Paperface

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"Paperface"
Paperface cover
Album track by Weezer
Albums The Kitchen Tape (1992)
The Blue Album (Deluxe Edition) (2004)
Alone II (2008)
Released March 23, 2004
Recorded August 1/August 2, 1992
Length 3:21 (Alone II)
3:01 (The Kitchen Tape)
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 124
COR# N/A
Producer(s) Weezer
Status Officially released
Live debut June 11, 1992 in West Hollywood, CA
Last played April 24, 2023 in Pomona, CA
Professional reviews
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Thief, You've Taken All That Was Me"
(RC# 123)
"Paperface"
(RC# 124)
"I Am Your Blue Sky"
(RC# 125)
The Kitchen Tape track listing
"Undone"
(4)
"Paperface"
(5)
"Say It Ain't So"
(6)
Weezer (Deluxe Edition) (Disc 2) track listing
"Undone (Demo)"
(9)
"Paperface"
(10)
"Only in Dreams (Demo)"
(11)
Alone II track listing
"Can't Stop Partying" (13) "Paper Face"
(14)
"Walt Disney"
(15)
Alone II cover
Alone II cover

This song is part of the "No One Else" lineage of songs.

"Paperface" (sometimes rendered as two words, "Paper Face") is an early song by Weezer. The band's original 1992 demo was released in 2004 as the tenth track on the Deluxe release of The Blue Album. Rivers Cuomo's original home demo was released in 2008 as the fourteenth track on Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo.

Appearances

Overview


Rivers Cuomo head.png
Photo of Amy Moore from the liner notes for Alone II

When I first read Brian Wilson's autobiography, Wouldn't It Be Nice, in 1993, I strongly identified with the author's sense of self-doubt, creative struggles and passion for music. I particularly identified with his words, "My whole life, since I discovered music, has been about only one thing: about experiencing the sheer, pure, unencumbered, liberating happiness of the creative moment" (390). His words seemed to describe my life perfectly at the time. But now, fifteen years later, I see that my life has been about something else in addition to experiencing "the happiness of the creative moment." It's also been about learning how to achieve those creative moments. It's been about learning what to do... and what not to do.

A year before I read Wilson's book, I had already postulated a few essential ingredients to a great song for me. A great song should have the aggressive performance style I had heard recently from the Pixies, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth. It should employ the soft-verse/loud-chorus song structure used in songs like "Gigantic" or "Teen Spirit." And it must have been a captivating lyrical subject.

My best friend Justin told me a juicy new rumor about Amy Moore, a classmate of ours from high school. Apparently, Amy had stolen a car, sped off to New Orleans and gotten herself arrested. I couldn't believe it: Amy was one of the sweetest–not to mention prettiest–girls in our class. The story sounded like it was straight off a Sonic Youth album cover. Whether any part of it was true or not1, it stirred up some conflicting feelings in me. On the one hand, I wanted to live as Amy apparently had, following my impulses and blasting away at the feeling of in-authenticity in my life. On the other hand I wanted to live conservatively, to have a stable family and to keep my life structured so that I could get the most out of it. The conflict between my desires seemed to be the compelling subject I had needed, so I put it together along with the details of Amy's story in a song called "Paperface" (Track 14).


1Recently, I corresponded with Amy via email and learned that she did steal a car, years ago, and she did drive the car to New Orleans but she never shot a cop and she gave the car away "to the first guy to beg a sandwich off me."
- Rivers Cuomo, Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo liner notes

"Paperface" was first recorded by Rivers Cuomo as a solo demo in May of 1992. This demo would later see release on the compilation album Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo in 2008. The song begins with Rivers singing, "Scratch track, momma, scratch track momma," possibly implying Cuomo meant to redo the vocal.

Later in 1992,[1] Weezer recorded the song for their second attempt at a demo (later dubbed The Kitchen Tape). The Kitchen Tape version was included on the Deluxe Edition of The Blue Album in 2004. The bridge featured in this version was later repurposed as the intro to the Weezer song "No One Else."[2] In 2009, Rivers Cuomo recorded an acoustic rendition of the song, with musician Joe LoPiccolo on guitar, for Sirius Satellite Radio. This version later appeared as a bonus track on the DVD release of Not Alone: Rivers Cuomo & Friends Live at Fingerprints.

