Fastball – Fire Escape

I liked this group the first time I heard them. This song was released right after “The Way” and I’ve always been partial to songs played in variations of the D chord like this one, Here Comes The Sun,  and If I Needed Someone by the Beatles.

This song peaked at #10 on the Alternative Billboard Chart in 1998. The song has a jangling feel to it with good lyrics.

From Songfacts

In this song, a guy is trying to explain his true self, probably to a girl. He knows he doesn’t want to be Superman, and he’s not sure where he’s headed, so he settles on an abstract answer: he’ll be the rain falling on her fire escape. He’s more comprehensible at the end of the song: “I can be myself, how ’bout you?”

This was written and sung by Fastball guitarist Miles Zuniga, who along with Tony Scalzo did most of the songwriting in the band. It was released as the second single from the band’s breakthrough album All the Pain Money Can Buy, following their hit, “The Way.”

The video was directed by Francis Lawrence, whose credits include the films Constantine and I Am Legend, as well as videos for Audioslave (“Be Yourself”) and Lady Gaga (“Bad Romance”).

It’s one of the more unusual videos ever made: the band appear in it, but they’re all dead. It takes place in an home of an obsessed female fan who is getting ready for work, casually ignoring their corpses. At one point, a TV news program comes on and Access Hollywood host Pat O’Brien announces that the band has disappeared. “If anybody sees them, they might want to show them the way,” he says, referencing their hit song.

The video is all one shot (well, not really – there’s an edit when they go from a Steadicam to what is likely a crane), and breaks the fourth wall at the end when the woman breaks character and says, “Francis, I can’t work like this.”

The video was shot in Newhall, California on a sweltering hot day. According to Tony Scalzo, it took them about 10 takes to get it right. “The second-to-last one was almost perfect, and then the girl closed the door too fast and closed it on the camera, which upset everybody not just because the shot was ruined, but because it was a very expensive camera,” he told Songfacts. “It’s deathly hot. I’m in this bathtub so that’s okay. But I gotta lie upside down in the water with my face under water. Well, it took all day, but we finally got it and it came out a pretty creepy, weird video. The only other shots we had to do were us walking out of the house, looking stupid, and the live stuff where you see a performance video that’s on a TV in the house.”

Fire Escape

Well, I don’t wanna be President, Superman, or Clark Kent
I don’t wanna walk around in their shoes

‘Cause I don’t know whose side I’m on
I don’t know my right from wrong
I don’t know where I’m goin’ to
I don’t know about you
I’ll be the rain falling on your fire escape

And I may not be the man you want me to
I can be myself, how ’bout you?

I don’t wanna make you mad
I don’t wanna meet your dad
I don’t wanna be your dream come true
‘Cause I don’t know just what I’ve found

I don’t know my sky from ground
I don’t know where I’m goin’ to
I don’t know about you
I’ll be the rain falling on your fire escape

And I may not be the man you want me to
I can be myself, how ’bout you?

I’ll be the rain falling on your fire escape
And I may not be the man you want me to
I can be myself, how ’bout you?
I can be myself, how ’bout you?
I can be myself, how ’bout you?

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

10 thoughts on “Fastball – Fire Escape”

  1. Strange, I don’t remember that one at all & at that time I was mostly listening to toronto’s alt rock station (which by then was like almost any other ‘modern rock’ station in the continent… Soundgarden, Nirvana, Marcy’s Playground etc) and they played ‘The way” half to death…which I didn’t mind, since it’s a great song. This one sounds not bad too, probably would’ve been one I would have liked a whole lot if I’d heard it then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has a little of that jangling guitar…we were playing regularly at the time and we learned it when it was on radio…which for us to learn a new song to play was something lol.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a nice timeless sound and tempo. It would fit in almost any of the past four decades, imo. I’ve surely heard it before, since I listen to Alternative radio quite a bit, but I don’t recognize the name of the band or the song.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Their big hit The Way was right before this one…You just mentioned the reason I liked them. Timeless…this could have been released whenever…they also have a little of the guitar jangle I like alot.

      Like

      1. When you have time check out “The Way” you may like that one also. It has a great dynamic chorus… I thought they would be a bigger band.

        Like

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