stolen moments


1990, june, A&M

LP. 395 310-1
  CD. 395 310-2
  CAS. 395 310-4
1 Real fine love 4:21 30 seconds preview
2 Seven little Indians 4:07 30 seconds preview
3 Child of the wild blue yonder 4:26 30 seconds preview
4 Back of my mind 4:04 30 seconds preview
5 Stolen moments 4:12 30 seconds preview
6 Bring back your love to me 4:04 30 seconds preview
7 The rest of the dream 4:51 30 seconds preview
8 Thirty years of tears 4:08 30 seconds preview
9 Rock back Billy 3:51 30 seconds preview
10 Listening to old voices 5:30 30 seconds preview
11 Through your hands 4:49 30 seconds preview
12 One kiss 4:22 30 seconds preview

Total running time:



John Hiatt:

Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals


Michael Henderson:

rhytm and Slide Guitar

(1, 7, 10)

Mac Gayden:

Slide Guitar

(8, 11)

Ethan Johns:

rhythm Guitar, Mandolin, Drums

(1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12)

Michael Landau:


(2, 3, 4, 11, 12

Pat Donaldson:


(1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

David Kemper:


(5, 11)

Michael Porter:



Ritchie Heyward:

Drums, Percussion

(2, 4, 6, 10)

Chuck Leavell:



Bill Payne:

Synthesizer, Piano

(4, 6)

Paul Wickens:

Synthesizer, Bass

(3, 4, 6, 8, 12)

Karen Peris:



Willie Green:

Background Vocals


Mike Finnigan:

Background Vocals

(3, 7)

Russ Taff:

Background Vocals

(1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12)

Ashley Cleveland:

Background Vocals

(1, 3, 5)

robert bennet:

Background Vocals


Bobby King:

Background Vocals




Produced: Glyn Johns

Glyn Johns

Jack Joseph Puig


Glyn Johns

Jack Joseph Puig

Assisted Engineer: Joe Schiff
Mastered: Doug Sax
manager: robert bennet
project coordinator: ivy skoff
management: will botwin/side one
art direction:

jeff gold


rebecca chamlee

keely and chuck beeson

photography: robert frank


thanks to
wilbur, steve ralbovsky, david anderle and all at A&M for their continued support. bobby bee, paula sartorius & side one management, bug music, mike kappus & rosebud, nashville cartage service, mike porter, mike klute, all our friends at the haw (hee-hee), dan prince, larry cherry, ken levitan, danny strick & BMG music, walt quinn, peavy electronics, gibson guitars, remo drums, fred walecki and all at westwood music, E.U. wurlitzer music. boston, mass., allen sides and all the folks at ocean way, susie curtis and traveler services, amos daniels at lahania sound. in the john.... fan club, P.O. box 158423, nashville, TN 37215.


  • All songs written by John Hiatt.

  • Recorded and Mixed at Ocean Way Recording, LA

  • Mastered at The Mastering Lab.

press photo




A&M biography

John Hiatt keeps saying this...stuff. Stuff that completely and utterly befuddles the chroniclers of his career, who love his quotability, but have no idea of what it all...means. Consider a random assortment of Hiattiana from the past decade:

"What's my album like? Well, sort of like Parliament / Funkadelic meets ZZ Top… at big pink…” i wasn't one of those kids with glasses who. had an unnatural relationship with his radio.. I was an obese, ugly kid. But when I put the guitar around my neck, it was like.. .instant elvis”
“I guess i had a lot of nerve to think I'd have a musical career, but I obviously did because it took up all my time. I quit high school at 16. Music was all I was interested in..."
'”drinking and doin drugs were veru much a part of my. I lived my life in bars...” I don 't know if I'm real, or a figment of my own imagination…” Trees may wonder whether they’re real or not too, when they fall in the forest and make a noise that no one hears.

