Confession (SST 189) - July 1988

Click here to buy "Confession" from Amazon

Back to Discography

1) So Quick to Say (infoMP3)
2) Another Side (infoMP3)
3) Going Gone (infoReal Audio)
4) And They Laugh (infoReal Audio)
5) I Saw Your Eyes (infoMP3)
6) It Isn't Really You (infoMP3)
7) Don't Care (infoMP3)
8) Soldiers of Love (infoMP3)
9) Book (infoReal Audio)
10) Dancing (infoReal Audio)
11) Everywhere You Turn (infoMP3)
12) Confession (infoMP3)


Confession is either our second, third or fourth album, depending on how you feel about the legitimacy of Look Again, which never came out, or Painting Smiles, which was by the time of release almost a compilation of decidedly non-hits, and only got released in France.

Whichever, Confession was our triumphant comeback album. New musicians, new hip label (SST) and new hip producer (Bill Stevenson). The material is essentially a mix of the stuff that would have come out in early '86 had the band not split up, and new stuff I'd started writing with a vengeance in late '87. It actually did soar onto the CMJ Top Five upon release, though it just as quickly soared out again.

Total time from first backing tracks to final mix was exactly two weeks, and in fact we shot the cover photo outside the studio door on the last night of mixing. I like the thing, as always I'd do everything differently if given the chance but that's always the way it is, isn't it?

—Joe Nolte

So Quick to Say (Joe Nolte, April 1985)

So quick to say
I hear the same old story every minute of the day
Someone will say

So quick to say
The final word on things that would be better tucked away
For another day

So quick to say
They'll tear apart the yearning
That inside your heart is burning to be heard

So quick to say
A smile should alert you
That tomorrow they'll desert you with a word

So quick to say
Today they're on your side forever come whatever may
A friend they will stay

So quick to say
They'll pump you for whatever bit of dirt you may say
Then they're away

So quick to say
The slightest inuendo
If they think its confidential it's fair game

So quick to say
A smile from them is death
To anyone who thinks all smiles must be the same

So quick to say
They'll fill you in on what they've got on everybody else
Then they're away

Later that day
Somewhere they're dragging your name down
But that's quite okay
You're doing the same

The first mention of Three O'Clock in print was a review of their first single (when they were Salvation Army) in the L.A. Weekly, where they were cited as a "cross between Black Sabbath and The Last." I already knew Mike Quercio as a Last fan, but didn't realize this was his band at the time. As far as The Last and the Paisley scene goes, see the 1982 page of the history section.

I told you that story to tell you this - this song was an attempt to write a Three O'Clock type song. Why?

Who cares.

I liked the song - I was pushing to do a new album in mid-'85 but Vitus and I were barely speaking, and brother Dave was about to leave. A lot of stuff on this and the next album should have hit the streets in 1986, but oh well...

Open letter to band members, past and present - add comments! This is not nor will it ever be nor should it be the Joe Nolte excises his soul mould website - let's have dialogue and controversy...

Or perhaps I should refrain from drinking Cuba Libres when writing...


—Joe Nolte

Another Side (Joe Nolte, May 1985)

I'm another - same as the other
I've had enought of me
I'm another - I will be the other
There must be another side of me

Morning comes - you walk-walk through your day
Another stupid, boring day
Another task they make you take
You've got to earn your pay

And if you've got a thing to say
They only see it as delay
And they'll be sure you rue the day

Noon at last, you're off the beaten track
A crumb or two, and then you're back
By now you know the odds are stacked against you from the start

And all the crap you must endure
There is no reason and no cure
It is their profits they ensure

People talk of revolution
Talk of equal distribution
Talk is cheap, and no solution when you realize

The only people on your side
Are only pawns they've yet to bribe
To buck the trend is suicide


Don't know how this hit, I was talking to brother David who commented on a current Springsteen video (Dancing in the Dark) and saying that it hit him, that he could relate to changing his hair, his face, etc.

So this probably was subconsciously derived from that verbal exchange - thematically however it's really just "Slavedriver" updated. I like it, though. It's fun to play.

