"Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979" as written by and Will Robinson Sheff....
Pull down the shades, lets kill the morning
Lets kill the morning, let it die
Will your eyes flash out a warning
But they'll be another morning after afternoon and tonight
Fuck long hours sick with singing
Sick with singing the same songs
In the bars, they'll soon be drinking
Lets cash my check and drink along

Old times, hello, hey, I've missed you
Old life, hey now, let me in
Because you win on every issue
Now, can I kiss you?
Don't you care how long it's been?
It has been so many years, I lived my yearning
But in every bed, it led me through
They only bloom on what was burning
And it grew, the fire grew
And now with nothing to consume
It's turned on me in my glass room
Where I'll burn, you think I'm finished
Think I'm not winning
Well, go on, assume

So, take me, I'm yours, morning starship
Sparkling stars line your lights as they lift off the loneliest street corner
This clown has yet leaned against
I'll let all these fine faces fold into me
The warmth from the space lights illumines the sea as the laughingest mouths wetly open,
But we set them sighing
We'll take them flying
And we'll take this man left almost passed out
Cause we're pretty sure he needs a hand
He says he can't stand
And when we pick him up
He asks us where this ship will land
But he knows we know it isn't coming down
He knows we know we'll fly so far
Til finally stars hold him in all around
Til he forgets the ground
Til he forgets the crawling way
Real people sometimes are


Lyrics submitted by smileforthecamera

"Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979" as written by Will Robinson Sheff

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Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979 song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentBruce Wayne Campbell (stage name: Jobriath) was a pop star in the 70's who is credited for being the first massively marketed pop star, as well as the first one to be openly homosexual. However, he came at the end of the glam rock era, and despite his large contract and generally good reviews, he was overall ignored by the public. He died of AIDS in 1983, still under contract from his label though long since "retired," and unknown to all but a few select fans.
    Pretty much the song is describing a fictional interview with this man. It's very beautifully written and composed, and I think it's the perfect way to end the album which since The Stage Names has been focused with stories about artists and the people who make up the ranks of people who fall into that category. It's a very sad song, and the verse "Old times, hello, hey, I've missed you
    Old life, hey now, let me in
    Because you win on every issue
    Now, can I kiss you?
    Don't you care how long it's been?
    It has been so many years, I lived my yearning
    But in every bed, it led me through
    They only bloom on what was burning
    And it grew, the fire grew
    And now with nothing to consume
    It's turned on me in my glass room
    Where I'll burn, Think I'm not winning
    Well, go on, assume" Is just perfect. It's imagery is beautiful too. When you think about how this was a man who was supposed to be the next Bowie, but ended up leaving virtually nothing but his bones behind him, everything else vanished in the "fire" that was the build up behind his work which eventually swallowed him whole. I'll stop now as I already assume the length of this post will scare anyone away from reading it... but I could go on forever about it, and it's not even my favorite song!!!!
    reds21on July 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe lyric is "they only BLEW on what was burning".
    iamsoupcombuston March 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat was actually pretty interesting, reds, I didn't know any of that! The saw the song as being kinda like the final result of living the life Calling And Not Calling set out. After a while, she (well, it's not said, but I think the narrator is probably Shannon Wilsey) gets more and more introverted and reclusive, looking back on the groupie life she used to have before she became what she was now- and so she wants it back but it'll never happen, and the fire of yearning has turned on her- becoming a desctructive force in her life.

    What I don't understand is the final verse, and what the "morning starship" is. It sounds like it could be suicide, but it's way more optimistic-sounding like that. It would fit, though- "this ship isn't coming down" would imply that. And here's a theory- what if "this man left almost passed out" is John Allyn Smith, hero of the OTHER last track of the double album? Now, he DID kill himself, so that fits with that interpretation, and- and I guess here's the selling point of that interpretation for me- so did Shannon Wilsey, due in part to all her failed relationships with rock stars leaving her with depression. So I suppose this is the perfect song to end on- filling in the very large gap and entire centrepoint of the whole double-album, between Title Track, at the end of her groupie career, and Savannah Smiles, where she's found dead.
    Appers66on July 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Take Me I'm Yours" and "Morning Starship" are the titles of Jobriath songs.

    This passage makes me think that in the song, the "morning starship" is death:

    "He asks us where this ship will land
    But he knows we know it isn't coming down
    He knows we know we'll fly so far
    Til finally stars hold him in all around
    Til he forgets the ground
    Til he forgets the crawling way
    Real people sometimes are"

    It's definitely about some sort of escape.

    I think the part about how the fire turns on the narrator may be about AIDS ravaging his body. The destruction in his life has claimed everything else he had so now it's literally consuming him.
    JeremyB1on July 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Hotel Chelsea is a famous place in NY where alot of artists lived, Jobriath included for some time. Not sure how much that helps but yeah it's about the time he would realize, 1979, that his career was dead.
    joeshmo39on September 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe alien ship additionally ties in with a lot of the glam rock space themes. I think the last part is talking about how even though Campbell is ruined in terms of his musical career and will die of AIDS, he is, in some sense, not meant for this planet and his spirit moves on with the starship.

    Also no offense Appers66, but I'm pretty sure you are misrepresenting the lyrics. This song stands alone pretty well as talking about the gay glam-rock musician Bruce Wayne Campbell a.k.a. Jobriath.
    mercury258on September 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere was an interview done with Campbell in 1979 from the Hotel. It was supposedly the first one since his Jobriath days. The lyrics here don't track the interview very much at all. Here's the zip file of the page scans of the interview. See if you can come up with any parallels:
    championstudios.net/jobriath/…

    Dying in 1983, he could not have know he had AIDS but might have been aware of some venereal-based disease. VD is often described as a "fire". In the interview, he describes getting a lot of mail from the Health Board. And fire is also the fire of passion. His sexual partners only bloom on the fire of that passion and therefore are limited emotionally. Despite the "fire problem" he says he is winning because he lived the kind of life he wanted to live. Campbell was raised an Army brat and moved constantly and therefore was probably quite distant from his father. The real interview has Campbell acting schizo. He speaks of Jobriath in the third person and at one point says Jobriath died. And therefore the part of the lyrics where he talks to his "old self" is consistent.

    Don't miss this very clear Youtube video from his rooftop Pyramid at the Chelsea:
    youtube.com/…
    banishedhearton September 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe built a glass pyramid on top of the Chelsea, so I think that is somewhat where the "glass room" is coming from...but it also serves as a nice parallel to how public his life was at the time of his career imploding.

    I think the song has a lot to do with him reflecting on his career and this alter-ego that the record company and the media help create for him...I hear the last verse as Jobriath (alter-ego or who he was then) deciding to "leave this world behind" or whatever, and the starship stops to pick up Bruce Wayne Campbell (his real self) and take him along, too. The narrator is looking at himself and these different personas/lives that he's been through, and he's ready to just fly away from it all.
    thommyon April 18, 2010   Link

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