SESSIONS & SONGS
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150. APPLAUSE APPLAUSE (STARS): 2 page original typed final lyric, annotated and signed "Final - Janis Ian", along with a 2 page copy of typed first draft with extra (unused) verses; 1972; with out-of-print Stars songbook. My little apartment in California (2 rooms, 2 stories, at the end of a garden court, all for $170 a month!) had a bedroom that extended into a second floor screened-in porch, where I would sleep during the summer. One very late night, unable to sleep, I watched the elderly lady who rented a storage space behind the building enter the storage space and not come out again. I realized she was living there and thought "This is what happens to performers, too. One day we're so broke that we have to move into a windowless, airless dump and hide from the world."
151. APPLAUSE APPLAUSE (STARS): Handwritten original 4 page lead sheet with "May 73" in Janis' hand, signed and dated; with out-of-print Stars songbook. I wrote this around the piano part, envisioning a circus-like atmosphere with the performer dancing on the high wire.
153A. APPLAUSE APPLAUSE (STARS): 36 annotated orchestral parts from the session including Janis' key copy and piano part, Brooks Arthur's orchestral key (engineer/producer), handwritten and annotated parts for bassist Richard Davis, violin, piccolo clarinet, and double bass, complete with coffee stains; 1971-1972. Withe original vinyl album of Stars. My first ever orchestration, done with 44 pieces for the Stars album. Richard Davis, then with the NY Philharmonic, played upright bass; I'd been having a little trouble getting the players to pay attention when Richard entered, dressed in tux and tails. He turned slowly to the other players and said "Gentlemen, this is the lady's first effort - let us give it our best". And they did.
152. AT SEVENTEEN (BETWEEN THE LINES): Original handwritten orchestral score for instrumental section with Janis' session corrections, 3 pages 11"x17" each, signed; 1973. With Between the Lines CD. I wrote this song while living at my mom's, sitting at her dining room table with a guitar in hand. I was reading a Sunday New York Times Magazine piece about debutantes that started out "I learned the truth at eighteen". Only my second scoring effort, with a number of mistakes!
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153B. AT SEVENTEEN (BETWEEN THE LINES): Edited lyric sheet from 6/9/93 appearance on The Tonight Show, typed by Janis with loads of annotated notes, along with 2 page original chart from that day marked "Janis' copy". With Between the Lines CD. We already have a bid on this of $250.00. When I "came back" the Tonight Show wanted me on, but they wanted me to do a portion of "At Seventeen" to re-introduce myself to their audience; I agreed, provided Branford Marsalis would take part of the solo. These are my notes from that show. VIEW THIS ITEM
154. BELLE OF THE BLUES (AFTERTONES): Xerox of typed lyric with red handwritten vocal notes throughout, an interesting look into the singer's mind as she tries to work out the drama of the vocal and the character, along with live show chart containing Janis' handwritten movement notes; 1975. With Aftertones CD. I often use xeroxes of my original typed lyrics in the studio, since that way when I've annotated beyond recognition I can go to a fresh sheet. Regarding this piece, I used to worry about not putting enough emotion into my vocals; this lyric is riddled with notes like "malicious" and "start with triumph".
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155. BELLE OF THE BLUES (AFTERTONES): 21 orchestral parts including Janis' 6 page annotated session copies and Jerry Ragavoy's key chart; 1975. With Aftertones CD. I had liked writing "Bright Lights & Promises" so much that I decided to continue the theme, asking Jerry Ragavoy to help me design an arrangement that would conjure up barroom balladeers.
156. BERLIN (REVENGE): Original first lyric draft on 11"x8.5" legal paper, with working title "The Dwarfs Are In the Hall" written across the top; 1994. With Revenge CD. I wrote this with Linda Perry, former lead singer and writer for 4 Non-Blondes; she was pretty nervous about co-writing at first but eventually lightened up and I had an absolutely terrific time. Inbetween coming up with working titles like this one, she played most of the guitar while I took most of the notes.