—Joe Nolte

Going Gone (Joe Nolte, Dec 18, 1987)

To everyone there comes a time
When roads converge and intertwine
And everyone who knows their mind
Eventually must cross that line

I still remember when they told me who you were
I turned away and cried, "My God - it can't be her!"
I don't believe it's true that I would fall in love with you

Going... going... going... gone!
One more step to the road you're on
I can't tell you where I'm from
Going... going... gone

I steeled myself so it would not show
And turned to you to say hello
And found that I had no words to say
You looked so good with your hair that way

I couldn't stand it, so I tried to run and hide
And then you caught my eye and I saw inside
And as I stood revealed
From that point on, my fate was sealed

Going... going... going... gone!
More a fool than I ever was
Where is this road taking us?

I steel myself for one more look
And once again I know I'm hooked
And once again I hear your voice
You seem to think I have a choice

That I could logically decide where I should be
And turn away from you - well, baby, that's not me
You don't believe it's true
So darling I'll keep telling you

Going... going... going... gone!
No way off the road I'm on
No way back to where I'm from

Things get too intense when there's no time
No time to call, or talk at all, or say what's on your mind

And so we knew it had to end
We knew we had to be just friends
The greatest love that I ever had was over before it ever began

And I'll reover though it tore my heart in two
You know you never told me what I meant to you
You must have had it planned
'Cause here I am at your door again

Going... going... going... gone!
No way back to the road you're on
No way back to where you're from
Going... going... gone

Going... going... going... gone!
No one there, so I'll sing my song
To the place where we belong
Going... going... gone (Going... going... gone)
Going... going... gone (Going... going... gone)
Going... going... gone (Going... going... gone)

Oh dear. First song about a girl we shall identify only as "H". Too personal to say much about lyrically.

Musically, I wrote a prototype song in the Spring of '85 that went nowhere, but I liked it a lot. Ultimately the verses became the verses for this song, with a new chorus added, and the chorus of the original much later became the chorus for "You" (from the Awakening album). A lot of you who clamber onto this site know me, and thus it's probable I'll play you the original scratchy tape of the original.

Come to think of it, the nice thing about being the most unknown legendary band in the world is that it's relatively easy to link up with anyone who gives a shit. At this point, your numbers can be counted on my toes (don't go there) - so I may make tapes available to any who are truly interested. If we eventually get rich famous and jaded I'll deny having said this, but what are the odds?

Anyway, "H" was a real good source for material, as you'll soon see.

—Joe Nolte

And They Laugh (Mike Nolte)

No one cares when you feel low
No one cares when you can't cope
They just think about themselves
All your problems - they don't wanna know

You do your best to please them all
You do your best to help them along
But when you're troubled and confused
It seems they just wanna see you fall

And when you hurt, they all just laugh
And when you hurt, it all comes back
Your so-called friends just wanna use you
They hang around just to abuse you
They do their best to make you the loser
And they laugh

One day you'll realize your mistake
One day you'll see they all were fakes
You gotta live life from within
You gotta change before it's too late

When you stand back you'll really see
This big old world's insanity
You don't have to let it get to you
Just don't hate its hypocrisy

Then when you hurt, they might still laugh
But when you hurt it'll all come back
Those so-called friends just wanted to use you
They hung around just to abuse you
They did their best to make you the loser
So when they laugh, let 'em laugh!


Mike wrote this - I'll get him to tell you what it means. We had a lot of fun with the falsetto voices at the end. Bill Stevenson came in his pants.

—Joe Nolte

Wrote this song on accordion.

An old friend of mine had just got into an accident on the freeway, wasn't injured but was very shaken up. Stopped off at his sister and brother-in law's home, very much in shock, looking for a shoulder to cry on... and they laughed at him!

So he somehow found himself over at my house and told me all about his ordeal and his kin's reaction and naturally I felt very sympathetic for him, and nothing but anger and astonishment at his sister's and brother-in-law's callousness. When he left, I immediately sat down and wrote the song in it's entirety, words and music. It probably was finished within the space of an hour.

—Mike Nolte

I Saw Your Eyes (Joe Nolte, July 29, 1987)

I saw your eyes - you were standing there
I nearly died - and you weren't aware

That from that moment my heart flew out to you
And I wonder if you knew
Tell me that you felt it, too
On the night that I saw you

I go insane when you're near
I call your name - but you never hear

Then some enchantment brings you close - close to me
Is it right that I should be
So in love with what I see
When I know it cannot be
When I know it cannot be
-and I still see

And if I have to wait until my dying breath
Girl I swear I will confess
Until then, they'll never guess
Until then, I'll never rest


This was written for "M1" and no one is ever gonna know who she is! The "I saw your eyes" bit came to me, words and music simultaneously, at work, and the rest soon followed. True story. Will I confess on my deathbed? Heh, heh, heh...

