"I always thought that one day we would ride off in the sunset
To somewhere far away, or baby, anyplace that’s wild"

Anyplace that’s wild

Featuring Suzy Bogguss

Written by Willy Braun

They sat on the narrow apartment balcony, facing west, gazing into the space where the sun had been half a beer ago before dipping below the apologetic hills, scattering it’s remains on the haggard urban horizon, saving just enough for the despondent alpenglow to the east.

“Goddamnit,” he said, “Let’s leave tomorrow – Just pack it up and go. Let’s not even tell the boss, your old man or the landlord – let them figure it out. If they knew us well enough, they’d know where to find us anyway.” Her reply, “Well, you got the talkin’ done.” – He smiled. Guilty.

He had, indeed, gotten the talkin’ done. He stared off into that vast empty space, nonetheless, as he’d done for so many sunsets and let his imagination take the reins.

They’d stop at some little motel that felt like a James McMurtry novel and watch the sun go down by the pool. They’d eat in the little diner, sitting across from the black and white picture of James and Marilyn, eating the best roadhouse apple pie you’ve ever tasted and wash it down with a cup of coffee – black. In the morning, while she bathed, he’d check the oil and consult the map. Every turn of the wheels, every road runner, every armadillo, every pothole brought them a little closer to that place in the pines, the sandy beach, the long lonesome desert with the coyotes and gila monsters and cacti and just enough beer and potato chips to get by – a little closer to the place in his mind, similar to the place in hers – so close to reality that it was reality. A moving picture re-written and edited each night and each day.

They’d stop at a gift shop off Route 66 for cokes, postcards, souvenir arrowheads, and for him, a coonskin cap. They’d drive on past windmills and horses, cattle, hayfields, snow-capped mountains, rivers and streams, petrified forests, dude ranches, truck stops, caverns, canyons, mountains, more desert and deep reddish rocks as far as the eye could see. They’d have a picnic. Ham and cheese sandwiches, pickles, with salami and crackers. A bottle of cheap red wine pairs well with ham and cheese, doesn’t it? We’ll get the good stuff in California, by god.

Trucks would roar by the campy roadside rest area with the picnic tables and the concrete tipis. He’d light a cigarette and pack the remains of the picnic into the basket and put it in the trunk. They’d make Phoenix by nightfall, just in time for another one of those world-famous western sunsets.

“Hon, dinner’s ready.” His daydream shattered like glass. Silently, he picked up the pieces and put them in his shirt pocket for later. For another sunset. For another dusty convertible ride down the boulevard of broken dreams. For her to borrow or to steal. They were her daydreams, too, after all. One of these days. One of these days.


I watched a bunch of Ken Burns docs while writing for these records, for research and inspiration. In his national parks doc, he referenced a John Muir line. When Mr. Muir first arrived in San Francisco, he asked a stranger the fastest way out of town. They asked where he wanted to go, and Muir replied, “Anyplace wild.” I thought that was such a cool line and started writing a song about national parks, but it soon turned into a song about the west, in general.

I thought Suzy Bogguss could sing the hell out if it and wrote it with her in mind. I was relieved when she agreed to sing on it, because I didn’t have a backup plan. I wanted it to have a real cinematic feel, somewhere between Sergio Leone and Marty Robbins… Masterson played the perfect gunslinger guitar line. Uncle Gary to added some chromatic harmonica. Cody and Eleanore played some killer sweeping orchestral twin fiddles, and Geoff Queen accompanied them with steel. In lieu of a tambourine, Jazz, Joseph and I spent way too much time one night recording the sound of spurs jingling and stomping across the floor. It reminds me of the end of Pale Rider, which is pretty much what we were going for.

Lyrics

I was gonna be your cowgirl
I was gonna be your man
We were gonna tame the wild west together
We had the world in our hands

I couldn’t wait to twirl my pistols
And listen to the coyotes cry
We were set to stake our claim on forever
Underneath the western sky

But I never rode my pony
Through the hills of Oklahoma
Hell, I never even learned to rope and ride
And I always thought that one day
We would ride off in the sunset
To somewhere far away
Or, baby, anyplace that’s wild

I never got to rope and wrangle
We never shot down the saloon
I never got to hear my spurs jingle-jangle
I never got to shoot the moon

I never rode my pony
‘Cross the dusty plains of Texas
I never wore a six gun at my side
But I always thought that one day
We would ride off in the sunset
To somewhere far away
Or, baby, anyplace that’s wild

Go somewhere far away
Or, baby, anyplace that’s wild