that by singing "feel", the site of activity is placed inside the character rather than outside. The internal feelings become the subject, rather than the fear of some external force.

The collaboration on this song is an amazing tale, and you may need a score card to follow all of this...it started with my asking John Ridenour to produce the song for me. He said he would, then asked me to send a tape of Kate's original version out to a friend of his in California. This friend turns out to be none other than JHNO, the awesome mixer who has worked with Thomas Dolby and plays in the band Spool. JHNO laid down not only the drum beats and rhythm loops, but the piano as well. Then he sent back the tape to us and I just freaked out. It was in the moment of hearing the opening beats and piano that I knew I would actually be making a record.

John Ridenour and I met with Eddie Carlson and worked out the rhythm guitar and bass parts. The big insane guitar in the minor section at the end of the song, and drippy Edge-like and e-bow parts in the major sections, were created by John in the studio.

Then we called in the vocalists....where do I begin? Let's start with my notes from the session:

"At 4 o'clock Nora O'Connor, Victoria Storm, and Cathy Smitko showed up to record their back-up vocals, which are awesome and they sound like a gospel choir of angels. At the end of the song they sing the same thing over and over again for two minutes straight (which they sang live all the way through). When they came out of the recording room they were all sweating and looked like they had just run a marathon. They did it like 3 or 4 times and they were really belting it out! It sounds amazing."

At the time I was thinking that this may be the only song I'll ever record-so I want the best. Cathy Smitko and I have been friends since I was 14 or 15 years old. That's over half my life. She is such a gifted and talented vocalist that I remain in sheer and utter awe when I listen to her sing. Nora O'Connor and I have been dear friends since I was 16 or 17 years old. When we were much younger, Nora and Cathy would often rip it up for us at parties with over-the-top renditions of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" and "Wild Thing" that would have the rest of us on the floor laughing and crying at the same time. Nora has a warm, rich and soulful quality as well as an amazing ability to harmonize. Victoria Storm is a new friend with a gorgeous soprano and an understanding of the structure of music that amazes me. She sings the top part in the 3-part harmony, and she also helped sculpt the gorgeous descant that Liam Davis sings during the 'Too-ree-aye's'.

Mr. Davis is without question one of the most talented musicians I'm ever likely to meet. I remember the night we recorded "Not This time" -- I came home and wrote a letter to my family.

"January 19, 1998.

Liam Davis of The Moviegoers, who had done all the vocal arrangements for the female parts, was with us in the studio and I had him do two parts underneath what the women were singing. I was moved to tears when he was recording his parts...it was that beautiful, I felt like the universe was sending me a gift to put on my song as kind of like its seal of approval that I was on the right path...I think we got it in one or two takes and I have to say that it's one of the most gorgeous male vocal parts I've ever heard in my life."

I am beyond grateful to these fine, fine musicians for moments of pleasure that I will carry with me always.

- Tom Dunning


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