—Joe Nolte

It Isn't Really You

When everything is sated
And memory is faded
And things you never thought to question lose their shine
When all the world around you
Stands ready to impound you
Imprisoned by their thoughts, you start to lose your mind

Remember as you float away
It isn't really you
It's just another yesterday
In someone else's room
And it calls to you
It'll be there, too
Looking to capture you

You start out for perfection
In all the wrong directions
And finally you intersect with what you were
And now the light that waited
Is fading into nowhere
And leaving you with nothing but memories of her

Relax and they will float away
It isn't really you
She's just another yesterday
In someone else's room

You see another sunrise
They always seem to find you
You notice that you haven't moved in many days
You wonder if she'll notice
You wonder what she'll tell them
You wonder if at last you'll see her look amazed

You laugh and so you float away
It isn't really you
You're only leaving yesterday
To find another room

Weird song - probably written before "I Saw Your Eyes" and thus the first number written expressly for the New Improved Last. I think I realized we needed new stuff and just popped the thing out. Ouch. I was obviously at some sort of crossroads -
Oh hell, I have no idea...

—Joe Nolte

Don't Care (Joe Nolte, June 1976)

I found out something just today
Somethine inside I've been waiting for
Thought all about it & now I'm sure
I don't need your love no more

People keep changing day to day
Change their wardrove & change their line
Change their come-on & change their sign
Finally I've changed my mind

You know how lonely I have been
But I won't get that crazy again
Here's one thing you should know before I walk out your door
I'll never love another girl the way that I loved you

Let me tell you why I cried
Always knew that I'd die inside
If you left me - so I said goodbye
Now you don't even care no more

That's right - this is actually the first song written for The Last. We did a demo of it in late '76 but never officially recorded it till now. It's another song for the "F" girl (you'll recall "Someone's Laughing") and I recall trying to play an embryonic version of it for her and her boyfriend at a party and ended up playing the Bo Diddley riff over and over and over and... you get the idea.

It was then that many of my then friends began to question my sanity.

I took them all to the first L. A. appearance of the Ramones shortly thereafter and most of them have never spoken to me since.

I think this version sums it up nicely - thanks largely to Naz - this is as close as you'll get to true "Last roots".

—Joe Nolte

Soldiers of Love (Arthur Alexander)

It's a cover - written by Arthur Alexander and covered by the Beatles live and on radio in '62 and '63. We did an early version live in '81 with brother David helping on vocals - it totally rocked. We'd done decent versions with this lineup at practice and thus decided to include it on the album. I remain dismally dissatisfied with the results. The vocals didn't cut it. My apologies to all who've ever had to listen to it.

—Joe Nolte

Book (Joe Nolte, August 1987)

I can see an open book

Pages turning faster
'Til I don't have time to take a look inside
You don't notice me at all
Standing so indifferent
To each and every call I try
God knows I've tried

And life goes fleeting on by
And suddenly you've no longer the time
If you wanted to try
Just look in my eyes
Oh yeah

What do you expect from me?
Some kind of puppet
That you can operate so easily
What do you expect to find?
When someone finally comes along
And opens up your mind

Your life has always been kind of a ride
That you never got off of
Or needed to cry
You could if you tried
Oh yeah

When they carry you away
When they knock upon your door
What do you think you'll say?
I will turn around and laugh
And smiling I'll carve your epitaph and mine
In my own time

I cry
But it don't mean a thing
If you try
If you don't have the wings
You won't get very high
So why did we try?
Oh yeah

I can read you like a book

Indirectly inspired by "H". This came about out of a situation where said girl had done a particularly diabolical bit of teasing aimed at yours truly, leaving yours truly frustrated and positively furious.

At the time Nazworthy was contemplating leaving the band, though he offered his home practice studio to us. We'd recruited cousin Mike Anderson Jr (son of our uncle, Mike Anderson Sr., the drummer for the Frogmen, the first surf band to crack the top 40) to drum for us, and he and brother Mike showed up that afternoon, only to find me busily writing this song. I sent them on their way and met up with them an hour later at Naz's, song finished.

