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April 17, 2017 Travers Geoffray

"Ride out West": Behind the Song

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Clint Eastwood. Eli Wallach. Lee Van Cleef. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly started my fascination with Old Westerns.

The music, the minimal dialogue, the cinematography. The standoff at the end of the film. Nothing is said. Nothing happens for what feels like eternity. The desolation, the violence.

Skip ahead some years and I pick up my first Cormac McCarthy novel, All the Pretty Horses. Cormac broke the old Western world back open for me. I devoured the rest of the Border Trilogy. The sparse dialogue, the brutal attention to the landscape, the cruel violent realities.

In a tremendously dark world, the fantasy of these novels lies in the quest.

A search for truth. An exploration into the volcanic core of human history. A bleak, perhaps fruitless, journey but a journey nonetheless and all journeys attract fantasy.

Ride Out West” does not attempt to tackle the literary depth of Cormac McCarthy. Merely an ode to the world created by him and the Spaghetti Westerns. If you’re listening to this tune, I advise you to stick around until the end, my favorite part of the song. To me, it feels like I am watching a mirage of a caravan riding in the distance of the desert...