My Secrets To Reveal

magnet

Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. -Proverbs 27:5

Now I told you so you ought to know
It takes some time for a feelin’ to grow
You’re so close now I can’t let you go
And I can’t let go

With you I’m not shy to show the way I feel
With you I might try my secrets to reveal
For you are a magnet and I am steel
For you are a magnet and I am steel

Isn’t there something in the Bible about not “coveting” your neighbor’s things? I’m sure I recall hearing and reading that somewhere. But who hasn’t done this? I have to believe this is one of the most common sins we all have. As hard as we might try not to, somewhere along the way, this little bugaboo bites you.

I can’t hope that I’ll hold you for long
You’re a woman who’s lost to your song
But the love that I feel is so strong
And it can’t be wrong

Now, this sin can come in the form of material envy -say your neighbor’s classic 1968 ‘Vette – or wealth envy – how did he or she get that job? – and just occasionally in the form of thy neighbor’s significant other.

And sometimes this bite is so hard and the pull is so strong, that you just have to give in. As the late, great Luther Ingram once sang “If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.”. You know in your heart it’s not right, but it’s just too good to resist.

With you I’m not shy to show the way I feel
With you I might try my secrets to reveal
For you are a magnet and I am steel
For you are a magnet and I am steel

Yes, the attraction is just like that; a magnetic pull so strong you just feel locked in. You throw all caution and rational thought to the wind and just go for it.

“Magnet And Steel”, the hit single off of Walter Egan’s second album, Not Shy, is a tale of exactly this type situation. In this case, the coveted object was one Stevie Nicks, the ex-wife of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. Now we may have to give Walter a bit of a pass on this, as I believe that Stevie and Lindsey were not exactly “together” at the time. But given the close relationship between Egan and Buckingham, it seems a bit too close for comfort, if you ask me.

egan4

Walter met Lindsey at a party in 1976, and as a big admirer of his work on 1975’s smash hit Fleetwood Mac, he asked Lindsey to help with his debut album, Fundamental Roll. Lindsey agreed to work with it a bit and brought in Stevie to provide some background vocals. Walter wound up naming Buckingham and Nicks as album co-producers, along with himself and Duane Scott.

After that, it was a natural progression for Lindsey, Stevie and Rumours producer, Richard Dashut to jump in full force on Not Shy. The rest, as they say, was history. The album’s hit single “Magnet And Steel” went on to sell over a million copies and reached #8 on the Billboard charts.

Walter tells the story “behind the story” on Songfacts.com:

“On the night when Stevie did the background vocals for my song ‘Tunnel o’ Love,’ (on the Fundamental Roll lp) my nascent amorous feelings toward her came into a sharper focus – I was smitten by the kitten, as they say. It was on my drive home at 3 AM from Van Nuys to Pomona that I happened to be behind a metal flake blue Lincoln Continental with ground effects and a diamond window in back. I was inspired by the car’s license plate: “Not Shy.”

By the time I pulled into my driveway I had formulated the lyrics and come up with the magnet metaphor. From there the song was finished in 15 minutes. It was especially satisfying to have Stevie sing on ‘Magnet,’ since it was about her (and me).”

Most folks regard Walter as another “one hit wonder”, but he actually went on to release a total of 9 albums, with the latest being 2011’s Raw Elegant.

A few more interesting notes about Walter:

  • He never had another Top 40 hit himself, but a cover version of his song “Hot Summer Night” went to #18 for the band Night, who also had a female lead singer named Stevie (Stevie Vann aka Stevie Lange).
  • In 1985 he was a four time champion on the TV game show Catch Phrase.
  • He got credit as a co-writer on Eminem’s hit “We Made You” because producer Dr. Dre felt the song’s bass line was influenced by “Hot Summer Night”.
  • Walter got his start in music with a group called the Malibooz, imitating the Pac coast surf music sound of the Beach Boys and the Ventures, although the group was entirely from NYC and had never even visited the West Coast.

So, quit admiring your neighbor’s new car and focus on the blessings you have in your own hand. And please repress those longings for beautiful “things” others may possess. Then again, just looking never hurt anyone…did it?

Listen to the great original studio version here:

Night’s hit version of “Hot Summer Night” here:

Sources for this post include:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Egan

Songfacts.com: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=10286

Walter’s website: http://www.walteregan.com/

 

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