In Another Time

In Another Time visualization with lyrics

“In Another Time” is the second song on Bachelors Anonymous’ unreleased third album, The Big Picture, remastered and released digitally. Bachelor David Hughes tells the story behind the song.


I met Andrea Carney two years after I moved to California in 1973. (Our story is told by Andrea on our personal blog.) Sometime in the mid 1980s after the Bachelors moved to a big house in Pasadena, Andrea moved into our house’s “granny flat.” In 1991, she wanted to celebrate her fiftieth birthday in a big way and asked us to perform. We decided to write a song for the occasion.

The birthday bash was held at the home of our friend Johanna Guzmán in her house in Los Feliz—the same house featured in our video for “Looking for You.”

Andrea’s birthday photo album shows that other musicians performed as well: Josie Roth and Michael Intriere (of Fat and Fucked Up) on viola and cello, and on the concert grand our old friend Patrick Lindley and Ed Lloyd, husband of Andrea’s childhood best friend Deanna.

The Bachelors’ lineup for the performance was Rob on vocals and keyboard, me on vocals and percussion, Anne Atwell-Zoll on backup vocals, and Lee Demo on drums. Sequenced instruments were triggered by my old Mac SE computer. By that time we had our own PA and mixing board; all that was missing was floor monitors. We performed on the driveway of Johanna’s two-car garage.

When we performed that night I remember having an out-of-body experience, like I was a conduit through which our music was being conveyed. Within nine months I gave up music to work on spiritual exploration.

The Song

“In Another Time” might have come out of Rob’s and my improvisations after I’d written the words. The lyrics are straightforward and more acquiescent than “Pretty Girls Make Graves” (from The Smiths’ first LP). But they are prescient as well. Two and a half years later, almost to the day, Andrea and I married in Las Vegas. Reconnecting with the song thirty years later I realize this is the only love song I ever wrote to an actual person.

Andrea and Bachelors photo
Andrea and the Bachelors, at her birthday bash, August 24, 1891.

The Recording

Rob provided a cushy, dreamy synth bed. I like how the snare is barely an aerosol spurt, coming out of its closet only in the third verse. I’d completely forgotten the plucked glissando at 3:04—like an ethereal Indian harp, or swarmandal. That got Rob and me wondering whether more might mean, well, more. He added the sarod notes that begin at 1:07.

Wanting to add tabla, last summer I tracked down our last drummer, John Lacques, who now leads drum circles. The three of us had a Zoom call in the fall of 2020 and did a lot of catching up. John had performed in the live combo for a reprise of AIDS! The Musical!, for which Rob wrote the music. John’s wife Tracy Hudak had interned at the Highways performance space where ATM! debuted. John also had done music for Fabulous Monsters, Rob Prior’s theater company, with which both Rob and David had worked. John agreed to record our tabla track and so we added a scratch loop of mridangam, the double-sided South Indian drum. John delivered stereo tracks of the tabla drum set. We decided to retain the mridangam as well as the tabla.

All the other original tracks—lead and backing vocals as well as stereo instrumentals—were recorded in 1991 in our Pasadena home studio, The Men’s Dept. Before Andrea’s eightieth birthday last August, I approached Scott Fraser, who I’d met forty years before and recently reconnected with, to see if he could mix the song. Fortunately he agreed, and it’s been a joy to work with him on this album.

Lyrics

(for Andrea Jean)

In another place,
In another time,
With another face,
With another rhyme
I might have done this so well.
I might have fooled you,
Might have fooled you,
Might’ve fooled myself.
I might have pulled it,
Might have pulled it,
Might have pulled it off.

In an awkward space,
Your body next to mine.
This accident of Grace—
Accident Malign.
O happy Fault, happy Hell,
I keep my cool—
My kind of cruelty—
I cut you with my shell.
Your passion fuels,
Take up your tools
To sculpt a human man.

In another place,
In another time,
I’d welcome your embrace,
I’d give you mine.
We’ve been miscast in this spell
Of glittered gloom,
Bride and groom.
I thought I could not be compelled—
Well, wreck this room!
Start a rumor.
Start by using me.

Every single day…
Every single night…

Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

Credits

See album credits

2 thoughts on “In Another Time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: