Jim Graw and I were perched in the basket of a construction lift, fastening aluminum to the front of an old downtown building. It is the kind of task that can become rather mundane if it weren’t done 80 feet above the sidewalk. It’s times like these you start thinking about why you had to chase girls and smoke pot in high school instead of studying for a more grounded profession.
As the sun makes the yellow brick facade into a retina frying mirror, we hear Pearl Jam’s 'Even Flow' come out of the speakers of our small, portable, radio.
"Did you ever play drinking games when you were younger?" I ask.
"You mean like quarters and stuff?" Jim replies.
"Yeah. I have these things about vocalized pauses in songs." I answer.
Jim’s brow furrows. "I’m not really following you."
"Vocalized pauses are things we say when we are stalling to find the right thing to say. Instead of waiting and gathering your thoughts before speaking, you say uh, um, er, yeah, but, well or something totally useless like that."
"What does that have to do with drinking?" Jim queries.
"I have always wondered why otherwise talented songwriters would put vocalized pauses as lyrics in their songs. When I was younger, to get drunk quick, we would take shots of beer every time a singer would sing a vocalized pause."
Eddie Vedder interrupts, "Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies-Oh, He don’t know so he chases them away-yeah-ooo-Something gives, he begins his life again-ooo-whisperin hand, gently gives away-him away,him away-yeah-guitar riff-ooo-guitar riff-auhuu-guitar riff-unintelligible mumbling."
Jim listens intently then speaks. "You were drunk a lot back then weren’t you."
Cory Folz would have been a rock star by now if it weren't for his wife. :)