Glenn Morrow — He’s back
Glenn Morrow won’t say that coming back to record his first album in 28 years was definitively like that scene in the Godfather III when Michael Corleone said, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” But…
“It was something like that,” he laughs. “I couldn’t refuse. It’s way too much fun.”
In my romantic notion of things, I pictured Morrow, also renowned for running Bar/None Records, looking at the musical landscape, dusting himself off and saying, “Let me show these kids how it’s done.” And while that wasn’t the case for the writing and recording of the album Glenn Morrow’s Cry for Help (which is released on June 23), he does find it satisfying that his career has spanned an entire generation of rock and roll.
“It did dawn on me that people plug into saying indie rock at various points in their life,” he said. “Some people did it in the 90s, some people did it in the aughts, but it’s been a through line for me from going to CBGBs to the present, and I’ve been there for all the different manifestations of it. At least I know where the bodies are buried.”
Luckily, Morrow’s recording and performance days aren’t buried along with them. The business can take a toll on someone’s creative juices, though, and when you add in the logistics of getting a band together, arranging studio time and tour dates, along with a million other things that have little to do with the actual having fun playing music part, well that can explain Morrow’s absence. But his guitar was never too far behind.
“Many times I tried to plug back in,” he said. “I’ll write songs for some other singer or I’d go to an open mic night every once in a while and then think, ‘I don’t want to do that again.’ (Laughs) But it’s always been there. I’d play guitar around the house and lots of people do that, but putting it all together and getting the band together and getting out there requires a certain leap of faith that you have to take.”
He took that leap when it was evident over the last couple years that he needed to write some songs. And once he had those songs, why not record them and get them out to the world?
“When my kids were 10 years old, I realized, ‘Wow, I haven’t really written any songs in about ten years,’ and so I wrote a bunch of songs and recorded an album that I never put out and never really finished,” Morrow explains. “I never stopped playing, but something definitely opened up in the last few years where I was just writing and was re-inspired, and things were coming to me in a more fully manifested fashion. It’s where the idea of the song is there and you just have to fill it in. That didn’t happen all the time over the years; you might only have a riff or something. I can’t quite explain it, but something shifted in some quadrant of my brain and I was able to write a lot very quickly.”
And now we have an album, and dare I say it was worth the wait. Lyrically and musically, Morrow is as good as he’s ever been, and with the addition of a hard to describe energy to the eleven tracks, one of Jersey’s finest is sending out a message to his peers and showing them how it’s done, whether he meant to or not.
“I’m curious how people will react to it, but I’m probably not as emotionally invested as I would have been when I was younger,” he said. “I like it and I’m just glad that I can take part in this process and go out and play and have the camaraderie of my band, meet people and see people that I know. It’s a great thing.”
We may not have to wait almost three decades for the next one, either.
“The band is playing and we’re working on new material at this point,” he said. “I’m still writing and finding things that I want to write about and things I want to explore and there are some interesting songs coming, so we’ll see.”
Oh yeah, he’s back.
“There have certainly been times when I’ve had my back up against the wall or there were issues in the music business that aren’t fun to deal with,” Morrow said. “But music, what a great thing. It keeps coming, it keeps surprising you, it keeps moving you, and that I could actually write a few more things and put them out there, it’s a great blessing for me.”
Glenn Morrow’s Cry for Help plays The HiFiBar in NYC on Wednesday, June 28. For tickets, click here
For more information on Glenn Morrow, click here