Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It's a very late night here in the city we're currently visiting. It's a San Francisco that will likely still pulse for a few more hours on this Saturday night, with the kids all stumbling to the Mexican joint in the neighborhood of the rock club and eating enough rice and tortilla to absorb the copious amounts of alcohol consumed in the loud and dark conditions. A suggestion that most are off to comfortable beds and the thought of getting up late tomorrow morning is probably misleading. Most are already in bed is more of the consensus, if we were to be entirely truthful, but if we were asking J Roddy Walston the very same questions, the piano-playing madman from Baltimore, Maryland would adamantly insist that nights don't ever end and that no one ever sleeps in his and his band's world. No one has beds. They don't exist. There would be no Monday-through-Wednesday, probably no Sunday other than just for that resting period that it sometimes gets used for. There would only be the ones where inhibitions and jubilation - extravagant boozing and scandalous debauchery - go hand-in-hand. There could be no situation else to consider. Walston, who is the principle songwriter in his band with the suffix And The Business, is able to sustain some unfathomable pace through a collection of songs that deal with the pains of having a mouth that needs to drink or sing (preferably done in collaboration with one another) and in not being able to control the urges that force him out his home or apartment's door and in through a bar door every night. He does not dither or dather, but instead just lights his piano on fire (not literally, but that wouldn't be a bad idea nor anything that anyone would put past him). A night and the bender that could easily follow are just what comes to his mind fastest when he's writing new songs, finding new ways to fight the battle with the girlfriend or wife that just doesn't see eye-to-eye when it comes to that necessity of getting out of the house to replay the scenes of towering, hopped up orgy of rock and roll trappings.