I am BARRY HESS > Blog

Dragline

My little band that no one knows about is Paw. Their last album was sort of released in 2000. It’s more of an EP and I don’t think it was a very big process to put it together.

Back in 1995 I came to Paw in a peculiar way. I was a big Soundgarden fan. Reading a Road Rash (don’t remember which iteration) video game review, I saw mention of tracks from Soundgarden and other like bands in the game. One of those bands was Paw. I bought their debut disc shortly thereafter and the rest is history.

Anyway, I miss them. I wish they’d get back together. Their two full albums were outstanding. Etc, etc, etc.

One of my favorite songs by Paw is “Dragline.” The thing that caught me with Paw, that I only could bring myself to explain later in life, was their mixture of heavy rock and country. I don’t listen to country music. (Okay, I suppose I’d listen to country Ray Charles, Cash, and Willie if pressed.) Yet something spoke to me in the music, lyrics, and general presentation. Certainly it was all part of my rural upbringing.

Songs like “Dragline” grabbed my ear and wouldn’t let go. The father and son connections. Lyrics like “A beat up piece of Chevrolet.” Excellent. What heavy song of any era makes reference to “Buster Browns?” The transcendent familial moments expressed in one or two lines throughout the song are amazing.

Big man, big hands
Strong back, strong mind
Golden glove, at 16
Good looking like Steve McQueen
I'm dumb, He's mad
I push to fight
He says, "Let's go"
I said, "All right"
Hey, I said, "Okay"

Yeah, Poppa bought a pick-up truck
With bottle tops and that's enough
A beat up piece of Chevrolet
Blue and white rustin' away
Aww, still we ride
Yeah, just father and son

Small child, front seat
Mouth in dad's ear
As they drive that truck
In the night, in the night
Looking up at the night
Through dark windshields
Buster Browns won't reach
I ask to drive
And he says, "Okay"

Well, Papa bought a pick up truck
With bottle tops and that's enough
A beat up piece of Chevrolet
Blue and white rustin' away
Aw, still we ride
Yeah, just father and son

Cool Hand says, "I'm a man who can eat fifty eggs"
And, "Sayin' it's your job, don't make it, make it right"
We laugh, we cry
We say, "That's right"
He says, "Let's drive"
We say, "All right"
Yeah, we said, "Okay"

Papa says, "Let's go for a ride"
"Oh, We'll grab a bite to eat"
"Hell boy, might even let you drive"
I said, "Hey pop, oh, turn up the radio"
"Aw, 'cause that's my favorite song"
"Hey, that's my favorite song"
As we went along
Oh, roll down your window
As we went along
Yeah, just father and son
Hey, just like we were
Yeah, a father and son
Hey Papa, "Dairy Queen sounds good to me"
And Papa, "Pull off here, I've got to take a leak"
And Papa, "You're gonna have to kill me, to keep me down"
And Papa, you laugh when I say,
"Move it up here, Dragline"
Oh, Dragline
Uh, uh, uh

And yet I still have never watched Cool Hand Luke. I’m a jerk.

(Note: I realize the pickup truck link is for a Ford, but that's basically what I envision when hearing the lyric. That with rust.)