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music, noise, art | lucio menegon

You Can’t Do That!

dave meyers you canBack in 1998, I engineered You Can’t Do That, the only solo record by Chicago bluesman Dave Myers (who along with brother Louis, Fred Below and Junior Wells formed The Aces and were a key ingredient in the mid 50s Chicago blues sound, backing legends like Junior Wells, Little Walter, Otis Rush and various artists on the Cobra Records label). My buddy Rusty Zinn, with whom I had recently finished two records, and ace blues harmonica player Kim Wilson convinced New Orleans based BlackTop Records owner and producer, Hammond Scott to do a record.

You Can’t Do That was recorded in the big room at the old Coast recorders on Harrison Street in San Francisco (thru Dan Alexander’s sweet Neve console). It was cut live with the exception of a few vocal overdubs that Hammond felt were needed. Overdubbing was not something Dave had much experience with or a fan of, but he was game to give it a go.

Things were progressing okay, but then one tune, Stone Cold Fox simply bedeviled Dave and the whole thing degenerated into a hilarious half hour. After ten minutes of belly splitting stuff, I instructed the 2nd engineer to roll a dat tape of the overdub session so we could capture it (the 24 track master tape machine that I was operating was constantly recording over the bad vocal takes). Dave is front and center with Rusty, Hammond and myself off mic. Until now, only a handful have heard this recording, so without further ado:

      1. Cone Stone Fox

What a sweet, funny man. Unfortunately, Dave passed in 2001 and I am – we all were – privileged to have been a part of it. He was such total gentleman – in fact, the man kept calling me ‘sir’ and thought I owned the studio…shit I woulda been happy to have been responsible for his coffee cup.

 

 

 

Heavy Cops and Giant Jeans

Happy New Year. Feels like it’s going to be an interesting one. To start it off as such, how about pulling out some skeletons in the closet?

Lauren Weisbecker, the twelve year old daughter of my high school bandmate and drummer, Will Weisbecker recently posted a comment on The Early Years. In response, I dug around for some nuggets residing in my strange but true audio folder. I found a few that merit exposure:

      1. Heavy Cop

This was written and recorded by my friend and fab musician, Gunnar Madsen back in the late 90’s when Gunnar was a staff composer for Atari Games. He hired me to play metal guitar on this dittie for use in an auto racing arcade game called California Speed. Just imagine yourself tearing down Highway 101, becoming airborne, literally flying, smashing into trees, cars, rocks, and miraculously crossing the finish line – no doubt propelled by this double shot of caffeinated metal riffage. Since neither Gunnar nor I own any rights to this tune, I post it in the hope that one of us will get sued by Atari. We could use the exposure.

The game received a very limited release, but I did encounter it once in real life while on tour with Ramona the Pest. We were hanging out in a random sports bar in Denver, Colorado when the tune sort of wafted by. Hey that’s my guitar! I exclaimed to my skeptical bandmates as we made a beeline to the source and played it quite a few times.

      2. Giant Jeans

This is a recording made in the late 90’s for an ad agency competition. Two friends of Steve Lucky‘s worked for a big firm in SF and Steve got me in on the gig. We recorded it on a 1/2″ 8-track reel to reel deck at my warehouse space in Berkeley. Steve plays organ and I play the slide guitar bits. A fun tune that apparently earned an honorable mention, but lost out to…a heavy metal tune. Apologies for infringing on someone’s copyright here.

And last, a classic from 1988:

      3. Won't You Be My Neighbor? (e.e esckilsen/f. rodgers)

R’n’R with a nod to Mr. Rogers by Manatee, a band I played in with my old college ‘mates. This is from Unlikely Mermen, our first official cassette release in 1988. Recorded on my Tascam Porta Studio 4-track in the 3rd floor living room of a dilapidated mansion in Newport, RI that the bass player and I lived in that summer. It was pretty much one big party and we pretty much wrecked the place. Erik Esckilsen plays the Bob Stinson approved end solo. Never did find out who left the phone message.