A strange and tragic tale from the early days of Lonely Boys, a band from San Francisco that started out as a tribute to lonely men who could be found in the middle of nowhere, was recently featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition.
It’s one of many bizarre and tragic tales told about the band’s life, from its beginnings as a collection of solo acoustic performances, through its most recent recording, to its final album, The End.
In the piece, which was written by producer Adam Zalewski, the band members discussed the time that they all played together at a local music store, and how the song “Little Brother” started as a love song.
“We were just playing acoustic guitar, and it was really a really cool moment,” says guitarist Dave Wilson.
“We had just been listening to this song for the first time, and we were like, ‘Wow, we really got this song together!'”
He adds, “We were all like, oh, man, this is really going to be great.”
The two-song arrangement, which featured the duo singing the lyrics to the song, eventually became a classic in the band.
“I don’t think we ever stopped to think about what it was we were doing,” says drummer Nicky Wilson.
Wilson is now the frontman of the band, and he says that, in the time since he played the song for them, the two of them have been “worried about how our lives are going to look.”
The story of the song is told in a recent episode of the podcast, which debuted on April 20.
“When we first heard that song, we were totally, like, dumbfounded,” Wilson says.
“And then we realized, ‘Wait a second, we didn’t really know what it sounded like until we actually listened to it.’
We were like: ‘This is what it sounds like, this isn’t exactly what it should sound like.'”
It turns out that the song’s origins stem from a love of the film “Little Boy,” which Wilson says he’s “absolutely obsessed with.”
He explains, “There was this little boy named Mark who was kind of just missing from home, and when his mother took him out to play in the park, they’d have a big party.
And so he goes and plays this little piece of music and everybody’s singing along with it.”
The duo were also inspired by the “Little Boys” character from the film.
“They’re kind of a little boys in a house with a little girl,” Wilson explains.
“So when we were thinking of the title of our song, ‘Little Boy,’ we wanted to be kind of the Little Boys in a little house, and so we just kind of got that in our head.”
“Little Brothers” is one of a handful of songs from The End that was recorded in the San Francisco area by the band as they were still making the album.
As the band began to record the album, they began recording new songs.
The group started with a couple of covers, which they recorded in their garage in San Francisco.
But when they went to their studio, they were shocked by the fact that “LittleBrother” wasn’t the first song they recorded.
“Then we realized that we actually did not have any songs in our garage that were actually written for us,” Wilson admits.
“It’s been a year, a couple years, since we’ve done any kind of studio work, and that’s a long time to sit and sit and write music.
We have a lot of songs that we don’t write ourselves, and then we have to start from scratch and start writing them.”
But the two-hour song is a different animal.
“There are some great songs that were written by the guys, like ‘My Sister’s Gonna Kill Me,’ ‘Wanna Kill Me’ by the Animals,” Wilson adds.
“But we didn, like I said, we did this little song, and the band really loved it.”