In ways this remains my favorite song off of There Were Signs. Like many of my songs, it is allegorical and not truly about anything specifically having occurred in my life. I had spent several days during a very rainy November in Venice, Italy when the place was flooding terribly, the Plaza San Marco many inches under water -- and it affected me very deeply to see such extraordinary beauty jeopardized that way. On the plane back to the US the concept for this song crystalized in my mind.
Towards the end of the record, I went to New York for two weeks to record various overdubs with Rob Mounsey at his Flying Monkey Studios. (My old friend Steve Berkowitz, who was actually responsible for me getting my record deal by playing music for Ron Goldstein, let me crash at his house the entire time, an act of true kindness!) One evening after work, Rob told me he had written a string arrangement for “Leaving Venice To The Rain” the night before, and asked me did I want to hear it? I recall very clearly sitting at Rob’s grand piano reading through his handwritten arrangement with him and knowing already how beautiful it would be, even played on a synthesizer, which we were relegated to at that point.
When it came to the violin solo he had written, Rob recommended we use David Nadien, who I had never heard of. David was amazing. His very first take was the solo that wound up on the record. I remember looking at Rob after his take and both of us kind of starting to laugh because it was so flawless, and asking David if he would mind playing one more, which he immediately did, absolutely impeccably. I think we must have felt if we were going to pay him for a session, he should at least play for 5 minutes.
Years later I was looking at the credits on one of Milton’s first records for A&M in the US and realized that David had been the concertmaster on those string dates, a coincidence that seems fitting somehow given my fondness for the Brazilians.