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157. BETWEEN THE LINES (BETWEEN THE LINES): Original handwritten two page second draft, on two 8.5"x5.5" pieces of white ruled notebook paper, rhyme schemes and notes on back of each page as well, many corrections and cross-outs; 1973. With CD of Between the Lines; sold as a lot. We already have a bid on this of $150.00. After Stars came out I started getting invited to parties - the kind I'd dreamed of going to, the kind I now avoid. People would cluster in corners, waiting for someone more famous than the people already there so they could go and meet the newest "somebody". Glasses would tinkle, brittle laughter would ring out, long-married couples would fight in public out of the sides of their mouths. I hated it, and that's how this song came to be.
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158. BETWEEN THE LINES (BETWEEN THE LINES): Typed lyric sheet annotated by Janis with notes for arrangement and vocal; 1974. With Between the Lines CD. For me, arrangements always start in the heart, and grow out of lyric and melodic content. I knew how I wanted this to feel, as a singer and arranger, but I didn't have the skill to translate it orchestrally, so I took a lot of notes and asked Ron Frangipane to put it all together.
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159. BETWEEN THE LINES (BETWEEN THE LINES): 5 page original handwritten lead sheet along with 20 charts including Janis' own annotated session chart; 1974. With Between the Lines CD. When it came time to record the song, we still didn't have much money in the budget. Ron Frangipane (arranger) and I sweated over how to create the chaotic party atmosphere and the sense of a ship going down in flames, with minimal musicians.
160. BIGGER THAN REAL (RESTLESS EYES): Handwritten original 2 page chart, along with a 2 page typed lyric with annotated band cue notes and a Xeroxed 2 page session chart, heavily annotated, along with a small annotated chart for band; 1979-1980. With Restless Eyes vinyl album; sold as a lot. I started this song sometime in the mid-70's, in 4/4 time. Gary Klein, the producer on Restless Eyes, wanted something in 3/4 time on the album. We fooled around a lot with it and came up with this.
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161. BIGGER THAN REAL (RESTLESS EYES): Handwritten 2 page chart, heavily annotated in purple and black, with lyrics, arrangement notes, original old title, marked "Janis'"; 1980. A great piece. With Restless Eyes vinyl album. I usually annotate in purple or red because it stands out from the page... I distract easily. 162. BLACK AND WHITE (HUNGER): Initial lyric sketch and notes, mainly things that didn't wind up in the final song, lists of topics to address ("freedom riders, boycott, Emmett Till, free at last") and ideas for verses ("cold war back in Russia and a hot war here at home"), blue ink covering sheet of yellow legal paper; 1996. It's always hard to write about something you've lived through and care passionately about; I began taking notes after watching a documentary on the freedom riders on television, hoping to someday write a song addressing that period in our nation's history.
163. BOY I REALLY TIED ONE ON (AFTERTONES): Janis' original key copy session chart with annotations, along with 6 other session charts; 1975. With Aftertones CD. I kind of missed the Swinging '60's and the Sexy '70's... to busy performing. Never slept around, never got so drunk I couldn't remember where I was the next morning. But gee, my friends made sure I knew all about it!
164. BOY I REALLY TIED ONE ON (AFTERTONES): Xeroxed lyric with Janis' annotations, along with 6 miniature band charts including Janis', Claire Bay's vocal parts, along with corrected lead sheet and note from Janis at bottom "This isn't brain surgery you know"; 1974-1975. With out-of-print Aftertones songbook. Admittedly, my reputation for perfectionism and impatience wasn't helped by a propensity to write notes like this on corrected drafts of other people's work...
