No More Tears
Old bedrooms at your parent’s old house… I was at my family home in Leeds sitting in my old bedroom after just seeing my mum in hospital. I looked around at things in drawers and cupboards which had been there for years (I’m guessing that all parents have this with their offspring who left home years ago). I had jumped on the first train back to my hometown from my home in Edinburgh after having just found out that the Ma Caltieri had been rushed into hospital with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (one of the worst kind). One of the rocks in my life was now barely able to move and her chances of survival due to the progression of the cancer were slim. I was beginning to feel like the Caltieris were jinxed…
The Power Of Now I was reading a book called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle during the period of my Mum’s illness. Since my own life changing experience, I’m very much a believer in “The Now.” Still, I couldn’t quite believe that the strong person who had been there through everything with me over the years (hospital trips with my diabetes as a child, operations on my eyes, house moves, auditions and staying in dodgy bnb’s with me, coming to all my gigs and shows, and even being on one with me!), was now incapable of doing anything and may die. I couldn’t accept it.
Baby Bath Just before I’d come back to Leeds to be with her, I’d had a telephone conversation with her whilst she was in hospital. This is how it went: Me - “Mum, you can’t die on me yet, I haven’t finished my album and you have to see it before you die. You can’t die ok?” then burst out crying; Mum Caltieri (Marisa): “I’m not planning on going anywhere, don’t you worry. Come on, stop crying. Look what it says on my baby bath - ‘No More Tears.’ There you go, bugger off and go and write your next song “No More Tears.”
No More Tears So there I was after having just visited Mum in St James’s Hospital in Leeds. I sat on my bed in disbelief and thought…."For f’s sake, are you kidding me God?.....” I pulled a drawer open by the bed and there was a stack of home made cd’s but with no labels on them. I’m not sure what compelled me to do it, but I put the first one into the CD player and a beautiful guitar track played. I recognised it as a guitar track my friend Simon G Howes had given me a while ago to write a song with. It had been sitting in my drawer for a long time as I couldn’t find the inspiration to do anything with it at the time. I played it and played it and soon the words and melody came out of me….."Past has gone, this moment’s here, future’s not arrived, so what’s to fear?” It became like a mantra. I got in touch with Simon excitedly to let him know I’d written something. He came over to the house and we did a home recording of it.
Riverside Music Studio The following year was one of the worst of my life. Trips backwards and forwards to Leeds from Edinburgh and trying to work in between that and various house moves. Mum going through copious amounts of chemotherapy. When her hair fell out I decided to get dreadlocks as I didn’t really feel like getting my hair done nicely. During one visit, I walked into her room and she didn’t even lift her head from the pillow as she was so weak. “Pooh, what’s that stink?” she greeted me with. “My hair ma, do you like it? It’s all natural oils?” ‘Pooh, go away, it stinks, get them out and wash your hair” was her response. She was so ill sometimes though that she didn’t even have the strength to speak. Her eyes went completely black and swollen as a result of the treatment and covered half her face. She nearly slipped away at one point, but, being a Caltieri said (whilst heading down the tunnel towards the light and hearing doctors’ voices around her saying “we’re losing her”), said “I’m not fucking going anywhere!” and came back and lived. So after she was out and had her strength back I went straight into the studio to record “Something I Couldn’t Say…” and “No More Tears” was selected as the final track for the album. It was great working with all the session players and Johnny Cameron did a cracker of a guitar solo on it. Took me bloody ages to get the vocal on this one....after about 4 hours I had almost given up. Then at about 3am, after half a bottle of red wine and a pizza, thinking my work was done for the day and it was just an ‘off’ vocal day’, I suddenly had a second wind. “Duncan, I’ve got another one in me, quick!” And there we have it - “No More Tears.” A collaboration with my friend, my mum and some amazing musicians.
Release “No More Tears” was self-released in March 2017 and within a few weeks it had reached number 15 in an Australian FM Indie chart on a local radio station, and was played on over 75 radio stations internationally. In July 2017 my band and I performed “No More Tears” on STV’S “Live At Five Show.”