From the recording King Baby e.p.
the early 1990’s…..cobwebs cloud my mind. The rock and roll dream forsaken for the “safe” path; Graduate Studies in Behavioral Health. Despite all my man-made/self-inflicted distractions, songs still gestate and rise to the fore. In my unhappy home, i have an attic room with no door dedicated to my music stuff. Privacy is limited…lyrics in code…getting home early or calling in sick are opportunities to play. I still have my trusty TASCAM mini one for routining new material when i get the chance…love comes in spurts.
Vague notions of being some kind of solo performer linger…the occasional Eardamage reunion allows me to feel the noise. I spy a Yamaha Drum Machine at Service Merchandise and fall in love with it’s “punk rock” setting. A pawn shop Gibson ES-120 joins the collection. i rediscover an ALEX COMPANION Fuzz WAH from the oddities that the back room at the House of Guitars once held. Melvin Penn “gelds” my JB PLAYER into a hard tail tele rather than a whammy equipped model. I add the riddler style stickers created by my mate John Slade and an Axe is reborn. My trusty Yamaha chorus is there to freeze the sound in time.
In my rock and roll fantasy, i send the tapes to Morrissey and become the new Stephen Street since i know he is once again seeking a collaborator. “But when you want to live how do you start? who do you have to know?” Maybe i could reunite the Spiders from Mars and head to Trident Studios and lightening strikes twice. In reality, i show them to no one but Mike Feedback (‘nee Kevin Blevins) my old friend and late 1980’s collaborator in “The BAM BAM CLUB”. He of obsessive detail and hours upon hours of pouring over the riffs and chords. WWTBD (What would the Beatles do?).
With Student Loan to squander on a studio session, where to go? I’d used Studio 2002 before with The Bam Bam Club due to it’s cheap rates and professional results. it seems like all home studio owners in those days live with their mothers, and Rob Magallon is no exception. The TAMA drums are set up and mic’d for you. Lock and load. Who will play them? My old Bitter Brother, Archer Prewitt is in town for a day or two and agrees to lay down the drums and season the stew as it were.
The fateful day arrives. Mike and I had rehearsed the songs well without drums. We have no idea what beats the younger prew boy will add to the tunes. Archer’s running late….ouch time and money a wasting. We decide to track 3 songs: King Baby, Broken Man, and Hey Sweetheart. The chemistry is strong on King Baby and i decide to finish that one on the spot. The others will need “sweetening” at some later date. Time and money run out. Cassette Dubs are made. Cars break down and need repairs. Further recording is shelved.
Flash forward 2008, I’m completing my debut “Jimmy Honeyman” at Studio 2002. I had always intended to get back to Broken Man and Hey Sweetheart. As often happened with multi-tracks from the 80’ and early 1990s, the tapes have become “gooey” ,basically unplayable without an oven bake, which Rob can’t do. Maybe i’ll re-record them for the next project. Do many tracks to bring on home in the here and now.
Light speed to 2011, The original 2 track master for the King Baby still exist and is playable. The tracks are digitized at my request because i sense that Rob is in his sunset years as a studio owner. Computer recording has eliminated the need for a service such Studio 2002.
2014…still ambivalent about putting it out. Yes…i really could sing that high (lots of practice with the Ziggy Stardust album). At this point, everyone has pastiched the T-Rex sound…Charles Bradley is the new James Brown. There are still King Babies in my life but i know how to handle them. Though there are Broken men, i am not one. There’s always another Sweetheart who you’ll have to get over. It’s only rock and roll in the end.