The Man with No Shadow

Produced by Julian Raymond & Eric Kupper (& Wesley Stace)

Songs Produced by Julian Raymond
–Engineered by Greg Goldman
–Assisted by Marc Valentine
–Also assisted by Alex Gibson and Kevin Mills
–Digital editing by Tal Herzberg
Recorded at Studios B and C, Henson Studios, Hollywood, CA

Songs Produced and mixed by Eric Kupper for Hysteria Productions
–Engineered by Eric Kupper
Recorded at Hysteria Recording, Weston, CT

Song Produced by John Wesley Harding and Gavin Bryars
–Recorded by Martin Terefe and Andrea Olsson
–Assisted by Martin Froden
Recorded at Electric Earth East, London
–Vocal and guitar recorded by Neil Perry at Chung King, NYC

Songs mixed by Neil Perry
–Assisted by John O’Mahoney
Mixed at Chung King, NYC

Songs mixed by Chris Lord-Alge
–Assisted by Dmitar “Dim-E” Krnjaic
Mixed at Image Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA

All songs written by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Music, Inc. [ASCAP]), except Sluts and Negative Love written by John Wesley Harding/Chris von Sneidern (Plangent Visions Music, Inc. [ASCAP]/Pop Gem Factory [BMI]) and Sussex Ghost Story written by John Wesley Harding/Gavin Bryars (Plangent Visions Music, Inc. [ASCAP]/Mnemonic/GB Productions)

Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY

Cover Design: Nathan Golub

Photography: Trevor OShana

  1. Nothing At All
  2. Negative Love
  3. Monkey And His Cat
  4. Sleeper, Awake
  5. Hard
  6. Pull
  7. Sussex Ghost Story
  8. It Stays
  9. When You Smile
  10. Sluts
  11. She Never Talks
  12. Already Dead

Produced by Julian Raymond (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10)
Produced by Eric Kupper (3, 6, 9, 11, 12)
Produced by John Wesley Harding and Gavin Bryars (7)

EXTRA SONGS

  1. Protest Protest Protest
  2. Slippery Slide to Bliss
  3. Negative Love (demo)
  4. Monkey And His Cat (demo)
  5. Sluts (demo)
  6. Sleeper, Awake (demo)

Produced by Eric Kupper (1, 2)
Demos produced by Gary Burnette and JWH (3, 5)
Demos produced by Chris von Sneidern and JWH (4, 6)

