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Utopian Track Breakdown: 8) The Outlaw

The day before I opened for Neil Young at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on July 13th 2014 I was so wired I had to do something creative. I didn't rehearse, I didn't need to - I know the songs well enough - so I tried to do some writing. This is not usually a good idea as you have to let the moment chose you - you don't choose IT. Anyway with thoughts constantly drifting to the upcoming seismic event - effectively a Dream Come True - this popped up. I had a private show that night locally - from someone's back yard to an arena in 24 hours - incredible. I actually attempted to play the tune at the private do but I couldn't remember all the words (I don't think I'd even finished them). As I played the chords somebody started singing A Horse With No Name - America actually knocked Neil off the top of the Billboard chart with this record - I thought it was funny that my latest Shakey homage appeared to sound like someone who was apeing his style. Perfect.

The gig at the arena was a smash on every level. My greatest professional achievement in my opinion. Especially since I had to get MYSELF on the bill as I had no agent at the time. It truly was a David and Goliath situation. The gig was supposed to happen the year before, but was canned when Frank 'Poncho' Sampedro badly hurt his hand in the middle of the European dates. The tour was rescheduled for 2014 - and then bass player Billy Talbot had a stroke. I couldn't believe it. My Dream Come True was trying to get away from me. Fortunately Neil decided to carry on with Rick 'The Bass Player' Rosas standing in for Billy. I expected to jump on the date again but was told that another band - The Last Internationale - would now be doing the treasured opening slot. A band with lots of money/connections as is usually the way in these situations. Once again I had to fight to get on that stage. A couple of phone calls to Ralph Molina and Neil's very approachable tour manager Frank Gironda sorted the problem out. I love Ralph and he came through for me when I really needed it. Thank you Ralphie. The Last Internationale still played, I went on before them. Neil's management were so kind to me. They opened the doors early so I would have a good crowd - fortunately it was a standing show so it was packed by 7.30pm - they gave me the dressing room next to Neil's, provided plenty of booze/nibbles, paid me $500, let me have as many guests as I wanted - and I watched the show from in front of the rail. It was fucking unbelievable.

I forgot about this song for a while - and when I pulled it out it didn't seem to fit anywhere on Star Smile Strong or Our Future In Space. Utopian's sprawling agenda seemed to suit it however. It has great memories for me for the reasons explained above.

8) The Outlaw

Here comes the outlaw, here comes the man,

he fights in his own war, better run while you can,

oh little girl you love your daddy so,

oh little girl he loves you too,

oh your mother is so beautiful,

one day, one day that will be you...

Here comes the outlaw, in for the kill,

he leaves by the back door, then so long until,

oh little boy you love your mother so,

oh little boy she loves you too,

oh your daddy is so proud of you,

one day he'll pass his gun to you...

Run for your life, into the Sun, for your life, you better run, for your life, into the Sun,

for your life, you better run, run, run, for your life, into the Sun, Sun, Sun, for your life,

you better run, run, run, for your life into the Sun, Sun, Sun, for your life...

Here comes the outlaw.

Written by R.I.McNabb © Peermusic (UK) Ltd. 2020

Ian McNabb: Lead vocal, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, bass. Ciaron Bell: Backing vocals, electric piano. Nick Kilroe: Drums.

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