Excerpt from Wake Me When It’s Over:
I must confess that the title for this book is not mine, it’s borrowed from my good friend, Steve Schiltz, when he and the other members of his band, Longwave, wrote a song of the same title when they were on their first major tour, in support of The Strokes’ debut tour in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
I’ve always liked the evocative nature of the song’s title, and the possibility that it could imply that one’s time may, or may not, be going well. It’s your own perspective; you may choose whatever meaning you hear loudest. Or, you may, as I often do, feel both ways at the same time. I asked Steve to provide a bit of background,
“We wrote that song together, at a rehearsal hall in London called The Depot. This was right before a show in Glasgow, right before we did the UK dates with The Strokes. I was upstairs in the cafeteria of the place, and I ran into two guys from The Libertines. They were unknown then, just nice guys that wanted to talk to an American band that was going out with The Strokes. I heard this incredible music coming from below, and I couldn’t focus on what Carl, The Libertines guy, was saying to me. I remember abruptly excusing myself and saying, listen to that, that’s my band. I gotta go see what it is that they are playing.
So, I walked in and the other three guys were playing the beginning of “Wake Me When It’s Over”. They were just fooling around. I had a little melody in my head that I began to sing, and they knew to keep playing until I got it right. We had the song arranged pretty quickly, and I turned over the words in my mind over the next couple of weeks in the UK, until I was happy with them.
I remember singing it in soundcheck at the last show on our tour, in Dublin, at the Olympia Theater. I already knew that I loved that song. I was singing “Wake Me When It’s Over” to an empty hall and it just felt like a perfect encapsulation of my feelings at that time. Longwave had already toured so much in our tiny van. We were finishing weeks of touring with The Strokes. We had some recording coming up, and more touring. I felt two things, very strongly. One, was just how lucky we were to be doing this, doing these tours and meeting people. The other was how tired I was, and how I missed my girlfriend and my friends back in New York. Sometimes, it definitely felt like, please, wake me when it’s over.”