165. BREAKING SILENCE (BREAKING SILENCE): Original lyric draft for bridge and third verse, on scrap of 6.5"x5" paper, with Janis' name and scheduling notes on reverse; 1991. Also Janis' typed lyric sheet, annotated with lots of notes; 1992. Sold as a lot. One day I turned around and realized that most - not many, but most - of the women I knew had had incestuous experiences growing up. It blew me away. Whether the perpetrator was father, uncle, brother, even mother, the end result was the same for them - shame, fear, confusion they carried well into their adult lives. I had so many ex-lovers struggling through this problem during our relationship that I lost all patience with the perpetrators and began seeing them as selfish, bullying, pure evil.
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166. BREAKING SILENCE (BREAKING SILENCE): Original second verse draft with notation, notes on bridge section, on a 7"x5" piece of grey ruled paper. I write anywhere, anytime, whenever an idea comes; lyrics & melodies usually get scribbled out on the back of whatever's available. I've destroyed a lot of napkins that way. This pad belonged to someone in a restaurant and I stole some paper off their table while they were in the restroom.
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167. BREAKING SILENCE (BREAKING SILENCE): Handwritten original session chart and 2 bass charts, all annotated with lots of notes; 1992. Comes with cassette of "pitch tape" used to try and get a record deal for this album. We made Breaking Silence with money Pat and I raised by mortgaging our home. We hoped it would be easy to sell. It wasn't. By the time I made this "pitch tape" I'd just about given up on ever having a recording career again. The Grammy Nomination this album received was, therefore, even sweeter.
168. THE BRIDGE (JANIS IAN II): Janis' original typed lyric dated "May 1977", with handwritten revisions in red and blue ink, chords, and extra verses, along with second typed draft with chords; 1977. With CD of Janis Ian II. I rented a house in Connecticut for the spring and fall, intending to spend some much-earned time with my lover of five years. Unfortunately, the lover had other thoughts. This song was my attempt to bridge the gap between us.
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169. THE BRIDGE (JANIS IAN II): Original lead sheet, handwritten and signed, plus 12 mostly annotated charts including Janis' own annotated session chart and corrected songbook chart; 1977. With vinyl record of Janis Ian II. Another hard song to play, the session took a long long time and many revisions before we could put it on the album.
170. BRIGHT LIGHTS & PROMISES (BETWEEN THE LINES): Typed annotated draft with chord indications, along with 10 original session charts including Janis' own annotated charts and handwritten bass chart for Richard Davis; 1973-1974. With CD of Between the Lines. I grew up in an all-black neighborhood, surrounded by blues, Motown, and R&B - this feel comes out of that.
171. BRIGHT LIGHTS & PROMISES (BETWEEN THE LINES): Final draft, along with six-page songbook proof with Janis' corrections; 1973-1974. With CD of Between the Lines. At the time I wrote this I was playing clubs, night in and night out, 15 shows a week for $500. I was exhausted, I was fed up, I kept wondering "Where are all the bright lights?"
172. THE COME ON (BETWEEN THE LINES): Typed lyric, annotated during session, with notation; also 3 original lead sheets including Janis' and bass, both annotated; 1974. With Between the Lines CD. I'd been on the road for two years straight, taking breaks only to record Stars and Between the Lines. I was young, little, and cute, and men were hitting on me a lot - usually very nicely, but sometimes with a big hidden agenda. It was the time of Sensitive Guys, which sometimes translated into Men Who Will Say Anything They Think You Want To Hear. I didn't really enjoy hearing it.
173. DANCE WITH ME (STARS): Original handwritten 5 page lead sheet and piano part; 1972. With out-of-print Stars songbook. I wrote this song in a fury after a friend's brother was shipped home from Vietnam in a body bag. Then I decided the choruses needed to be pretty, for contrast, so I wrote a pretty piano part. Playing it in time with the band was another story, though!
174. DANCE WITH ME (STARS) Annotated copy of lyrics for liner notes, along with 3 original session charts including Janis'annotated key chart and Richard Davis' bass chart; 1973. With vinyl album of Stars. Written & recorded at the height of the Vietnam war, the musicians all felt strongly about playing on it, & Richard Davis in particular was brilliant.
