Between the Wheels

Background and Commentary

There are three ways people interact with the wheels of time: they get picked up by them and, like the digital man, are carried along; they get crushed; or they roll through the middle of the wheels, neither hurt nor helped.

“The idea of ‘Between the Wheels’ was really kind of the opposite of ‘Digital Man,’ where life goes faster than a person does. They’re in the back water, watching the action go by, and watching the time go by. [Another way to look at its is] the wheels of time pick up some people and carry them forward; other people, without being too melodramatic about it, are crushed by these wheels. But in the middle, there are people who are untouched by the wheels, and that was what I was getting at: the fact that these people are neither hurt nor helped by them. They are in a very sedentary position.” (Jim Ladd Innerview)—Neil in Merely Players

“‘Between the Wheels’ is about pressure, and returns to the gloom of much of the rest of Grace Under Pressure. Alex’s guitar really jumps out. A lyric from the song puts across what they all must have felt at the time. ‘We can go from boom to bust . . . from dreams to a bowl of dust.'”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions

“Gertrude Stein used the term ‘lost generation.’ ‘Brother, can you spare a dime?’ was a catch phrase during the Depression. The lines that segue to the next album [Power Windows]: ‘soaking up the cathode rays.'”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

“I did some listening to ‘Between the Wheels’ and [other pieces on Grace Under Pressure a couple of months ago [in 2004], and I just love them. They’re really dense. Peter Henderson [who worked on the album] was a very good engineer. I do think he did a great job recording the album.”—Geddy in Contents Under Pressure

Lyrics

To live between a rock and a hard place
In between time
Cruising in prime time
Soaking up the cathode rays

To live between the wars in our time
Living in real time
Holding the good time
Holding on to yesterdays

Chorus:
You know how that rabbit feels
Going under your speeding wheels
Bright images flashing by
Like windshields towards a fly
Frozen in the fatal climb
But the wheels of time
Just pass you by
Wheels can take you around
Wheels can cut you down
We can go from boom to bust
From dreams to a bowl of dust
We can fall from rockets’ red glare
Down to “Brother can you spare”
Another war
Another wasteland
And another lost generation

It slips between your hands like water
This living in real time
A dizzying lifetime
Reeling by on celluloid

Struck between the eyes
By the big-time world
Walking uneasy streets
Hiding beneath the sheets
Got to try and fill the void

Chorus

Tablature

By Jimmy Pena (jimmy@walrus.com)

Excerpted from Fretplay.

This song is in ‘dropped-D’ tuning [DADGBe] low to high. It is in the key of C, mostly 4/4 time. This song sounds like it has some chorus or flange in the intro (guitar).

| = not a standard bar line; just used to separate music
~ = vibrato or held note
h = hammer on
p = pull off
s = slide
b = bend string up to indicated pitch/fret
r = release bend to indicated string/fret
/ = slide up from infinity
\ = slide down into infinity
= natural harmonic (lightly touch the string at fret indicated)
[5] = artificial harmonic (use thumb to follow through the pick attack)
o \_
o / repeat sign (always look for these!)

[Intro] – First measure played 3 times

(played on synth)
Dm7+6 Am
e:–7—-7——5—-5—-|———–|——————————|
B:–6—-6——5—-5—-|———–|——————————|
G:o-5—-5——5—-5—o|———–|——————————|
D:o———————-o|———–|—\7————————-|
A:————————|———–|——0———————–|
E:————————|–0~~~~~~–|——–0~~~~~~—————|

e:—————————————|—————————|
B:——————–5———6——–|—————————|
G:–4(b5)–4—2——————–7~~~-|-4(b5)–4—2—-~~\—-|
D:—————-5——5s7————-|—————5———–|
A:—————————————|—————————|
E:—————————————|—————————|

e:—————————-|—20~~–19–19(b22)~~~~-|————|
B:—————————-|————————-|————|
G:–4(b5)–4–2–0————|————————-|————|
D:——————0h2——-|————————-|—\7——-|
A:—————————-|————————-|——0—–|
E:———————–0~~–|————————-|——–0~~~|
/\
vibrato bar dive 1/2 then 1 1/2 steps

[Riff 1] ———————————–
Dm7+6 Am/D |1. |2.
e:–10-10-10—10-10-10—-10-10-10–|-10-10-10—-|——————-|
B:–12-12-12—12-12-12—-10-10-10–|-10-10-10—-|——————-|
G:o-10-10-10—10-10-10—–9–9–9–|–9–9–9—o|——————-|
D:o———————————-|————o|——————-|
A:———————————–|————-|——————-|
E:———————————–|————-|–3–5–0———-|

[Riff 2]
Dm7 Am/D C
e:——5—-5—5—5————5—-5—5—5—————3–3–|
B:——6—-5—5—6————6—-5—5—6—————3–3–|
G:——5—-5—5—5————5—-5—5—5——5—5—-5–5–|
D:——7—-5—5—7————7—-5—5—7——5—5———-|
A:—————————————————-3—3———-|
E:—0———————0–0———————–3—3———-|

G C Dm7
e:–3–3—————–10-10-10-10-10——————————|
B:–3–3—5————-10-10-10-10-10——————————|
G:–4–4—5————-10-10-10-10-10——————————|
D:———5—/10—————————————————|
A:————-/10—12———————————————-|
E:—————————————3–2–0———————|

[Riff 3a]
Fsus2 Gsus2 Em F+4
e:——————————————————————-|
B:–3——-3——-5————-0——-0——-0—–0—0——–|
G:–5———5—–7——-5–7–0—–0—-0—-2—2—2———-|
D:–5–5——–5—7—-7——–2—2———–3——————|
A:–3—–3———5————-2—————x——————|
E:–3—————————–2—————3————-0—-|

For complete tab, go to Fretplay.

Tutorials

“Between the Wheels” guitar cover

“Between the Wheels” bass cover

“Between the Wheels” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 6, 2011.

 
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