Category My Failed Music Career

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When I started this page, I promised that I’d upload the good, the bad…and the ugly. I’m not sure where this material falls. It was the late 80’s & I was doing college radio. I had auditioned for a band…Not exactly a unique scenario. But, we went through a bunch of lineup changes, and this was what it became. We played all over New England, and made some demos.

Then…1991 happened.

Oh yeah. You know exactly what I’m talking about… Grunge. Almost overnight, my musical ambitions came to a grinding halt. The band slowly dissipated, and became just another footnote in local music history. However…in full disclosure, I won’t hide from my sordid past. It was a good time. I had a blast. We made some fun music. Some say it was pretty good.

Either way…I’ve always said on the air, everyone in radio is a failed musician. This is my proof.

The demos are 16-track basic songs. We recorded all three songs, including mixdown in 12 hours.  There’s also one extremely basic 4-track demo that I did with a friend. Plus…a collection of “live” tracks. Which are basically audience recordings of songs we never got to record properly. I’m thankful these audience recordings exist.  Otherwise, we’d have lost most of our musical catalog.

As you listen to this stuff. Always try to keep in mind that it was recorded 20+ years ago. Times were much more ridiculous then. They were also more fun.

Enjoy!

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Knocker Up

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This was one of the songs we demoed on March 16, 1991 @ our friend Hank Decken’s Dizzyland Studios. Hank sang for the band Nevada Beach. They put out a couple of CDs on Metal Blade, and we became friends early on.

Anyway, we got to the point where we were going to start shopping our music in hopes of snagging a deal of some sort. Plus, a lot of clubs were starting to ask for demos because they were booking a lot of bands. And some of them were just not ready to be on stage in clubs yet. Made sense to us.  So, we scraped up a couple hundred bucks, and went north to New Hampshire to cut a few songs. These were simple 16-track demos. I have better production facilities on the computer I’m typing on right now, than what we used to do these songs.

The track?…basically a nonsense collection of lyrics. We were in the process of inventing a drinking game one night at the house I lived in with our drummer. We came up with all these silly ideas, and never followed through with any of them. But, we did end up with some random goofiness that we put to music. And that’s what this is. We knew we could just throw stuff in, and people wouldn’t question it. So…we did it. We wrote the silliest song we could at the time. It came out funny, and went over great live.

I happen to LOVE the guitar solos on this track. I was proud to have worked with a group of very talented players.

Oh..and the line about “don’t covet thy neighbor’s wife” was totally about the guy who lived underneath us, Peter’s wife. She was beautiful, hot, and every other adjective you could imagine. We thought she deserved to be immortalized in song :)

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Cat & Mouse

Category: My Failed Music Career | One comment

Another of the Dizzyland Tapes. We recorded 3 songs at our friend Hank Decken’s studio in New Hampshire. So that we had something for club owners, and could send it out to gauge interest in possibly securing a recording contract.

They’re rough 16-track analog demos. We recorded quickly, and with very little overdubbing.  This one is the typical “chase chicks” song.

Remember… we were playing on stage with bands like Extreme, and Killer Dwarfs, and Little Caesar.  Grunge hadn’t happened. It was all T&A Rock back then. This was typical of what was working in the bars at the time.

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Lil’ Devil

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The third of the Dizzyland Tapes. A trio of 16-track demos we put together at a friend’s studio so that we had material together for club owners, & potential managers. We were hoping to snag a record deal. Little did we know it was early 1991, and by the end of the year, our career would be over thanks to a band called Nirvana.

This was about my roommate Christine. She was a stripper at a club on Boston’s North Shore. A beautiful girl, who knew how to tease like no other. Meanwhile, she was the sweetest, nicest girl. Nobody would’ve ever known. But she certainly inspired us to write a song about how girls tease and never follow through. I think Chris was flattered that we used her…so to speak.

No…we never slept with her. I think we wanted to though.

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Carry On

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This was not a Shatter’d song. This was an acoustic piece, written by one of our good friends Paul Burke. Paul would roadie for our guitarist Rick on occasion. We never really had roadies though. We had friends that came, and hung with us when we played.

Paul is an extremely talented guitarist in his own right. He came by the house one day and laid this down on an old 4-Track recorder. Did it in one take for reference for me. He’d asked if I could write lyrics for him. I was honored, and told him absolutely. I asked what the song was about.

Paul told me he’d written it just after a breakup. He & the girl had parted amicably, and he wanted the song to be about friends…Reflecting on their time together, and wishing each other well. He had said there was no hurry, and laid it down once…glitches and all. It’s as raw as it gets.

I listened a few times but the words didn’t come to me immediately…until  I awoke one night during a huge thunderstorm, and packed the 4-track into a paper bag and walked it to our rehearsal studio. I had the song in my head. I knew what I wanted it to be, and plugged in to the PA, and dropped down two takes of vocals. The only vocal effects are a bit of reverb, and some EQ.

I only did the vocals as a reference, and would love to someday hook up with Paul, and do a proper version of this track. There are obvious vocal flaws here. But, I think the spirit of the song was captured on the tape, and didn’t want to overdo it, and lose what we had.

A lot of people liked it when they listened. I think at one time, we planned to do the song formally. But…it never came to be. If anyone knows Paul Burke, tell him to get in touch, and let’s do this thing right. WE… could be the NEXT American…oh shut up!

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