  1. NOTHING AT ALL
    Vocals, Acoustic Guitar: JWH
    Harmony Vocals: Chris von Sneidern
    Electric Guitar: Michael Ward
    Extra Electric Guitar: Kirk Swan
    Keyboards, Loops: Kim Bullard
    Bass: John Pierce
    Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
    Produced by Julian Raymond
    Mixed by Chris Lord-Alge
  2. NEGATIVE LOVE
    Vocals, Acoustic Guitar: JWH
    Harmony Vocals: Chris von Sneidern
    Electric Guitar: Michael Ward
    Keyboards, Loops: Kim Bullard
    Bass: John Pierce
    Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
    Produced by Julian Raymond
    Mixed by Chris Lord-Alge
  3. MONKEY AND HIS CAT
    Vocals, Electric, Acoustic and Monkey Guitar: JWH
    Electric Guitar: Gary Burnette
    Drums, Bass, 12-String, Wurlitzer, Jupiter Synth, Tambourine: Eric Kupper
    With The Puppet Strings
    Violin: Becki Christopherson
    Cello: Sylvan Lumsdan
    Produced and mixed by Eric Kupper
  4. SLEEPER, AWAKE
    Vocals: JWH
    Harmony Vocals: Chris von Sneidern
    Acoustic Guitar: Gary Burnette
    Electric Guitar: Michael Ward
    Keyboards, Loops: Kim Bullard
    Bass: John Pierce
    Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
    Produced by Julian Raymond
    Mixed by Neil Perry
  5. HARD
    Vocals, Acoustic Guitar: JWH
    Harmony Vocals: JWH, Chris von Sneidern
    Electric Guitar: Michael Ward
    Keyboards, Loops: Kim Bullard
    Bass: John Pierce
    Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
    Produced by Julian Raymond
    Mixed by Chris Lord-Alge
  6. PULL
    Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Solo: JWH
    Electric Guitar: Gary Burnette
    Bass, Beats, Strings, Horns: Eric Kupper
    Drums: Dave Mattacks
    Produced and mixed by Eric Kupper
  7. SUSSEX GHOST STORY
    Vocals, Guitar: JWH
    With members of The Gavin Bryars Ensemble
    Viola: Bill Hawkes
    Viola: Andy Parker
    Cello: Anthony Pleeth
    Double Bass: Gavin Bryars
    Produced by JWH and Gavin Bryars
    Mixed by Neil Perry
  8. IT STAYS
    Vocals: JWH
    Harmony Vocals: Chris von Sneidern, Julian Raymond
    Electric Guitar: Michael Ward
    Keyboards, Loops: Kim Bullard
    Bass: John Pierce
    Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
    Produced by Julian Raymond
    Mixed by Neil Perry
  9. WHEN YOU SMILE
    Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar: JWH
    Electric Guitar: Gary Burnette
    Beats, Percussion, Theremin Sound: Eric Kupper
    Drums: Dave Mattacks
    Produced and mixed by Eric Kupper
  10. SLUTS
    Vocals: John Wesley Harding
    Harmony Vocals: JWH, Chris von Sneidern
    The Slut Chorale: Shelley Jackson, Kirk Swan, Tony Pinto, Eric Kupper
    Electric Guitar: Michael Ward
    Electric Guitar Riff: Gary Burnette
    Keyboards, Loops: Kim Bullard
    Bass: John Pierce
    Rhythm Guitar, Tambourine: Eric Kupper
    Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
    Produced by Julian Raymond
    (Additional production by Eric Kupper)
    Mixed by Eric Kupper
  11. SHE NEVER TALKS
    Vocals, Lead Guitar: JWH
    Electric Guitar: Gary Burnette
    Bass, Beats, Tambourine, 12-String Guitar: Eric Kupper
    Drums: Dave Mattacks
    Produced and mixed by Eric Kupper
  12. ALREADY DEAD
    Vocals, Guitar: JWH
    Mellotron: Eric Kupper
    Produced and mixed by Eric Kupper

EXTRA SONGS

  1. PROTEST PROTEST PROTEST
    Vocals, Electric, Acoustic & Filter Guitars: JWH
    Electric Guitar: Gary Burnette
    Beats, Synths, Bells of Protest, Wurlitzer, Rhythm Guitars: Eric Kupper
    Produced and mixed by Eric Kupper
    – previously released on Adam’s Apple
  2. SLIPPERY SLIDE TO BLISS
    Vocals, Breathing, Claps: JWH
    Electric Guitar: Gary Burnette
    Bass, Keyboards, Percussion, Electric Guitar: Eric Kupper
    Drums, Claps: Dave Mattacks
    Produced and mixed by Eric Kupper
    – previously released on Garden of Eden: The Fall EP
  3. NEGATIVE LOVE (demo)
    Played, produced and mixed by Chris von Sneidern and JWH at Hyde Street, San Francisco
    – previously unreleased
  4. MONKEY AND HIS CAT (demo)
    Played, produced and mixed by Gary Burnette & JWH
    – previously unreleased
  5. SLUTS (demo)
    Played, produced and mixed by Chris von Sneidern and JWH at Hyde Street, San Francisco
    – previously unreleased
  6. SLEEPER, AWAKE (demo)
    Played, produced and mixed by Gary Burnette & JWH
    – previously unreleased

Nothing at All

I’d give you everything you wanted
I’d give you all that you require
Just say the word and I’ll get on it
I’m here to realise your desires
So I don’t know why
You don’t try
Cos I get no assistance at all from you
Will you even reach your hand out when I fall?
Do you understand me? Do you understand me?
Nothing gets nothing at all
Nothing gets nothing at all
I’m falling, I’m falling
Nothing gets nothing at all

