In 2008, a coworker handed me a copy of the local newspaper and pointed to the cover story. Diablo Cody had just won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Juno. In the article, she said how she wrote most of the screenplay at a Starbucks in Crystal, MN.
“Isn’t that right by your house?” my coworker asked.
It was. Not only was it right by my house, and not only had I been there many times, but I had actually seen Diablo Cody there many times. But I had no idea what she looked like until that very moment, when I saw her picture on the front page, and connected the name with the face.
“So did you ever talk to her?”
I laughed. “I saw her there a lot, but I didn’t sleep with her.”
The Song Soon To Be Formerly Known As Diablo
2008 was “The Year of the Spiral” and Jagged Spiral was at the height of its career. We were working on a jam with the temporary title of “Disco Spiral.” The jam had been around for a while but I hadn’t come up with any lyrics yet. That evening at practice, Colin asked me what I thought the song was about and something in my head just clicked.
“It’s about how I never slept with Diablo Cody.”
The song became known as “Diablo” and I used that concept to write some lyrics. We played the song out several times, and there’s a rough youtube video of us playing at Station 4 where I’m still trying to lock down the lyrics.
Unfortunately, the song was cursed. Every time we played Diablo, bad things would happen, usually equipment failures. While recording tracks for Diablo, a computer crash wiped out an entire evenings worth of recordings.
The final straw was when we were loading gear into Colin’s car, and Colin said the song might be cursed, because every time we played Diablo…. Just as he mentioned the name, the strap on his gig bag broke and the bag holding his pedal board dropped to the concrete.
It was official. Colin and Josh demanded that we never mention the “D-word” again.
So, I changed the lyrics. Muted the original lyric tracks in the recording and re-recorded the new lines. Diablo Cody became Diablo the Devil. I added some angels and sexual innuendos. Colin proclaimed the song was now called “Prophet” and you’ll see it listed that way on the Fire and Dice album which we released in Dec 2013. I’m not displeased with the new lyrics, but to be honest, I missed the original lyrics.
The Return of Diablo
In January 2014, I cloned the project file to a new workspace. Deleted the new lyrics. Unmuted the original vocal tracks. Touched up a couple lines. Even managed to add in references to Diablo Cody’s more current projects, United States of Tara, Young Adult and Paradise. Did some MIDI magic with the drum kit . Cut out a boring section of the song that we had intended to cover with solo guitar later but never did.
I completely remixed and remastered the track, and offered it to Diablo Cody on twitter as a Christmas gift at the end of 2014.
This song is not intended as any kind of jab or insult. I have nothing but respect for Diablo Cody and hope she continues to write awesome screenplays.
I don’t know Diablo Cody, but she seems like the kind of person who would appreciate the sense of humor in this song. I hope she likes it.