Friday, September 2, 2011

Say When

(Griffin/Royer) This is a song that will be familiar to many of you although it has never had a major release. It was written for a tour the last incarnation of Bread went on in 1998. Apparently Jimmy and I performed it together for some TV show around that time; I have no memory of doing it but there I am on the videotape so it must have happened.

We demo’d it around the time it was written and I remember Jimmy only took one pass at the vocal but it was nearly perfect. Jimmy could really sing that song. Later, when I finished up the Jimmy Griffin album after he passed away, I overdubbed Michael Rhodes and Shannon Forrest on bass and drums. There was still something missing, so I had the engineer for the project, Brandon Henegar, who is an excellent guitarist, overdub a weepy guitar. I finished it off with a light electric piano.

This is the song I wish we had back in the early days of Bread. Had it been there then, I’m almost sure it would have been the missing Jimmy Griffin Bread single.

Say When


  1. This song certainly stood out as a masterpiece and got a lot of applause when I saw Bread in Arlington, Texas in 1997 on their last tour. Just Jimmy & his guitar performing flawlessly, and everyone else including the orchestra was retreated into the shadows. The stage was right next to the roller coaster (!) which added its noise at inopportune moments throughout the concert, but thankfully it didn't interfere during his solo.

    If "Say When" could only find its way into a movie...

  2. LOL - I love it when you say you don't recall taking part in the TV show (although, agreed, you must have sat before the cameras on numerous times). Actually, virtually the whole SHOW was dedicated to the two of you in case you'd forgotten (Prime Talk with Bill Boner from Nashville), although this was the only song you performed that night. The rest was just general chat. "Say When" is DEFINITELY a Griffin/Royer classic ...

  3. How I wish this could've been a bread single, Robb. How I wish so much. Malc is right - this is a stunningly beautiful song, whether it's in its demo form (from the James Griffin's Greatest Hits CD that he shared and passed around to so many people) or the new updated version that you've included on the 'Jimmy Griffin' CD (which I am so eager to arrive in the post that I actually get up earlier than usual for the postman, so I can play it as soon as it arrives).

    Malc - emmmm....might you have this show, by any chance? Or is that too bold or cheeky of me to ask of you? I would so love to see this show in its entirety. If I'm overstepping the mark here, I apologise, Malc. It's just that there are so very and precious few interviews out there, that this one would be amazing to watch and listen to.

    I've seen (probably dozens upon dozens of times at this point) the beautiful version you and James did on this show (a massive thank you to YouTube and to the James Griffin channel who uploaded this for all of us to enjoy), and it was just perfect. One of the most beautiful and poignant songs I've ever heard.

    Thanks for all these many years, Robb, of such brilliant, wonderful, beautiful music. You and James were an amazing songwriting duo.

    June (womanbread)

  4. I agree whole heartedly Robb. I do believe this would have been a big hit for Bread. You guys got this one right. A great song. In fact Robb I have your release of Jimmy Griffin, and absolutely love every track. I personally feel it is some of yours and Jimmys best work. Keep the tunes coming.

  5. Hi Robb - Today is my wedding anniversary, and I just wanted to say that the arrival of the 'Jimmy Griffin' CD in this morning's post was not only a perfect way to start the day, but a perfect gift.

    I can't wait to pop it into my car stereo (the sound quality in this stereo is incredible, and way better than most home stereo systems I've owned), a drive down to the beach with the volume cranked up to ten (or eleven!) and just enjoy Jimmy's amazing vocals and music.

    Thank you so much Robb (and you too, Jessica) for recording and releasing this CD, and honouring the magic that is and always will be Jimmy Griffin.

    Any possibility of there being another such release in the future? I was thinking that, seeing as 'Moon Over Memphis' has been shelved (which upsets and puzzles me), it'd be brilliant if you could get ahold of those songs and work your magic on them, the way you have done with this CD...ahhh...that'd be an incredible gift to us, from you and Jimmy.

    Again, thanks so much Robb. I'm so delighted to finally have this CD, and for it to have arrived on this day.

  6. Robb,

    I want to say thank you for the many,many Robb/Jimmy co-creations that Jimmy did over the years, with and without Bread. I was an early Bread fan and was "taken" by what I thought was a David Gates band. It wasn't until I bought my first Best of Bread cd and had a chance to play it repeatedly, in the late 90's or early 2000's that I realized I had been missing the wonder of Jimmy Griffin's voice and harmonies all those years.

    After chasing down a few of the lesser Griffin recordings I became infatuated with his voice and then learned of Malc's fabulous biography of Bread, Sweet Surrender. That got me here, but while I was still reading it, I lucked up on the Just Like Yesterday cd and have been unable to get "Say When" out of my head. It is there in the morning when I wake up and all day long. I was tearful when I first heard your " For All We Know" by the Carpenters. And I would rank "Say When" right up there in the same category. It surely could be an Oscar winner! You guys have really accomplished a huge place in music history.

    Thanks again!