But John Hiatt is heard by a lot of people, and has been over a 16 year career that culminates in his third album for A&M, an awesome bit of work titled Stolen moments, his followup to his highly acclaimed “turning point” album Slow Turning. For him, after a life that's been a long strange trip in anybody's terms, Stolen Moments is a long-awaited affirmation of life. It’s John Hiatt's finally coming to terms with being...John Hiatt. For Hiatt, "Slow Turning probably dealt more with my ongoing recovery. Stolen Moments isn't so much about that. It's more about 'being on a good foot,' to paraphrase James Brown. Diggin' it. I'm finally living in my own time. I’m groovin’ to be here, and having some fun for a change. Stolen Moments is very lighthearted and celebratory in that respect. I wanted it to be, because that’s how I feel these days.
What we have here is the ultimate apotheosis of a potentially great artist, into the talent his fans have long known he'd become. And, we have a fellow who's happy, at last, to be himself. "I just love making music," says Hiatt. "It's a real satisfying form of creating for me. I feel I can communicate to folks; it's a real connection to the world for me, and always has been. I've been writing since I was eleven. Music is so much a part of me. I'd still be doing it whether I had an audience for it or not."

He's filled Stolen Moments with songs that he likes to refer to as "those darn love songs" (the way he describes "Real Fine Love"). Other songs, like "Seven Little Indians,' are reminiscent of the Curious short stories of Raymond Carver, a favorite of Hiatt, who says, "It was inspired by my father, who was in Alaska during World War Two, and was employed by the Army. And like the character in the song, he brought back all this stuff, like mukluks and sealskin gloves. He was a storyteller, and used to make up stories for us when we were little kids. Wonderful tales of all kinds of great thing happening in the family. The stories were filled with his hopes and wishes for our family, which didn't necessarily materialize. But reality is often a very different story. Still, he had high hopes for us, and that's what the song is all about."
It's been a bouncy road for John Hiatt, on his way to a point in his life where he can exult in high hopes coming true. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he grew up "not particularly happy," developing a high level of existential angst that would in time become the leitmotif of his music. His father was a kitchen cabinet and metal school locker salesman in poor health. John grew up one of seven children, in a family where music became his only refuge, his solitary solace.
He wrote the first of what would eventually be more than 600 songs when he was 12, a hymn to a friend's girlfriend named "Beth Ann." John had to write the song about a friend’s girlfriend because he didn't have one of his own. He was too overweight, and too insecure to enter the mythological world of women.
By the time he was 16, he was out of school. By the time he was 18, John Hiatt had moved to Nashville, where he worked for five years as a staff songwriter for Tree Publishing, earning an admirable $25 a week. He wrote songs he describes as, "real undeveloped." But he says, "It was a good experience. I got a lot of studio time, and met a lot of people." The first John wrote that was recorded was "'Thinking of You," by Tracy Nelson. His big break came in 1974, when Three Dog Night had a hit with John's "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here." He says he bought a Toyota with the money he made from that song. What was left over, he drank.

At the same time, he began performing his own material, first with a band called White Duck, then as a solo singer, with a record deal with Epic. His first album, a country-rock creation called Hangin' Around the Observatory, didn't sell very well. But it did begin John Hiatt's career as one of the premier cult singer/songwriters of the past two decades. He wasn't well known to the public at large. But (as with Bonnie Raitt) those who knew his music, adored it. He was spoken of in hushed voices; he was an acquired taste that, once acquired, was with you for life.
Hiatt's albums with Epic (Hangin' Around the Observatory in 1974, and Overcoats in 1975), led to more albums with MCA (Slug Line in 1979 and Two Bit Monsters in 1980), more with Geffen (All of a Sudden in 1982, Riding 'With the King in 1983, Warming Up to the Ice Age in 1985) and finally, a trio of albums with A&M (Bring the Family in 1987, Slow Turning in 1988, and now Stolen Moments in 1990).

And through them all, there's been a steady evolution, from an artist long referred to as "interesting" and "promising," to one who finally lives up to, and then exceeds all previous expectations. After too many years of too much to drink and too many drugs; too much talent but not enough proof of that talent, Hiatt has finally journeyed from the edge to the high road. The John Hiatt we hear on Stolen Moments is the best John Hiatt there's ever been, and then some.

John Hiatt's highest-charting album yet is a step down from the dizzy heights of Bring the Family and Slow Turning, as he abandons his more acid commentaries and turns in a self-deprecating set full of promises of reformation and celebrations of marriage and family life. But the observations remain acute, and Hiatt's singing (so much camouflaged in his early days) is becoming his secret weapon.