Then, in 1995, Steve asked me if I'd like to write a song with him. We'd been acquainted since 1983, when I was fourteen; his Dream Syndicate was the first band I'd ever seen in a nightclub. But given our age difference and that he lived on the West Coast and I lived out east, we only began to become friends after he moved to Manhattan in 1994. A few years earlier, during one of his trips to New York, I'd given him a recording of a song I wrote, "You Did Me Wrong." He found it charming and, once he was living out East, he suggested we write something together.
It really says something about Steve's character as well as his ear, that he would encourage me as a songwriter based on hearing "You Did Me Wrong," as it's not exactly Jimmy Webb. But he heard something in it, and I was over the moon at the thought of writing with him. So I gave him a guitar-and-voice recording of "No Dice" and the next thing I knew, a cassette of his demo of my "No Dice" redone with new lyrics as "Bait and Switch" arrived in the mail.
I remember how impressed I was with Steve's arrangement of our song. He multi-tracked his vocals so he could sing overlapping melody lines, overlaying the verse atop the final chorus. Given that the verse's and chorus's melodies were complementary, combining them made perfect sense, but I wouldn't have thought of it myself.
So now, twenty-five years later, "Bait and Switch" will finally greet the world when Decade comes out on October 23. Needless to say, I can't wait! As soon as it appears on YouTube, I'll post it here, so stay tuned.