It was fall, I had to crank out a photoshoot for my 3rd album, and the photographer really wanted to do the shoot at our local State Fair in Asheville NC. I hadn’t been to the state fair since I was at least 12 or 13 when the lights and endless rows of people all added to the excitement of paying to play on a big machine playground. Being in my late 20’s at the time however, the thrill was slightly fading. For some reason all I could think about the fair was; a lot of people, farm animals that smelled like poo, rides that gave you whiplash, corndogs, funnel cakes, deep fried snickers, butter, oreo’s, and every other unhealthy thing you could think of to deep fry all available for a nice chunk of change. I wasn’t sure if I was excited…or worried.
We arrived to the fair right before sunset. The photog’s girlfriend bought me a candy apple, and we began to snap shots in front of rides in motion. So far, so good. As the sun set, we decided to jump on the ferris wheel and snap just a few more shots to see what we came up with, despite the loss of light. As we rode the ferris wheel…all the fair’s lights began seem brighter and more enticing. I began to read some of the signs & examine the games for the little booths down below. They had booths where you could wager how many balloons you’d pop by throwing darts to win crappy stuffed animals, there were the rubber ducky lottery things, where you pick up a duck and hope it’s the right one to win a plastic cup…basically, all the classic state fair booths where you could try your hand at luck for a “small fee”. As I looked at the booths, and the people throwing their money into them, only to lose after they used their 3 turns up…I noticed that one of the booths was called “Shoot Out The Moon”, which instantly created all kinds of imagery in my mind. As we continued to go around in circles on the ferris wheel, I kept seeing that sign, “shoot out the moon” over and over again, and song line ideas began to creep into my mind. By the time the ride was over, I had the story for my song, Shoot Out The Starsclear in my head.
I saw a story in my mind of a hopeless romantic after a breakup, feeling tortured by other people in love everywhere they turned. To the point where they just wanted to shut out every romantic notion they could think of, in order to avoid feeling lonely. They would even pay money if they could, to shoot out the stars, ignore the moon, pretend it just wasn’t there for a while. Or at least until they felt better. The “Shoot Out The Moon” booth, along with the others, just seemed to have such a funny parallel with pessimists of love, or the aftermath of a broken heart. However, I should point out that when I was at that fair, I was still in a romantic relationship, so it wasn’t until about 6 months later when the relationship began to end, that I was able to make that idea in to a song with feeling.
Luckily, It eased the sting of that relationship ending because it brought a humor to mind in comparing it to just another state fair game booth. In a nutshell, that relationship was like those frivolous state fair game booths with their fun flashing lights… it looked like fun to the eye, but in reality it was focused around a trick of paying more for something than it was worth. Then when you’ve spent to much, you realize you’ve been had, and you remember not to be fooled again by such candy coated musings. And of course, if enough time passes, you always might just forget the lesson and do it all over again…but hey, C’est la vie! Best to enjoy the ride. You just might get a song out of it instead of whiplash every now and then.