BD's Fabulous Audio Archive: This small selection of ditties, featuring groups of which I have been a member of over the centuries, collaborations, one-off oddities and other such thrills, has been lovingly hand-plucked for your amusement from amongst my horribly vast collection of cassettes, CDs and hard disks, and streams in scintillating 320kbps MP3 quality. Note that this page will be updated occasionally, on those rainy days when I have time to pore over the crates full of cassettes and hard disks.
Bob Drake and his Pals: 1970-2012
The Great Escape. (BD with Peter Blegvad - 1997)
When Peter Blegvad was at my studio back in 1997 with Chris Cutler and John Greaves recording what became the album Hangman's Hill, Peter recorded the basic guitar and vocal for this song, but they never finished it. I really liked it, so afterwards, Peter and I finished it up ourselves but pretty much overdid it I think. Mostly my fault - at that time I was deep into a sort of noisy, overdone production (my album Medallion Animal Carpet is a good example from that period) but what the heck, it's a great tune and pretty rockin'! Written by PB, he sings and plays guitars. I play drums, bass, and slide guitar.
Not in Love. (Drag - 1985)
BD: drums, bass, harmony vocal, piano, engineering.
Jeri Rossi: lead vocal.
Susanne Lewis: Mellotron, Casio, harmony vocals.
Jeri and/or Susanne had the idea to do a cover version of this 10CCs' song, so we did this. Recorded at our yogurt factory rehearsal room in Denver Colorado, on a Fostex 1/4" 8 track and mixed to cassette.
Crossover Song (2013 Edit). The Bruce Odland Big Band - 1985
Recorded in 1985 in Denver Colorado, the song first appeared on our 1986 album Crossover. Here I've edited it a bit (cut it down by a full minute) and mixed in some overdubs we'd done for one of our other songs (the rhythmic tubular sounds, reverb-ey voices and slamming refrigerator door). This song is the only track on the album we recorded live with the whole band playing at once in the same room, should have done them all that way!
BD: engineering, bass and voice, noises.
Mark Fuller: drums, voice, noises.
Mark McCoin: drums, voice, noises.
Bruce Odland: keyboards, voice, noises.
Gail Springer: lead vocal.
Glen Nitta: saxophones.
Fred Hess: saxophones.
Mark Harris: baritone saxophone.
Wade Sanders: trombone.
Ron Miles: trumpet. Whithers Olde-Time Town Square Cabaret Orchestra (27-track album, opens as playlist)
BD - drums, bass, guitar, vocal. Eric Moon - keyboard. Mostly done between 1984-85 in Denver, and still one of my favorite things from the 80's! For most of these, Eric would simply improvise songs on the keyboard, recorded to cassette, I'd learn them and add drums and bass which I'd overdub by ping-ponging to another stereo tape machine. Other times we'd come up with a basic idea and record the keyboard and drums "live" and I'd add the bass afterwards. The keyboard on tracks 25-26 were recorded live at a show, and I added the bass and drums afterwards.
The Beasties. (Corpses as Bedmates - 1984)
Corpses as Bedmates was me on percussion and engineering, and Susanne Lewis and Karen Sheridan on guitar, bass, vocals, and whatever else was around. This track is from our cassette album Babaa and Scheibel = 69 which was released in 1984. I particularly like the sound of this album, recorded in a large empty room in an abandoned factory in Denver, and I didn't use any drums - only things I found around the factory such as old barrels, sheets of steel, parts of unknown machinery etc. All the ambience is the sound of the room, not artificial reverb. The recording gear was incredibly minimal as well, multi-tracked by ping-ponging between a cassette deck and a Sony F1 stereo digital recorder I borrowed from my friend Bruce Odland, along with a home-made mixer which was literally falling to pieces, with knobs dangling on wires. After a day recording in there, both yourself and the gear would be all dirty and greasy...it was great! I chose this piece for the archive because I especially like the percussion sounds.
Military Rampage of Invaders. (BD, Mark Fuller, Patrick Bowers - 1984)
Mark, Patrick and I were at the Packing House studio in Denver, waiting to do a session with someone who never showed up. Rather than waste the opportunity, we came up with this...
BD: bass, Arp 2600, engineering.
Mark Fuller: acoustic and Simmons drums, vocals.
Patrick Bowers: vocals.
