Hey guys, any memories from back in the time you made your first record, Murmur?
1) We all stayed in one hotel room during its recording.
2) There’s the Reflection incident that found me whistling for a producer working in a control room down the hall. His space was small so he left door open. For HOURS he was struggling to mimic the whistling part in The Good The Bad and The Ugly theme on a Moog synthesizer. When I left our studio for restroom or food breaks his exasperation level was becoming more audible with every trip. I had long ago figured the whistling technique that provided that eerie tone. I decided to yank his chain a little and stood in hallway just out of his sight. I blew it perfectly in the same pitch then made a beeline for our control room and closed the door behind me swiftly. I announced to all in control room that there would likely be a knock on our door soon. I didn’t have to continue as there was already a polite tapping on Studio A control door. Always eager to lend a hand, I went to studio B and nailed it in one take. He was producing a Dodge pickup commercial soundtrack. I was flabbergasted that he paid me $100 for my brief effort! That was a king’s ransom in those days. Of course band dinner that night was on me, or maybe Lee Iocacca the then-Chairman of Dodge
If, on the way to the first day of recording Murmur, we had chanced upon a radio rebroadcast from exactly forty years previous, we would have heard speeches from Franklin Roosevelt, news about World War II, and the swinging sounds of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Forty years is a looong time. I’m more than gratified that Murmur is still floating around in the ether.
Love to all, Peter
1) That’s when Peter went to the Salvation Army across the street from Reflection Studios and found the two plastic dinosaurs that became Left and Right, and sat on the studio speakers for every record until…(Peter: “every record til the end”)
2) While we were recording in Charlotte we went to see a movie called Strange Invaders. They’d licensed the song 1,000,000 from the Chronic Town EP, the first time any of our songs had been used in a film, so of course we wanted to see it in action. When the film ended, the four of us gave it a standing ovation. The other four people in the audience were confused as to why.
At the time Reflection studios was doing a lot of business with the Praise The Lord Club, who were based in a Christian theme park on the outskirts of Charlotte. At some point I expressed interest in it…(our Atlanta friends The Now Explosion, Clare Parker in particular, thought it was campy fun) and so a guy from the PTL church showed up with a box of swag for me, and asked me if I was a believer and I said yes. He didn’t specify a believer in what, so I didn’t elaborate in my response. In the box was a PTL Club license plate, stickers, a bunch of flyers and maybe a tee shirt and some other stuff and, wow, a copy of the just released Run To The Roar, written and signed by Tammy Faye to me. Its premise was not dumb— it was about facing fear rather than turning away from it, advice I could certainly have used in the coming decade. I still have the book. — Michael