Smithereens 11: Guitarist Jim Babjak Breaks Down 11 Essential Smithereens Tracks
Smithereens lead guitarist Jim Babjak breaks down 11 essential Smithereens tracks.
"Time and Time Again"
From Especially for You (1986, Enigma/Capitol Records)
"Time and Time Again" is the first song we ever recorded. The 1980 version appears on our rarities album, Attack of the Smithereens. I used a 1971 Stratocaster through a Music Man amp for that one.
The early take is very charming, and I like it a lot. It was my first time in a recording studio and I was playing it very safe. That would soon change as my playing became more aggressive.
A few years later I made a trade with my younger brother: his 1972 Rickenbacker for my 1971 Stratocaster. The Rick became my main guitar till 1988, and I still use it to this day at select shows. In 1985 I used that same Burgundy Red Rickenbacker on most of our first album and it's very noticeable on this track. It's got a slightly dirty tone achieved through the Marshall, but it still jangles in certain spots of the song.
I'm especially proud of the ending guitar bit. We recorded the bass, drums and guitar live. I was standing right next to Dennis Diken and was feeding off the energy of his drumming. I didn't even hear the bass because I wasn't wearing headphones. I was on auto pilot. I didn't know what I was going to play at the end because I was told it was going to be a fade, so I didn't plan anything. It was really spontaneous.
I don't know why I threw in that Dick Dale "Pipeline" lick going down and then back up the neck, but it worked. Don Dixon was producing, and when we finished tracking, he said, "That's a keeper!"
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