i have the touch

So, you probably know this is a Peter Gabriel song (which you can check out here if you’re interested), and I’ve always thought it was a complete banger.

Of course, there’s no way to improve on the original, but I’ve always kinda wanted to hear what it’d sound like with more/bigger guitars. Or maybe, in the middle of the dark, solitary winter we just concluded, I just wanted to play said guitars. Loudly.

I’ve also spent a fair chunk of the last year experimenting with various types of musical robots and extremely unnatural sounds (of which perhaps more later) , and a few of them made it into this track too.

Finally, of course, you might find that the lyrics resonate more for you now than ever before; at least they do for me. I also took the liberty of, um, adjusting some of them in order to maximize said resonance. Don’t tell Peter. 

Anyway, I hope you like the track, and once you’re done listening, i’d love to hear just what the hell is up with you! Drop a comment below and tell me what your life looks like. I need contact!

~ Mike


25 thoughts on “IHTT

  • Hi Mike,
    I love this. I don’t even think I know the Peter Gabriel version. So really, it’s your song. Thanks for sending this out and a Radio Nowhere update.

    Guess who was with me for Easter brunch yesterday? Melissa King and her beau. She was asking about you. Keep on truckin’ in Truckee. xo

    • Thanks, Margaret! I’ll inform Peter Gabriel that it’s really my song. I wonder if the royalties are included…

      You saw Melissa? So cool – please say hi back from me next time! Great to hear from you

  • Dang do you capture the strange-verging-on-maddening dynamic of this pandemic, Mike! I personally want to hug and be hugged by my friends, be in the same GD room as them once again for chrissakes… and thankfully I still love the family I live with, but it’s been TOUGH thrown together by default waaaaay more than we’ve been used to. There’s so much to learn from all of it, so thanks for recording your musical version of it with Peter Gabriel’s help 😉

    I WOULD like to know more about the “musical robots and extremely unnatural sounds,” so I hope you do write / emote / sing about them soon, because we need all the avenues possible to express the weirdness of this pandemic.

    • Thanks, Marilyn! Yes, definitely agree that there’s so much to learn from the pandemic, etc….but BOY AM I REALLY TIRED OF LEARNING ALL OF IT at this point. Maybe we could back off on the learning for a few minutes.

      And yes, you’ll be hearing from the robots before too long, promise… 😉

  • I adore this song by Gabriel. The character in it appears as such a freak at first, but in the part “pull my chin, stroke my hair” you see him as an addict, you feel his desperation and you can sympathize with him.

    The cover is interesting, it feels that you work a lot more with synths now and it’s amazing that you continue to grow as a musician. I felt the need for more punch (or shift? i don’t know the words) in the chorus and not sure about final balance of voice-guitar-synths volume. but again, covering Gabriel, it’s… Can’t stress enough how excited I am to hear more of you in the future.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean about this song. The guy is a little out there at first listen, but for me at least, I just started to feel like he was just a more uninhibited version of all? most? of us. Especially now that many of us have been living in sweats on our couches for 12 months. I’m about ready to have my chin pulled too.

      Thx for your future support, too! I have a bunch of songs in the pipeline, but I’m not 100% sure exactly how long that pipeline is at this point. However, it will end at your inbox, as always.

  • Absolutely fantastic. Love what you did with the vocal tracks. Please do more!!

    • OK twist my arm I will do some more.

      Appreciate your comment on the vocals too. I think I’ve finally found a compressor/EQ/tape delay setting that works for me. At least when I’m copying Peter Gabriel.

  • I gotta say, I like this version better than the original. Don’t tell Peter. I listened with really good headphones and the soundscape just turned me inside out. The heavy guitar emphasis is spot on, for me. We listened on full volume during a little road trip yesterday and it was EPIC.
    How do I get this song (and your others) onto my listening device with my other music? Need!

  • I love the Peter Gabriel original, and I love your version of it! I loved some of the sounds in the background, that low voice that came in occasionally, the brassiness of your lead vocal, the harmony, the synthesize trumpets etc. You weren’t kidding with the theme of the song!
    An entirely new meaning now. And you gave it the sound that goes with the hunger for contact that we have all experienced this past year.
    i’m gonna listen to it again! And then again. Louder! Thanks Mike!

    • Hey, thx Linda! Yeah, the lyrics operate a little differently now than they did in 2019, huh?

      I appreciate your ear for detail, and the fact that you took the time to comment on everything!

  • Speaking of robots, your robotic percussion track on I Have the Touch reminded me that we thought Peter Gabriel may actually have been robot when he performed this at the Greek Theater in Berkeley in about 1980. He also did Shock the Monkey and Solsbury Hill. See the cover of his 1975 album “Plays Live” and you’ll see what I mean. Blue makeup and robot headgear. Guess he was being the anti-Genesis and eschewing his art rock roots.

    Your discordant synth work on the outro expressed the frustration we have felt over the lack of contact with our friends and family over the past year. Now that Wilma and I have been fully vaccinated, we drove our home built camper van to Colorado to visit our grandkids. We go hiking and walk around small towns, get grocery deliveries and takeout food, and avoid indoor crowds.

    Are you living in Truckee? We drive over there from Lincoln quite often. We’ll probably be back there in a week or a month or never.

    Yer Buddy,

    Dirty Dan the Sewer Man

    • Dirty Dan! With the actual 1st person memory of PG doing this song on tour! You may win the comment thread this time…

      Yes, I know the Plays Live album cover you’re referencing, and I actually thought about making myself up similarly for a cover photo for my version. But then I realized I’d have to actually leave my house to get the makeup, so that was the end of that.

      Glad to hear you’re fully vaxxed and making the most of it!

  • P.S. “Picture of You” is still my favorite track from Interstate Medicine and it is on our Traveling Playlist. Reminds me of when my pal Dave Baby went to L.A. for work and I called him to ask how it was going. His reply: “It’s okay, but after you sleep with Linda and Stevie there’s not much else to do.”

    The line “Breakdown on the 405…” brings to mind the OJ Simpson joke: “He’s on the 20. He’s on the 10. He’s on the 405.”

  • I too have never heard this Peter Gabriel song before, but I dig it. I think your voice is singular, but now that I’m contrasting them, I’d say Peter Gabriel is about as close of an analog as there is.

    Definitely hearing the robots and thinking of some early Nine Inch Nails influence.

    Great stuff.

    • Thanks, Greg. And I will take “Peter Gabriel analog” as a descriptor any time. Might even get a tattoo.

      Good call on the NIN, too! I’d actually just watched this INCREDIBLE breakdown of “Closer” when I started working on this track.


      Might be a touch of overkill for non musical obsessives, but I thought it was gripping.

      • Great, now I’m gonna waste/spend an hour on that. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Song Exploder (Netflix?) episode on ‘Hurt.’

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