I recently crossed off one of my oldest “to-do” items: I got all my old original recordings digitized, from LPs and cassettes. It was a big project. If you have one-of-a-kind analog recordings and need to save them from the analog graveyard, I recommend King Tet Productions, who did a prompt and excellent job at a reasonable price.
Some of this is my original material. As I went through it all, I was surprised at how many songs I have written. Also that I could listen to most of it without cringing too much. I think the best song I ever wrote was Snowfall or Just Can’t Say It, but neither is particularly representative of my writing style. Also, a couple of the better ones — Snow White to You and Cry Once — have never been recorded, and I hope to remedy that someday soon.
It was fun, but time consuming, going through all these old recordings. There were some I had entirely forgotten about. It’s like looking at a past life. Making music is a lot of work, but it’s also a joy. All artists try to create something out of nothing. A musician literally makes art out of air. It’s great to remember that at one time, I had the audacity to think I could do that.
For Amy. In 1990 I made this album, all my original material. Great cover art by my friend Susan Jamele. I sang lead and backup on this one. Eric Bohr on guitar, Curt Willis on guitar, Dave Sprock on drums, Devin Grissom on bass. Look at that 1980s hairdo!
Below are a few more of my songs from about 1991. I don’t have the information on who played these tracks, likely mostly the same crew as the album, but Dan Jamele, the sound engineer at the studio, did the piano solo on Just Can’t Say It and Tom did the guitar solo on Easy for Me (with me yelling, “only one note, only one note!” — he played two notes, but one was an octave of the other, so I guess that counts as one.)
A headshot from those days. I thought I was ugly; now I would probably sell my soul to look like that.
I was in the band Doppel Gang (aka the Catch or Culprit) that did an EP and a single. This was in the mid-late 1980s. The music was pop style. We had three good singers in the band, and we did a lot of harmonies and shared singing lead. This band was also a successful working band, playing covers in the clubs in LA.
I played drums in this group, sang backup, and and wrote/sang Physical Thing.
Dave Perry on guitar/vocals, Steve Tarnowsky on guitar/vocals, Mike Phillips on bass. Mark Wolinsky played keyboards in this group but I’m not sure if he played on any of these recordings. Mark and I were also in a Doors tribute band (drums and keyboard only!) but I have no recordings of that.
That’s the Hyperion treatment plant in the background.
Doppel Gang Live
These are live recordings of the band at the Blue Lagune (yes, that is how they spelled it). These are all originals, mostly written and sung by Dave and Steve. This was a cassette recording so it’s pretty rough.
All in Your Mind Au RevoirBalladBe a ManBeach LifeIf You Knew MeJust InfatuationOne of Those ThingsSpace PatrolTerrorist Rock
Philly Cheese Steaks Blues Band
In the late 1980s was in a working band called the Philly Cheese Steaks Blues Band. We had a great logo but all the copies I had are lost. The recordings below were a demo, from about 1988, that we used to get gigs. I sang lead and, believe it or not, played saxophone in that band. Ken played drums, Gary on bass, Mark on guitar, and probably others I can’t recall. It was great fun and we got a decent amount of work. We played all sorts of blues and a few of my original songs.
Come See About MeFine, Fine, FineGet RhythmI Got YouFull Time LoverYou Can’t Do That
Slavic Folk Music
Born to Drone. In the late 2000s I was in a singing group called Born to Drone–folk music from all over the world, but mostly Slavic. The personnel changed over time, but the regulars other than me were Jeanne, Barbara, Nettie, Leslie and Mary. I sang the middle part. These songs are from an album we recorded.
Aamulla Varhainimitro Sino DimitroBenias Mravalzhamier AslanuriLos BilbilicosLepi Juro Dobri DenekOj JovaneSnoshti Sum MinalDodi LiIzvor Voda DzhamanShen Khar VenakhiSubrali Sa SaIgrejala Jansa ZvezdaTek Saulite TecedamaPerkhuliKak Po MoriuMene Me IzgoreRozhnovske HodinyPo PoljuStujan No Oran OtivaShope Shope
Yale Slavic Chorus III LP from 1979. I sang alto in this group. The album is out of print. I was in the YSC during my last year of college, and not only was it the highlight of my college experience, it taught me a lifelong love of Slavic folk music. Cover illustration is for Shto Mi e Milo. I also have the first YSC record — any Slavs who want access should email me. Erica Weiss was the excellent director of YSC the year I participated.
Dragana i Slaveya; Maika Rada; Yove Malai Mome; Bela Boya; Byla Mene Maty; Gujho Ynace Gujgo; Zelen Buren; Pridi Mi Suhjko; Letyat Utki; Shto Ti Se Maika; Vgradinka li si Niknala; Poved Kolo; Lyulka; I-Dumai Zlato; Polegala Trava Detela; Dve Nevesti; Yaninka Maloi Devoice Janam (Hey, that’s me on the solo!); Zaspala e Fida; Shto Mi e Milo (the anthem of YSC).
Pacific Music Camp
This was a great summer music camp for children at University of the Pacific. I have included only a few selected songs that I remember with particular fondness. I sang second soprano in those choruses, when I was 10 and 12.
A Rose Touched by the Sun’s Warm Rays; Achieved is the Glorious Work; Kyrie Elieison; Onward Ye Peoples; Make a Joyful Noise; While We’re Young; If I Ruled the World; Rubber Ducky; The Heavens are Telling; Ride the Chariot