The record was inspired by the Hellenized Jewish historian, Philo's book "The Embassy to Gaius." A group of Jews had prepared a compelling argument to prevent the placement of a statue in the city of Jerusalem. The Emperor Caligula wanted a statue of himself, as Jupiter, erected not just in the city, but in the Temple itself. Graven images were a big "no no" for ancient Jews. Attempts to place far more innocuous items, a shield with an inscription for instance, had resulted in horrific bloodshed.
The embassy went poorly. Gaius Caligula was, of course, out of his mind.
How did the issue resolve itself? The Procurator of Judea put off erecting the statue and put of erecting the statue some more. Then Caligula wound up hacked to pieces by his own guard. Claudius was named emperor. . The new emperor didn't want to have his statue erected in Jerusalem. The embassy had served a purpose in that it helped with postponements.
The record is about useless charges, wasted effort, lost love and the frequently destructive component on the drive for power, success etc. It isn't a particularly hopeful record but it isn't devoid of humor (few things I do are devoid of humor , even if the jokes are bad).
In some respects I am writing about this as if I was not involved in the creation of the record. It is how I see it now. It was, to me then, a more loosely connected group of work thematically. I envisioned a grander more linked selection of songs. What I wanted was almost a record that could be a play, a play crossing centuries from broad historical themes to tiny personal ones. You can judge the level of success.
I also feel it is far longer than it should be and I have often mused on re-recording this as a much shorter but more fleshed out record. I sincerely doubt I will ever get around to that. GO LISTEN TO AND DOWNLOAD THE RECORD. AVAILABLE FREE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 7, 2019 (OR THEREABOUT).
Also? I was a bit cranky in the process of recording this, especially after I moved to Los Angeles and I would like to say sorry, 24 years later, to Sam Rosenthal.