This depiction of a lovers’ quarrel shifted shape dramatically over the years. (The links will take you to different versions.) I wrote “Why This Passion” in 1984 for my band the Fashion Jungle, an ensemble distinguished by its high romanticism. But my original arrangement was too utterly utterly even for me, so in 1985, after keyboardist Kathren Torraca had departed and bassist Dan Knight succeeded Steve Chapman, I turned the song into a musical hot rod, stripped down and sped up. (We kept that chopped, channeled and turbocharged format when Steve returned to the band in 1987.)

But “Why This Passion” received its final arrangement 10 years later with the Boarders, consisting of bassist Gretchen Schaefer, drummer Jonathan Nichols-Pethick and me. I switched from six to 12 strings and we worked out a rolling tom-tom beat with vaguely Middle Eastern overtones that was exotic (for us) and wicked propulsive.

Just to complicate matters, the version showcased here features that same galloping rhythm in a different pair of hands: those of Fashion Jungle drummer Ken Reynolds, who joined Gretchen and me in 1997 to form Howling Turbines (pictured below). Ken’s tom-tom work was a distinctive feature of that band, as you can hear in this rehearsal tape from 1998 or 1999.

Hear it below! Buy it on Bandcamp! (“Why This Passion” copyright © 1985 by Douglas L. Hubley. All rights reserved.)



Howling Turbines on a blistering hot day at the Free Street Taverna, Aug. 1, 1999. From left, drummer Ken Reynolds, bassist Gretchen Schaefer and me — guitarist and singer Doug Hubley. (Jeff Stanton photo)


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