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Music for a Comic Book Video
the double cover and insert with words to the songs.
On how it came to be
|On the making of Music for a Comic Book
Video - Writing this for Dahvin Bugas to include with albums
he's sending out of this bit of madness.
Dahvin writes: If you could mention that you are open to the record to be remixed in the letter along with anything else you want to include about yourself and the music, that would be great.
Sure - yeah. Do anything you want. Hell, come get the 24 track master and cut it up and randomly paste it back together. But it would be nice to send some credit back here to Defuser Music dot com and if any fortunes are made, remember us here. Thanks, David Chadwick: firstname.lastname@example.org
Back in 1984 I was at Studio D in Sausalito, CA (which I helped to build for recording time), and met Ron and Brian MacCleod. Brian was drumming with a group called Wire Train. I see Ron and Brian listed with The Sleepers too. At the time I was livid about doing a song using Prez Reagan's recent mike test where he was accidentally recorded saying that we were gonna launch nuclear missiles at the Soviet Union. Ron was stoked on the idea and we agreed to work on it. He came out with an eight track and sampling gear and added it to my stash of low fi equipment and we started messing around. I had some ideas about how to make some of the stuff we were doing into songs with words. Brian came over and helped with a couple of drum tracks.
I'd never done any sampling and was delighted to be working with a master sampler like Ron. He and Brian had been doing underground sampled shows for a few years and I was like a child hearing fairy tales listening to him recounting stories of their concerts. One thing they'd done was to set up their equipment with mics and pickups scattered around that would trigger various sequences and sounds. Then they'd go wait in back of the hall for the audience to get impatient and more impatient till they started yelling and eventually throwing things which created the concert.
I kept putting off doing the Reagan bit because Ron and I would be on another piece and would be crazed going to extremes looking for new sounds, howling, rolling on the floor. Sometimes we'd have a local college station on when we were taking a break or doing non musical busy work. One day we heard the song we had originally set out to do. It was called, "Five Minutes" because Reagan had been recorded saying, "Bombing begins in five minutes." That was the first sampled piece I remember hearing on the radio. Shortly after that, Herbie Hancock came out with a single named Rocket which had a sample of the word 'beat" from Michael Jackson's Beat It. It had been on an album the year before but we didn't know that. (On "Pocket" we sampled Michael Jackson's "beat" off Herbie Hancock's sample) Our dream of being the first to make it big with sampling was burst but we kept going and had lots of fun. My mother was in town and took us out to a posh lunch. She asked Ron what it was like working on this project and he said that he was used to working in a serious atmosphere but we seemed to spend most our time laughing.
Ron was there at the Bolinas studio a lot and we worked on about half the songs, the best ones. The other half I did alone while he was gone, sometimes bringing in a friend. There's more detail on this on the Cover Art and Credits Page. I'd like to point out that Richard Schoenherz was most kind to come in and lay down a superb synth track on Covered in Vines.
The album was released, sort of, late 1985 because at Studio D where the 8 tracks were loaded onto 24, many new vocals and some added music and effects and mix down and getting it mastered and whole package and distributed took time. Oh yes - the great art by Linda Marie Overbey. Studio D kept the album double cover opened on the wall in the lounge upstairs over the sink for a couple of decades. It may still be there. (where are you Linda?)
A DJ named Jonathon E distributed it to clubs and City Hall Records made it available. I did nothing to promote it. As it says on the MFCBV home page: Only sold a few records, but it was played in dance clubs from coast to coast. Dirk Dirkson, "the pope of punk," used to play this music. Or maybe he played it once just to please me.
When I was creating this site, I decided to try Defuser for use in the URL as I'd used that name since doing anti-nuke stuff. I searched for it and found that MFCBV was already available with art for download on Goutrey's Viable Commercial.of "OBSCURE AND UNKNOWN 80S POST PUNK, MINIMAL WAVE, ELECTROPOP, NEW WAVE, AND OTHER STUFF." I was surprised to see that it was only posted about ten days before I was posing it - 25 years after it was first available. I was flattered it was there at all but especially by his review and emailed him enthusiastic permission to keep it there. It's also available for download here at MFCBV but not all at once like on Goutrey's. I always say it's the most perfect thing I've ever been involved in creating.
Make sure you see the comic book part - the double cover and insert with words to the songs.
MFCBV is located within the Weird Department of Defuser Music.com
So MFCBV came out of an initial outrage that the president of the US who was a super hawk who'd intimated that maybe nuclear war would be the Armageddon predicted in the Bible, my president, had joked about starting this nuclear war. I'd been involved with the anti nuke movement (see this piece on World Suicide). I contacted my friend and social activist attorney Bob Gnaizda about another idea which was that if the president can joke about killing all of us (the likely outcome of nuke war with the Soviet Union), then I should be able to joke about killing him - and that's something one could get arrested for. So I asked Bob if he would defend me if I did some public presidential assassination humor to highlight this issue. He was eager to do so. I got involved with MFCBV instead.
Mutiny Records is something I made up. There was no record company. It was mastered in LA - Ricky Sanchez the engineer took me there - the masterer had to try a few times to get it all on the disc. I remember doing one of the steps at Fantasy in Berkeley too. When the records arrived I remember taking some of them to my sister's house in Oakland near Xmas day and my son Kelly noticed right away that Screaming Mad was missing from the insert so I had the insert redone, got together with some Zen friends at a friend's home, and we took off all the shrink wrap on the albums, took out the inserts, put in the new ones, and then I had them re shrink wrapped. There were tons of details. Not sure how much I spent. Ron and I got nothing in return but fun. Over $20,000. Maybe 30. I spent over 100 on recording through the years I bet. Expensive hobby. Money well spent I think now.
This screed available online at: http://defusermusic.com/projects/mfcbv/mfcbv-story.htm
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