Story Behind the Song: Ray Wylie Hubbard, ‘Bad Trick’
Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Bad Trick" is the first glimpse into his collaborations album, Co-Starring. The track starts the project off strong, with guest appearances from the legendary likes of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson, Eagles member Joe Walsh and bassist Don Was.
"Bad Trick" also happens to be the first and only song that Hubbard has ever written with his wife, Judy. To learn the full story behind how it all came together -- and how this gang of legends managed to get the music video (mostly) filmed pre-coronavirus pandemic, by the skin of their teeth -- read on as Hubbard explains, in his own words.
Well, [we started writing the song after] I'd done kind of a rough gig. I came in and I was kind of tired, and my wife Judy said, ["What's wrong?"] and I said, "Oh, you know, it was just a really rough gig."
She goes, "Well, everybody turns a bad trick now and then." And I went, "Where did that come from?"
It was just something she saw on Law and Order or something, I don't know -- but everybody has to do certain things that maybe they don't like doing in order to support their family. Then I started putting these little truisms together -- like, "Don't operate machinery if you're on Benadryl" or "There's five stages to go through if you're grieving." We came up with a little low-down groove, and it all came together as a song.
That's the first and only thing [Judy and I] have ever written together. She'd come up with a line, and then I just started throwing lines together. Like, [I'd say], "You've got to have scars to be a poet," and she'd go, "Well, to get weeds out of a garden, you have to hoe it!" It's the first song we wrote together, and hopefully not the last, because I enjoyed the process very much.
And Ringo was kind of her, I guess, favorite Beatle back when she was a kid. So when we got a chance to meet him five or six years ago, it was really a thrill -- for me, and for her, too. She kept her cool: very "Oh, hi, nice to meet you." I'm sure in the back of her head, she was [screaming], "It's a Beatle!!"
It was really cool the way the [collaboration on "Bad Trick"] came together, because I had met Ringo and we had just stayed in touch ... He's just a really gracious cat. So when we were doing these records, I guess maybe a year ago, out in Santa Fe, [N.M.], we went and saw him, and he was like, "Oh, you know, what are you doing these days?" And I said, "Well, I'm just making this record with other bands."
He said, "Oh, if you ever need a drummer, let me know." I thought he was just being nice. So, anyhow, I cut the track back here in the Zone [Recording Studio] in Dripping Springs, [Texas], and I was talking to Brent Carpenter, who does all of [Ringo's] videos. He said, "Well, send it to him."
So I sent it to him, and I got this text back saying, "If you can be in LA next Wednesday, I'll play drums on it." So I flew out to LA, went to his house, and he has a studio there, and he played the drum track to the song. Which was really a thrill.
Then, right before the coronavirus hit, I got this text from him [asking me to] come out to LA and we'll shoot a little video with Brent Carpenter. So I flew out there, and we did the part with me and Ringo in his studio, which was really, really cool. Then I flew back, and by that time, all the bad stuff had happened. So Brent got some video of Joe [Walsh], and some of Don Was, and then I called up Chris [Robinson] and said, "Hey, man, can you just do an iPhone thing of you singing along?" He was at some rock club in Dusseldorf [Germany], I guess, so he just did that, and sent it to Brent, who put the video together.
I'm very proud of it. He did it just brilliantly.
So that's how that all came together. Pretty wild, isn't it?
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