There was a king who had three daughters
I think perhaps you’ve seen the play
He asked them all how much they loved him
The youngest didn’t want to say
And you’re just like her
Cordelia
You can save us all from a world of hurt
Or you could watch me bang my head against your wall
Am I speaking English? Am I speaking English?
Nothing gets nothing at all
Nothing gets nothing at all
I’m falling, I’m falling
Nothing gets nothing at all

Oh you’re such a cruel mistress
A silent psychopath
Can we get back down to business?
Can’t you do the math?
It’s just too bad
You can’t add
Will you wait forever to call my bluff
'Til I’m slumped and barely breathing in the stall?
Please give me something
Anything
Nothing gets nothing at all
Nothing gets nothing at all
I’m falling
Nothing gets nothing at all

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Negative Love

Negative love
Sceptical eyes beneath a frown
Negative love
You’re always putting other people down
Then they’re gone
And, as they fade away, well, who’s to say that you were wrong?

Negative love
The radio’s playing my request
Negative love
You lie before me, unimpressed
Why say ‘yes’
When you know all the ways to say ‘no’ best

Please don’t make an exception for me
Please don’t make an exception
There’s no hope for me and you
Cos I’m a little negative too

Cynical you
I see the look that’s in your eyes
Cynical you
And it’s saying ‘I don’t sympathise’
No surprise
Only the naïve believe in love and other lies

Please don’t make an exception for me
Please don’t make an exception
There’s no hope for me and you
Cos I’m a little negative too
I’m a little negative too

We’re the wrong side of one
I should change my name to John Undone
Or maybe we’re on to something
Could we end up positive after all?

Please don’t lower you standards for me,
Please don’t lower your standards
There’s no hope for me and you
Cos I’m a little negative too
There’s nothing for me and you
Cos I’m a little negative, I’m a little cynical
I’m a little negative, I’m a little critical
I’m a little negative too

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Monkey and His Cat

Monkey keeps his cat up in a cage upon the stage
And the crowned heads of Europe cheer the wonder of the age
Cos the cat’s just like a bird and good old monkey grinds the tune
And the cat will dance fandangos just above the footlight moon
And then he’ll make a very birdlike sound
And monkey makes him flop upon the ground
As though he’s flying
Some people he’s dying
Man got his monkey, monkey got his cat
Cat got his flea, flea’s got me
And everybody’s free to work on their act
Monkey and his cat

The cat hisses at monkey as he milks all the applause
Above the clank of change that ricochets across the floor
And monkey says “I love you” and returns him to the cage
And bows to all the ladies as they exit from the stage
The cat is dressed up as a Puss In Boots
And monkey wears a sparkling new suit
Just like a human
All the girls are swooning
Man got his monkey, monkey got his cat
Cat got his flea, flea’s got me
And everybody’s free to work on their act
Monkey and his cat

Monkey and his cat retrieve the key and go within
The humble home sweet home where they quietly live in sin
A man will bring their supper as they sit before the fire
Once he was the grinder, now he has to work for hire
He didn’t keep his finger on the pulse
The audience demanded something else
A new distraction
Some cat and monkey action
Man got his monkey, monkey got his cat
Cat got his flea, flea’s got me
And everybody’s free to work on their act
Monkey and his cat

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Sleeper, Awake

Rise up from your deep sleep, baby
Wake up from your slumber
I’ve got your anaesthetic ready
I have got your number
I’ll do everything to help you
Make a smooth transition
The coffee’s in the grinder
The key’s in the ignition

Sleeper, Arise! Wipe the sleep from your eyes
Get outta your bed, quit playing dead
Sleeper, Awake! How much time does it take?
Lie there still and I’ll kiss you
Oh, how I’ve missed you
Sleeper, Awake!

You’ve slept for a thousand years
But not like Sleeping Beauty
Maybe you’re the princess
Who refused to do her duty
No poisoned spinning wheel
No blood upon the Singer
You just buried your alarm
And turned off the phone ringer

Sleeper, Arise! Wipe the sleep from your eyes
Get outta your bed, quit playing dead
Sleeper, Awake! How much time does it take?
Lie there still and I’ll kiss you
Oh, how I’ve missed you
Sleeper, Awake!

