Instead I Got You

82nd Street

Instead I Got You
Performed By 82nd Street
Album UPC 075549172532
CD Baby Track ID TR0002016791
Label 82nd Street
Released 2015-10-11
BPM 145
Rated 0
ISRC ushm21584543
Year 2015
Spotify Plays 8
Songtrust Track ID 866108
Writer Adam Richard Selzer
Songwriter ID 208907
Pub Co CD Baby Publishing
Composer Adam Richard Selzer
Clearance Sync & All Media Uses
Rights Controlled Master and Publishing
Rights One-Stop: Master + 100% Publishing
Original/Cover/Public Domain original
Country United States - Illinois


Rock with pizza grease stains - a concept album about a pizza man and a hitchhiker who claims to be a time traveler. Funny and heartbreaking with the sounds of guitar, bass, drums, and video games. A suburban Dickensian mixtape.


This album began life as a novel called I BEAT UP CHARLES DICKENS, a follow-up to PLAY ME BACKWARDS, a novel for young adults who worship the devil, in which there's a minor character named Big Jake. In this story, Jake is recently dumped, trying to win his ex girlfriend back, and picks up a hitchhiker who claims to be a time traveler. He assumes she's just a role playing gamer, like his now-ex-girlfriend, but never finds out for sure, and the two of them go off an an adventure across the midwest.

But my publisher picked my other project instead, and attempts to do the story as a movie cost too damn much. But while holed up in Cleveland recently I wrote a song based on the story, and liked it so much that I wrote another one. I"d been out of music for a long time; my last studio album (under my own name) was CLARK STREET CAROLS about ten years ago. There're a couple more people in music with my same name, so when I started playing out again I went by 82nd Street. After a couple of months of playing out I had enough songs to tell the story as a rock album.

YOUNG ADULT NOVEL sets the story up. Big Jake, pizza man, is trying to get enough cash together to make a trip from Des Moines to Chicago for his now-ex's New Year's Party. He has the worst luck in the world. But in the middle of a long run, he finds a girl named Violet in his car - she's a time traveler, she says, and is now on the run after beating up Charles Dickens. She heard from a mutual friend that he's heading to Chicago, and offers him $300 for a ride.
THE KID WHO ONLY LISTENED TO MEGADETH and NAME TAGS OF THE DAMNED are more standalone songs than anything else.
PROFILE PICTURE is Jake noticing that his now-ex-girlfriend has changed her picture. She broke up with him in the voice she uses for her role playing character, so he wasn't sure it counted. Now he knows.
INSTEAD I GOT YOU is Jake and Violet joking around as the argue. They argue a lot, but they enjoy sparring with each other. He's pretty sure she's just a role playing gamer, not a time traveler, and has little patience for gamers these days. She thinks he's kind of a slob. She's right.
BASEMENTS (JAKE HAS DIED OF DYSENTERY) Jake notes that their fates are tangled up like the cables to 8 bit controllers that lurk in boxes underneath every home they pass as he makes his rounds delivering pizza, snatching glimpses behind the closed doors of the metro area.
GOING TO HELL - really a leftover song from a few years ago (a Mountain Goats homage), but at this point in the plot, Jake and Violet have a falling out after she veers the car off the road thinking she's being followed.
AT A DINER IN THE QUAD CITIES - the two make up halfway to Chicago and chat at a little diner in Bettendorf, near the Mississippi River.
HYPERSPACE - as they finish the drive, Jake tries to focus his energy on getting Jenny back, not falling for Violet (helpful hint if you're trying to follow the plot: you can tell who he's singing about based on pronouns. "You" means Violet, "Her" is Jenny.)
PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT LOVE - Violet explains how time travel works: certain "holes" take you back exactly 150 years. You can interact with people, but they generally forget all about you. If you break something, it gets put back together (Jake notes that this sounds a lot like a video game). But if you REALLY mess things up, the changes could hold, which is why Violet has a job - the government sends a few people back to make sure no one IS messing things up. She's fallen in love with a guy named August who will die in a few years, according to, en route to a conference to present his theory on how THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Dickens's last book, would have ended if he'd lived to finish it. She tried to beat Dickens up to stop him from even starting it. But the beat-down didn't hold and, anyway, August never remembers her, no matter what she does with him.
In IDIOT OUT WANDERING AROUND, Jake is in a bad place. They've made it to the party, but turned Jenny down when she offered to patch things up. Instead, he decided he'd rather go out with Violet - who laughed in his face. As she kissed another guy at midnight, Jake mooned the whole party and stormed off into the snowy Chicago night.
THIS IS MY WORLD NOW - Jake and Violet make up, shake hands, and finish off their trip. Jake is heart broken all over again, but at least he got over Jenny, and if he got over her, he knows he can get over Violet.
VALENTINE'S DAY flashes forward six weeks, with Jake back at the job. VALENTINE'S DAY is one of my old songs, included here in a new arrangement so I could have TWO songs about Valentine's Day in a real showing of rock star excess. FUNNEL CAKE concludes the story.

The story will soon be a serialized radio play on a show called THE DERELICT THEATER, coming soon to a radio station near you if you're in Chicago (or a podcast feed if you're not). The book and movie might still show up down the line, too.

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