Songs from "Sugarcoated"

Click on the song titles from the list below to go directly to that song's background story and lyrics.

I Can Feel You
(Can It Be) So Real
Phabulous Fred
In This Town
What Would You Do?

All songs written by Peto Gerth
©2002 Peto-A-Go-Go Music/ASCAP


This song came about following a frustrating time in my life (well, one of the many!) and I really just wanted to write something that was completely contrary to what I was feeling. I had been dealing with hand problems caused by a job I had taken just months earlier that kept me from playing guitar for several weeks. The song ended up pleasing me on many levels because I got to express frustration in the lyrics but kept the music really upbeat so that I could play loud guitars and make the most of a 3-chord punk-pop progression in the way of Green Day or Blink-182. Plus it was a fun, tongue-in-cheek way for me to make a reference to my carbo-addictions -- no, it wasn't about drug use (ha ha). I knew when I wrote it that it would be the title-track of the next CD...luckily when we started playing it as a band, Sean was with me on the idea and felt it was a good theme song to start up the energy of our live shows.

I’m so sugarcoated
It makes me super bloated
Spread some frosting down on everything
Once you’ve noticed that life is loaded
You’ll see it’s better when it’s sugarcoated
And all the sadness seems to go away

Work is hell and nothing goes well
We take it everyday
Avoid disease, do what they please
Or they’ll take it all away
I can’t live this way


Thoughtlessness and sex to confess
Frustrations mounting high
Too much to do and I feel it, too
When lisomeving someone else’s lie
I won’t live this way


Candy syrup makes me stir up all my honesty
Butter cream in all my icing sparks the life in me
No denial in my pile of chocolate remedies
Who can bear it, stand and wear it -- pride in gluttony!

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"I Can Feel You"

I have to watch it anytime I write a love song because I never want to submerse myself -- or the listener -- in the cheese-factor of many syrupy pop songs. Though I will admit to writing it after re-watching the movie "City of Angels" on DVD, aside from being influenced by some of the longing for love elements of the film, I think I was able to end the cheese factor there. I wasn't in love or even dating at the time so it was easy to relate to wanting to be in love, and since I'm a touchy-feely person, the dreamt up lyrics came pretty naturally. The music arrangement really took form when Daryl brought in his piano part and we added the background vocals. That really brought the song to a whole new level and gave it its warmth.

I’m just a shell
Housing these raw scenes of emotion
The cracks that I bear
Expose them like a film on a screen

With the weight of your touch it makes more sense each day
And soon I’ll be carried away

I can feel you ... I can feel you

So this I can tell
Something new is taking over me
This guise that I wear
Fits me like a skin that’s meant to be

And with the weight of your touch it makes more sense each day
And soon I’ll be carried away

I can feel you ... I can feel you
I can feel the depth and the warmth and the power, too
Your link here to me and mine here to you
It’s like each time that I breathe, I’m breathing for two
And I can’t stop the feeling I was meant to

So break up this shell
Expose the person I was meant to be
But don’t leave me bare
Clothe me in colors that set me free

Give me the weight of your touch so it makes more sense each day
And let me get carried away


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"(Can It Be) So Real"

If you were a visitor to the Peto-A-Go-Go website prior to the release of the "Sugarcoated" CD, you might've heard the early MP3 demo of this song which didn't nearly catch the energy of the CD's new version, but was an interesting experiment with an electronic, dance based mix. The song itself came about after I read the book "Sex, Death and Enlightenment" by Mark Matousek. To tell you the truth, I can't remember the last time I had sat down and read more than an article or news blurbs from Entertainment Weekly or Rolling Stone, so reading a book as good as this one certainly impacted me in many ways. The lyrics are pretty straight forward: I was at a time in life, having just entered my 30's (yikes!), where I was looking deeper into myself and life and wanting to escape the superficiality that surrounded me. I had also experienced a couple of things that had me asking the title's question to myself out of utter disbelief of the possibilities of the human spirit. Okay, that sounds way too deep for an upbeat pop song, but well, I told you I was trying to rise above the superficial with this one. It's all about therapy, baby.

Can it be so real — these feelings that I feel
Can the touch be wrapped around so much
And leave me left without this crutch

Sidewalks lead me far away
Alone again I’ll face the bitter day
But once I move I fear I’ll start to stray through the scenery
So bring me back, strip it down some then
I want to get to where these feelings stem
And find the scars so that I can cleanse all the scenery

Can it be so real — these feelings that I feel
Can the touch be wrapped around so much
And leave me left without this crutch
It’s just too, It’s just too, It’s just too real
It’s just too, it’s just too, It’s just too real

Peeling back all the deadened skin
I gotta find the way — let healing begin
And when I do I can start to win all this I’ve seen in me
I know that I can seek it out
Even though I can’t stop feeling this doubt
But when I do I will be living out all this I've seen in me


It’s just another day
But one lived without an act to portray
One less habit, one new lesson learned in one new way


