THE BEGINNING IN THE END WAS SLATHERED IN SUNSHINE…

This country-fried track was off what would have been Crayon’s third (and final) album.

By 1982, Wayne had become disenchanted with his position in the color box. I didn’t blame him. He and I had little influence over how Crayon records were mixed, and—much to our protestations—David, our producer, seemed to be mixing him out of the picture. At the same time, I was getting tired of the chilly San Francisco summers. So in 1983, I moved back to sunny Sacramento to continue writing and recording on my own, and Wayne went on to bigger and other.

FRANK MERRIWELL’S GREAT VICTORY —Roland Vikre

Frank Merriwell was a much-loved hero of American juvenile sports fiction. While attending Yale, he excelled at football, baseball, basketball, crew, and track; not to mention crime-solving, wrong-righting, and all around do-gooding.

He first appeared in a series of magazine stories created by Gilbert Patton in 1896.
His keen intellect and commanding physical attributes proved so inspirational that his exploits were expounded in comic books, dime novels, short stories, and film.

Exemplifying “fine sportsmanship, athletic prowess, and indomitable courage!” Frank neither smoked nor drank—which may have been his downfall, as the series declined in popularity by the early 1950’s.

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THE BEGINNING GOT AWAY…

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This song was intended to be the first single off Crayon’s second album. We had had some success with the prior two singles “Learning How to Love Again” and “Carry Me Back” off of our first album, and thought this song was more single-y than either of those. When Wayne and I took it around to radio, one of the program directors told us he liked the song and would be happy to play it if we would be so kind as to take out one of the words. The word in question was, “shit.” Back in 1981 you weren’t allowed to talk shit on the air, even if you wanted to. So, I changed the lyric to something more shitty, something I didn’t like, because I couldn’t think of anything else. In the end, it didn’t matter because despite having a fully completed album ready for release, and a song off it that was assured radio airplay, we never put it out. Instead, Wayne and I spontaneously packed up, left town, and moved to San Francisco, where all would be forgotten, and I would begin writing songs for a third Crayon album. In hindsight, that’s what you call letting a dream get away.

“HE DIED FOR HIS COUNTRY, BUT NO ONE NOTICED.” Roland Vikre

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For all intents and purposes, medieval warfare was a grueling, gruesome, dysentery provoking pastime for the common foot soldier. But for the mounted, more well-to-do, sometimes noble knight, it could be an opportunity to increase land holdings, do some social climbing, cash in on ransomed prisoners, and enjoy the genteel accoutrements of a pillaged village.

Of course, there were drawbacks to being a mounted knight as well. For instance, at Agincourt, in 1415 (think Shakespeare’s Henry V), the English defeated a French army five times its size. Due in part, to the poor judgment of a good number of acquisitive French equestrians who could hardly wait to get their hands on the cream of English nobility and ransom them to the highest bidder.

Wearing heavy, steel, state-of-the-art armor in what must have seemed like a “shock and awe” moment; the French raced on horseback through the narrow, muddy swamp. French foot soldiers felled by the famous English longbow turned the constricted battlefield into an outright bottleneck. Undeterred, the ransom-hungry equestrians galloped on over their broken bodies—in many cases, drowning their fellow Frenchmen in the mud. Though English arrows were no match for their fancy French steel; the knights failed to appreciate (with disastrous consequences) that their horses could still be shot out from under them. (When you fall from your horse into the mud wearing 66-110 lb’s of steel, suffice to say, it’s not easy to get up no matter how good you look!)
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