Dark Ages —remastered 2nd edition

by David Nigel Lloyd

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about

"DNL pretty much wrote the story of his life with the first track of this his first album, ‘The Streets Are Wet With Tears,’ an impassioned yet slyly self-deprecating, sarcastic tale of coming to LA. And so the whole album goes, dense with poetry and an unusual blend of witty modesty. Musically it’s a killer piece of work, brilliantly arranged, complicated song structures with great guitar leads and deft use of violins and female backing vocals. The more you get to know him, the more you realize that . . . he’s that rare misunderstood genius who’ll never let the world’s indifference turn him into a malcontent. He’ll keep right on being a genius whether or not anyone notices." —Douglas Macgowan, Yoga Records

credits

released August 17, 1984

Patrick Meehan: drums, assorted percussion, and vibulele
John Bugbee: bass guitar
Regan Hardman: vocals
Robert Watts: piano and organ
Brandon 'Straitjacket' Curtis: violin
George Reich: Prophet 5 synthesizer
Bruce Meadows: pedal steel guitar
DNL: vocals, guitars, penny whistle, bodhran

All songs © 1984 by David Nigel Lloyd except "Angel's Flight," © 1981 by DNL and John Bugbee. All songs Published by Last Ditch Music, BMI. Produced by DNL at Studio 9 Audio-Video Labs, Hollywood, CA. Engineered by John Gillies with Bill Smith and Ron Wenick. Mixed by DNL and John Gillies. Jacket design and photography by gita.

Remastered by Sharon Marie at B2 Studios, Bakersfield, CA in 2008.

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about

David Nigel Lloyd Yreka, California

David Nigel Lloyd emerged from LA’s new wave scene with the acoustic Dark Ages in 1984. An Age of Fable added traditional songs to the DNL mix in 1987. Death in Los Fumos [1996] blended song poetry, skits and found sound while How Like Ghosts Are We [1998] returned to traditional music. Rivers, Kings and Curses featured blues legend Nat Dove and the Incredible String Band’s Robin Williamson. ... more

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Track Name: The Streets Are Wet With Tears (Baby)
The streets are wet with tears, baby!
The streets are wet with tears, baby!

I was only 21 and too stupid to feel sad
when I got on that Greyhound Bus and the only things I had
with me were clothing, a novel, an electric guitar
and that womb-warm feeling that that bus would take me far
into the night, the West, to California.
The chosen boy in the promised land of milk and panacea,
I did not feel discomfort sleeping upright in my seat.
I did not entertain the slightest prospect of defeat.

The early summer sun rose like a bicentennial quarter.
Her naked body hardly broke the silence of the water
in the backyard swimming pool, defining beautiful
as eternity vibrating and never hesitating.
I knew she would understand me and help me tell my story
in the glory of July while simple censured fury
was still hidden like a reptile as I rubbed her body down.
I thought great thoughts of love inside her house in tinsel town.

The streets are wet with tears.
In every face a face appears.
Such burning light within the rain,
burning to get lost again.

Here comes another singer down these streets of misery.
Maybe he can help to free the world of its insanity.
Can he undo his hollow humor? Can he wake his wild sadness?
Can he sing a single note that won’t contribute to the madness?
No. He does not know his golden precious trusted wings of song
are nothing but the wings of fear that haunted him so long.

(words and music: David Nigel Lloyd)
Track Name: Angel's Flight
ANGLES'S FLIGHT

The angels of the city
keep close watch over me.
They spread out their smoky wings
and bare their mystery.

The angels are so pretty.
They have me asking round:
If this is the City of Angels,
where are the angels to be found?

They angels of the city,
they told me I could feel.
Their New Year’s resolution:
they wish only to be real. To be real!

Their feathers got all sooty
high in the burning air.
Below inside my Malibu
I heard the angels’ prayer.