"Paperface" is known to have been performed live only a handful of times throughout 1992 before being retired. In 2023, Weezer played a concert at the Glass House in Pomona, California to try out potential songs for the band's then-forthcoming Indie Rock Road Trip tour. At this show, "Paperface" was performed live for the first time in more than thirty years (although it would not be played on the subsequent tour).

Known recordings

Performer(s) Title Filename Date of recording Recording location Length Appeared on Notes
Rivers Cuomo Paper Face May 1992[1] 3:21 Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
Weezer Paperface June 1992[1] 2226 Amherst Ave., Los Angeles, CA Recorded practice
Weezer Paperface June 11, 1992[1] 8121 Club, Los Angeles, CA Live debut, acoustic performance, bootlegged by Karl Koch
Weezer Paperface July 18, 1992[1] 8121 Club, Los Angeles, CA Acoustic performance, bootlegged by Karl Koch
Weezer Paperface August 1992[1] 2226 Amherst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 3:01
Weezer Paperface August 12, 1992[1] Coconut Teaszer, Los Angeles, CA Live, bootlegged by Karl Koch
Weezer Paperface October 21, 1992(?)[1] English Acid(?), Los Angeles, CA Live, bootlegged by Karl Koch
Rivers Cuomo, Joe LoPiccolo Paperface 2009 3:15 Not Alone: Rivers Cuomo & Friends Live at Fingerprints (DVD)
about this table

Live performances

Personnel

Audio

Lyrics

Handwritten lyrics for "Paperface"

Rivers Cuomo demo

Amy Moore blew her top
Stole a car, shot a cop (bang)
Sped away 2000 miles
Didn't stop until she hit New Orleans
That's alright
There's just one thing
Her wedding ring, or anything
She left behind, she didn't pack
How is she ever gonna get it back?

Paperface
Paperface

I never heard of paperface
Until I moved to the west coast (L.A)
Where I found that to be smooth
I'd have to wear a paperface
That's alright
There's just one thing
How am I supposed to sing
With this thing in my way
With this thing
In my paperface

Paperface
Paperface
Paperface

Let's see what you have got inside (You received a call)
Underneath your paperface (From your dear old mom)
Let's see what you've got inside (You received a call)
Underneath, underneath (You received a call)

Amy Moore blew her top
Stole a car, shot a cop
Sped away 2000 miles
Didn't stop 'til she hit New Orleans
That's alright
There's just one thing
Her wedding ring, or anything
She left behind, she didn't pack
How is she ever gonna get it back?

Paperface
Paperface
Go, go go!

Let's see what you've got inside (You received a call)
Underneath your paperface (From your dear old mom)
Let's see what you've got inside (You received a call)
Underneath (From your dear old mom)
(You received a call)

Weezer demo

Amy Moore blew her top
Stole a car, shot a cop
Sped away 2000 miles
Didn't stop until she hit New Orleans
That's alright
There's just one thing
Her wedding ring, or anything
She left behind, forgot to pack
How the hell is she gonna get it back?

Paperface
Paperface

I never heard of paperface
'Til I moved to the west coast
Where I found that to be smooth
I'd have to wear a paperface
That's alright
There's just one thing
How am I supposed to sing
With this thing in my way
With this thing
In my face

Paperface
Paperface
Paperface

Only hope to see
See what's underneath
Only hope to be
The me that's underneath

Amy Moore blew her top
Stole a car, shot a cop
Sped away 2000 miles
Didn't stop until she hit New Orleans
That's alright
There's just one thing
Her wedding ring, or anything
She left behind, forgot to pack
How the hell is she gonna get it back?

Paperface
Paperface
Paperface
Paperface
Paperface
Paperface
Paperface
Paper-paperface

See also

External links