The song's genesis came about from a number of different directions. Firstly, I read an article about the then Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, where she was described as "looking stunned like some fluffy bunny caught in the headlights of a truck". Early on as I was mulling over ideas while walking in the countryside and I heard the phrase "Did you think? Not at all!" set to precisely the tune it now has. The phrase "Did you think?" goes up, the way questions do, and the answer, "Not at all", goes down. I didn't plan that; it just happened. It was only when the song was finished that I realised what I'd done.
A friend of a friend made this comment about “Caught in the Glare” which I rather like:
[He] impresses with his ability to trace a direct and effortless line from Gerry and the Pacemakers to The Las - no mean feat at all! The Merseybeat is strong with that one, Master Obi-wan!
Indeed, Merseybeat, and especially the Beatles (of course!) was my main influence here. Even though the unmistakeable sound of the Rickenbacker 12 string was also used by the Byrds, it is with George Harrison that it will be forever associated - the “Hard Day’s Night” album is full of its jangly arpeggios. The John Lennon track “Anytime at All”, from that album, is a classic Ricky-12 song and it is the doubling of piano by the 12-string on that track that I have used here.
The George Harrison “Something” chord sequence that I used in “Fallen on my Feet” puts in another appearance here, and I have also borrowed one of John Lennon’s finest chord patterns, which he used in the middle section of “It Won’t Be Long” (“Since you left me, I’m so alone…” etc) so there is a constant chromatic downward motion in the run up to the chorus which takes a side-step at the last minute into an unexpected key. This is a technique that Paul McCartney often used – most notably in “Lady Madonna”.
The structure of the lyrics borrows something from Paul McCartney’s “Here There and Everywhere”. In that beautiful song, Paul begins each verse successively with the words “Here”, “There” and “Everywhere” and then combines them in the final chorus. In “Caught in the Glare” I have started each of the three sections of the verse with “Did you think?”, “Did you care?” and “Did you worry?” then those three phrases are conflated just before each chorus.
A Hammond organ phrase introduces the middle-eight (“And did you coldly calculate…”) which features a passing nod to the Beach Boys in the backing vocals – the “Ba ba baa” vocals are close relations of those in “God Only Knows”. Actually, this section is more of a middle-eleven; I'm rather proud of the odd phrase lengths in this song – a very Lennonesque touch!
The internal rhymes and alliteration were very deliberately put in, but when I scanned through the completed lyrics I thought "I'm not going to be able to sing this; it's too wordy." However, I surprised myself with just how easily it DOES sing. The rhymes and alliteration make the words trip off the tongue more easily, if anything. By the way, the trisyllabic assonance of "calculate" and "fabricate" was borrowed from rap lyrics. Perhaps someone of my generation is not supposed to like rap music but I think that there's a tremendous energy in the lyrics of well-written rap.