Ah, but I’m scared
One touch of your cold cold lips, perhaps I’ll join you there
But I don’t care
This is a risk, this is a risk
This is a kiss, this is a kiss

Sleeper, Arise! Wipe the sleep from your eyes
Get outta your bed, quit playing dead
Sleeper, Awake! How much time does it take?
Lie there still and I’ll kiss you
I can’t resist you
Sleeper, Awake!

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Hard

Inside your machine, I hear a whirring
Cogs and flywheels getting into gear
Once this was time to tell your secrets
Softly so that only I could hear

Strange to be this close and never touching
Moves me far away from where we are
I wish I knew what you were dreaming
And I wonder if you’re showing off the scar
It’s true
I know it’s hard on me
It’s even harder on you
It’s hard
It’s hard to be strangers
I send my best regards
We’ve both changed
And that’s hard

We slept through one another’s nightmares
Till we forgot what beds were for
Now we’re awake and slightly shaken
We’ve seen what’s behind the bedroom door
It’s no fun
I know it’s hard on me
It’s hard on everyone
It’s hard
It’s hard
It’s hard to be strangers
I send my best regards
We’ve both changed
And that’s hard

And when you said that it was love or nothing
I didn’t know the outcome was in doubt
It’s true
If it’s hard on me
It’s even harder on you
It’s hard
It’s hard
It’s hard that we changed
I send my best regards
We’re strangers now
And that’s hard
It’s hard
It’s hard

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Pull

Sometimes I look into your eyes
I’m trying to see the light that shines back at me
Sometimes there’s nothing there
Sometimes it’s hard to care
Sometimes I’m scared that I don’t know

What pulls you up?
What pulls you down?
What pulls you back to me, my love?
What makes you sing?
What pulls your strings from up above
What pulls you up?

I wish it was just you and me
Like in our glory when we needed no-one
Maybe another hand
Messed with our master plan
Perhaps we’ll never understand

What pulls us up?
What pulls us down?
What pulls us back again, my love?
What makes us sing?
What pulls our strings from up above
What pulls us up?

Are we just happy puppets, baby?
Can we make up our own minds?
Are we just happy puppets?
Maybe.
Probably.

And now you’re just a mystery
And we will never know whodunit, will we?
First time is just for fun
Next time, repeat step one
And then you’re done before you know

What pulls you up?
What pulls you down?
What pulls you back again, my love?
What makes you sing?
What pulls your strings from up above
What pulls us up?

Are we just happy puppets?
Maybe.

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Sussex Ghost Story

After I had killed my wife
And by the jury been acquitted
I resolved to change my life
And try to lead a life less wicked
I roamed around
From town to town
In search of some employment
But it was here
I settled down

I saw her standing in the sun
I was bewitched by all her features
And before the day was done
I was in love with the schoolteacher
And since she had
No next of kin
I offered my assistance
To my surprise
She took me in

We spent the summer of that year
In a love of such perfection
But when winter first appeared
I felt the cold of her rejection
It was then
She turned to me
With a look I didn’t recognise
"It is our anniversary"

"It is our anniversary
And you cannot run away from me"
I saw a light
Upon a knife
And in a moment that I recognised
I begged for my life

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

It Stays

Bury it in the garden
At midnight by the moon
Cover up the traces
Lick and dress your wounds
Burn it up or drown it, you can try
What has never lived, can never die
And it doesn’t go away
It stays, it stays, it stays, it stays

I saw you standing in the kitchen
Drinking champagne from a mug
Should I have waited ‘til you noticed me?
Was I ash upon the rug?
Sometimes you cannot remove a stain
And if you do, its absence still remains
And it doesn’t go away
It stays, it stays, it stays, it stays
It fights another day
It doesn’t go away
It stays, it stays, it stays, it stays

It’s as simple as that
I can’t add to it
We had our chance
And we blew it
Worse than that
Well, we knew it, we knew it

