Normal History Vol. 747: 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 40-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Yes, this song is about a guy, but that relationship ended around the time of the song being written. Weirdly, he wrote a not particularly favorable song about me around the same time, but his song went on to be very well-known in Canada. Well-known by college students who weren’t particularly adventurous in their musical tastes, let’s say.

A mainstream Toronto radio station ranked it 524th in all-time best songs, immediately behind Sting’s “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.”

Personally, when I wrote songs about guys, I attempted to incorporate bigger picture ideas, which, admittedly, having a perspective based in social justice, is easier to do. My song about him was me saying I’d be following a different course in life and not the one he had planned out (with his band). His song was a complaint about me being so political.

“Not With You” from Mecca Normal (Smarten Up!, 1986) (download):