Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Bunker

After a few left turns for the sake of some laughs, I'll get back to the activities at Browne's Feat, or as we had begun to refer to the place, The Bunker. After dis-banding dis band (forgive me, but I think that's pretty friggin' funny) we decided to turn the rehearsal space into a recording studio, at least enough of a recording studio for us to write and demo our own work. The room sounded great already and could take the sound pressure of SVT's and Marshalls. All we had to do was create an area that would serve as a make-shift control room.

Jim carved this out of a storage area that was originally the store-front of the building. Two or three times a night, you could hear bums on the Lankershim sidewalk pissing on the other side of the wall, or the dull thud as one collapsed against the boarded-up window and oozed down to a well-deserved night's rest in our doorway. Beej bought a second-hand Tascam 16-track recorder and in combination with a Yamaha PA board and Jim's rack of mic-pre's, we had a decent little set up.

The next step was finding a drummer. I had been talking with Jim and Beej about David Raven for months. David was just crazy enough for this gig. Remember, Beej was fucking crazy in front of an audience. As calm a guy as he was off-stage, when he fronted a band, he was PLUGGED-IN. That's the only words that describe it. The last time I saw Dave, he was in a crouch position, schushing down Mt. Rose in jeans and a black leather trench coat. Yeah, Dave would be just perfect, if only I could find him. I had lost touch, and just as we were talking about the guy, he appeared. We were going into the door of the Eagle coffee shop in the NoHo district and I literally bumped into him as he was coming out! We looked at each other for a few seconds as it registered, and I practically shouted, "This is the motherfucker man...Jim, this is fucking Dave man," and "Dave, goddammit, we were talking about you right now...RIGHT NOW! do you understand! where have you been? what's your number? what're you doing?" I mean, I had not seen Dave in a few years, had no way of contacting him, and I was basically just making the point that we had to find someone just like Dave...and the guy actually walks right into me!

So, long story short, we got him and his drums down to the Bunker and had a play. Both Beej and Jim were knocked out right from the jump. Dave could get nuts, but he could do it on a consistent basis. We started cutting tracks right away and stashing them for future development. Some of these fragments became songs and found their way onto the "Windows" album that we finished at Shangri La years later. Others are still on some piece of tape in a closet, waiting to be put on a machine and turned up...loud.

We were all optimistic about our prospects. The J.R.S. deal had been a rough kick in the nards, but we felt like we were finally getting somewhere. We were making music again.

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