Home > Digital Life, Music > Dylan’s Ghost- Songs of a Lifetime- Track 3- Hold Up

Dylan’s Ghost- Songs of a Lifetime- Track 3- Hold Up

West Bank Robbery.png
Scene from the movie, Dog Day Afternoon

Hold Up– By Robert Garcia, Copyright 2015

 

Hold Up is a pretty old tune, dating back to around 1975 or so.  The Al Pacino movie, Dog Day Afternoon, had come out and I don’t know if I was inspired by it or my concept came coincidentally around the same time the movie was released- but the song is a first-person account from the point of view of a nervous bank robber who is not exactly enamored with his “life of crime.”  In Dog Day Afternoon, a modern day Brooklyn bank robbery perpetrated by inexperienced criminals goes horribly awry.   Hold Up is set in the late 1800’s and the robbery goes better than Pacino’s- but it’s still a pretty stressful deal.

west-bank-robbers-1500.jpg

One way to approach listening to this song is to treat the “Mexico” verses like dream sequences.  There are three of these verses and all of them feature almost a calypso quality, with Producer, Jeff Severson, adding classical guitar and his wife, Sally Swan joining my friend, Ben Mason in creating some smooth, easy, gentle harmonies.  When the song is describing the actual robbery, the music is much edgier- Jeff’s electric guitar doing its best rendition of the British rock band, Free.

The song went through significant changes and is actually a kind of odd-duck in its structure.    I think that’s what makes it interesting- kinda don’t know where it’s going next.  The final Mexico verse was all new and gave our bank robber a romantic motive for his crime and his burning desire to get across the border.

Hold Up begins quite purposely basic with just two acoustic guitars and a light conga-like drum.   On the album it is preceded by the highly produced We Miss You, so the contrast as the album transitions to Hold Up is very cool- a case of “less is more.”   And when the full compliment of bass and drums does kick in about 30 seconds later- it really packs a nice punch and escalates the drama of the lyrical narrative as the bank robbery begins to unfold.   Credit to my buddy, Ben Mason for the idea of letting the start of Hold Up be subtle and understated.

Hold Up

By Robert Garcia

Pulled into town about half past three
We were hungry for silver- we were gonna be free
Had a little whiskey to calm our nerves
Walked right past the Union reserves

Brother Luke turned to me and said “You’re the one”
Said “You’re the one who’s gonna have all the fun”
Tell that teller what you want and make it clear
We’re going to grab that silver and get out of here
Oh yeah

Mexico, oh Mexico
I’m headed down your way
I got pockets full of silver but I got no time
That sun-baked land gonna feel so fine
So fine
So fine
So fine

This hold-up’s taking such a long, long time
My legs are weak and I’m going blind
I can’t shoot straight- I got a worried mind
And I’m oh so tired of this life of crime

Tell that teller what you want and make it clear
We’re going to grab that silver and get out of here
Oh

Mexico, oh Mexico
I’m headed down your way
I got pockets full of silver but I got no time
That sun-baked land gonna feel so fine
So fine
So fine
So fine

Mexico, oh Mexico
There’s a lovely girl there I used to know
Never really wanted to say goodbye
Always really want to give it just another try
So fine
So fine, (bye, bye)
So fine, (bye, bye)

By Robert Garcia, Copyright 2015

Dylan’s Ghost- Songs of a Lifetime is available for digital download at I-Tunes, CD Baby, and Amazon Music. Purists who would like a hard copy of the CD can contact me directly at robert.garcia.56@gmail.com and we’ll make arrangements to ship it out to you.

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