Some of them are naked.
Some of them are lost.
Some cry out for freedom
no matter what the cost.
Others cry for love.
For nothing else they care.
“Love is its own rewards,” they say,
“anyway and anywhere.”
Their halos got corroded
high in the acid rain.
Inside my bathroom wastebasket
I saw their scarlet stain.

I spent the year just driving
round Hollywood, USA.
It isn’t hard to sing there
when there’s nothing left to say.
And they say, “There are no angels, man!
It’s the 20th century.
All angels have long since been turned
into pornography.”
But they’re just sick and tired
of all this lonesome mystery.
Now they unstrap their weary wings.
The angels would be free.

(words: David Nigel Lloyd. Music: John Bugbee)
Track Name: Quiet Days in Willowdale
QUIET DAYS IN WILLOWDALE

Tapping on my typewriter
Drinking cups of tea
Not even wondering
what’s to become of me

Sitting in my bedroom
feeling OK
on a late afternoon
of a late autumn day

Tapping on my typewriter
Feeling OK
I’m typing you a letter.
Gonna mail it today.
Looking out the window
watching the wind
blowing through the dead grass,
blowing in the wind.
Looking at the sunlight
painting the walls
that usually are grey
and anesthetic walls.
Waiting for the winter
and the piercing cold.
Snow flakes are pretty,
pretty damn cold.

(words and music: David Nigel Lloyd)
Track Name: Blues For a Blue Movie
BLUES FOR A BLUE MOVIE

I still got my guitar.
I studied the blues.
I’m watchin’ my baby.
I’m payin’ my dues.
Life was so groovy.
I was lost in her movie.
It was pretty good (at first).
So many frames of her love!
Oh boy!
Call it lust, fear or wonder,
but I made a blunder
and I want out.

I got the blues.
Gettin’ hot and cold flashbacks
And here I am still
writing porno film soundtracks.
She is the movie star
and I have to play guitar
while she makes love on film.
If music be the food of love
play on.
Though it seems so absurd,
she was true to her word.
She was good to me.

Lorain was her name.
She was dressed kinda tarty,
drinkin’ Scotch whisky
at a studio party.
But she was a poet.
So, I said ‘Boy, don’t blow it.
This one’s for you. It’s real.’
So many statues of love!
Dear God!
Now the cameras are rolling
and her legs are enfolding.
I’m paralyzed.

I was glued to the screen.
Oh, it seemed so obscene.
How could she be free?
I took her aside. I said, “Baby, I lied.
It’s burning me alive.”
Oh what a language is love!
Goodbye.
I know I’m a fool
to be swayed by a rule
that’s a comedy.

words and music: David Nigel Lloyd
Track Name: 1969: The Gladiator's Confession
1969: THE GLADIATOR'S CONFESSION

In hospital, my tranquil eyes
see nurses dressed in white.
The doctor’s paid to patch me up
and say I’ll be all right

They ask me what I’m thinking
but I can’t communicate.
How was it that I came to fall
so deep in hate with hate?

Now what shall I sing? How shall I play?
Here comes that dumb doctor to send me away.
Now what shall I sing? How shall I play?
Here comes that dumb doctor to send me away.

My only hope as I fell in
was that I would defeat
the world and all that’s wrong with me
and be churned out elite.

They ask me if there’s anyone
that they should telephone.
No one seems to like it
when you go through things alone.

No ivy crept round my school.
Just plumbing pipes by the cesspool
A dead school in a dead town
When winter comes, it snows brown.

A priest was here to talk about
the paths of dark and light
but the worst that God can do for you
is put you in the right

Of Julie, mostly I remember
her warmth through the grayest December.
A teenage romance ain’t supposed to work.
And, anyway, she was moving to New York.

The doctor and the nurse both say it will not leave a scar.
Teenage pain, the wound of love, the wreckage of a car.
They slipped me into surgery and took out my guitar.
They have some cheers and potions to amend my repertoire.
They said we went to far:

As if she thought I was some star.
As If she thought I was some Rock n’ Roll star.

