Middle Earth Needs Me
by Joe Panno, Dreux Blalock and Lewis D'Aubin

Before the glowing screen I wait
The trolls I slew, the orcs I hate
They're all just artificial light
This game's unworthy of my might

I long to lead a fighting band
With oaken shield, a sword in hand
To make them taste the bloody blade
I sense their call, they sure could use my aid

Middle Earth Needs Me
Summon the portal and bring me there
Let me breathe in the elven air
Middle Earth Needs Me
Summon the council and warn our foes
Time to give Sauron a bloody nose

Alas, my offer was denied
Alone, as I remained inside
No portal to another land
No shield, nor sword nor fighting band

Perhaps my destiny is far away
12 parsecs from the Milky Way
To lead the aces into flight
For freedom's sake, the Death Star dies tonight

The Rebel Fleet needs me
Lower the droid into my X-Wing
Charge the proton torpedo sting
Rebel Fleet needs me
Open the hanger and let me soar
One two punch to the emperor

Unfortunately I was wrong
I guess the Force was not so strong
But tell me who merits my aid?
What worthy child or noble maid?

I must protect the weak and small
The ones who cannot fight at all
Somewhere a tiny village lives in fear
Just waiting for a hero to appear...

Little smurfs need me
Tell the blue ones that all is well
I will save them from Gargamel
Little smurfs need me
Guard the forest wherein they roam
I will safeguard their mushroom homes
Little smurfs need me
Everything's smurfy as it can be
Tell Smurfette she'll be safe with me
Papa Smurf - heed me
Tell them all not to feel so blue
I am coming to rescue you!

The seed for this song was planted by Dreux, who said "Middle Earth Needs Me" would be an epic title for a song. Joe Panno said "I'll get back to you on that" and came back a week later with this stirring anthem practically complete. I wasted no time getting some appropriate lyrics ready - it's not hard when the music is so inspiring.

The lyrics were a very self-conscious effort to write a song that, unlike most of our other ones, was totally dependant on knowledge of licensed products and franchises (something we usually try to completely avoid.) I chose two beloved franchises and one hated one! The underlying theme though was videogames - these franchises are all noteworthy to gaming afficionados (The Smurfs being one of my 'old school' callbacks - the Colecovision version of that game was one of the first videogames that actually looked liked the cartoon on which it was based.)

This song went through a bit of evolution in the process of recording. Joe Panno was essentially on hiatus from the band by the time we set about getting ready the release version of the recording, and his guitar parts ended up being pretty much supplanted by Chris Lenox. On a hunch I tried replacing the all-male lead vocal on the demo with alternating lines between myself and Barbie, and it worked out pretty well.
Guitars were miked up Fender Deluxe for Chris Lenox and Blackstar amp for Joe - both tube amplifiers. Bass was handled with Jim's old Trace Elliot (miked up, as I prefer these days.) Keyboards were handled by Billy's new Roland Juno and Ben's Nord Lead.

Guitars.........Chris Lenox, Joe Panno
Bass............Jim Fairchild
Synthesizer.....Billy Riecke, Ben Caston
Trumpet.........Farrar Hudkins
Lead vocals.....Lewis D'Aubin, Barbie Cure
Backing vocals..Lewis D'Aubin, Barbie Cure
Recorded and mixed December 2012 at C.O.G. Secret Lab, Harahan LA