I spent late 1991 writing a ton of songs, several of which never made it to studio but that I still have ambitions of recording. Out of that treasure trove of possible hits we did record Clown in the UK with Nigel Palmer. It never made it on to It’s Party Time as we didn’t think it fit in stylistically. We ran out of time in the UK when we were recording, so we had to finish the vocals in Vancouver with Ric Arboit, then send the tapes back to the UK for Nigel to mix. Extra Motown style guitar work by Hussein Boon, drums by Daniel Strittmatter, both of whom were in Colour Noise, another Lowspeak Records band.
Change was recorded by Chris Wardman and is on the It’s Party Time CD. I wrote the music, Chris wrote the lyrics. This version is a remix/reworking by Nigel Palmer. We sent a couple of songs over to the UK for Nigel to remix for our Lowspeak release. Nigel removed the original drum track and put in a sample from a James album. Nigel also added some additional back up vocals and sounds. Lowspeak did not end up releasing this. Not sure why, maybe sales of negative one in the UK scared them a little bit. When we released It’s Party Time we went back to the Chris Wardman version.
Rope was originally released on Six Friends. We re-recorded it with Chris Wardman in Toronto. It was released on Lowspeak as a four song EP with Just Another Day, Love and Rain, and Someone. Some absolutely wild guitar by Chris at the beginning of the song and it has a heavier feel. How can you tell my guitar from Chris’ guitar? If it sounds hard to play then it was Chris. Didn’t feel it fit in on It’s Party Time.
We released this on an International Pop Overthrow CD. This was from demo sessions we did with Vincent Jones. Along with It Kills Me and I Feel I Feel, they never made it on to The Irises CD as they didn’t match sonically. A great little song that deserves to be a summer movie. Colin Wilcox on second guitar, Darren Uyeno on drums. This was an ode to Sushi Boy, my favorite sushi restaurant in Vancouver at the time, but we changed it to Sushi Bar.
Another of the Vince Jones demos that didn’t make it on The Irises CD. I feel I play the same solo on every song. You probably feel that way too. Felt this one was too much like Lo Fi Girl to go on Not Good In Bed, on top of the sound quality not matching the other songs on Not Good In Bed. I also want to put a stop once and for all that Not Good In Bed, a line from the song Perfect Boyfriend was written about Gord, Roxanne, or Ian. Have no idea how those rumours start.
The last of the Vince Jones demos before we recorded the Not Good In Bed album. Got a chance to name check Naked Lunch. We have two demo versions of this song, and I was really hoping to put it on Not Good In Bed, but neither version quite nailed it.
Part of the Grapevine Studio demos we did in Vancouver with Chris Wardman. Chris convinced me to use a Telecaster rather than my trusty Les Paul Standard, hence the cleaner guitar sound. Gord on piano. I think I was heavily in to my Boss chorus pedal phase on this one. Ian on drums. Roxanne was always the social conscience of the band, so if you’re broke hit her up for money.
From the album we recorded in Toronto with Chris Wardman, this song also didn’t make it to It’s Party Time as we didn’t feel it fit in. The blistering solo at the end of the song was a one take by Chris. I was giving him the thumbs up from the control room. When he came in for playback and I told him that it was amazing. I asked if he’d rehearsed it. He said he just plugged in and played, and then after listening to he said: “How did I do that”?
Grapevine Studio demo, this is the original version of the song, far more upbeat. I was in my Sprockets phase, everybody dance. The version on It’s Party Time is much slower though it has a killer keyboard pattern from Chris Wardman and his trusty DX7 IIe that I lusted over.
Grapevine Studio demo, longer intro and different guitar solo slightly from the version on It’s Party Time. Always a crowd pleaser. I think every song we recorded at Grapevine had my ebow on it.
Grapevine Studio demo. One student university newspaper reviewing one of our live gigs raved about us playing this song and how students could relate to it. The person thought we were singing Pay the Rent however…may need to rename it and rerecord it now.
Grapevine Studio demo. Roxanne grew up on country and western stuff, being from the Okanagan. I wrote one or two songs that had kind of a country feel. Well, country rock kind of. Got to use my e-bow on this one yet again. May have used my Stratocaster on this one for a cleaner sound.
Live at Playland and recorded for airplay on CFOX, this show was just before we moved out to Toronto. A straight-ahead riff song, imagine Jimmy Page but without talent. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it, just listen to this. Not good enough to record in studio, but certainly good enough to pad out this album.
This is an 8 track demo, another song I have multiple demos of. Roxanne and I could never come up with lyrics for this one. I the title but that’s about it. Always felt it should be the soundtrack to a late night television movie or sports show. Feels fitting to have it as the last song of this collection. It’s one of my favorite songs as when I listen I can feel both the sadness and yet optimism theme that is a hallmark of most of our songs. I’ve got a ton more demos and new songs, hopefully when the world is less crazy we can go back in to studio one more time for another album.
If you enjoyed these notes look forward to The Day Nobody Came – my autobiography on Culture Shock, Go Four 3, Thrill Squad, and The Irises. Stay tuned for releases of Six Friends and Anchors Away – all unreleased tracks and demos from Go Four 3.