Thursday, June 11, 2009

emiLy - Walking Home on the Emergency Bed

It was finals week, I think. We were camped in our usual spots in the basement of Lafortune Hall. Totally cool.

Some months prior, I'd clambered into a booth in that same basement next to Ted Leo, demanding that he tell me the first word that came to mind. I'd been walking around Lafortune doing this to everybody. You see I was trying to name a band.

That's not to say we didn't have a working band name. It was "Barge Mounted Winch." Don't ask; I have no answers, and the first guy to make a joke about BMW gets stabbed in the face.

In any case, I shook Ted down for a name while he was talking to Emily Davis. He looked at me with a combination of amusement and worry and said, "Emily!"

We liked it. So we became emiLy. I'm not entirely sure how the little e big L thing happened. Mike and Doug most likely have better memories about this than I do.

I do remember that Mike often claimed that the big L was for love, man.

But that's all beside the point. The thing is, Mike was really tired. He'd been studying hard, I think. He got up from the booth, staggered, and stammered blearily: "Oh man, I'm walking home on the emergency bed."

Jaws dropped, and an album was named.

When emiLy went on its final tour, I remember Mike putting this tape on while we were driving. I also remember cringing and writhing on the back seat and begging him to turn it off. I think that I may have been more sensitive, at age 24, to the spastic, googly, songwriting of my 20 year old self, than I am now at 37. (Fuck. I'm 37.)

Now I listen to it, and I'm surprised. It sounds like a young punk band. Just as good and just as bad as a young punk band. I'm not entirely sure what all my writhing and begging for it to stop in the Suburban was all about.

Sometime in the late nineties, Steve Sostak of Sweep the Leg Johnny approached me with a business proposition. Sweep would buy the name "Walking Home on the Emergency Bed" from emiLy for the price of one thirty-pack of Old Style.

We totally got the better end of that deal. If they paid up. I can't remember if they paid up. Damn. It is possible that I was drunk when that deal went down. Sorry guys. I owe you all some beers.

In conclusion, I'm happy that the best song on this tape is "Minuteman": "I pray to god/that I never learn to do this right." Some prayers do get answered.

--Joe Cannon

This cassette was recorded in April of 1993 at "Radium City" (WVFI), and was engineered by Ted Leo. Live tracks were taken from a March 20, 1993 show at Dalloway's Coffeehouse. This was split-label released as RTO1/SS003 (Rent To Own + Sudden Shame).


see also:
emiLy on MySpace
emiLy on


doug said...

We were once so very young.

Mike L. said...

I think I said "the big L is for Love, man" precisely once in my entire life. Unfortunately, it was during a band interview.

We were very, very young.

Joe said...

I remember "Radium City" as the second floor of the least that's where I recorded the vocals.

JMitchell said...

Meeting Joe Cannon

I met Joe Cannon for the first time walking from the 10th floor in Flanner hall down to the 9th floor for some beverage related reason, some time in first semester, 1991. I'm pretty sure he was wearing a Fugazi t-shirt, but it might have been Superchunk (or Minutemen???) and I stopped and said that I like his shirt. I think he growled at me at first but we struck up a short conversation and I remember thinking that there was hope for the next four years yet. This eMily album was one of my faves.

Vinny said...

I think this kind of writing style is your true calling, Joe. Fuck philosophy! I also really loved your album reviews from the WVFI days.

Anonymous said...

I have to say: "Walking Home on the Emergency Bed" is pretty cool freaking phrase, and I can see why you immediately thought to use it as your album title. Also, will there be a Frogboy posting? ;-)

doug said...

Far as I know, there was never anything recorded from Frogboy, at least not the stuff that emiLy did. I believe I do have the Frogboy program somewhere, so perhaps that will get scanned and thrown up here.

Alisha said...

I just have to say it:
You all look so YOUNG.
F'ing adorable, as well.
Have I mentioned how much I heart this blog????