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

Category: My Failed Music Career | 2 comments

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 :)

Well I guess you could say “every dog has its day.”
Stay away from a cat o’ nine tails!
There’s no turn on red
And you’re better off dead
That item’s not for sale
Come on in, the women are fine
The sugar, is sweet
Which is stronger? Whiskey, or wine?
It all depends on your seat

It’s the right time, and the night is young
Time to fill the cup
First time…now starts the fun
Knock ‘em down!
Knocker up!

Now every boy needs to play with a toy
But, don’t covet thy neighbor’s wife
First on the scene, and a King takes a Queen
You only go around twice
Step right up, let’s see what’cha got?
Two n’ two don’t make four
Take it slow? No! Double the shot!
Leave ‘em beggin’ for more

It’s the right time, and the night is young
Time to pass the cup
Two times…continue the run
Knock ‘em down!
Knocker up!
Can’t fight, the feelings of love
But to score, is just a matter of luck
Ball four, down on the floor
Knock ‘em down!
Knocker up!

This house is rockin’…I hear ya knockin’!

(solo)

It’s the right time and the night is young
Time to spill the cup
Three times n’ the game is won
Knock ‘em down!
Knocker Up!
Can’t fight, the feelings of love
But to score, is just a matter of luck
Ball four, get down on the floor
Knock ‘em down..No!
Knocker Up!

I wanna fill the cup.
You got to give it up.
Knock…Knocker up!

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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.

Listen up my friend…I got a tale to tell
An’ when the story ends, you’ll know the game real well
Don’t need no dice. No gamblin’ house
Just need a lady-nice
To play “cat an’ mouse.”

Oh no…

The game’s got not rules. You gotta live to learn
Just play it cool, and ya won’t get burned
Give the girl some slack, an’ you’ll score the win
Maybe, she’ll come back
Maybe, let you in
But if you squeeze too tight, she gonna shut the door
Home alone tonight
Tomorrow, back for more
It’s always the same. No matter what you do
Chick knows the game. She’ll get the best of you.

Unless…

Ya take a shot o’ whiskey…an’ give the girl some time
Cos’ when she’s feelin’ frisky…you know you’re feelin’ fine!

Cat & Mouse
When the cat’s away the mice will play
Cat & Mouse
Just play it cool. Or, she’ll trap you in a
Cat & Mouse
Well it’s a game o’ sin…we play to win
It’s called
Cat & Mouse
Just play it cool…the trap is set, for you

Round two!

Your head, starts to spin. Your feet come off the ground
This one night o’ sin, makes the world go ’round
She brings ya in the house, drags ya to the floor
A game o’ Cat & Mouse, leaves ya beggin’ for more.
She’ll build ya’ up, but she’ll strip you down.
Then, she’ll strut her stuff, around an’ around
It’s always the same. When you’re sixty nine.
To play is a game. But, to win, is a crime!

So, take a shot o’ whiskey…an’ give the girl some time
Cos’ when she’s feelin’ frisky…you know you’re feelin’ fine-yeah!

Cat & Mouse
When the cat’s away the mice will play
Cat & Mouse
Just play it cool. Or, she’ll trap you in a
Cat & Mouse
Well it’s a game o’ sin…we play to win
It’s called
Cat & Mouse
Just play it cool…the trap is set, for you

Here, kitty kitty…
I got some cat-nip for you…
Oh yes…
…’cha let me stroke your tail one time!

(solo)

Cat & Mouse
When the cat’s away the mice will play
Cat & Mouse
Just play it cool. Or, she’ll trap you in a
Cat & Mouse
Oh! Oh! It’s a game o’ sin…we play to win
It’s called
Cat & Mouse
Just play it cool…the trap is set, for you

Meow!

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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.

Little Devil, I see that look in yer eye…
Makes me think, you’re an angel-in-disguise
Things that you do, when you swing your hips
That innocent smile, doesn’t quite fit…anymore

Oooh…when I see the way that you walk
Yes…an’ I hear those words that you talk

You strut your stuff. Cos’ you know that you’re just havin’ fun
Playin’ it tough. Cos’ you know that the damage is done

Little Devil, I’d like to take you home
But, it looks like I’m goin’ home all alone
All night long, I thought you’d wanna please
But, now I know deep inside that, you’re gonna tease me

Oooh…I didn’t get a chance to catch your name
Oh…I guess it doesn’t matter. Cos’ you’re all the same

You strut your stuff. Cos’ you know that you’re just havin’ fun
Play it tough. Cos’ you know that the damage is done
It’s all a game to you, you think you can win
Well, if that’s the case, this shot you take on the chin
…on the chin

(solo)

You strut your stuff. Cos’ you know that you’re just havin’ fun
Play it tough. Cos’ you know that the damage is done
It’s all a game to you, you think you can win
Well, if that’s the case, this shot you take on the chin…On the chin. On the chin.

Cos’ I’m not like the other guys
I can see you with my own two eyes
No surprises at all
Oh! Oh! Oh!

Go, Little Devil!

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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!

Stars shine in the sky
Like the sparkle in your eye
Though we’ve grown so far apart
I’ll always hold you in my heart

You choose to walk a different road
Hoping someday you’ll find your own pot of gold
When it’s over…and your story’s told
I’ll be here to give you shelter from the cold

Always swore that we’d be friends
Stay together ’til the end
Broken hearts always mend
Here’s to you my love I send

You choose to walk that different road
Hoping someday…you’ll find…that pot of gold
When it’s over…and your story’s told

Known each other for so long
For you my friend I write this song
Please be careful…and be strong
Keep the faith and carry on

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