There’s an enigmatic and intriguing comment in the liner notes to “Crimson/Red”: “Remember: No-one questions a Snow Leopard”.
I was never able to make any sense of it until last night, when I came across a previously undiscovered Japanese interview online and ran it through Google translate.
The interviewer – “Hidehide Itoh”, according to the translation – asks whether the Snow Leopard refers to the Mac O/S version. Paddy replies as follows:
“I can see why it might sound like a mysterious comment, but it’s really just an in-joke. Last April the three of us brother Martin, my nephew Jonathan and myself were playing guitars and recorded 12-13 songs as demos. When we were going over them to check the sound, we came across an old song called “My Mysterious Power Over Women”, in which there was a line Jonathan really liked: “No one questions a snow leopard”, so I referenced that on the sleeve notes [laughs]”.
Google translate gets a little over-excited and suggests Paddy’s daughters were involved in the recording, but I put it in front of a Japanese friend who translated it properly. Would have been a nice added element, but never mind.
Somewhere in the vast mass of 2013 interviews there is another reference to the recording session Paddy refers to – the picture he painted was of the three of them playing guitars in the living room and recording what came out. It’s a mouth-watering prospect, but to be perfectly honest there’s more chance of getting a straight answer out of a Snow Leopard than ever hearing that recording. Still, at least Paddy’s Rosebud moment is explained now.
If any Japanese readers can check the interview for details, I’d be very grateful. And should “Hidehide Itoh” come across this and have a copy of the original tape, we’d love to hear it.