Every day’s the morning after -
Maybe last night broke the curse
But it was only in remission
It’ll come back even worse
In your dreams, it’s falling far behind
But just like daylight coming through the blinds
It doesn’t go away
It stays, it stays, it stays, it stays
It fights another day
It doesn’t go away
It stays, it stays, it stays, it stays
It fights another day
Do not go away
Stay, stay, stay, stay
Do not go away
Stay

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

When You Smile

All you have to do is smile
And the words just melt away
And there is nowhere worth going
And I have nothing to say
When you smile

Please take off your rings, your watch
We’ll forget time as it’s flying
I can see myself so deep in your eyes
Can you see yourself in mine?
We’ll forget just where we are
If we’re anywhere at all
You’re not the only one who’s lonely
I’m not the only one who calls
When you smile
When you smile at me
When you smile
When you smile at me

When the shadows pass above
Put the sun on, let it shine
And the world revolves around you and me
It’s centre is just where we lie
Feels like time will crawl forever
This little room is everywhere
We were made to be together
And if not, it doesn’t matter
When you smile
When you smile at me
When you smile
When you smile at me

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Sluts

We’re sluts, you and me
Succumb to pleasure easily
Despite all our sincere attempts
We rise at two, go out unkempt
Retire at six for a little more
Hey, there’s no-one’s keeping score
Except the dog, who’s kinda bored

We’re sluts, the two of us
Why walk, when we can get the bus
Why get the bus, when we can cab it
Living large is our best habit
Don’t cook now, it’s much too late
Look at all the dirty plates
Let’s go where we don’t have to wait
No ifs, no ands, no buts, cos we’re sluts

We’re sluts, and we’re proud of it, doing what’s appropriate
One day we will live like kings in one big house but separate wings
Sluts

We’re sluts, it’s what we do
Promiscuity for two
We’re not here, wait for the tone
Oh yes, we rarely check the phone
Please call back another day
Hold me down just where I lay
I don’t want to float away
No ifs, no ands, no buts, cos we’re sluts

We’re sluts, and we’re proud of it, curled up like invertebrates
And one day we will live like queens, always just beyond our means
Sluts

We’re sluts, our claim to fame
Please remind me of your name
This is where we both belong
Wonder where my cell phone’s gone
Let’s be realistic, sweet
Soon we’ll have to make ends meet
Make our home between the sheets
No ifs, no ands, no buts, we’re sluts

We’re sluts, and we’re proud of it, doing what’s appropriate
And one day we will live like kings, in one big house with separate wings
We’re sluts and we don’t care, you look good in my underwear
I love you, you so and so: we just met three days ago – Sluts

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

She Never Talks

She had never been the silent type
Didn’t wanna be a trophy wife
She had an asp like Cleopatra
And everybody started to point at her
It was her first time at the opera house
She bought a ticket for Die Fledermaus
The Gods peered out from private boxes
She must have caught someone’s eye
No-one knows what happened next
But they found her naked at a Texaco
She never talks
She never talks about it
She never talks at all anymore

She was put into a private ward
The kind that mere mortals can’t afford
She didn’t understand the changes
But she felt the need to speak her mind
She foretold the fall of rock’n’roll
She predicted all the exit polls
She was ridiculed for each suggestion
No-one realised they’d all come true
Now she knew where speaking led
She bit her tongue until it bled
She never talks
She never talks about it
She never talks at all anymore
She never talks at all anymore

People begged her for a final word
Promised solemnly that she’d be heard
But life seemed cruel and pointless
She just wanted to be left alone
She was doomed to speak one final time
Before she gave up for a life in mime
They laughed loudest when she predicted
A happy ending for herself
Now she lives with her dogs and me
In perfect silent harmony
She never talks
She never talks about it
She never talks at all anymore
She never talks
She never talks about it
She never talks at all anymore

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Already Dead

Life is just beginning to begin again
I’m hoping that you’ve saved the best til last
You’re lying on a stretcher in a corridor
Taking in a slideshow of the past
You’re smiling and you’re covered in confetti
You’re colouring a picture of the ark
But you won’t hear the morning lark

You’re already dead, already dead
You’re ice cold and you’re perfect
You’re already dead, just like you said
Better dead than fed up and alive