Naz of course stayed with us, and "Book", with its obvious "Sister Morphine" influence, remains one of my faves from this album.

—Joe Nolte

Dancing (Joe Nolte, December 1987)

Hey little girl, where are you going?
Run run run run run...
Hey little girl, where are you going?

I saw a man dig his own grave on Monday
Clawing away with his spade in the sand
Passport and suitcase in his other hand
I saw a man dig his own grave on Monday

I saw your sister - she got out on Tuesday
Gave her some pills & they showed her the door
From what I could see, they had room for one more
I saw your sister - they let her out Tuesday

I saw your Daddy in an alley on Wednesday
He was with someone who looked just like you
Coulda said somethin' but I was there, too
I saw you Daddy down in the alleyway

I saw a lamb lie down with a lion
I don't know what they were trying to prove
The lion got up and the lamb didn't move
I saw a lamb lie down with a lion

Riderless coach pulled up on Friday
Black satin horse-driven coach in my driveway
Beckoned to me and they opened the door
From what I could see they had room for one more

Hey little girl, where are you going?
Run run run run run


Obviously the "Run run run run run" thing came first. Another song written for "H", this one hit me in the shower, and in the space of just under fifteen minutes the entire song, music and lyrics, had been written. Before I was even dry, even.

—Joe Nolte

Everywhere You Turn (Mike Nolte)

And here you are reflecting on the past
Wondering why you're really here and why you last
So many've died - their lives a useless mess
You've always felt that your life really was your death

Wherever you go - you see empty eyes do dull, so all alone
Still you hope for a door to open somewhere - a light to behold
But you don't wanna know - you don't wanna know

Everywhere you turn there are people in despair, and
Everywhere you look, empty eyes so blankly stare
And they all look so alike - going nowhere is their plight
Following their mental tyrants (brains incapable of right)

And as you've grown you've not seen much good left
You've seen so few who've dared to undo what's been told
Most of them died standing for what is right
People today think martyrdom was just a lie

In this world, you've still much to learn - much to understand
But like a pearl, it is rare indeed to find a helping hand
With no demands - no secret plans

Everywhere you turn, you feel madness in the air
Everywhere you look - accusing eyes return your glare
And you feel it like a knife in your backside taking life
And you wanna run for shelter never knowing it's inside

So in your death the world feels colder now
Out of control, it seems the end is coming near
So many've died, finding their own way out
You pray to God he'll spare your soul from what they've found

Never seen past the horrors you've reacted to and weaned
Never dreamed that the light could ever come again
To free you from the seen - you from the seen

Everywhere you walk
Everywhere you turn
Everywhere you look
Everywhere you burn


Another one by Mike - I came up with the neo-psych idea of modulating the speed, and fading in and out the various parts. We had a lot of fun with this one.

—Joe Nolte

My view of the world and it's inhumane inhabitants in general. Wrote this on accordion as well. Not much to say about this one... it's pretty much self-explanatory. It's also one of my favorites. I was living with brother Dave at the time, and my hat goes off to him for putting up with me playing that thing! Bill Stevenson thought the song was real creepy (I think he liked it) and would walk around the studio, with eyes bulging and hands curled in claw-like fashion, sneering "everywhere you turn..."

It was pretty cool!

Larry, our old bass player, said this was one of his favorite Last songs. Go figure!

Joe was the one responsible for speeding up the rhythm at the end of the song.

—Mike Nolte

Confession (Joe Nolte, December 1987)

Was a time girl
I played games with you and
never wondered why girl -
It seemed the thing to do

Now I know you
And I don't know how I've lived so long without you

Had I known, girl,
I can surely say
I would have waited for you
for a hudred years

In your life, girl
There are things that would destroy most people
In a flash yet you go on and on girl
And sometimes smile girl

Before you girl
All was cold and empty
I was not alive girl
Nor could I live now if
I could never see you

I would trade my future
and give up everything
for a moment with your lips next to mine girl
for just one time
to know that you were mine girl
and really mine

You know that I would die

Yet another one written for "H". Deliberately did this one solo, one take, no echo - much as I would do with "7/21" on Gin and Innuendoes, though that was about an entirely different girl. In retrospect I'd probably have been better off arranging the things somewhat, but at the time I liked the idea of doing the raw emotion thing, especially as "H" at the time was confined to an institution.

—Joe Nolte

Back to Discography...