Normal History Vol. 703: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 39-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Writing about recent drawings in relation to songs we recorded years ago is an interesting process. Memories come up about the songs, but the drawings are always a curve ball of sorts. I’ve asked Dave not to provide drawings that represent the songs literally so that I have room to move creativity. Here we are at a song called “Cyclone” that a couple of guests played on, as we wrote it in Germany.

The image of the bowler evokes a certain sense of rigidity. Perhaps it’s a Tuesday-night league with all the same characters. Guido the plumber, Ralph the dog catcher, Ed the barber and a few others. They all know and play by the rules. Cripes! They’re even wearing the same shoes!

“Cyclone” was a bit of free-for-all with one guy not a guitar player at all (Hugsam) and the other guy (Jefferies) we’d just met a few days prior on piano. The on-the-spot lyrics were about it being a day without beginning or end, a continuum of sorts, much like the Cyclone roller coaster on Coney Island, the one Ed, Ralph and Guido would have ridden when they were kids. Trying not to scream.

Cyclone” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):