After unloading the gear Steve pulled into an indoor parking lot in his '63 Nova convertible. Looking for a spot to park he
began hearing a series of small explosions, more like loud pops. It occurred to him that he forgot to tie down the 102 inch
(steel) Citizens Band antenna whip on his car. He quickly left and found another place to park! (Knocked
out quite a few overhead fluorescent lights!)
It's pretty amazing that a demo we recorded back in 1967 would turn out to be so popular years later. It's more so the label, but none-the-less, to be #180 out of the top 1,000 rarest garage band recordings is pretty cool. Here's our recollection of the experience:
At one time or another, anyone in a garage band from the 60ís probably heard, "You should make a record". We did too, so we gave it a shot. How we round up in a little studio on Van Buren with our 45 on whatís considered a legendary label is beyond us. Apparently Recordings Unlimited held battle of the band contests with some prizes being free studio time but we were never aware of that. The studio was found through some other means. Steve initially met Mr. Oren Stembel over the phone, explained the bandís "dream", got the going rates, and the rest is what a lot of people believe to be history. It's been a long time, and the details of the studio and session are sketchy at best.
Walking into a real live studio back then must have left us in awe. We did a lot of home recordings, but this was the real deal. It wasn't a huge room - a converted office - but we weren't on top of each other either. George set up the drums at the back of the studio behind some gobos. (Padded walls used to isolate the drums.) His back was a foot away from a big window that was opened to the street below and the rest of us were closer to the control room window.
Once we setup the engineer placed the microphones as we stood around wondering if we were dreaming. We ran through "Third Of January" at least once for the engineer to set levels and the second take may have been the keeper. It all went down live.
During a short break the engineer asked if we wanted the same song on both sides of the record, something we never considered. A different song made more sense, something up-tempo, so "Girl With The Long Black Hair" was really a last minute decision. The engineer setup a vocal mike at the drums so George could sing while playing. After hearing the playback we were asked if we wanted to add anything on top. "Oh cool, we can do that?" We put our heads together, came up with some simple Ooo's and Ahh's, then gathered around a single mic.
We all put headphones on and ran through the song again to rehearse our Johnny-on-the-spot background vocals. The tambourine was too loud on the first take, so we ran thru it again with Steve playing it sort of behind his back. The second time around we were happy - actually astonished - at how good it sounded with the extra voices, and Steveís rear end was black and blue from being spanked with a tambourine!
Sunday April 23rd, 1967