The Best Ride Of Your Life

by Dan Franklin

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The Best Ride Of Your Life is a collection of metaphors about Dans' experiences in 13 years in the trenches playing music at a major theme park. This expansive journey takes listeners though myriad genres with performances from some of LA's finest talent.


released September 23, 2015

Produced by Dan Franklin
Mixed by Brian Scheuble
Mastered by Dave Collins
Art and Layout by Greg Franklin
Cover Photo by Rachel Brogan

Drums on tracks 2,3,5,6,9 and 12, and piano on tracks 1 and 3 engineered by Dan Blessinger at EastWest Studio 1 in Hollywood, CA. Drum tech – Chris Heuer
Drums and bass on tracks 1,4 and 8, pianos on tracks 4 and 5, celeste on track 1, and mellotron on track 5 engineered by Dan Blessinger at Abbey Road Studio 2 in London, UK. Drums provided by Yard Gavrilovic
Piano on track 12, B3 on track 8, synths on track 9, guitars on track 2 and 5, and mandolin on track 6 engineered by Dan Blessinger at Real World Studio in Box Wiltshire, UK
Drums on track 10, horns on tracks 1,3 and 4, strings on tracks 1,4, 7 and 11, and harpsichord on track 7 engineered by Dan Blessinger at MartinSound in Alhambra, CA
Calliope on track 1 engineered by Dan Franklin and David Egan at The Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, CA
Percussion on tracks 1 and 11, bass on track 2, resonator guitar on track 10, and electric guitars on tracks 3,4,5,6 and 8 engineered by Mark Keefer at Moon People Music in Northridge, CA
Dan’s lead vocals produced by David Kidd at Sound Chemistry in North Hollywood, CA
B3 on track 6 engineered by Eli Smith at Clear Lake Audio in North Hollywood, CA
Track 13 recorded live to half inch tape, mixed by Dan Blessinger at Abbey Road Studio 2 in London, UK
Percussion on tracks 8 and 12 engineered by Bryan Brock at The Groove Mission in Nashville, TN
Percussion on tracks 1 and 10 engineered by Mark Keefer at Pacific Coast Sound in Santa Clarita, CA
All other instruments and vocals engineered by Dan Franklin at Dan Franklin Music.

Abbey Road – Paul Pritchard
Real World – Oli Jacobs
MartinSound – Derek Endo
EastWest – Jeremy Miller
Sound Chemistry – Kyson Facer
Gun Range – Alexander Suarez

Sarah Franklin, Anna Longstaff, Michelle Blessinger, Marisa Copeland, Marni Imagery, Kylie Hope, Rachel Brogan, and Joyous King.

My loving wife and family for putting up with me, Chris Heuer, Jarrett Borba, Kevin Dukes, Burnley Cook, Doug Lacey, The Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, Laurence Bedford, David Egan, John Haskey, Craig Williams, Jon Casel, Johnny Kubelka, Chuck Dickinson at Cathedral Pipes, ADA Ribbon Mics, and ES Audio. My sages – the ears and minds that have gifted their expertise to this endeavor: Patrick Copeland, Dan Blessinger, Mark Keefer, David Kidd, and Tim Gill. My co-writers: Leland Jackness, Fletcher Sheridan, John Flanagan, and Jamieson Trotter. Finally, the Kickstarter backers without whom this would never have been possible.

Dan uses Franklin Acoustic Guitars, Weber Mandolins, G. Gould Basses and Cathedral Pipes Microphones



all rights reserved


Dan Franklin Corona, California

Dan Franklin is a Los Angeles based singer/producer/songwriter/composer/multi- instrumentalist.

As a multi-instrumental performer, he’s spanned every genre, playing with everyone from Slash to Leann Rimes on every stage from Disneyland to the Grand ‘Ole Opry. In addition to playing well with others, Dan also plays in the duo ‘Dan and Leland’.
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Track Name: The Best Ride Of Your Life

In the valley below, an electrical freak show
Beckons the masses with a dazzling placebo.
Colors come down like rain.
Marionettes and miscreants on parade
And as it all sinks in, you’ll feel like a kid again,
But before you can say ‘cotton candy’, your pockets will be empty
And you won’t even like your friends.

Hang on, hang on for the best ride of your life
Hang on, hang on. Keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside
There’s a line ‘round the block and the numbers don’t lie,
They’ve got the formula that’s true and tried
It’s the best damn ride of your life.
The best ride of your life.

Now the zombies arrive with wonder in wide eyes
From every nation and in all shapes and sizes.
Children with sticky churro hands.
Teenagers in short shorts with their nervous dads
You blend into the crowd – 50,000 of your closest pals
All with salty tongues and tired feet, broiling in the summer heat,
Where is the magic now?

