As the 97’s celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of Too Far To Care, I will take the opportunity to dig into my addled memory for some stories and insights. I’ll start with a track-by-track retrospective of the album’s thirteen songs. I will address them in reverse order, finishing appropriately with “Timebomb”.
Track 07 – “Streets of Where I’m From”
I wrote “Streets Of Where I’m From” when I was 26 years old. Everything was changing. I felt adrift. The line, “I’m well past 25,” was meant as the most inside of jokes – just for me. I was barely past 25, after all. Nowadays, when I sing it, I can’t help but think of just how far I now am past 25. This essay will post on my 42nd birthday, which means I am now 17 years past that golden, tumultuous age. A sort of geographical prescience is at work in this song as well. It turns out I was headed west, although I didn’t know it at the time. I would be a California resident within a year of Too Far To Care’s release.
As for the hearts upon which I and my friends and lovers tread in the song’s hometown, I won’t say any more than the song already does, except to point out that the years between the onset of adolescence and the moment when one accepts the mantle of adulthood are selfish, drunken and often painful. But as Prince Hal points out in Shakespeare’s Henry V, Part Two, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Childish things like stomping mudholes in unsuspecting hearts? I was “a boy with bad intentions,” after all. I have tried to be a better man in the years past twenty-five. I haven’t always succeeded, but I’ve tried.
PS: Have your own memories of “Streets of Where I’m From” or Too Far To Care in general? Tweet them at me.
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