In hospital, the haunts of time, a chilly specimen jar.
Where poison and remorse became my soul vernacular.
Where darkness drowned my daffodil girl in her daffodil yellow bra.
Oh, Julie, wherever you now are —more distant than some star:

It would never be too far.
We could never ever go too far.


words and music: David Nigel Lloyd
Track Name: The Ballad of Canoga Dan
THE BALLAD OF CANOGA DAN

The palm trees are swaying outside the shopping mall.
The dreams of summer fading, at last beyond recall.
There’s snow upon the mountains and rain upon the sea
and years to fall upon this song of who we chose to be.

So, I make a poor apostle with my mixed up metaphor.
But, then he’s not around to come knocking on my door
to show me where I’m wrong and lead us all in song
who dwell upon this Gothic desert sand
where he we called Canoga Dan did stand.

Summoned to Golgotha out on Route 66.
His faithful family Rambler as his wingéd crucifix. The ladies
sadly shake their tails. They’d seen the holes made by the nails.
To satisfy all disbelieving men,
Canoga Dan The Man will rise again.

You’re a better man than I, Canoga Dan!
Unlikely looking master with a master plan.
II miglior fabro. And how that cat could blow!
For the pure at heart he always will defend.
He’d do his all for them until the end.

words and music: David Nigel Lloyd
Track Name: Evangeline, I
EVANGELINE, I

Oh, Evangeline! Evangeline, I
am reminded of you always by the smell of gasoline.
Oh, I come burning down the interstate.
And I’m still believing in a life -long mate.
Oh, Evangeline,
you are my sight unseen.
Oh, Evangeline,
you are my Arco Supreme.

Oh, Evangeline! Evangeline, I
sing along with that song about a faraway dream
where you’re a happy girl and I’m a happy boy.
But the voice that I hear doesn’t sing for happy joy.
“Oh, Evangeline!” it cries. “A dream never lies.
And if Evangeline dies
please don’t open up my eyes.”

Oh I, I — I felt the pain.
But, Inside I knew I wasn’t insane.
And you, you — You’re so pretty and vain. Oh,
but, I knew you were never to blame. Oh, no never…

Oh, Evangeline! Evangeline, I
saw your picture on the cover of a magazine.
Was it you that kept me driving on down the white line?
Was it you in the desert crying ‘Help!’ on Channel 9?
Oh, Evangeline,
are you still at large?
Or just a highway mirage?
Please be my honest garage.


words and music: David Nigel Lloyd
Track Name: I Was Once Your Mountain Man
I WAS ONCE YOUR MOUNTAIN MAN

I kicked my tattered climbing boots
across the cabin floor.
My feet are bruised and blistered, Lord.
I just can’t climb no more.
The moonlight streaks across the snow
and strokes my weary head.
A rifle rack upon the wall,
I might as well be dead.

New York was not my type o’ town.
I worked my way back west
and got a job with Taco Bell
back in Los Angeles.
Every night I dreamed of you
up in our mountain home.
Just one room and the summer stars
The greatest love I’ve known

Why have you forsaken me?
How could you forget
that I was once your mountain man?
I ain’t forgotten yet.
I ain’t forgotten.

A keening wind around me
A station long ago
A summer of the passion
A flower beneath the snow
Now I see you driving down
that long road to LA.
Your windshield wipers wiping
all eternity away.


words and music: David Nigel Lloyd
Track Name: Writer's Cramp
WRITER'S CRAMP

When I was little boy books brought me great delight,
till stricken with the strange conviction I was born to write.
Destined to be a classic! Most likely to succeed!
A sword of light through dark ages, my destiny fulfilled
But, sister when I cut myself
both blood and ink were spilled.

A musketeer of litra-cheer must always keep his cool,
though office blocks and traffic jams do challenge him to duel.
What kingdoms he’s conquered wielding his pen:
Touchet! (the Mystery of Man). En gaurde! (His False Belief).
Nurse, I’m badly wounded.
Please, administer relief!