Bladder. (BD, Mark Fuller, Mike Johnson, Eric Moon - 1984)
The tape was labelled "BLADDER" which was probably the first name we came up with, it's a band which we later called Emergency. Recorded in our rehearsal room in Denver on a crappy cassette recorder, I really like the horrid, distorted sound; it suits the vibe of the band very well!
Mark Fuller: drums
Mike Johnson: guitar
Eric Moon: keyboards
Device for Metal. (Ultraviolet Sun - 1984)
It's me on drums, guitar, Casio, vocals and engineering, and John Sheehan on bass and vocals. Recorded in Denver in the same abandoned factory and with the same dilapidated recording gear I describe below. Just me and John doing something rockin and noisy. The lyrics as far as I can recall include: I remember the sky, geometrical shapes, and my favorite line: This device can help you.Feed Your Kitty TV Dinner. (Rising Snail in Sky - 1983) Turn the Soldier's Tomatoes. (Rising Snail in Sky - 1983)
BD: drums, Casio, vocals, noises, engineering.
Mark McCoin: vocals, noises. (Drums on Soldier's Tomatoes).
Mike Johnson: guitar, noises.
John Sheehan: bass, vocals, noises.
Recorded in the basement of an abandoned factory near the old Gates rubber complex in Denver. The top of the building was long gone...there was only the basement which was accessed by a stairway back along the railroad tracks under the freeway overpass in an empty lot overgrown with rank weeds...you had to know exactly where to look in order to find it...quite a place! I do wish there were photos. Some friends and I used it as a rehearsal space for a couple of years and I even lived there during a few months of even deeper poverty than usual. I recall that the mixer I used for this project was a 4-channel unknown brand-name big old PA system mixer, with a built-in compressor which sounded great. It was a mono mixer, but with some clever trickery in the tracking (recorded on a Teac 3340 4-track) I managed to make a stereo mix. Lyrics on Turn the Soldier's Tomatoes by Steve Courtright.
Ye Fledge. (Local Artists - 1983) The Pope Called. (Local Artists - 1983)
BD: Casio, Rhythm Ace, drums, guitar, effect boxes, vocals, engineering.
John Sheehan: bass, vocals, effect boxes.
I met John Sheehan in the early 80's in Denver. He was a very unusual and interesting character! We made some funny recordings under the name Local Artists, which was a term we'd often see used by Denver journalists to describe Denver bands, as opposed to terms like "genius" and "brilliant" which were used whenever a group was from elsewhere. These two tracks come from a full-length cassette album we recorded in John's apartment during 1982-83.
Great Banana. (1980 and 1990 something) 8-track album, opens as playlist.
BD; engineering, organ, guitars, drums, glasses, house, vocal utterances.
Sharon Bradford: glasses, utensils, noisebox, house, vocal utterances, cat.
Mark Bradford: house, trumpet, harmonica, vocal utterances.
Mike Johnson: house, vocal utterances and a little bit of guitar.
Track 1-7 Recorded one day in summer 1980 at Bradford's house, Denver Colorado, on a Teac 3340 4-track and mixed to cassette. The mixer was an 8-channel early 70's Sunn Magna, microphones were SM57-58's, and a pair of early 70's Radio Shack Realistic condenser mics.
Track 8 was recorded in two sessions, the first in the early 80's and the second in the late 90's. Those of you familiar with Thinking Plague's first album might recognise a bit of track one here; we used a few minutes of it during the break on the song "Thorns of Blue and Red".
Dry Heaves and his Teen-Age Corpse Eaters. (1980-'81) 4 tracks, opens as playlist.
More exquisite engineering by yours truly, and general loveliness. Tracks 1-3 recorded in 1980 with me on guitar, drums, and vocals, and Lin Esser on drums, bass and vocals. After Lin and I made those first three recordings, we put a full band together with me on drums, Lin on guitar, John Von Feldt on bass, and Bob Sawyer on vocals, and did one live show at the 4-Mile House in Denver in 1981 which I recorded on a blaster placed inside one of the PA speaker cabinets, that's here as track 4.
Classic Cover Tunes performed by e (1980-81)
Crimson and Clover
A few of the better...that's to say, worse, recordings by e, a group who only did covers of classic rock and pop tunes. I really do like this kind of low-rent production a lot! Recorded at Bradford's house in Denver.
BD: engineering, guitar, vocals. (also water faucet on Telstar).