175. DO YOU WANNA DANCE? (JANIS IAN II): Annotated session lyric, along with Janis' 3 page original annotated chart and 6 more charts, including drummer Steve Gadd's; 1977. With vinyl album of Janis Ian II. Steve's the only drummer I know of who can sound like he's "playing under water", which is what he created on this song.
176. FLY TOO HIGH (NIGHT RAINS; THEME FOR THE MOVIE "FOXES"): Typed second draft annotated lyric with lots of hand-written notes, new third verse, on hotel stationary in black and blue ink; 1978. With Dutch vinyl single of "Fly Too High" b/w live performance of "Here Comes the Night" (color cover). I'd wanted to work with Giorgio Moroder since I heard Donna Summer's first record; he sent me a track & melody idea, I sent him a lyric idea, we finished our parts & met in LA for the recording. Unfortunately, I hadn't realized there was a third verse, so I desperately typed this out that morning before my studio call. Steve Madeio played the immensely difficult trumpet part here.
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177. FLY TOO HIGH (NIGHT RAINS; THEME FOR THE MOVIE "FOXES"): Janis' original key chart along with original and xeroxed session charts and an annotated live show cue sheet; 1978. With Dutch vinyl single of "Fly Too High" b/w live performance of "Here Comes the Night" (color cover). It was odd working with Giorgio; he did the entire track before ever calling the singer in, almost all of it synthesized. Remember, this was 1978, and synthesizers were relatively new. I asked him at one point "But Giorgio, what about art?" and he replied "Art? Once I did Art. Now I make a living." Sound advice.
178. FROM ME TO YOU (BETWEEN THE LINES): Annotated typed lyric sheet along with 2 page handwritten annotated bass chart, Janis' own annotated chart, and 3 other charts including Brooks Arthur's (producer); 1974. With CD of Between the Lines. One of my favorite songs, hard to get right since no one was used to playing along with a guitar - the guitarist always played along with the drums and bass. I wrote this just after turning 21, when the person I was interested in dating turned out to be married (something she unfortunately had forgotten to mention in our discussions).
179. GETTING OVER YOU (HUNGER): Original final draft, handwritten on sheet of yellow legal pad paper, with chords for guitar instrumental section; 1995. My computer was down and Gary Burr and I each needed a copy of the final lyric to do the demo, so I sketched this out and ran off a copy for him on my fax machine. We wrote it fast, in a single morning - obviously, being left was a subject familiar to both of us!
180. GETTING OVER YOU (HUNGER): Original 13 page annotated and corrected orchestral chart (Janis' name is misspelled on page 1) along with session lyric; 1997. The big record from Hunger, this gorgeous song was orchestrated by Ronn Huff, with way too many changes written in by me!
181. GOODBYE TO MORNING (AFTERTONES): Handwritten original 2 page onionskin chart along with 12 charts including Janis' own annotated; 1975. With CD of Aftertones. In the "old days", pre-computer & good Xeroxing, we used to have to write charts/lead sheets in India ink on onionskin; mistakes had to be cut out of the sheet, with corrected parts then taped on. I spent 6 months earning my living that way, & was very grateful when Xeroxing came along!
182. HAVE MERCY, LOVE (NIGHT RAINS): Handwritten original 2 page lead sheet along with two sets of typed lyrics, with song notes for never-used bridge lyric; 1977. With CD of Night Rains; sold as a lot. I began this song sometime in the late '60's, but was never satisfied with it. By the time we got around to recording this album, I had John Crowder to sing with me, and the arrangement began to make sense.
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183. HAVE MERCY, LOVE (NIGHT RAINS): Janis' two annotated charts along with four others, and original handwritten sax parts; 1977. With CD of Night Rains; sold as a lot. Lots of times songs are longer going into the studio than they are coming out; it's hard to learn to edit yourself before you can really "hear it" in toto. This song went through 2 or 3 bridges before I decided not to have one.