Everything’s improving by the minute
Better things await behind the door
The sun is shining on a gorgeous morning
Trains are running better since the war
Everybody’s mood is getting lighter
But you can’t hide your disappointment anymore
You don’t know what good times are for

You’re already dead, already dead
You’re ice cold and you’re perfect
You’re already dead, just like you said
Better dead than fed up and alive
Better dead than fed up and alive

So pack up all your good luck charms and notebooks
Your garlic and your silver crucifix
Your vitamins, your tanna leaves, your i.d.
Your tortoiseshell, your paints and both your card tricks
You can simply swallow what is fed you
Either that or kick against the pricks
It looks like you just took your pick
You’re already dead

Already dead, already dead
You’re ice cold and you’re perfect
You’re already dead, already dead
Better dead than fed up and alive
Better dead then fed up and alive
Yes, you have arrived

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

The Man With No Shadow Story

Walking through the market one day at the end of my holiday, I decided, on a whim, to go down a side street I had never seen before. I was sick of the sun and couldn’t wait to return to England. My shadow walked on ahead of me as if to check the way, his head stretching further and further away on the cobblestones. I turned the corner to follow but he was gone, nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly I could not bear the harsh sunlight, the empty street. I went into an open door to my right. I could see nothing at all in the dark. Gradually, there came into focus a small coffeehouse. The owner looked up at me from behind the bar where he was playing with a small monkey: “Good day. Coffee? Or something stronger?” I sat down in the farthest corner, feeling thin and worn out.

“What’s wrong?” he said, as he brought me a drink: “You look pale. Lost your shadow?” Perhaps I looked up at him a little too quickly. He laughed.

“The sun is always playing tricks ‘round here. Drink this.” I took a sip of the honey liquor and the sweetness went straight to my head.

“So your shadow’s gone. Why worry? There’s so much to live for. No need to be negative. Love, your British Shakespeare, the ineffable rules of cricket! Look at the monkey. It doesn’t care if it has a shadow or not.”

The monkey was teasing a cat with a small ball.

‘Is that you cat?’ I heard myself say from far away.

“It’s the monkey’s cat. It follows him everywhere, as your shadow once followed you.” He started to laugh. My head felt heavy and I couldn’t stay awake any longer, but I was vaguely aware of the owner continuing to fill the sticky air with quotations from “your great British poets.” Then his voice, the shrieks of the playful monkey and his cat faded into my dreamless sleep.

I felt a hand on my back. How long had I been asleep?

The bar was now full of people, muttering to each other, and I felt them looking at me. Though my grasp of the language was not great, I understood a voice to say “Sleeper! Awake!” and someone prodded my shoulder. I looked up from the table where my head had been slumped.

There was no barman, no monkey, no cat: nothing except a crowd of local extras. Even the bottles behind the bar were gone. The room was like a stage set from which all the props had been removed. Only the audience remained.

“Are you the man with no shadow?” asked the group’s designated leader, a hard unshaven man with one arm. I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t ready to answer to that name, and I didn’t want to incriminate myself. “Pull him up,” he said, and they hoisted me so I was sitting up straight. The light shone in the window, straight through me. Their shadows stood proudly on the wall but there was an empty space where mine should have been.

My head ached. I remembered an old Sussex ghost story my grandmother once told me about the new vicar who had thrown no shadow from the pulpit. Had the parishioners killed him?

The onlookers muttered. One by one, they left the room, until only three people remained: the leader, another man and an old blind woman. I looked at the wall and raised my hand in the hope of seeing some faint movement.

“Would you like your shadow back?” asked the leader abruptly, stroking his stubbly chin.

I groaned and felt like a tourist. “How much will it cost?”

“Money doesn’t come into it. You took your shadow for granted. But now it does what it likes. It stays. It goes. When you run, it doesn’t have to run anymore. When you smile, your shadow frowns if it wants to. But let’s not call your shadow ‘it’ anymore. He is free.”

“How do I get it back?” I felt myself getting thinner and weaker, from my mind outwards.

“I don’t know how to get that shadow,” said the second man, “You’ve even lost the root. We can get you a replacement.”