Mark Bradford: bass, organ, vocals. (also firecrackers on Telstar).
Sharon Bradford: cardboard boxes, tools, vocals.
The Metrotones - Change of Status. (1980)
It's a band of which I was a member during the early 80's in Denver. This track was recorded live at the Blue Note in Boulder Colorado sometime during 1980.
BD: bass, Taurus pedals, backing vocal.
Grant Hall: drums
Lin Esser: guitar and lead vocal.
Doppleganger. (BD and Mike Johnson - 1979)
One of the first things Mike Johnson and I did together. Recorded by ping-ponging between two cassette decks in the basement of the house we shared in Denver, and it's me on drums, bass, guitar and noises, and Mike on guitars and noises. Some of the guitar melody was meant to be a vocal part, but we hadn't found anyone to sing yet and neither of us was brave enough to try it at the time!
What we Did That Day. (BD and Mike Johnson - 1979)
A improvisation recorded live to cassette in 1979, in the basement of the house we shared in Denver Colorado. We filled both sides of a 90 minute cassette which I then cut it into 4 roughly equal segments and mixed together, so at times you hear one single pass, sometimes four, and everything inbetween. The instrument which sounds sometimes like voices or strings is a Gibson electric 12 string which I played by bowing with a smooth piece of metal. I specifically mention it because it wasn't my guitar...the owner sold it shortly after this, and I have never found another guitar which could make that voice-like sound so well! BD and Mike Johnson - guitars, Taurus pedals, tape recorder, mixer, effect boxes, mouth, drums, etc etc.
Rhythm Ace Symphony. (BD and Mike Johnson - 1979)
Whilst poking around an especially intriguing-looking pile of rubbish in a particularly inviting-looking alley shortly after I'd moved to Denver in 1978, I found a dliapidated Ace Tone Rhythm Ace rhythm machine which I naturally brought promptly home. It had buttons for Samba, Rhumba, Waltz, Rock 'n Roll, Tango, all those standard sorts of styles a good livingroom organist might require for a family sing-along. There were also buttons for adding/removing individual elements from the rhythm, such as the "clave", "tom", "cymbal", etc. Here, Mike and I plugged it into a mixing desk and every foot-pedal effect box we could dig up between us, a reel-to-reel tape deck for echo and other effetcs, and did this live performance directly to cassette. Though I'm sure it wasn't designed to do this, one could also press more than one "style" button at the same time, in this case I think we started with "Rhumba" and "Waltz" simultaneously...
Draw Guidelines/Or Pandemonium Plus and Leisure Time. (GSPS - 1973)
BD: voice, tapes, engineering.
Steve Courtright: voice, tapes, sounds.
Marty Buswell, Richard Bird, Bruce Hustedt: voices.
An excerpt from the full-length 8-track cartridge recording Son of Ganglia, recorded in a garage attic in Watseka Illinois, 1973 or possibly '74, using my Realistic 8-track cartridge recorder, two Radio Shack microphones and a Teisco guitar amp. Steve and I also had some sounds and voices pre-recorded on cassette which we'd play back through the guitar amp (here it's my first chanting voice). One can already notice my thinking about and love of stereo imaging even here on this early recording, but mainly it's just funny and inexplicable and since I still have it, why not share it with the Universe for the betterment of everything. (Note: the second piece, a solo composition by Steve entitled Or Pandemonium Plus and Leisure Time begins at 0:47, and its visual counterpart can be seen here.. The first piece, aptly entitled Draw Guidelines has no known visual counterpart, therefore any such thing must be left to the imagination(s) of you the listener(s))
Yellow Rose Petals on the Yangtze. (Avant-Garde Jazz Trio Ensemble - 1973)
BD: bass, voice, Steve Courtright: drums, Richard Bird: electric piano. An improvisation recorded in the band room at Watseka High school in Watseka Illinois in 1973. I had to include this because for one thing it's almost certainly the earliest known recording of yours truly on the bass (age 16), it's also my oldest best friend on the drums, and it's one of the finest compositions of any type ever recorded just plain silly. I'm playing the school's Mosrite bass through a Silvertone amp, and doing the spontaneous narration: "...by the way...the Avant-Garde Jazz Trio Ensemble, which we are presenting today, has won the Downbeat jazz poll award for most complex composition, most original rhythm section..."