Hang on, hang on for the best ride of your life
Hang on, hang on. Keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside
If your mundane days leave you craving a trip,
They’ve got the chemicals for any fix.
It’s the best damn ride of your life.
The best ride of your life.

Love is found and vows are spoken.
Lies are told and trust is broken.
Dreams and born, the soul awoken.
Fire burns the sky. Fire burns the sky.

The illusion, the glitz, the marvelous misfits,
I’d never trade this for a normal existence…

Hang on, hang on for the best ride of your life
Hang on, hang on. Keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside
If something’s not quite right, well, you can fill that hole,
But it’s probably gonna cost a little more than your soul…
It’s the best damn ride of your life.
Take a spin through our tantalizing turnstile!
The best ride of your life.
Track Name: Process Of Illumination

Scribbling self-portraits on a mirror in the dark.
Funny when you don’t know who you are.
I hear voices in the street – the lonely gets the best of me
Ignore my nervous heart and I put my Converse on.

Now I see, I’m not the only one
With a square peg reputation
Suddenly I know where I belong
See myself in these other faces, take a step and everything changes
By process of illumination

Letting go of secrets with these strangers at the bar
Feels like I have known them all along.
Maybe this is all the music of the alcohol,
But it turns out it’s not hard to just be who we are


I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna leave
I just wanna stay here forever,
I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna leave
I just wanna stay here together,
What if the bubble pops? What’ll happen when the music stops?

Track Name: Ain't This The Life? (feat. Meloney Collins)
AIN’T THIS THE LIFE? (Sheridan/Franklin)

There was a time when I walked on clouds of promise
There was a lie that the universe was honest.
So I danced while my muse took a bribe,
Now I’m left with melting grease paint in the flood lights

Another dance, another dollar.
Another flip of the skirt from a playful young flirt
To make these mongrel holler
Step right up! Don’t mind the smoke and broken lights
From the saint to the schemer, the drunk to the dreamer,
Everyone has a price. Ain’t this the life?

Put on a smile – wax my whiskers, twist my tongue.
They line up for miles. Gotta hook ‘em while they’re young
So I laugh as I watch them revel in it.
It’s a wonderland of suckers and there’s one born every minute.

Another dance, another dollar.
Another flip of the skirt from a playful young flirt
To make these mongrel holler
Step right up! Don’t mind the smoke and broken lives
From the saint to the schemer, the drunk to the dreamer,
Everyone has a price. Ain’t this the life?

Bless me Father, for I have sinned.
It’s been 13 years since my last obsession.
I must confess, I’m kickin’ ass.
Hail Mary!
Who’s Mary? Just leave her headshot with my secretary.

Another dance, another dollar.
Another flip of the skirt from a playful young flirt
To make these mongrel holler
Step right up! Don’t mind the smoke and broken lights
From the saint to the schemer, the drunk to the dreamer,
Time is a thief when you’re lost in this theatre.
I wouldn’t be mean if it paid to be nice, but
Everyone has a price. Ain’t this the life?
Track Name: Things I Meant To Say
THINGS I MEANT TO SAY (Jackness/Franklin)

Oh – as I was cutting your pictures from a magazine,
I swear that you were meant to be my everything.
You’re smiling. Pictures in a magazine.

Not like the last time, ‘cause first impressions never last.
No, no one knows the stories in a stranger’s
Photographs. First impressions never last.

The joke ain’t that funny when it’s at your expense.
And if I had a nickel for each time that things would stop making sense,
I’d buy myself an ocean and just float away.
It’s not that I’m crazy – I think I could maybe be okay,
If I could just hold you and stop thinking about
The things I meant to say.

Bouncing around my mind like a hand grenade without a pin
Sweating bullets, taking shots, and wonderin’
Where you’ve been. Hand grenade without a pin.

Baby don’t make a scene. I can see right through those tabloid tears
And the childish games you’ve played with me for all these years
It’s getting weird. I can see right through your tabloid tears


Sunset cuts the blinds in ribbons, painted all the walls.
Shadows tattooed another name I’d never call

BGV: you can’t. You can’t see me, but I know you can hear me.


BGV: Tell you all these things one day. All of the things that I meant to say.
Track Name: Burning Me Up
BURNING ME UP (Jackness/Franklin)

I was just getting used to being alone when I saw you
How could I have known?
That just one look could ignite this passion burning me inside…

Losing myself ‘cause I never felt this way for no one else
Except for you baby
Your heat drives me crazy
It’s burning me up
From the flame to the fire, pushing me higher, riding my desire
For you baby
Your heat drives me crazy
It’s burning me up

I can’t stop now, so I won’t even try to put out this blaze
That started with that spark in your eye
A thousand kisses won’t satisfy this hunger eating me alive
Track Name: Draw
DRAW (Franklin)

Blue moon rises, cold and lifeless, a canvas in the starless sky.
Tonight, I’ll paint it red.
The outlaw’s warning came this morning by courier, white with fear.
He knows what’s going down.

