"I couldn't see a reason to play them the way they'd previously been played," says Difford. "I decided to gain ownership of them.
"We had two very different personalities, so you'd expect two very different renditions," he adds, referring to his former mate. "As the song goes, I'm a little bit country, he's a little bit rock and roll."
Difford harmonizes throughout South East Side Story with Dorie Jackson, who, along with multi-instrumentalist Melvin Duffy, will accompany him onstage. Her presence proves especially poignant during "Tempted," which lends voice in this version to both sides of the struggle with fidelity. "I'm very fortunate to have a lady singing with me," says Difford. "When I wrote the lyrics originally, I was juvenile. I didn't have much of a grasp on relationships. Times have changed. I'm 52 years old now, with four children."