"This song really means a lot to me because it symbolizes a point in my life where i needed to hear those words. They have carried me all over the country and led me to meet many more folks of a like mind. It was the Fall of 2010 and I was leaving Austin for the last time, discouraged and basically overwhelmed with my new responsibilities as a father and trying to make it in the entertainment industry. My wife Melissa in her infinite wisdom suggested we go to the Ozarks and get ourselves in a better spot and spend time with each other away from the rat race and ingenuine climate of the hipster grind. We had an invitation from some friends there and accepted, tying most of our belongings ( except our 2 year old) on the roof our car. We left Texas behind (which I still love dearly and consider my other home) and headed for solace and higher ground. I recall it being dubbed the "sour grapes of wrath era". Just part of the journey.
One of the folks that invited us to stay was an old buddy and sometimes personal shaman of mine. Lets just call him Bill for anonymity's sake. I was in a bad space after several small failures and feeling like life had dealt me a raw deal. I wouldn't listen to anyone... except Bill. This man had seen life on all levels. He had lived through some hard times and come out on top in a metaphysical sense. A child of the Depression, the Vietnam War, incarceration and homelessness led him to trek on foot across the country to study under a Zen master and then to settle in the Ozark Mountains. Or so the story goes. He had a way of making you see the truth in things and thus answering your own questions. That was magic in my book.
We were working together outside in the garden one day, speaking of parenthood, personal failures and what a full life we'd both led up to this point. Despite all, I was still in a negative fog of self defeat. He looked at me from beneath his coolie hat under the Ozark sky and said one simple phrase that knocked me off my feet and changed my whole perspective. Would you die for Love?
My immediate answer was yes, but the multitude of thoughts that ran through my mind took me to the same answer on so many levels.Sometimes we just don't see the truth even when its right there in plain view. It was a hazy moment of self realization in the midday sunshine.
Self sacrifice, honesty, and the inevitable peace of having it. Verbal Manna. That phrase stuck in my head for quite a while and shaped my outlook for some time to come,that we really can make a difference by putting others before ourselves. Realizing that's the best thing we can do, and being honest about whether we can or not is a great barometer at the very least.
|Stevie Tombstone zoned out after the video shoot for "Would You Die For Love"|
I wrote this tune about two months later. It was a country-blues narrative with an Ozark beat. I wanted it to be reminiscent of early buck dancing and appalachian folk music fused with Delta blues from our mutual childhood and parallel existence in the Deep South.