"El Paseo Girl" (c) 2014
Words, Music, Guitar & Vocals by Lance Frank.
Produced and Arranged by Lance Frank and Ed Genovese.
A story of unrequited love set in Palm Desert's El Paseo High Fashion District.
The story is told from the point of view of a Barista who cannot help but fall in love with the seemingly unattainable women he serves. I never worked as a Barista but I did manage a consumer electronics store just off El Paseo for many years. Casting myself as a Barista just seemed more romantic. And though Paparazzi are mentioned in the lyrics, I never was one, though during the early 1980's I did work as a professional TV news photographer in Las Vegas and was occasionally assigned to interviews with celebrities.
The fictitious "Poor Boy Paparazzi" band is a reference to the fact that both Baristas and Paparazzi are generally part of a lower socio economic class than the celebrities they encounter and the social boundaries that separate them are not always clear. Nor are they necessarily permanent. That said, I have found that there is bit of an El Paseo Girl in every woman I have ever known regardless of their net worth and even if they do not look like a fashion model. Beauty and class are only skin deep and ultimately subjective.
But I wasn't consciously trying to make socio-economic commentary when I wrote the song. Here are the more visceral origins of the tune:
Though as a retailer I waited on many El Paseo Girls, I only dated a few. One in particular disappeared from my life for many years until one day we reconnected at an open house in South Palm Desert. Several years after that she was coming in to some money and decided to stop throwing it away on rent and become a home owner. After showing her houses all over the valley I told her “We’ve got to find you a place in South Palm Desert. You’re an El Paseo Girl.”
I had just written an ode to an ex-girlfriend which I played for her in my car and remember getting the impression she might somehow be offended if I didn’t write one for her. At the time our relationship was mostly professional but there seemed to be the potential for something more… and what better way to win a girl’s heart than write her a song? So I decided to at least give it a try and over the course of the next few days wrote the song. Though I eventually sold her a house, nothing ever really developed between us other than a close friendship which endures to this day. Ironically, we could not find her anything in her price range in South Palm Desert. She eventually wound up buying a house in the La Quinta Cove were my ex-girlfriend lived. If you want to know more about that story, listen to my tune Come Up To The Cove.
The chords to the tune are very loosely derived from Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Wall of Denial" which I was fooling around with at the time, but the two tunes sound nothing at all alike. Something about the bridge reminds me of Stevie Wonder's "Golden Lady" but I have listened to it several times and for the life of me can not figure out why. The strings (aka "sweets") were added by my co-producer Ed Genovese as an homage to Henry Mancini.