Letters To Cleo Here And Now Lyrics
Letters To Cleo Here And Now Lyrics – ‘Here and Now’ – How Letters to Cleo Turned a Coffee Table Book into an Iconic ’90s Song
Letters to Cleo came out of Boston’s early ’90s music scene, at a time when other local juggernauts like Bailey and Buffalo Tom were making their way into the national spotlight. Their debut Aurora Gore Alice was an instant hit, charting on the Billboard 200, and the single “Here and Now” immediately charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
Letters To Cleo Here And Now Lyrics
But we all know how the saying goes – it takes a lot of hard work to become an overnight success.
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The band spent years building and improvising, practicing, and playing around town before recording the album locally—which premiered at SXSW and quickly snagged the band a record deal. Two more albums – and an endless number of songs from popular ’90s soundtracks – followed before the band called it quits in 2000. It would be seven years before they got back together, and after playing a few shows “here and there” they released. 2016 EP Back to Nebraska, performed a sold-out homecoming show that we were thrilled to film, and established an annual tour home for a series of performances in Paradise (2018 dates and tickets can be found here.)
Singer Kay Hanley now lives in Los Angeles, and has parlayed her experience into an entertainment career—a path she never thought possible when she grew up in a blue-collar home in Dorchester. But his road to success has not come without its bumps. We caught up with her to talk about that trip, the female-fronted music scene in Boston that inspires her, how the band got together, and where that infamous “here and now” chorus came from. (We guarantee you won’t get it.)
Long lost, very distant brothers. We are both from Dorchester. He is from St. Peter’s parish on the corner of the field and I am from St. Greg’s parish on the other side of Dorchester in Esmont. He knew that I sang songs together with my mom, so when she was starting the band (Rebecca Lula), he was like, ‘Hey! Want to be a backup singer in my band?’ I said, ‘Yes I want to be a backup singer in your band!’
Hanley and McKenna formed Letters to Cleo in 1990. Guitarist Michael Eisenstein, drummer Stacey Jones and bassist Scott Riebling joined in 1994 to round out the group.
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We’d rehearse a couple of nights a week, and someone would come up with an idea and we’d flesh it out together as a group. And Greg and I had at least a good you know, 4-5 years of songwriting together under our belts.
I was working in a restaurant, Michael was working at Harvard, and Greg was probably working for an architecture firm. I’ll work a double shift on Thursday and then we’ll all pile into the van for a gig in New York on Friday, then back to Philly, DC and then back to work on Monday. We were playing clubs to around 200 people, but definitely didn’t sell them out. Not even close.
… but was still able to record an album and tour it at a time when major labels were eager to find the next big alt-rock hit maker.
Billboard ran a review of Aurora Gore Alice the week we had our showcase at SXSW, which created a situation where our manager and our booking agent went to Kinkos and ran out of a million copies and handed them out at the bar at the Four Seasons. in Austin) where all the A&R people were hanging out. Our showcase was packed for the first time and we got into a bidding war with a bunch of labels. We went with Vishal.
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Aurora Gore Alice became an instant hit, and the single “Here and Now” charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
The chorus – the fast part – was written in the living room of our former bass player’s apartment in the South End. Someone started playing ‘daga-daga-daga’ and I just came. That was the first part that was written, and we wrote from there.
He always tells people, ‘You are a parody of yourself.’ That was his last diss that he could give anyone. And honestly to this day he’s like, ‘Where’s my royalty for that line?’ I think he asked me again like 2 years ago. And he had a book called The Comfort of Strangers under our coffee table for years. I never read it but the title stood out to me. So that became the ‘rest of knowledge’ and it is about karma and energy. And the ‘facility of the knowledge of the ascension above the sky’ means that you know you are going to heaven, so do whatever you want while you are here. This is a rejection of that idea.
She believes that your time on earth is limited, and you should be the best version of yourself while you are here.
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It must be nice while you are here. You should live the best version of yourself while you’re here as opposed to relying on this giant sky ghost to take care of you later.
It was a collision of art and commerce after the ‘Here & Now’ video where I had blonde pigtails. I showed up at a photo shoot with fire engine red hair and the label was like, ‘How are you?’ I just thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m a product now.’ And I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it then, and I never liked it, and I never got over it, and I never got used to it.
I really ached to work because I couldn’t. It’s not that I won’t, it’s that I can’t. I didn’t have that thing that wanted to be a pop star, and get noticed.
… And when the letters to Cleo broke up in 2000, she parlayed her experience into a songwriting career in Los Angeles.
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I just assumed, being from Dorchester, it’s just a hobby and I’ll work in a restaurant or work at Gillette. I never thought I would find my career in the entertainment business and that’s what I did. And I have a lot of respect for other people who do this work. And I still look up to people who are doing things differently than me, I always have more to learn.
We are all riding this wave together and trying to maintain the value of what we do. I’m still a big mouth, I’m still a fighter.
In many ways, I am the exact same person I was in first grade. My process of discovering feelings and things, of operating the world, of learning, of not knowing.
I am a mother now. I write songs for a living now, which is something I never thought I would do.
Letters To Cleo
But if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, it’s her reverie for the female-fronted music scene in Boston.
I remember at the ’92 Rumble, someone from the local television station pointed out that I was the only woman in the entire Rumble. Which was not true because there were 2 of us out of 100 people on stage. That stands out to me, someone asked me about it and said something flippant about being a token woman. But the reality was that no one cared, no one paid attention. There were thousands of girls in the band.
Lucky for us, female-fronted bands are still thriving in the region. And Hanley has nothing but love for all of them.
Charlie Bliss, Speedy Ortiz… It reminds me so much of that blip, that 5 minutes that I had in the 90’s when girls were setting the pace. We were on the radio, we were headlining festivals, it was an incredible time. And it makes me really happy to see women taking it up again.
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Your donation makes the GBH programs you know and love possible. That programming inspires someone else to give, funds more programs and inspires even more people to give. By donating today, you accelerate this chain reaction, furthering GBH’s public service mission for the communities of Greater Boston. If you can now, please consider donating. Led by alternative-pop darling Kay Hanley, Boston-based Letters to Cleo burst onto the music scene in the ’90s with a winning formula of smart pop melodies, irresistible guitar hooks and indelible vocals. .
And, thanks to a video snippet for the band’s hit single “Here & Now” used during the closing credits of “Melrose Place,” compounded by the video’s heavy rotation on MTV, it seemed like Letters to Cleo for a fine-tuned moment. everywhere
Breaking up in 2000, the original members of Letters to Cleo (Hanley, guitarist and Hanley’s ex-husband Michael Eisenstein, drummer