All The Things I Want is a combination of two songs I once heard by Dan Siegler, a friend who fronted two bands I loved in New York City when I was on the scene there: Pie Alamo and Jumping Ship. I once told Dan that if he would just use the verse of one of the songs and combine it with the chorus of the other, change the words and music and add a bridge, he just might have something. Dan is a true artist and the idea of deconstructing his own tunes was irresistible to him. We spent a whole night arranging and recording the song with a friend of ours who would later become an Elektra recording artist. The loudest thing on the playback seemed to me to be the sound of Dan pressing down on the piano’s sustain pedal and I blew everyone’s vibe trying to engineer that sound out. We didn’t get the song that night. What’s strange is that I never stopped working on All The Things I Want. I’ve spent countless hours trying to solve it, having played it by now more often than any other song I know. This went on over decades, during which time I lost contact with Dan. I can no longer recall the names of the two songs of Dan’s that I liked, their lyrics or melodies or even what they were about. What I’ve recorded for this record probably isn’t very close to what Dan once wrote and for that I apologize to him. Knowing how my mind works, I’m sure all the parts I once loved the most are the core of what’s there. When AG first heard me play All The Things I Want, it was sprawling both lyrically and musically and it had spent the previous year drifting farther from feeling finished to me than it had ever been. But to AG’s ears it was actually almost there. She had a suggestion for me that was as audacious as that first suggestion I’d made to Dan: that I play it from the top for her, but only play and sing every other line. The song was finally done for me the instant I began to try that. The way AG and I both love this song and the way she helped me finish it sparked the beginning of our collaboration. It turned out that a film company wanted to license my recording of All The Things I Want and this prompted me to need to get permission from Dan, who had no idea that I’d spent so many years trying to complete the combination of his songs. When I reached him on his cell phone it turned out he’d just that moment landed in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter whom I’d never met. They all came to my house and we sat on the front porch, drinking beer and explaining to Dan’s family about our old friends and our time together in New York. As he left me that day he took me aside and said “I have a couple of suggestions about the song. You know, if you want to hear them.” I told Dan I’d call him about that, but I never did.