1970s

the 70s went by quickly. i went to u of i in fall of 1975, withdrew by spring of 1977, and went to work briefly at caradco in rantoul. then i started working with tom green installing cbs and car stereos at york radio. at the time i was living in appartment with ed fliege, don shelton, and/or dave millikin. but at some point i moved out to the trailer adjacent to tom's on a chunk of land in the country on north prospect. it was there i did my first 4 track work on my trusty teac 3340.

D Major Instrumental
Don Shelton played drums, likely mic'd with one or two $20 Radio Shack mics. I borrowed Tom Green's old Dokorder four track for a weekend and I probably also had borrowed Ed Fliege's Fender Rhodes. Bass was my old Jazz bass plugged direct into the mic preamps on the 4 track. You can hear me coughing on the beginning, I think I had a bad cold, and I've always blamed that one really loud bad note on a sneeze while I was shooting the guitar track.

Someone Cares
This was likely one of my very first recordings on my TEAC 3340 4 track recorder. All the instruments are mixed onto one track so I was likely just bouncing between tracks on the one machine, unlike later when I got a second stereo machine to mix onto. This was pretty bad song writing, long rambling structure, I suspect I played drums, and all in all was pretty regrettable except for some nice singing by Dody.

A few more notes on this one: I pulled this one back from original 4 track tape dated 9/1978. My TEAC had some issues starting after several decades, the pinch roller wouldn't engage with the capstan without a little help, but overall it did pretty well. I transferred into SONAR on the PC and did the super quick mix, slathering on the reverb. The original would have been totally dry as I didn't own a the LT spring reverb at that time. I like the use of odd time signatures but my complete inability to play them.

Castle
Found this one on the same tape as the Someone Cares thing above. Very early, lead vocal was on the same track as the bass. Things pretty much just stopped at the solo so I faded it out. More nice Dody singing, rambling song, the bass probably wasn't quite so off-time because when I pulled stuff back on my 2 track interface I had to fiddle to line things up and never quite got it.

Fine Line
(lyrics)
My first tune working with Dan Gherna and probably my first really polished sounding recording on my TEAC 3340. I believe I had that second TEAC stereo machine to mix onto at this point as it's a stereo mix. It was recorded out at my trailer on North Prospect. This one won a radio contest over in Indianapolis, launching Dan and my recording project to instant local fame (relatively speaking). Dan sang, Tom Green played drums, Roger Prillaman played the B3, and Roger Freise and Dody Cosmedy sang backups.

Dan's recollections: I recall you saying - wouldn't it be nice if we were able to play an original song in the Ray (nimrick) Dew Drop band. The cheesy 'round' thing and you were kind enough to write 'Headfirst' around it. I remember the day they called Tower Hobbies to tell me we had won the album contest, I thought we were all going to be stars within a couple of months. lol. In retrospect, it's almost too bad we did the Riker thing.

Karen
(lyrics)
Dan's tune, fun Elvis Costello-esque thing, written about this pouty little blond he was seeing at the time. Tom Green played drums, there's some Dody on the backing vocals, I played the organ line on an old Farfisa. More fine Radio Shack mics and trailer acoustics.

Dan's comments: The Farfisa. You talked me into giving up menthol cigs the night we did vocals and Karen sat on the floor and watched.

Stand There
(lyrics)
Hot on the tail of the radio contest, I needed a follow-up hit and wrote this rather bombastic little number. Got some cool parts, but overall a little heavy handed I'd say. My brother was in town and did a drum track for me, quite a nice drum track really, with my now trademark Radio Shack mic drum sound with trailer ambience. I played both guitar and bass thru an old Leslie. I still remember working on the guitar solo tracks in the morning before going to my car stereo installation job. Got home and sure wished I'd tuned up better, but I never went back. Dan sang it, Roger Prillaman and Dody did backing vocals, and you can really hear Roger on the last chorus kicking in the emphatic "How can you..." bit.

Dan remembers: I was in awe of Keith's drumming. I recall spending the night on your couch and you played 10cc "I'm not alone" and Small Faces 'Itchykoo Park" as wake up tunes. Still love both of those songs. Thought Stand there would be the 2nd single.

Vertical Expression of a Horizontal Idea
(lyrics)
I booked Roger Prillaman and Paul Creighton to come out and sing this and I was frantically scribbling lyrics in a notebook when they arrived. Luckily they were the two perfect guys to breath life into this wacky song, immediately taking it to Frank Zappa land. I'd recorded the rhythm bed over at Tom Green's basement studio, probably on his TEAC 3440. Tom Green is on drums, and there's a bass solo recorded at half speed where I didn't have enough tracks and didn't punch out quite in time, stomping on the first beat of the last chorus vocals. Ah, the joys of four tracking!

The Edge at the Vogue
The Edge (short)
We did a one-time promo for the Fine Line cut on the Indianapolis album by playing the Vogue theater in Indy. Roger Prillamen (new wave), Tom Green on drums (Springsteen), Tony Stough on guitar (leisure suit Larry), Dan in freakin' hot pants, and me looking timeless in jeans and a T. Yup, there was nothing holding us together, but hey.

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