I always took it to mean lost virginity (hers, hence the crimson) in a field of clover. Clover is sometimes grown as a forage crop for cattle and horses, and it’s one of those crop-rotation plants that enriches the soil. Clover hay fetches a better price, if I remember right.
It was a sappy, endlessly repetitive song. Tommy James, you’ll remember, made his name by endlessly singing, “My baby does the hanky-panky.” I’m told he’s still out there somewhere, singing those same two songs on the retro-rock circuit. It’s less about the music, and more about historical re-enactment.
I read an interview with Tommy James about this song. I liked the bit about the wavery vocals near the end. Tommy’s vocals were fed through a guitar amp. A lot of people called radio stations thinking something was wrong the station while others thought their radios were broken.
And clover flowers make really good honey… but not as good as honey made from mint.
His website (where he is lovingly refered to as simply “TJ”) does not mention anything about what crimson and clover might mean. You can book him though for a gig! Anyone interested?
You mean that “Mony Mony” and “I Think We’re Alone Now”, who we all remember being popularized by the likes of the great Billy Idol and Tiffany, were covers??? Oh geez, I am so young and ignorant! I wonder what ever happened to Tiffany. I wonder if she did a broadway comeback like her 80’s contemporary Debbie Gibson.
Anyway, I kind of like that song (Crimson and Clover). It’s kind of got this groovy theatrical sound to it, like it should be in some indie flick or something.
I wasn’t on that session, but IIRC, that flutter-effect was about 4-6 hz, pretty fast for a footpedal. It would be easy to feed it thru a guitar amp and set the tremolo to that speed; a tremolo just superimposes a slow, under-20hz waveform on the signal and allows adjustment of amplitude.
In contrast, a wah-wah effect, besides being usually manually controlled, alters the frequency response of the signal, going from a high-cut to a high-boost. A tremolo is (frequency response)-independent. The Crimson song sounds more like a tremolo to me.