By riverside or roadside I would calmly gaze
and read just what I wanted to. Thus would I spend my days.
The waters were so soothing. The cars so far away.
The skies so wide and splendid at the ending of each day.

Come writer’s cramp or drowsiness, an author keeps his vow.
He respects his deadline and his deeply furrowed brow.
He doesn’t stop to wonder if he’s wasting his time.
The pen more mighty than the sword! (I took those words to heart)
Babe, I sacrificed my life
in the name of art.


words and music: David Nigel Lloyd
Track Name: Do You Think You're Alone?
DO YOU THINK YOU'RE ALONE?


Curl up in bed as long as you can
’cause everything looks the same.
What will you do when you wake up
and your code of life goes lame?

Your best girl left the party with some other guy.
You can’t wipe away this heartache like that tear in your eye.
You’re drunk out on the freeway. Why not smash up and die? When you puked in front of everyone you really lost your cool.
You cried into the mirror and called yourself a fool.

Do you think you ‘re alone?
Do you think you ‘re alone?
You felt so empty handed
when your idol’s feet turned clay.
You felt so sick and nervous
when the whole world looked away.

There are stories on the news you can’t afford to ignore.
Grit your teeth and load your six-guns better barricade the door cuz you don’t think that they’re bluffing ‘bout nuclear world war. Civilization is more than malcontent.
Let Jesus save me this time round. I’d know what he meant.

Do you think you ‘re insane?
Do you think you ‘re insane?

Don’t the ocean sound so pretty as you’re hidden in the dunes? Like a sweetheart in a swimsuit singin’ rock n’ roll tunes
In the deep fog with caresses and her sandy voice that croons, “You know the war is over, honey. Settle down with me.” And God
you know she’s tempting when she whispers, “You’ll be free!”

And so you‘re fallin’ in love.
And so you‘re fallin’ in love.
You want to let the ocean in
and wash it clean away.
Do you remember what it’s like
to be happy every day?


words and music: David Nigel Lloyd
Track Name: The Judgment of Paris
THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS

I am your lover.
I am your lover.
I am a man of the world,
the world of love.

I am your lover, like it or not.
I am your lover so take what you got.
You’ve got to take it to the world. The world of love

A man and a woman, they got to stand together,
for better or worse, in fair or foul weather.
That’s what I believe. Till death bids us grieve

And times sure are tough. And life is unfair.
And we gotta work hard for the children we bear,
leaving nothing behind to blame on mankind.

Three women appear, each one a goddess.
But, which one is fairest? To choose would be madness.
But, that’s what they ask so I fulfill my task
and the Earth starts to spin and the sky caves in.

Now I’m just a youth with a good eye for beauty.
So don’t tell me that you do your duty
for you’re just like me and right here we can see
the siege of our lust and dust upon dust upon dust.

And they say there’s a way
that love will survive
That a new day will dawn
and we’ll all arrive
But till then, “Paradise”
will have to suffice.

I am your lover.
Be quick to discover
you ain’t got no other.
I am your lover.
I am your lover.
I am your lover.


WORDS AND MUSIC: DNL
Track Name: The Ballad of the Surfer Moon
THE BALLAD OF THE SURFER MOON
— for Pat Meehan

A song upon our cusp of dawn,
now the Surfer Moon, he has come and gone:
We were shocked by his untimely severance.
But Death, it seems, shared his irreverence.
Oh, I know how well you loved the song
when the stars were wild and the night was strong.

Let this purple lingo for the moment preside:
It was you who saw him surf the phosphor tide.
In the sea of sadness our Prince Of Laughter
drowned so finally whatever we were after.
So, here’s to us and our decision,
the graceless word, the birth incision,
our wives so glad to hear us say
let’s not turn from the light of day.
Then you and I will meet as friends.
But, not as boys, for now we’re only men.

Those that know they are the world
Who are this very thing they cherish
Who love with love that’s not in vain
Why should they choose to let it perish?


words and music: David Nigel Lloyd