Jad Fair & Kramer is an indie rock duo consisting of Half Japanese’s Jad Fair and collaborator of The Fugs, Butthole Surfers, Daniel Johnston, and more, Kramer. Their album The History of Crying, Revisited is out June 18 via Shimmy-Disc and Joyful Noise.
So I sent a barrelful of song titles to Jad for The History of Crying, so he could write lyrics for this brand new LP we were making together — our first in 20 years. “I’ll Give You the Moon” was the third title I sent, and it was weighing heavily on me at that moment, heavier than all the others. The whole notion of it, of what it takes — people refuse to just believe in love. They need to be convinced. And then they still just refuse to believe it. That was really bugging me.
I needed to talk to Jad about it, so I called him on the phone.
“Hey, Jad, if you really could give someone the moon — not just metaphorically, but, I mean really just reach up into the nighttime sky and pull it down and give it to that person, just as you would 100 red roses — do you think they’d finally believe that you really and truly loved them?”
“Well, Kramer, I think… hmm… hmm… I think it would probably depend upon the person you were giving the moon to.”
“So, Jad, you don’t think there’s any one thing that would always work, to prove your love, for everyone and everyone? The same way a vaccination would work all the time, no matter whose arm the needle was stabbing into? To prevent polio, or the measles, or diphtheria, or that thing you get when you step on a nail?”
“I don’t know, Kramer. I think you just have to try everything. I think it just isn’t a one-shot-deal.”
“But you’d start with the moon, if you really, really, really loved them. Right, Jad? No matter who it was.”
“Well, Kramer, I guess that would be a good place to start, if you really really loved them.”
“The way i see it, Jad, if you really, really, really, really do love someone, you start at the very top, and then you just work your way up from there. So I’d always start with the moon. And if that didn’t work, I guess we’ll just have to write a song about it, and see if that works.”
“OK, Kramer. I’ll send you some lyrics in a few days. Or maybe in, like… hmm… Would maybe about 10 minutes from now be OK?”
— Kramer, May 2021
(Photo Credit: Brian Birzer)