I wanted to listen to the new music on this old pair of headphones, but the sound appeared to be mono. I opened the plug and discovered that one of the wires had come lose. I didn’t want to work on the plug in the garage, where decades ago my dad had installed a vise, because it was too cold there – freezing nights and more snow. When I bought a new roll of solder I also saw a clamp in the store, which I figured would be perfect for holding the plug in place.
The plug was repaired and the headphones sound splendid. I listened to all of the new songs.
The original version of this song was recorded at my new studio in Santa Fe in 1995, for the album ‘Opium’, which was released by Epic Records on 12. March 1996.
It’s funny how memory works, because for many years I believed that I wrote this song after a special night we spent in a former Ottoman palace in Istanbul on the 19th of December of 1996. We had performed for a private party, and a couple of good friends had joined us in the bar of the hotel after the concert – guys I had known since I was fifteen years old. One of them had become a journalist, reporting for a German broadcasting station from Ankara, the capital of Turkey. He told us that people in Turkey drink cherry juice the way Americans drink orange juice. I suggested that we drink Screwdrivers, but that we mix vodka with cherry juice instead of orange juice. A ‘Turkish Screwdriver’, we called it, and then we proceeded to drink the entire supply of cherry juice the bar had. The next morning’s hangover was tremendous, but the evening was worth it.
The truth is that the song was written, recorded, and titled about a year BEFORE the event I discribed happened. Prescient, really.
Memory… it’s a funny thing, isn’t it.
The reason I thought of this today is that I am working on an album that will be called ‘The Complete Santa Fe Sessions’. This album, to be released next Spring, will contain a new mix of a Luna Negra XL version of ‘Turkish Night’ – with horns.
Today Jon asked me which Diana Ross song I played guitar on in the Nineties. I couldn’t remember, but I looked up her 1995 album – which seemed like the right year and soon found it. The first 18 seconds are my intro, including tremolo and octave playing:
I Never Loved a Man Before by Diana Ross on @AppleMusic.
A couple of photos from our April 4th performance with the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque: