Singled Out: White Flag Vs Dido
We were performing in Rotterdamn, Netherlands while on our "White Flag Goes To see Golden Earring Tour". The night before we had all gone to see Golden Earring in Utrecht, The Netherlands, right before we played our shoe, which was literally in a club right down the street. We were hanging out with the band after the show (they're one of my favorite bands, and we booked this short tour of The Netherlands and Germany AROUND this Golden Earring gig), which, for a Dutch fan would be like hanging out with The Rolling Stones, they are that popular in Holland. Golden Earring's guitarist George Kooymans was joking with us about flying to The Netherlands to see his band, then playing our own gig literally a block away right after seeing HIS band's set. He said something like " now that we've opened for you guys, what are we doing next, after your gig, are we all going into the studio to record something together at 4 .am?.". It was a joke, and we thought it was funny, he was being nice because he really appreciated the fact the we were fans that flew from another country to see his band.
Our next show was in Rotterdam, Netherlands, at a fine club that, as we discovered upon arrival, had a huge recording studio as a part of the venue complex. At soundcheck, two shy kids were looking at us from the back of the hall, obviously knowing they really shouldn't be in the venue until the doors opened. We talked to them and they said in halting English that hey had flown from Sweden to see us, as we were not playing Sweden on this "White Flag Goes To See Golden Earring" tour. Our drummer Trace Element said to them jokingly "What are you going to do after the show, going into the recording studio next door and record a record with us?". My gears started turnng, and a few minutes later I had a recording session booked for 3 a.m. at Waterfront Studios, right after we came off stage. With no song to record.
After a hot sweaty set, we dragged ourselves soaking wet with sweat into the studio, with the two Swedes in tow, who were completely speechless about what was happening to them. We picked up the gear they had set up in the studio for someone else's session (sorry, whoever you were!) and I came up with a few chord changes in "Jam" first album mode, and showed it to the rest of the band, and after one run through we tracked it live, but with no vocals. Because I had no lyrics!
One of the Swedes had mentioned that searching YouTube for any White Flag footage was next to impossible, because a singer named "Dido" apparently had a hit song CALLED "White Flag", and her fans made hundreds of videos lip synching to her song ,and they post them on YouTube. Thus, searching for "White Flag" apparently leads you into a maze of Dido fans' videos.
An idea came into my sleep deprived mind: REVENGE!
Ken Stringfellow, (who plays in White Flag using the moniker Kim Crimson, was bassist on this tour (we rotate band members a lot), and he started writing some lyrics as I dictated ideas, but we were much too tired at this point to be angry at this singer we'd never heard of to make any well honed lyrical attacks, so we tore up the paper and gave pieces to everyone in the room, including the studio's two engineers, our two Dutch roadies, Toine and Olly, the two Swedes, and a girl from Italy who had flown from Rome to see us. An international conspiracy!
Five minutes later Ken/Kim was singing lead vocals from strips of paper randomly pulled out of his hands, singing them as he read them for the first time, improvising some words where the lines didn't fit the chord changes.
Then the two Swedes, the two Dutch Engineers, the Italian fan and a very sleepy White Flag did "answer" backing vocals and claps to Ken's semi-Mad Lib stream of consciousness vocals, and at 7 a.m. we had the song mixed. We then had a hasty shower, drove to Den Helder, Netherlands, and did a show, with absolutely no sleep at all. We encored the very crazy set with the sloppiest, least rehearsed version of Radar Love ever performed! We hadn't played the song since New York City in1985, which was also the first time we'd played, and the version that appears on the 1985 live album "Feeding Frenzy",. A fitting ending our trek to see Golden Earring, by destroying their most well loved song! The Den Helder audience sang along at the top of their lungs, and I could barely stand up I was so tired!
So now out comes the five son e.p., with "Dido" songwriting credits going to all of White Flag, our two Dutch roadies (from the band "Diagnosis:"), and "two Swedish fans and two Dutch engineers from Waterfront" we never got the names of LOL!
White Flag fans are already making "White Flag- DIDO" videos of their own and posting them on YouTube. Some are quite simple, just a still photo of us, or animated ones drawing mustaches onto photos of this Dido woman, others more involved, lip synching or making slide shows; many are very, very anti "Dido" the singer, as there seems to be an equal amount of hatred for this "White Flag" song as there is adoration!
It is still needle in a haystack looking for White Flag on YouTube, but we are hoping to make it a little easier to find our videos, and it is fun getting fans involved.
Anyone who wants to make their own video, the song can download for FREE for free here. .
If anyone makes one, please put the LINK in the video somewhere, encouraging others to download the song, and maybe it can go viral.
When you post it on YouTube, send us a link, or post it on our Facebook or MySpace sites! Here's the link! Please repost it where you feel it will attract video making interest, and White Flag...YouTube's searchability!
Check out a fan made video here.
Go see em live at these dates:
July 15th in Detroit at PJ'S LAGER HOUSE