Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Story of the Song: 'Too Experienced' written on a bus Bob Andy attaches no specific meaning to the song

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Maurice Gordon (left), Desi Jones (centre) and Carlton Jarrett interpret Bob Andy songs at Friday's launch of Bob Andy Unplugged at Redbones Blues Café, New Kingston. - Photos by Mel Cooke
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Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

Too Experienced is one of Bob Andy's more popular songs, not only with audiences but also with those who have covered his songs. Barrington Levy, Eddie Lovette, Los Pericos (from Argentina), Ms Dynamite and Winston Francis have all done versions of Too Experienced - a song Bob Andy still does not know the meaning of, over 40 years after he wrote it on a bus from Parade in downtown Kingston to Cross Roads.

The Sunday Gleaner asked Bob Andy if Too Experienced is a back-handed love song or about business connections and he said, "I don't know." He was on the bus, returning from delivering records (most likely to Randy's at North Parade), hurrying "to get involved in the day's production activities.

"On the way back the song just ... . This is one of the songs that you get lyrics and melody at the same time. And I stored this song away, when it was conceptualised. A lot of my songs I never write," Andy said, making a scribbling motion with one hand. "I was writing the song in my head as the idea was coming," he said. By the time the bus ride ended the song was "a done deal".

self-acclamation

When he got off the bus and went to 13 Brentford Road, Andy had the resident band lay the rhythm, intending that Too Experienced would be sung by someone he admired immensely, Delroy Wilson. Andy said he played what he had in mind on the piano for pianist and producer Jackie Mittoo to "expand on it".

"To be able to write a song for Delroy Wilson was just a thrill," he said.

But it was Andy who is forever known for singing:

"She doesn't want me around

She's got something to hide

I think she wants a clown

Someone to take for a ride

I'm telling her that I'm

Too experienced to be taken for a stroll

I'm too experienced for someone to rock and roll

Too experienced to be taken for a ride

I know it's not my foolish pride

She hates the sight of me

Because I turned her offer down

She's always saying we were meant to be

Somehow she thought I'd be her clown"

It was not surprising that Too Experienced came to Andy.

"In any given day, if I am not focused on a particular behaviour, idea, as soon as I am finished with that melodies just go around in my head. I never have to search for melody. It's just to put it into perspective and see what lyrics I could marry it to," he said.