Friday, July 3, 2009

Jeans Off, Elizabeth St, Brisbane, 1987

Band: Hotel Breslin
Members: Lorenzo (v), Brendan (b), Jim (d), Carl (g), Simon (k)

Jim knew a guy who ran a Jeans retail outlet on Elizabeth St, who let us rehearse upstairs in the store room. This was a great rehearsal space, and it's where Hotel Breslin's music consolidated.

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The relationship between the members, however, was becoming fractured. Each member thought they were the front man, which made for a good live show, but not so good in the Rehearsal Room. People hurled abuse, people hid in toilets, people kicked doors down. Bah - Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a couple of beers down at the Victory Hotel or the Stock Exchange.

It was at this room that Deathrow Road was written. It's doesn't deviate from Amaj but centres around the F#min riff (Edom7th to F#min6th), which is like a sped up Stooges 1969. The lyrics are sung first person from the third person figure, the psychotic brother, in Iian Bank's Wasp Factory.

The band was seen by the music coordinator from the all powerful 4ZZZ (there was no tripleJ) down the Valley somewhere, and he fell in love. He offered to record the song to cartridge at Creative Space in Milton in some spare recording time, and the song started to appear occasionally on ZZZ.

Death Row Cart Version

We had airplay and we had $1000 saved from all of the gigs over the last 3 years. A book or a record? The book already had a title: Licking The Shit, as previously explained, it would be an expose of Brisbane rock in the 80s. But no, we chose to record a single.

David, the recording engineer and 4ZZZ music coordinator got us lined up at Sundown Studios for a proper recording. No, not Sun Studios Memphis, but Sundown Studios South Brisbane. Deathrow Road and Too Far Gone were chosen.

If you've downloaded the cart version, don't bother with this one, it's almost identical
Death Row Single Version

The original photo for the cover was taken by David Barker (who later went on to direct Powderfinger videos), and is of yours truly in a carpark under Jeans Off.

500 were pressed, distributed by us...meaning to say about 10 made it into record stores. Some made it to Sydney and Melbourne, we don't know how.

You can buy the single online

As a single it got played on ZZZ more and more frequently, and then suddenly at our gigs, more people showed up. Strange, I wondered, we've played the same songs for three years, nothing different here. But now queues of people...and we didn't even know them personally.

Another recording was taken by the 'head', live at Dooleys. The 'head' was just that, a styrofoam head with headphones on it that were microphones, a setup that was meant to emulate the true audio experience of a punter in the audience. That is, if the punter was ten foot tall and balanced above the mixing desk. I've not since seen a recording setup to equal it, in amusement value.

City Of Red live at Dooleys Brunswick St Fortitude Valley recorded on the HEAD

Ahhh, the romantic sentiment of City Of Red...

During this period Simon went to study Psychology at the University of Boston USA, so at live gigs we called upon his brother Daniel, or a guitarist friend from school, Ben. Neither could play keyboards, but we stuck numbers on the keys and got them up there. Sounded great to me.

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