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"Phabulous Fred"

Okay, now for the mystery man...I realized when I wrote this that most people would have no idea who he was or why I spelled fabulous with a "ph" without some sort of explanation, so here goes: First, the Fred I refer to is in no way fabulous and actually is quite a hateful man who preaches his hate (even under the title of "Reverend") to any brainless follower who will listen or even learn how to go on the internet to his website of hatred (I am not listing the site here because he does not deserve that kind of publicity). Well, awhile ago, he had a publicized protest outside a local gay bar here in Seattle at which about five or six of his followers (but not the Fredster himself) showed up with their picket signs to protest the um, "abhorrent lifestyle" of the establishment's guests. Well, these sorry folks found about four or five HUNDRED counter-protesters (gay and straight) showing them that their narrow-minded views were NOT in the majority. The story was just too good to pass up and so inspired the quick-talking, sassy lyrics of the song. The "Ph" comes from the first two letters of Fred's last name, so it's kind of a play on someone who is so self-righteous it's sickening. The song almost didn't make it on the CD, but Sean, Daryl and I had so much fun with our wacky-fun parts that the excitement helped eke out one more song from our recording budget.

Don’t use God against me
Don’t ignore the fact that I need loving, too
Don’t use lies to portray me
I just want a place for me to live here in this world
Just like you

I can walk through the grass with my feet on the ground
But you’re always a thorn to bear
Snakes and demons, rhymes and reasons
Plenty of hats that you wear
I can see you coming from miles away
But I never have time to prepare
For your vip and vigor, finger on the trigger
And through all this you think that you care

Well get off my back I can’t listen to you
Your words aren’t getting through


I can receive lots of praise and climb straight to the top
But you insist on blocking the stairs
You just keep on spewing, vicious persecuting
Living life with evil to spare
But I can see by the signs that you’re starting to fall
And apparently you’re just unaware
Find me a soul who has the sense to mind you
Then look inside — there’s nobody there

Well so get off my back I won’t listen to you
Your words aren’t getting through


Hey you don’t you know
You’ve got a long way to go

So don’t you think this charade is about to implode
Your weak attempts aren’t getting you anywhere
You’re just a fool who makes his own rules to
A game in which nobody can bear

So just get off my back I can’t listen to you
Your words aren’t getting through


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"In This Town"

It's a ROCK song and I got to play LEAD guitar. Those are the reasons this song came to be...okay, that's not the total truth. Lyrically, this song is about the frustrations of always feeling like you can't be yourself in order to fit in to society, which is a feeling I know all TOO well! But yeah, I really wanted us to be able to rock out on this one so I wrote the music with a darker tone, except the chorus where it hits this bright chord change as the lyrics wish for "forever underway" in a better setting than that of the rest of the song. The guitar riff was influenced by an old surf-pop instrumental ditty that I wrote years ago but never really got to play in a band. We actually played the surf song attached to the end of "In This Town" in our live shows, which is a whole heapin' bunch o' fun!

This town is a locked in zone
Everybody I see is a downer drone
It’s not the way I ever want to be
What ever made me think I’d keep my sanity
In this town

This town will never let me in
If I don’t "sketch" this town will never let me begin
I don’t ever want to conform to be
The reason for the end of me
In this town

Give me forever underway
Though I love the skies here even when they’re gray
I can’t escape the pain of the suffering few
I can’t remember the people I thought I knew
And I don’t want to even when I do
In this town

This town won’t let me rise up from broke
Though I try, I can’t seem to laugh along with the joke
I don’t want to be like the rest of them
While they’re sitting and plotting their unforgiving end
In this town

This town knee deep in therapy
With all it’s wonder and will just turns to irony
Never again will I attempt to be
The Band-Aid for all of the depression I see
In this town


Well I'm sorry but I tried
Maybe fate flat out lied
Maybe I got what I could when I said that I would
But I won't pity this city anymore
In this town

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"What Would You Do?"

Yeah, well, what would YOU do if someone took YOU for granted or treated you like shit and did not see that you were worth more? I chose to put the feelings in a song and here it is tied up in a catchy melody.

If I leave tomorrow
Would you even notice that I’m gone?
Would your calm collective
Chip away until you start to see?

It’s a sad, sad assessment to know that you don’t give a damn
Take back the ice cold memories cuz I don’t want them anymore

What would you do
If this all came back around?
What would you prove
By repeating yourself again?
What would you lose
By caring for once in your life?
If the tables were turned
What would you do?
What would you do?

Could you leave tomorrow
And realize the difference that it makes?
Like a bad reflection
Nothing’s clear and you don’t want to see

It’s a sad, sad assessment to know that you don’t give a damn
Shut the door and leave the key cuz I don’t want your careless heart anymore


Blame the wall or blame the scene
But you should really see to blame yourself
You’re out of control and now you’re out of luck
Cuz I don’t want to play this part anymore


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