I imagine our first week in 2021, Dan and I are going to be so psyched to get some things done around our house that we have been putting off. We are so thankful to have been able to make it to song 45 and are so close to the completion of our challenge. While that excites us we are definitely feeling tired of the write, learn, practice record schedule we have been on, week in and week out. "Can't Get To Heaven" felt a bit like a cheat and a bit like a necessary choice. You may recognize it as one we have performed out and one, while not on a CD, one we have previously recorded. Here's the backstory on the song: I had a brother that was two years older than me and when I was young, I looked up to him and wanted to be like him. He was gregarious, funny and a joy to be around and then one day he fell out of grace with some key people in his life. This happened for many reasons. Had you asked me to explain this at the time, I would have said it was like watching the pieces of a “Mouse Trap” game in motion. My father was a strict disciplinarian. My mother left us, “To find herself”. There was division in our family. He was 13 and vulnerable. He was trying to not feel vulnerable. He was trying to hold onto his “Top Dog” social status, he had among his peers. Someone in his peer group gave him something and it relaxed my brother. He felt less vulnerable. It seemed to be a solution and so it became the tool for that problem. He needed money to purchase it, so he got a job selling it. Working for someone else as their salesman, they had other products to push. A good salesman knows his products, so he did what any good salesman would do and got to know his products. By the time my parents figured their stuff out, the game of “Mouse Trap” was in full swing. By the time I wrote “Can’t Get To Heaven” my brother had already been in jail.
In my early twenties, I worked with a salesman who seemed to have a line for everything. One of those lines I heard time and time again. Whenever anyone came into our place of work, looking for directions to some other place, my office mate would say, “You can’t get there from here”. One day at work after hearing him say this, I found myself feverishly scribbling on the scraps of paper we used to write down notes and take phone messages and when I was done, this song had been written. It maybe took as many as five minutes to write.
My brother was just trying to find himself or fix himself or something. I wanted to help him. I wanted him to be okay, so my family had a chance of being okay. We should all love and support each other. Our lives are connected. Perhaps, more than any other time in our lives, the year 2020 has proven this. Life can be so messy. It can be so unfair but we don’t have to be. “Let’s Bring Heaven Down Here”. “What If God Were One Of Us”? What if we were all God? If I were, I would try to be “The Scientist,” I’d say “Your Mess Is Mine” and then I’d say, “Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong”. I believe we can get anywhere from here if we work together.