Monday, February 24, 2014

The Feelers - Fishing for Lisa

In August of 2007 I talked about my favorite Feelers song “Pressure Man.” “Pressure Man” was the first track off of The Feelers’ first album “Supersystem” (1998), so looking back it was a logical launching point for an introduction to the band. I feel it has been long enough to talk about The Feelers again.

The Feelers - "Pressure Man"

For those who do not know, The Feelers are a New Zealand rock band that debuted in 1990 and while their international success is very limited they just might be the most successful local rock band ever produced by New Zealand. The point is The Feelers are a really good rock band and basically no one knows who they are outside of New Zealand except me. Well if “Pressure Man” and my obscurity failed to convince anyone to give The Feelers a fair listen then maybe an additional six and a half years of Music In Review and “Fishing for Lisa” will.

“Fishing for Lisa” is a rock ballad off of The Feelers’ second album “Communicate,” (2001) and I believe it is one of the most powerful ballads about heart break ever. The story is more or less the same as any story of heart break, he used to have her and now she’s gone.

“I'm trying to find my angel,
You give nothing, get the same returned.
I said it would be this hard,
Well if you want it, when you going to learn.”

From the lyrics we can infer this specific ballad to also include certain additional complications of trying to get Lisa back and also I think there is a new lover involved;

“When are you going to wake up?
When are you going to want what's in your face?
When are you going to give up?
Cause when you do I'm going to take your place.”

I do not know, but I always thought the last line there should be “take his place.” As in Lisa had moved on to someone else and our Feelers’ front man James Reid is declaring his rightful place by her side, waiting for her to leave that new guy and return to him.

Also there is child somewhere in the mix;

“I'm fishing for Lisa,
Like a meeting in the water, lost.
You should've know better,
Than a lecture at your daughter’s cost.”

“A lecture at your daughter’s cost,” fills the mind with all sorts of worrisome trouble.

That is the verses for “Fishing for Lisa,” pretty decent lyrics all in all, a strong sense of poetry throughout. “Fishing for Lisa” would stand out as a far above average song of heartbreak and longing if we left it at this, however the real punch in the gut that stays with us forever is the chorus.

“I thought you're my reason to live...
I thought you're my reason to live....”

That pretty much says it all right there does it not? Real passion for a relationship could not be further pronounced or exaggerated than this simple honest sentence, “I thought you were my reason to live.” Some people, the true romantics, the melodramatics, and others, sometimes invest so much of themselves in the person they love they lose sight of themselves. Every brick in the building of James Reid’s narrative character in “Fishing for Lisa” is built upon the foundation of her, Lisa. Without her, there is nothing to build upon, no way up, nothing, and no reason to live.

I think every song about heart break, all the ones that came before and all the ones that came since “Fishing for Lisa” were all of them trying to be “Fishing for Lisa.” The most powerful lyrics ever said on the topic never quite reached this perfect pinnacle. It is such a short and simple summary of every broken heart ever, “I thought you’re my reason to live.”

“Fishing for Lisa” is a sad song I suppose, but there is beauty in the twilight of a ruined heart, something dark and deep we all have felt, a horrible thought we have all at one time crossed and with any strength, hopefully forgot. Sometimes emotions can be so powerful they send us veering into unexpected directions both sorrowful and stupendous.

Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.

- King of Braves

1 comment:

  1. Great article. Was nodding in agreement as I read. The Feelers are my favourite band. They deserved to be more successful internationally; their songs are better than most.