Meet the songwriters behind the best song from Lindsey Buckingham’s new album
When Lindsey Buckingham released her self-titled album in September, the media frequently reported praised “Swan Song”, the fourth track, like an unusual song. Moreover, Buckingham himself said News week that it’s one of his two favorite songs on the new record.
But when Blinker the Star founder / singer / songwriter and record producer Jordon Zadorozny (whose credits include Chris Cornell’s production and a writing credit on Hole’s Celebrity skin), first heard “Swan Song”, he felt like he was playing in an episode of The twilight zone. “My thought was, ‘How do I know this song and why do I think I’ve sung it before? “Zadorozny said over the phone from his home in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada.
Zadorozny was driving on a Saturday afternoon for shopping when he started broadcasting Buckingham’s latest record in his car. Hearing “Swan Song” his brain began to overdrive trying to solve the mystery of how he knew the tune when suddenly a flash of realization struck. The chorus of “Swan Song”, but with slight lyrical tweaks and a deleted touch, was the same as “Mind’s Eye,” a song Zadorozny co-wrote with the founder and songwriter / multi-instrumentalist / producer of Medicine Brad. Laner, over 20 years ago.
Choir “Mind’s Eye”:
It’s not good to keep me waiting
Do you have to hold me so long now?
Is it fair to keep me waiting?
In the shadow of our mind’s eye
Choir “Swan song”:
But is it fair to keep me waiting?
Is it fair to hold me up for so long?
Yeah, is it right to make me wait
In the shadow of our swan song
“It was a weird déjà vu feeling, but a déjà vu where your hero sings your song,” Zadorozny says.
Zadorozny hadn’t even thought of “Mind’s Eye” since it was written over two decades ago – when his connection with Buckingham began. In 2000, when Zadorozny was signed to DreamWorks, Lenny Waronker, the president of the record company, asked Zadorozny who he would like to produce his next record. Having always idolized Buckingham, it was obvious. “This is something I thought about when I was in high school, I would go to bed at night,” Zadorozny says. “It was pure fantasy. “Of all my heroes, who could I work with? And then it was, ‘Wow, this is happening.’ “
With Buckingham’s busy schedule, he didn’t have time to produce a full record. But after listening to a CD of Zadorozny’s demos, he agreed to produce two songs that he reimagined and dated. “I panicked,” Zadorozny says. “It looked like defense– Era Lindsey playing my songs, and I was completely blown away.
Buckingham and Zadorozny then went to record at the Village Studios (where defense was recorded), and Zadorozny recruited Laner to play bass (the couple first bonded through their mutual adoration for defense).
At the end of the studio sessions, Laner handed Buckingham a CD of songs he had co-written with Zadorozny, hoping the Fleetwood Mac guitarist would pick one up. “It was abhorrent of me to give this to him,” Laner said over the phone from his home in Los Angeles. “But there was no way I couldn’t give Lindsey Buckingham a CD.”
Of all the songs on the CD, “Mind’s Eye” was particularly meaningful to Laner, who wrote the lyrics about his ailing father. “The lyrics about the wait are about my dad who was dying,” he says. “The song came out of a period of a lot of waiting and waiting for results… sinister stuff. This is where I had my head at the time. Laner’s father died a few months after the recording sessions.
Meanwhile, the couple had long forgotten about the exchange, and Zadorozny had not been in contact with Buckingham since 2002, when Buckingham contributed guitar and vocals on two Blinker the Star songs.
In fact, the recording of Fleetwood Mac covers marked Buckingham’s closest moment in about 20 years. Medicine took on Fleetwood Mac’s “Sentimental Lady” on their latest EP, 2019 Scared for life, and Zadorozny started recording Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies” for Arista, a cover album he released in July, but ended up leaving the song off the record.
So when Zadorozny called Laner in September to tell him about “Swan Song,” he was in disbelief. “I said, ‘Oh shit, the CD I gave him worked,’” says Laner.
Given their past experience with Buckingham’s creative process, the couple thought they had demoed their song years ago, recently rediscovered it, and forgot that they didn’t actually have it. written. “He has years of integrity and no reason to steal songs from anyone, especially us,” Zadorozny says.
Sure enough, when Zadorozny and Laner contacted Buckingham management and sent their “Mind’s Eye” demo with a photo of Zadorozny, Laner and Buckingham, they found out that was exactly what happened after the management of Buckingham contacted him while he was on tour. in support of his new record.
“He’d taken our song, made a demo of it himself, put it away for a rainy day and, in the end, 16 or 17 years later, he found this demo and thought to himself: “It’s a cool thing that I did in the 2000s,” Zadorozny explains.
After Buckingham returned from his tour, legal documents were drafted out of court, stipulating a lump sum for Laner and Zadorozny, part of the editing and co-writing credits for “Swan Song,” considered a “Derivative composition” of “Mind’s Eye.” Additionally, digital artwork will be updated along with artwork in future physical hard copies.
In this era of ubiquitous music copyright lawsuits, Zadorozny and Laner are not only delighted that the situation has not turned contentious, but still blame themselves that it happened in the first place. “It’s beautiful,” Laner said. “He made it his own, and it’s a pleasure. I have no complaints about it.
“There is hardly anyone else that I would rather have my music on the album,” Zadorozny says. “I am grateful to Lindsey for rediscovering this piece of music and I love what he did with it.”
When contacted by TOURNAMENT, Buckingham management sent the following statement:
After the recent release of Lindsey’s self-titled album, it came to his attention that important elements of the song ‘Swan Song’ came from a song that had been shared with him over 20 years ago then. that he was working in a Studio in Los Angeles, producing music for Brad Laner and Jordon Zadorozny. When this unintentional and inadvertent use was brought to the attention of Lindsey, he quickly realized his mistake and a friendly resolution was taken by all the parts.