Halfway Home is the oldest song on Days Between Stations. The beginnings of this track go back quite a few years, to a New Year’s field trip that I took with a bunch of friends to a remote part of Death Valley National Park. It’s called Saline Valley, and it’s about 50 miles from nowhere over one of the ugliest dirt roads in the state of California.
We spent something like five days there, and by the middle of the last night we were starting to feel like locals, limiting most utterances to single syllables and forgetting why we had formerly been motivated to bathe.
I remember looking up at the blackest sky I’d ever seen and a ludicrous number of stars and having the first two lines of the chorus of this song just swim into my head (though I was not actually then missing the sound of the freeway).
I sang those lines to myself all the way back to the Bay Area the next day, which annoyed the other people in the car mightily (it’s a 12-hour drive). By the time we got home, though, the lyrics were essentially done. The verse piano riff arose out of the rhythm of the lyrics as soon as I sat down at the Rhodes.