184. HERE COMES THE NIGHT (NIGHT RAINS; THEME FROM THE FILM "THE BELL JAR"): Original first draft with first and second verses, bridge, unused crossed-out third verse, lots of corrections, on sheet of yellow legal paper; 1977. With CD of Night Rains and Dutch vinyl single of "Fly Too High" b/w live performance of "Here Comes the Night" (color cover). The problem with writing for films is that music is a "below the line" expense, meaning they attend to it after everything else is done. I wrote this while they were still editing the film, but midway through the session we got a call from the film's director informing us that we had to shave 30 seconds off the record. We edited a little and speeded up the tempo, to the detriment (I believe) of the finished product. The live version is what I really meant to do.
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185. HIS HANDS (BREAKING SILENCE): Original first draft, with corrections, cross-outs, list of phone calls to be made, other cryptic notes, on small piece of yellow ruled paper; 1991. I woke one morning during my marriage thinking "My God, I've turned into those women I read about in books, the ones who stay with an emotional or physical abuser because they've forgotten what it's like to live normally - I need to get the *!@# out of here." Shortly after that I left, but it took some serious therapy to get over the damage, the string-pulling, the guilt and fear. This song helped me work through all of that.
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186. HONOR THEM ALL (HUNGER): Janis' original annotated chart and annotated session lyrics; 1997. I wrote this late one night after a social worker's convention had invited me to be their guest singer. I was thinking about my Mom and Dad and brother, the mistakes we'd made, how much I regretted the wasted times of my youth. I had the flu when we recorded it, so I took careful careful notes because my mind felt like a sieve.
187. HOPPER PAINTING (JANIS IAN II): Original handwritten 2 page lead sheet along with Janis' annotated piano part and drummer Steve Gadd and guitarist Sal DiTrioa's parts; 1977. With CD of Janis Ian II. We tried to cut this with Steve, Sal, & Richard Davis, then junked that track in favor of the solo piano represented on the album. We did that because Richard Davis looked down at me during the playback and said "This is the most American piano piece I've ever heard; you go for it!"
188. HOTELS & ONE NIGHT STANDS (JANIS IAN II): Janis' original 4 page session chart, heavily annotated in purple ink, along with 3 other 4 page session charts and a xerox of lead sheet for songbook with annotations throughout; 1977. With CD of Janis Ian II. I'd been sharing stages with Billy for a few years (mostly with him blowing me off them!) and wanted to capture the spirit of his playing and his band in this.
189. HOUSE WITHOUT A HEART (HUNGER): Original first draft, notation & first verse on 7"x5" ripped-off cover of science fiction book "Countdown to Midnight"; 1996. I had the idea for this sitting in my car, and grabbed the first piece of paper I could find. I read a lot of science fiction, so my files are littered with bits of songs notated on the back of Orson Scott Card, Kate Wilhelm et al.
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190. HUNGER (HUNGER): Original third draft, handwritten on 13"x8.5" legal paper, with crossed-out changes to verses; 1997. I'd had this idea since 1995, but never got anywhere with it beyond a melody sketch of the verse. Two days before we started recording Hunger I began working on it in earnest but got stuck on the third verse, so I pulled out my datebook and found notes on a May Sarton poem. I used her lines as an impetus to find mine and finished the song; the drafts were all on lovely, clean yellow pads, but there's a lot of changes in each.
191. HYMN (AFTERTONES): Annotated session lyric from vocal date with Odetta & Phoebe Snow, with handwritten chart with old title "Time and the River" and handwritten bass part; 1975. With Aftertones CD. I wrote "Hymn" for others to sing, hoping audiences would sing back the harmonies to me. Unfortunately it came out a little too long, a little too slow for that. Still, this session was one of the thrills of my life, working with two great singers. The parts were hard, and the ladies did great.
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