There’s murder on the breeze,
And he’s riding out for me.
Well, if he’s so sure about his speed, he can just…

Locked away ‘til the judgment day for the killin’ of an innocent man,
He knows I tipped the sheriff off.
Now he’s escaped, and I’d explain, but you can’t reason with a crazy man.
A bullet’s worth a thousand words.


I’m a peaceful man, but I never back down,
So there’s gonna be a reckonin’ when you come around.
You’re fast, you’re angry, but I think you’re gonna find
That justice is on my side. Come on DRAW.

Track Name: Beauty (feat. Dani Kerry and Jenny Kidd)
BEAUTY (Franklin)

I am beauty – I am flawless

You’re OK, I guess

All the girls want to be like me when they grow up.

Oh is that so?
More likely, they’d rather be a little more like me
Even the constellations are beneath my station,
And when I own this nation…

Oh please! You’d need a shovel to remove that makeup
You’ll never marry a prince with an A cup… Wake up!
Aphrodite’s got nothing on me…

All will worship me and my beauty.

Dad says I’ve got to choose between them.
He’s not long for this world
But their vanity is awful, their perfume burns my nostrils
And the sight of them just makes me want to… hurl…
I know! I’ll put some tattered rags on – lose the crown and the finery
We’ll see which one will take me for the man I am inside
And I will make her my queen.

Here they are in the garden having tea on a lovely Sunday afternoon.
Leaves me thinking maybe this won’t be so bad after all…


Maybe you can help us settle this little debate

The king is gonna die soon and the prince will have to choose a mate
So who do you think that the prince is gonna pick?


Oh I really don’t think I should

Go on!

No, no really, you’re both lovely…


Ladies, honestly between you two, he’ll probably jump off a bridge.


Get out!

You’re fired!


…well alright then…

Oh dear…. This should be interesting….

Hello ladies!


You look splendid!


I don’t have the biggest bank roll, but I am a kind man

Oh is that so?

Maybe we can talk and get to know each other better?

Not a chance in Hades, find a peasant lady
Somebody old and scaly.

Oh please!
Casanova wouldn’t be that lucky.
I wouldn’t date you to save a puppy. Yucky.
You’d be better off in a brothel.

You’re not worthy of this beauty.


OK.. well, this is kind of awkward. It was me all along

But you don’t have to hide, sir!

We would have been much nicer!

Ladies, that was actually the… the point…

There’s so much more to living this life than what you see in the mirror


Well, if I made some changes

And weren’t so selfish, then

Could you love me my dear?

I don’t know, maybe…

Some more flowers ought to do…

A little more perfume

Yes.. much better.

You don’t think it’s over the top?

Oh no! it’s great… really.

My GOD you are HOPELESS!

Even on you!

Oh, those flowers are nice – they cover up your ugly ears.


Ladies! Ladies!!
You don’t know a thing about beauty.

Track Name: Your Prison Is Impossible To See (feat. Jenny Kidd)

Your lady is a pretty poison
Using you for her enjoyment
And takin’ her sweet time.

There is a carnivorous creature
Beneath the fantastic features
And you are just a bite.

She gives you just enough to wet your appetite

You will never run away, ‘cause the honey tastes so nice
Even though there’s so much more beyond what you call life
Are you blind, my brother? Can’t you see when you believe
In your freedom that your prison is impossible to see?

She’ll make you feel safe and stable
Feed you scraps from her table
But you are just her dog.

You’ll be wondering one day
Why you threw your life away
And made her your God.

Truth is that you deserve someone who’ll treat you right but….


Take a good look in the mirror – do you like what you see?
Are you meant for something better? Tell me…
Do you have the faith to throw down? Put it all on the line.
How high do you wanna fly? How high do you wanna fly?

Your prison is impossible to see.
Your prison is impossible to see.

Track Name: Now You See Me, Now You Don't

Here’s another dusty country town…
Just like the one before and the one to come.
Got this simple way of living life… well,
Maybe not when I’m done.
I’m the tug at your shoulder, the voice in your head,
I’m the little black widow underneath your bed,
I’ve been through your closets, know your skeletons well,
And frankly I’m offended by some of the stories they tell.
I’m the way, the truth, the life, high class livin’
I’m the ‘our father’ to the unforgiven.
I’ve got elixirs, snake oils, potions and creams
To soothe your fears and steer your dreams
Step right up, sir! Take your pick! Satisfaction guaranteed!

Slinging smoke and mirrors, I’ll bamboozle you with choices
And when I deploy my decoys, you won’t notice
That the choice was never really your own.
Now you see me, now you don’t.

