Blog Gigs Facts Music Shop Links
home >  music :  songs /  discography /  downloads

Songs: Zipcodes

notes / gigs / releases

Here is a picture of me that I drew when I was nine
It's my plan to be a superhero
I think I thought my power to fight the fiends of Peterborough
Was to wear some X-Ray Specs 'cos I'd seen an Advert which said
They see through clothes and skin
But you couldn't ever get them in this country
You had to send off a coupon From Marvel Two-In-One
Featuring Ben Grimm, the ever lovin' blue-eyed Thing

But there's one thing for which they asked
That was something I never had
A Zip Code
Never had a Zip Code
And I don't know what one is

I wanted to deliver Grit to my friends and neighbours
And raise Sea Monkeys as pets
I wanted a hundred and four model soldiers from the Civil War to collect
Though they never looked like Cavaliers or Roundheads to me
And oh the cartoons advertised for Saturday mornings used to drive
Me wild with jealousy for I was stuck with Beeb and ITV
Charles Atlas said he's make a man of me in 28
But it turned out he still had nine years to wait

But like a Hostess cupcake or a twinkie
One thing continued to elude me
A Zip Code
Never had a Zip Code
And I don't know what one is

But then the sad day came when I
Retired from the comics life
To spend my money getting pissed
No more the panelologist
Until in 1999
A new thought fluttered through my mind
So I spent three pounds ninety five
At the newsagent, just to find
Out what they'd call 2000AD
When it actually was 2000AD
Turned out they called it
But, reunited with Judge Dredd
I went to my attic and read
The complete works of Alan Moore
And John Byrne's run on Fantastic Four
The Crisis On Infinite Earths
Hellblazer, the Dark Knight Returns
Squadron Supreme, Nexus and Groo
And soon I found myself drawn to
My local comic shop, where I
Found that those comics that I'd liked
Had had a sharp increase in Price
And then I heard myself, aged nine
Solemnly telling my step-dad
Comics are an investment that
Will be worth an awful lot one day
So I rushed home, and to EBay
But my attempts to register
Were almost instantly deterred
I staggered, stumbled and I reeled
When I saw a required field
Was an enemy I knew so well
I fell back from the keyboard and shouted - what the hell
Is a Zipcode?
Never had a Zip Code
And I don't know what one is

Here is a picture of me aged thirty hunched over a screen
Where my American pen pal had told me what a zipcode means
The internet was young and hardly anyone online
So transatlantic translation of colloquialisms took up quite a lot of our time
I sold those comics and then bought more, by Grant Morrison and Alan Moore
Now, I love comics and I'm really glad that I've got my hobby back
But still things have changed, no more hand-lettered panels and the colour's better
And all the adverts are full page

I wonder is some of the mystery eroded
Will young imaginations be so fired up now that
It's a postcode
That is what a zipcode is
Yeah, I know
I do know what one is

Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

This is a song I'd spent YEARS thinking about writing and had several attempts at starting before this final version struggled out. I'd come up with a JAZZY BASS RIFF which I was preparing to take to a Validators Practice, and I got the first couple of verses pretty swiftly just before it happened. We JAMMED the song with just that bit and, I think, I made up the chorus section there and then. The first time we played it it sounded GRATE, but then it somehow went OFF so that, when we got to record the Demo Version at Memphis a couple of months later, it sounded a bit rubbish (you can hear it for yourself on our bandcamp page. It didn't help that it was very much the same all the way through, and that since the first practice it had more than DOUBLED in length.

I tried to think of a way to freshen it up, but the fact remained that it was really TOO LONG to play the way we had been doing, but i liked the words FAR TOO MUCH to cut them down, and so it gently moved OFF the Songs To Do List.

However, it stayed in my mind and when I started recording some songs for a possible American CASSETTE release the words to this one came back to me. In a TERRIBLY futuristic stylee i made up some LOOPS of guitars, mixed them all together, and found that I could sing a slightly rejigged version of this song over the top of it. Again, it was pretty much the same all the way through so I had to fiddle around with the loops and various WEIRD NOISES all the way through, and it was a LOT of fun. No wonder Brian Eno always looks so chipper!

Twitter /  Bandcamp /  Facebook /  YouTube
Click here to visit the Artists Against Success website An Artists Against Success Presentation