The blind woman interrupted: “If you want a shadow that’s going to cling to you this time, then you will have to fetch it yourself.”

“Where from?”

“From the world of men!” She spat. “Horrible! You will have to mingle with humans -- businessmen, politicians, sluts, thieves, murderers.” I looked at the other two.

“She never talks,” the second one said. “You are very lucky.”

“You will have to flatter their vanity,” she continued, “humour their stupidity, and you will have to seek out the company of villains, because you can only get a shadow by stealing it from a dying man.”

I had had enough. Let them find another foreigner to make fun of. Summoning all of my strength, I got up slowly and walked past them to the door. They did nothing to stop me.

“Oh well,” I heard the blind woman say. “Let him go.”

Outside, I was surprised to find that it was early evening. I didn’t know where to go or what I should do. Down the street to my left, I was relieved to see the barman with his monkey. He was talking to a man, smartly dressed in the English style, whose back was turned towards me. Walking towards them, I passed a mirror at an empty stall and tried to catch a glimpse of myself, but I could see nothing. As I got close, the man turned round and looked at me.

I was looking at myself.

“There you are,” he said to me and smiled. I started to move towards him, as if drawn magnetically. I tried to pull back, but I didn’t have the strength. “You know me,” he said. “We’ve met before.” The barman smiled, rolling a gold coin round his fingers. Another bag of gold coins hung from the neck of the monkey.

“Who are you?” I demanded, and took a helpless step closer.

“Who is asking?”

“The man with no shadow,” I said, surprised at the words as I spoke them.

“No,” said the man whose face was a mirror of my own. “I am the man with no shadow. But now it looks as though I have acquired one.” He looked at the barman and smiled. The monkey clapped its human hands.

“Am I dying?” I asked.

Everything went black and I felt the cool of the ground against my face. I heard his voice whispering directly into my soul:

“You are already dead.”

written by Wesley Stace

Liner Note

Out of the Shadows

After the relative success of The Confessions of St Ace for Mammoth/Hollywood in 2000, John Wesley Harding - with his A&R man, close friend, and label head Rob Seidenberg - set about readying his next release for the label, to be called The Man With No Shadow.

The album was completely trouble-free in its creation. Half the songs were recorded in almost unimaginable style at Henson Studios (previously the Charlie Chaplin Studios and A&M Studios) in Hollywood with a crack band under the production of Julian Raymond. How that was allowed to happen is, according to Harding, almost a novel in itself, requiring all Seidenberg’s powers of persuasion and many favors. The other half emerged in rural Connecticut in the studio of producer of Eric Kupper, featuring guest appearances from Gary Burnette (co-producer of The Confessions) and Dave Mattacks among others. The one outlier, “Sussex Ghost Story,” Harding’s collaboration with composer Gavin Bryars, was recorded in London at Electric Earth, then sung in New York City, where the rest of the album was mixed.

The subsequent wobbly trajectory of the album — which you have in your hands and which was never released in this form, on vinyl, or even under its actual title — is neatly told in three sequential Billboard articles.

On April 4, 2002, the Billboard headline was “Harding Readies ‘Shadowy' New Album.” “Due June 25 via Mammoth, the set features 12 tracks fueled by the trademark literate songwriting style that has won Harding a dedicated following. ‘The Man With No Shadow is the first record I've made where I didn't feel hampered by my resources: players, production, musicianship, time,’ Harding said. ‘For the first time ever, everything clicked into place.’ Utilizing his unusual capacity to combine emotion and wit in an intelligent dialogue, Harding backs such cuts as “Monkey and His Cat,” “She Never Talks,” and “Sluts” with an irresistible pop soundtrack.”

Hopes for the album, especially the first single “Negative Love,” were high. But sadly, for The Man With No Shadow, June 25 never came. The shoe dropped that spring when Hollywood closed down Mammoth, with promo CDs of the album already in circulation.

