"Never Did See Dallas"

© 1986 Lee Ruth

Composed 11/1/1986

MP3
Eric Gies
Eric Gies - Vocal Guitar & Harmonica
  MP3 Sample of Lee's Original

 

Song Lyrics:
Lee's Lyrics:
Never did see Dallas, never did see Dynasty
Never did see Dallas, never did see Dynasty
Never did see much looked like real life, livin' on my tv

Never did see Rambo, never did see Jaws Lord Lord
Never did see Rambo, never did see Jaws
I ain't seen the Easter bunny, never did see old Santa Claus

But I have seen you, and you have seen me
Yes I have seen you baby , and you have seen me
And I have seen a world where we both can live happy and free


Never did see Dallas, I didn't see no Larry what is hagging, bagging
bag a-moaning Da Da Da Dynasty
Never did see Dallas, never did see Dyny-hinney- hinney- sty
Never did see Jaws 1 or 2, or Rocky 5, 4, 1, 2, or 3
But I have seen a world where things have gone astray
Oh I seen a world where the Dukes of Hazard and Daisy Mae
I don't want to live vicariously with a bad case of truth decay

Hey Yah Da Da Da Da Da Da lay--lay lay
Come on Sadie, Sing it Lee
Da Da Da Da Da Da Di Di Di Doh Lee Lee
I'm goin a-sing this song that I learned from old Ruth Lee

Never did see Dallas, never did see Dynasty
Never did see Dallas, never did see Dynasty
Never did see much looked like real life, livin' on my tv

Never did see Rambo, never did see Jaws
Never did see Rambo, never did see Jaws
Never did see the Easter bunny, never did see old Santa Claus

But I have seen you, and you have seen me
Yes I have seen you, and you have seen me
And I have seen a world where we both can live happy and free

Never did see Dallas, never did see Dynasty
Never did see Dallas, never did see Dynasty
Never did see Jaws 1 or 2, or Rocky 5, 4, 1, 2, or 3
But I have seen a world where we all can live happy and free

Artist on the Song:
Lee on the Song:
Postscript: An amazingly synchronous thing happened at the 1998 Hartsburg Pumpkin Fest. Marni and I were strolling through town when lo and behold, there was Lee Ruth on stage, performing my old song, "Rainbow." I was touched. Fast forward to just last week, when Lee and I were talking on the phone. He told me that "Rainbow" was actually some kind of inspiration for "Never Did See Dallas."
No wonder I felt an affinity for that tune above all the others.
Somehow I ended up missing out on several decades of prime-time television entertainment. From the late 60s until the late 80s I only saw occasional shows--perhaps just enough to know what I was or wasn't missing. So, a whole host of characters and fictional lives that were a regular part of the daily and weekly lives of many Americans were just rumors to me. That situation was the point of departure for this song, a reflection on reality and unreality, living vicariously or in a do-it-yourself manner, fiction and non-fiction. My friend Eric Gies, who moved to Santa Cruz from Columbia in 1977, had written a song in the mid-70s (which I had learned) called "Rainbow," which had a blues structure but a decidedly non-blues theme and attitude. In 1986 I took the guitar riff from "Rainbow" and played it backward on the guitar, then wrote this song using a similar blues/non-blues juxtaposition of song structure and lyrical content. Interesting that Eric chose this song out of the dozen or so I sent him on the demo CD.
Artist on Lee Ruth:
Lee on the Artist:
Me n' Lee

I moved to Columbia from Santa Cruz, California, in the spring of 1971. I had spent the previous 5 years playing bass and singing with my band, SPACE, in the LA area. My wife, Diane, and I wanted to live the 'back to the land' lifestyle, and we did so for the next 6 years. As we made new friends that first summer, mostly south Boone County hippies (Galen Chadwick, Bob Dyer, and the Round Oak clan among 'em), we discovered Lee Ruth. He was playing guitar around the fire at a party at Rainbow Ridge, down on the Missouri river, north of Easley. Lee was known for being the fellow who always played until the very end of every party, even if that meant it was 3 a.m.

Being fellow musicians, Lee and I became fast friends fast. As a family man (with a wife, son, and daughter), a fulltime MU student and freaky farmer, I didn't get out much. I kept track of Lee's legendary exploits through word of mouth. We eventually started doing gigs together at the Chez, the Kaffee Klatch, and other small clubs around town. We alternated sets and included some of each other's tunes in our respective repertoires. I played live on Lee's KOPN radio show a few times. When my SPACE band-mates Sterling and John came to visit in the autumn of 1975, we reunited to play a KOPN benefit at the Night Owl (Paquin St.) Café. Lee performed too and recorded our live performance on his ubiquitous reel-to-reel.

My family and I moved back to Santa Cruz in 1977. SPACE became the HUMANS, and we had another few years' run as a strange but wonderful-sounding rock and roll band. I visited Columbia and kept in touch with my old friends, including Lee…just barely.

In October of 1998 a remarkable thing happened, I came back to Columbia to marry my longtime love, Marni Jaime. Lee arranged for me to play at the Lupus Chili Fest. I loved doing it and also getting to hobnob with so many of my dear friends from twenty-plus years in the past. In spring of '99, Lee and I played together at Marni's annual Sinkhole de Mayo Birthday Bash on the Missouri river bottom, near Wilton. We also played different stages together at that year's Lupus Chili Fest, which was odd, but fun. We've played Marni's big party every year since and have jammed on Thanksgiving at Happy Hollow, too.

When the chance to interpret one of Lee's songs for the KOPN Tribute CD came along, I was tickled to be included. I chose to perform "Never Did See Dallas" because it's a simple, bluesy tune, in a style I can easily relate to. The message, put across with Lee's classic sense of humor and witty lyrics, is also one I can dig. His poking fun at the consumer zombie hordes who live their secondhand lives as slaves to the media junk machine is more relevant now than ever. I am honored to be part of this project and truly thankful for all my sweet-hearted Missouri friends, especially Old Uncle Lee Ruth.

Eric Gies
February 4, 2003

 

I first met Eric in Columbia around the end of 1974 or the early part of 1975. He had left California a few years earlier to become an organic farmer in Missouri, giving up a long-time life as a bass player in a Southern California rock band to do so. When I met him he was in the process of becoming musically active again, playing acoustic guitar and translating some of his old songs over to that medium, and writing a bunch of new songs. His songs were very quirky, good, off-the-wall even, and I was amazed by his seemingly endless ability to make up songs as he went along, stream-of-consciousness, incorporating the passing parade of people, vehicles, birds, dogs, etc. on the spot. It was great fun to play music with him--I never knew what was going to happen next--and he seemed to like my playing too. After he moved back to California in 1977 to resume his former musical life with some of his old band-mates, we were in only occasional contact until a few years ago when he reestablished his Boone County, Missouri, connections, and I'm delighted that he now makes a spring and a fall pilgrimage back to here. I'm pleased that he was able to participate in the album project. His was one of only a few recordings not done locally.
Producer's Notes:
Recording Credits:
I never met Eric until late November 2003, by that time I had already received his DAT recordings of "Never Did See Dallas," so it was a pleasure to put a face with all the great versions of the song he'd sent. I have known his wife, Marni, for almost twenty years, but I had never met Eric. I liked his tangential talking blues style so much, I invited him up to play on the radio show before he left to go back to Santa Cruz. One of the great things about Columbia MO is that almost all circles of friends connect in one way or another, and so it was with Eric.

Recorded by Eric Gies

Santa Cruz, California

Recorded live to DAT

 

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