Then She Did...

"Then She Did..." is a song Perry wrote after he learned of his friend Xiola's sudden death of a heroin overdose. (For more on Xiola, check the Three Days page.)
It also has a lot to do with Perry's mother, who killed herself when Perry was very young.

By Jane's in mid 1987.

Perry at a live show in L.A. on 10/31/90...
"This is a song about someone who I really loved and she died. That's right, man. And I loved her."

Dave in an interview, late '97...
"For "Then She Did..." there's a breakdown part which was, at the time of recording, we were calling the "solo section." I think that it just kind of dawned on myself, and everybody in the band, that it wasn't really necessary to have like an instrumental "lead" there. As much as it was important to have space and like a breathy kind of musical vibe to it."

From Dear Dave, Jane's Xine (issue 3.1)...
Q: If you had to pick one song out of every thing you've ever recorded that you felt best represented you ....what song would it be and why? -Paul
Dave: That song would be "Then She Did"...To try to tell you why would be like trying to tell you everything that has ever happened to me. Let's just say that for me, it captures most of the feelings I feel on a daily basis, both musically and emotionally.
Also, that was a very special song for Perry and I... we used to look at each other when we were about to play it, and say, "Let's do this one for our Moms".

Perry talking about his mother's death in an interview with Raygun magazine, '94...
"She died of a broken heart, that's what drove her to suicide... and we kids are all heartbroken. We missed out on a mother.... Nothing came of it, so I came to the conclusion: Why throw your life away? Why throw your life into the flame? Your life is the one thing you have to fight with, why give it up? I have never found anything big enough to give up my life to, especially if it was something that I hated or bothered me. The last thing I would give is my life. If I don't life something, I don't give it my time. I won't give it my life."

From Guitar World, 11/97...
Ritual also yielded Navarro's favorite all-time Jane's song, "Then She Did...," which he says reflected his growth as a player from Nothing's Shocking to Ritual.
"Basically, I learned how to play guitar to serve the song rather than to serve myself," he says. "I still feel that on some things on that record I'm a little bit too showy," he says, "but I'd become a little more aware of taste... and the concept of letting the music breathe, as opposed to cramming it up with notes."

From a 1991 issue of Guitar Player...
Dave, you do wonderful things with overdubs.
DAVE: You think so? I generally go into the studio not knowing what I'm going to do, though I know the basic song. I throw down a bunch of stuff. If it works, great; if not, scratch it. We do the basic tracks, all four of us live, then I do a rhythm part to double or match the basic. After that if I hear a space that can use something, I put it in. If I don't like it, I try something else. But I don't spend too much time--the solo on "Three Days" was a first take, the rough track. Anyone the least bit creative could spend forever in the studio, and I don't want to take our budget out the window. We pay a lot of attention to tones and sounds. When I introduce a sound, I like to give your ear something new--not to underplay the previous sound, I used to be more into solo's, but now I'm more interested in the song. Not every song needs a solo. "Then She Did..." is my favorite track on the latest album. What Perry's singing about is beautiful and I didn't want to step on anything.
ERIC: "Then She Did..." started as a conscious idea to have a song that was stripped bare, without jazz fusion changes all over the place. We found that we could change the song with dynamics and very subtle changes without having to alter the chord progressions. Or take the song "Whores". The bass line stays in B the entire time; we just used dynamics to make he verse different from the chorus. It's more of a primitive thing. No, that's too pretentious--more of a *core* thing. I don't really listen with my left brain. I have to play a line over and over exactly the same way for a good ten minutes before I can decide whether I like it. I'm looking for a feeling rather than a sound. My lines start out with what comes naturally, then I strip away whatever I can, trying to do something interesting. I think "uncomplicated" and "interesting" are almost invariably synonymous.

Guitar Player, '91 again...
"On the breakdown of "Then She Did...", I improvised with my echo set on infinite repeats. You get this eerie feeling, but you can't really hear it. Its very quiet--I wanted you to feel uncomfortable and not know why."

Guitar World, 9/91...
The most interesting guitar players today are those who work with texture rather than notes and scales.
DAVE: Right, right. I'm trying to get more into that. Unfortunately, there are times when I'm stuck into that thing of wanting to throw in a really quick riff. We have a song called "Then She Did...," which doesn't need a guitar solo, so there's no guitar solo on it. The rest of the guys wanted me to do one and I said no. Lyrically, the song is beautiful and emotional, and it's got a very airy, open, moody tune. If I put a guitar solo in there, it would totally cheese it up. But then in "No One's Leaving," which is a pretty fast song, I threw in some very fast riffs. It all depends.

* Played a few times in 1987. Then played often at Ritual-era shows ('90-'91).

* The Relapse played this at all of their shows in 1997. Only played once in 2001 (4/26/01 Santa Barbara)

"Then She Did..." is not the title the song was originally known as. At a drum clinic in 1998, Stephen shared a little known fact with the small crowd.. When it came time to put the song on Ritual, Perry decided to remove a letter from the original title to add some mystery to the song and keep some of the emotional significance to himself.

Now her paints are dry...
And I looked outside...
At the corner boys...
Ayh, oh, where did you go?
I don't know.
I went to see your pictures...
I spread them across the floor...
So this is where they are shown...
Now they're probably saying to you,
"If you keep it up you'll be born."
But you won't ever listen,
I'll bet...
Burnt out, grass scorched by the sun.
The buildings remain.
We will beat them all to dust,
I'll bet... Pulled from a headless shell that blinked on and off,
Now the nameless dwell.
They hold your key and turn your knob,
I'll bet...
Will you say hello to my ma?
Will you pay a visit to her?
She was an artist, just as you were.
I'd have introduced you to her.
She would take me out on Sundays.
We'd go laughing through the garbage.
She repaired legs like a doctor on the kitchen chairs we sat on.
She was unhappy, just as you were.
Unhappy, just as you were.
Unhappy, just as you were.
Unhappy, just as you were...

Previous Song Song Index Next Song