Under normal major label conditions, the album could have been lost in eternal turnaround, but by some kind of miracle, Hollywood gave the album back to Harding, who now had to find it a new home. On October 9 of the same year, Billboard reported “John Wesley Harding Finds 'Swings' Lurking In ‘Shadow’.“ “It could have been one of those terrible stories," Harding told them. "But it turns out [Hollywood] were extremely generous and so, I'm really free to do what I like with [the album]. Without being specific, we've had a couple of offers for it, but I'm in no hurry to get it out. I think it's one of my most accomplished records yet. And I just feel that it should be on the right label. So, in the meantime, I made a whole other album (Dynablob 4: Swings and Roundabouts), because I think what musicians do, basically, or should, is make music.”

“At the time,” the article continued, “Harding was writing his first novel (international bestseller Misfortune, published under his real name Wesley Stace). While Harding was revising the novel, recording Swings, and waiting to see how the Mammoth situation played out, advance copies of The Man With No Shadow sent out before the label's demise made their way onto Internet auction sites such as eBay, sometimes fetching more than $100. When it does emerge sometime next year, more than a year after it was completed, Harding says ‘it's gonna come out in a slightly different form. I'm gonna have to put some different mixes on or elongate some versions or put a different song on. I've had a bit of a luxury with that album, and I do kind of feel I could make some changes.’”

It wasn’t until December 17, 2003, that Billboard had a chance to return to the subject: “Harding Reshapes 'Shadow' Into ‘Apple'.” In the meanwhile, Harding, despite his talking of finding “the right label” had sold the record to the new-and-soon-to-be-defunct DRT, very much the wrong label. Ironically, Adam’s Apple had very nearly ended up on Yep Roc. Harding had discussed a possible release with co-founder Glenn Dicker, but his focus was now rather on the publication of his novel than on an album that had been intended for release almost two years previously, and the album ended up on DRT: "After more than a year of uncertainty, John Wesley Harding will early next year release a new studio album backed by full band. Adam's Apple is due Feb. 17 and will be preceded in October by Garden of Eden: The Fall EP. The new version jumbles the running order of the previous, adds the song ‘Protest Protest Protest,’ and deletes ‘Already Dead.’” As Harding drily commented: "Look, this is what happens when you're sitting on a record for a year. You think about it. Normally one doesn't have these luxuries. And, in a sense, it's good that one doesn't.”

The press had already received the album 18 months previously under a different title, but what reviews there now were on its eventual release, were fantastic. John D Luerssen at All Music: "Four years after The Confessions of St. Ace, John Wesley Harding re-emerges with the finest album of his career. Wes is as witty as ever on tracks like ‘Sluts,’ a wry funky rock nod to hedonism, and the offbeat story-song ‘Sussex Ghost Story,’ where love turns to murder, and various producers (including Fastball vet Julian Raymond) give him a rich, melodic canvas to paint superb pop soundscapes like ‘Pull’ and the blissfully crooned ‘Negative Love.’ Come to think of it, Harding's voice has never sounded better on melodic midtempo numbers like the organ-peppered ‘Nothing at All’ and the vibrant, riff-filled ‘It Stays.’ While the quirky ‘Protest Protest Protest’ comes off as an amusing novelty that examines the differences between 1960s activism and the politics of today, some could argue its tech-laced production affects the flow of the songs it rests alongside. Nitpicking aside, from the perky, orchestrated opening of ‘Monkey and His Cat’ through to the devotional parting ballad ‘When You Smile,’ Adam's Apple is a disc worth biting into again and again.” (Ironically, “Protest Protest Protest” was one of the tracks added to the new iteration.)

Harding now says: “I’m delighted that this album is finally coming out in its original form. The Man With No Shadow was probably the best album I'd made to that point, and certainly the best produced album I'd made, with the happiest marriage of songs, arrangements and production. And it’s great that it’s now on Yep Roc, where it nearly found a home back in 2002. Billy Maupin, who is now the head of Yep Roc, was my project manager at Mammoth back when we made this with such excitement and enthusiasm, so it really feels like the album has come full circle. In my view, this release of The Man With No Shadow replaces Adam’s Apple in the canon, because Adam’s Apple should never have existed,” he laughs. “Never speak to me of Adam’s Apple again.”

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)