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Al Stewart

Class of '58 (Long Version) Lyrics Al Stewart

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Al Stewart - Class of '58 (Long Version) Songtext

Old jazz guys being interviewed
Thirty years beyond their prime
With memories of road shows from the
Golden age of swingtime
The piano player strikes a chord, leans forward on his stool
And though they've all seen better days.
They have that air of faded cool
It's an entrée to a different world.
One of tailcoats and victrolas
And one day they'll make TV shows
On ageing rock-and-rollers

In the beginning there were session musicians
Backing cabaret singers
Who were masquerading as teenage stars
Doing bad cover versions of American hits
With a whole lot of echo and borrowed riffs on jazz guitars
For all this false enthusiasm they don't seem alive
In this brand new world, you will be old at twenty-five
Old at twenty-five, and there's no where to turn
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

Then came the kid with the red Colorama
And the Watkins copycat echo chamber and the toothy grin
With one hand glued to the tremolo arm
While the singer moves around like an Elvis clone
They really pack them in
And every song was short and sweet
and every beat was fast
And every paper in the land said rock and roll won't last
You know it just can't last, it's such a rapid burn
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

Well what are you going to do when it's all over?
What are you going to do right now?
What are you going to do when it's all over?
Will you get along somehow?
I just don't know
Feeling like I do right now
Ask me tomorrow

From a bare-bones start, no skill, just heart
It's strange but a little sophistication is creeping in
With a little Mick Green and a little Hank B.
And an organ sound that they borrowed from Johnny and the Hurricanes
And there's a man who's a producer, and he puts their record out
But the song comes out on Oriole and it does not make the charts
No, it does not make the charts, and it feels like the end
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

Well what are you going to do when it's all over?
What are you going to do in life?
Will you get yourself a steady job,
Will you get yourself a wife?
I just don't know
Feeling like I do right now
Ask me tomorrow

And oh, you drift awhile but the itch won't go away
You find yourself another band, one that can really play
And it all just clicks one day

Oooh-wah, now I'm on a package tour
Oooh-wah, gonna have a hit for sure
Brian Epstein says we've got talent to spare
I've got a flip-side co-write, my name's right there
Oooh-wah, now I'm on a package tour

Oooh-wah, now I'm on the radio
Oooh-wah, even 'Ready, Steady, Go'
I've met Andrew Loog Oldham and Cathy McGowan
At the Scotch of St. James, it's a party town
Oooh-wah, now I'm on the radio
I may not know much, but I do know I'm partial
To an E-major chord through a stack of Marshalls

Then came the first American tour
And an endless succession of motel rooms
And sleepless nights
From the ramshackle clubs in the back of beyond
To fourth on the bill with the Kinks and the Hollies
And the Dave Clark Five
And it's a long, long way from Liverpool to Sunset Boulevard
When everybody says you're cool
life doesn't seem so hard
It doesn't seem so hard, it's like it's all been earned
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

I think I'm falling over myself to get to the other side
And traces of the past just get in my way
Gonna leave them all behind
There's a palm tree growing in front of my house
Underneath a yellow sky
And the local girls won't leave me alone
And I can't even tell you why

It is all sha-la-la-la la la la lah
There's nothing that I'd really change
It's just sha-la-la-la la la lah
Though the band are acting kind of strange
Sha-la-la-la la la la lah
I think I'm gonna get up soon
Sha-la-la-la la la la lah
It's the middle of the afternoon
But there's nothing that I have to do

I am in a large tin can on wheels and we are rolling
Over miles and miles of empty countryside
We've been doing this for months and we are
Getting on each other's nerves.
And there is nowhere left to hide
And now I'm in an airport with a bag of dirty laundry
Waiting for a plane that's endlessly delayed
The mantra of the road is just eat, sleep,
Complain, complain
And that is what I do until it's time to play

I let it go, just let it go

The band broke up in a screaming fit
And they were trying to say that it was my fault,
But you know that isn't right at all
I took the first plane out and went back
To the High Street Apartment where I used to live.
You know it's funny that it seems so small
And they're probably all still out there
Getting old and crotchety
But when I think about us now, it's how we used to be
How we used to be, in that first light of dawn
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

What are you going to do when you're over thirty
And you haven't got a car?
Will you be a roadie or a driver?
Will you work in A and R?
I just don't know
Feeling like I do right now
Ask me tomorrow

Red guitar, red guitar
You know I really miss that red guitar
Red guitar, red guitar
You know I really miss that red guitar
And you can write this on my tombstone
This must be my fate
I'm a graduate of rock-and-roll
Class of '58

'58, 58,
I'm a graduate of the class of '58
Red guitar, '58,
I'm a graduate of the class of '58

And there's no use analysing these anthems that were sung
Rock-and-roll's not good or bad
It's just the sound of being young
And it's a long, long way from pompadours
And doo-wop and payola
And one day they'll make TV shows on ageing rock-and-rollers
On ageing rock-and-rollers
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