I’m Doing Fine, 1996
See below for personal song by song comments from Dan.
Wrapped Around Your Finger
This is a song about the desperate out of control kind of love a man can feel for a woman the he knows is trouble. She’s never going to love him the way he loves her. It’s going to end badly. But the guy just can’t help himself. He loves her unconditionally. And part of him loves her because of her cool distance. It’s only fair to add that John Jones had written the majority of this song before I even got involved with it. Basically I rewrote some of the verse lyric and came up with “puppet on a string” to reinforce John’s opening Chorus Hook “I’m wrapped around your finger…”
Wrapped Around Your Finger, featured in the movie thriller Listen, was written and produced with John Jones – the man who helped Duran Duran back from the dead with their brilliant production of Ordinary World.
I Wanna Make Love to You
I wrote this song in Toronto in a flash with David Pickell. I Think subconsciously I was looking for a longing, sensual song to replace Seduces Me. Seduces Me was originally recorded for my album but at the last second landed on Celine Dions album instead. David and I started cutting the song in my basement.
I’m Doing Fine
I was messing around on my keyboard and my wife was in the other room cleaning out some of her work files. She walked into my studio with a “Look what I found” expression on her face. She handed me a letter I’d written to a former girlfriend back in 1980. This ex-girlfriend and I had been on vacation in Jamaica. We’d really had a bad time. The letter triggered some memories which triggered the song. Strangely enough, most of the song is fictitious. Particularly lines like “I hear you married some rich architect”. It’s just that lines like that sum up a guy’s worst fear about an ex-girlfriend; that she’ll end up with someone more successful.
Everytime We Say Goodbye
Rick Hahn and I originally wrote this song with the hopes of getting a Toni Braxton type singer to cut it. I laid down my vocals and then we brought in Vann Johnson to sing the female vocals, because I wanted two different vocal approaches for various singers to hear. Just as we were mixing the song, I wondered what would happen if we mixed the two singers together, and turned the song into a duet. What I like about the vocals is that neither one of us sang the song with a duet in mind, so the vocals have that spontaneous quality to them.
If You Should Leave Me Now
Chas Sandford and I wrote this song in my basement studio. Within hours we had the vocals and acoustic guitars recorded. I went to bed and left Chas with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a beat up Fender guitar. Alone and sloshed out of his mind he threw down a brilliant George Harrison type electric guitar line. A year later we finished the track in his studio in Nashville with a killer nashville rhythm section.
I Wanna Be With You
I wanted to include a romantic guitar song on this record. Since a lot of my songs have a lot of angst to them, I purposely tried to keep this song gentle and sweet.
The Night We Met
John Capek and I wrote this song in about 15 minutes. I remember both of us thinking that the melody sounded classic, that it must have been used before. As is usually the case with my songs – the recording proved to be a lot more challenging than the writing. But once John put down an acoustic piano part the track just took off.
Maybe This Time
My sister inspired this song. She lived with this man in Germany back in the mid-eighties. When she returned to Toronto she couldn’t seem to let him go. She kept going back to Berlin to visit him. With every trip I kind of held my breath wondering if her heart was going to be crushed.
She Is My Lady
This is the oldest song on the record. Back in the eighties I was frightened of being labeled folk, so I kind of drifted away from acoustic guitar. But acoustic guitar is a big part of my identity. I wanted to lean this CD more in that direction.
My father was away a lot when I was young. Before he’d go on one of his many trips he’d shake my five year old hand very seriously and say “son, take care of your mom when I’m gone.” When I became an adult I tended to look back on my relationship with my parents with a certain smugness. I knew when the time came that I would be a much better parent. But once I became a parent I started saying and doing the same dumb things to my son, before I’d go away on a tour. Looking back I think I was a little severe on my father in this song. I definately did not play him this song for the longest time.
I Love You Now
It took a long time for me to open up to my wife. I’d always felt this conflict between relationship and career. In my earlier relationships my career was my protection against being hurt by a woman. So whenever my wife and I would go through a difficult phase I’d bury myself in my work. Then ther was this time in New York where I felt the fighting was getting so ugly that I told her it was over. I remember her crying and packing her suitcase and the thought of her heading out to Laguardia all alone made me feel so sick inside that I begged her to stay the night. For some reason my love for her broke through to a deeper place after that. This song was something of therapy for me. Coming to terms with the fact that it was okay to love my wife.