I didn’t know there’d be so many…
Hope I brought enough supplies
Gazes fixed on my countless curios
Money bleeding from their eyes…
Now here’s a heartbroken mademoiselle
One finger on the trigger, one foot in hell
Here’s the preacher, the showgirl, a dozen marines
Jonesing for a few of their favorite things
They could take the high road, pass me by,
But they never ever do, never even try.
Common decency crumbles beneath my feet,
Then I blend into the shadow of a memory….
Step right up ma’am, what’s your wish? Oh no.. I won’t tell a soul.


And when the evening comes, and I sit down to count the wages,
The patrons’ faces almost make me doubt,
But I’ve forgotten any other way. Is there any other way?
Aw…. Forget it…

Slinging smoke and mirrors, I’ll bamboozle you with choices
And when I deploy my decoys, you won’t notice
That the choice was never really your own.
I’m right behind you when you think you’re alone.
It’s closing time, but here’s one for the road.
Now you see me, now you don’t.
Track Name: Mask
MASK (Keefer/Franklin)

Pet the dog, hang up my cape.
Kiss my wife, put my mask away.
She brings me a drink, we grab a seat and she smiles.
‘How was your day?’ well…
Dr. Terror put poison in the water supply,
The mayor was kidnapped by some new evil guy
And infernotron’s minions were robbing the bank downtown,
But I took them down.

What I wouldn’t give to never give up this secret…

I can feel it as I’m flying through the sky
Pulling pets from burning buildings, shooting lasers from my eyes.
It’s this feeling that it’s happening too fast
I’m afraid to lose myself inside this mask

Monday comes – head in the clouds
Signing autographs for a frantic crowd
When somebody tries to grab my disguise and I’m gone.
Have I been found out? Am I found out?
Why can’t some people just leave it alone?
I give them my body and they claw at my soul
This wild fascination is all that surrounds me now
And it almost took me down.

What I wouldn’t give to never give up this secret…


How much longer can I go on? Do they need me
To drop everything every time they call?
Would the world shatter if I never came back at all?
Track Name: The Mutiny Of Captain Lucky

We shoved off with Lucky in ’23
with little more than a handful of dreams.
Lucky was driven, clever, and bold
with visions much grander than silver or gold.
We lost some good crew to the hazardous tide,
but our master’s convictions were stubborn as time.
With sweat on our brows, we gave him our trust,
eager to see just how lucky he was.
To see just how lucky he was.

Oh the flag that we fly is the same, but the main sail now billows with the cold wind of change.
Our skipper marooned, but the cost was un-weighed. Haul away, me boys haul away.
Captain Lucky’s heading was true, now the helm spins to service these mutinous fools
If a man dares to question, he’ll just be run through.
Haul away. Through the darkness, me boys. Haul away.

Our labors paid off, the ship, she flew
when whispers arose from the covetous crew,
Maggie and Michaels and more of their kind
left our dear Lucky alone to die
Left him alone to die


Meanwhile, our commander, on his distant atoll, with the elements burrowing into his bones,
Cracked a wry smile and spoke from his soul ‘we’ll settle this matter with Davy Jones’
Settle it with Davy Jones.


Our sabers red, our hearts are stone.
The bowsprit points to waters unknown.
Perhaps one day through a wiser eye,
we’ll finally see that Lucky was right.
Track Name: Live To Dream Again
LIVE TO DREAM AGAIN (Flanagan/Franklin)

The sun never sets on sunset – restless in the neon glow
Sold my heart on the boulevard, now I can’t find my way back home.
Nobody sleeps in an endless night. Shadows of ghosts in the streetlight
Happy to compromise and never asking why…

Close your eyes and watch the sun rise.
Live to dream again. Live to dream again.
Chase the moment even if you never reach the end,
Live to dream again.

The dark of the night is shapeless when time passes by so slow
I think to myself, if this is hell, who’s gonna buy my bartered soul?
Everyone’s screaming to just be heard – a choir of white noise and lost words.
But where do you sign when all the dotted lines are blurred?


They say ‘You play in our game’
I say ‘Do it your own way’
One day, they’ll be the ones who say
‘I knew it all along’

Track Name: The Song Goes On
THE SONG GOES ON (Trotter/Franklin)

Searching, reaching. Deeper meaning. With the weight of the world strong.
Light is drowning all around me as monotony rages on.
Where is the spark? Where’s the fire I’d found?
How will I keep from burning out?

Then the answer’s clear as this child’s eyes.
Bring the sleeping muse to life.
I’ve been standing here all along,
Different shoes, but the song goes on.
But the song goes on.

Life’s relentless, cold and endless when you can’t see where you belong
Music found me, wrapped it’s arms around me.
Now it’s my turn to pass it on
Echoes of the friendships, sages, and songs
That carried me here carry me on.

When you can’t continue, love has more to give you.
Her melody is in you. Sing it out.

Time cannot bind you. Your flaws do not define you.
The melody will guide you. Sing it out.