[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

(TV) Bowery Ballroom / Calling Dennis or Ms Secret X / Thanks for Deta ils Dan / Profligate Production?

Although I have already 'ordered' my ticket
I'm 50/50 on showing-up given the uncertainty
surrounding how long/much Tom will play and
whether he will be just accompanying SY or
appearing with his acoustic guitar, or with 
some small, quasi-back-up band.  

Could/would Dennis? or Ms Secret X? or anyone 
else shed any light on which incarnation of Tom
will apppear?

I'd like to get together with any fellow listers who
are going (who on list is actually going'?) 

Dan said: "Production Values w/ Verlaine, Leo?
He'll probably just tell a few half-truths:-): "

I was only joking about asking the man, himself--as
you know he's quite the recluse and not one to spend
time with fans---but he has actually said quite a bit in
print over the years about "Dreamtime" and its making
--of course he could have been telling half-truths then, 
but he seemed pretty forthcoming and genuinely 
interested that the interviewer had questions about it.  

A few archive crumbs to whet your appetite for my
up-coming essay on this album: 

I believe he once said that about 2/3-rds of the way 
thru the recording of the album (a couple of months at
least) they discovered they had a bad batch of tape  
(acetate tape-backing on master tape spontaneously
started to disintegrate), and they then had to re-record
everything from scratch! ---Or was that what he said 
about his 1st solo album's recording?  Yikes, I'd better
get on the stick here and lug out my archives. 

Dan said: "..I  believe the Dreamtime album was 
recorded 'hotter' to tape than the other Tom 
Verlaine/Television albums..."

Yeah definitely!  Another related but more humorous crumb:
Verlaine, sometimes when he was uncomfortable with a
particular interviewer or was in a foul /silly mood, would 
respond to Qs about the making of 'Dreamtime' by saying
that the whole thing was [deliberately] recorded with the VU
levels way up into the red.

Dan said: " I also reckon that Verlaine used a lot of the studio
delay lines and harmonizers - you can hear that on tracks 
like 'Penetration' and 'Down on the Farm' where there are 
"small-room" echos on the guitar. ...I also know he used a 
Fender Twin reverb amplifier (which is very loud and therefore
difficult to crank into overdrive like his smaller Danelectro amps)
and a Sam Ash Fuzzolafuzz pedal (probably for the chorus riff in
penetration). I expect that he used the more trebely sounding 
Fender Jaguar a lot on these recordings which also helps account
for the more upfront sound on the tracks."
Dan thanks a million--these details might put some people to sleep,
but I find them fascinating (where are you getting this info or is it your 
best guestimate as a former aspiring engineer?).

I guess I'll have to admit that yes, in the end it probably just comes 
down to those of us who appreciate and enjoy Verlaine's wizardry
of production 'effects' such the above, and those like Willie who 
prefer a more minimalist production approach.  (Don't misunderstand
I don't always prefer a lot of 'production' unless it's someone who's 
a genius at it like Verlaine or Bryan Ferry.  

I'll claim 'Dreamtime' was a situation where Verlaine went full-bore 
in trying out all the tricks, sonic ideas, and studio effects he
had learned or considered in previous recording efforts. 
In 1981 he had just left Electra, and Warner Brothers had given
him a pretty good deal---at least for a musician whose 1st solo had 
done zero sales [zero, of course, primarily due to radio's lock-step
play-lists and execrable taste, as well as Electra's total non 
promotion (including not giving payola--another story for another 
time) ].  It was at least a 2 to 3 record-deal, and I believe for 
"Dreamtime" he had a very substantial recording budget (maybe the
largest he had ever had (and maybe never exceeded afterwards,
albeit "Flashlight's" was probably big also).  

Flush with Warner's faith and encouragement, their studio time,
recording-cash, and $s for tour to promote this upcoming album, 
Verlaine's resultant production is deemed either a tour de-force of  
multi-layered guitars and effects that succeeds brilliantly, or is wildly
extravagant, excessive and does disservice to the music and songs
("it was too too too").  

I'll go with the former.

Last but not least, if someone [Attention:  Willie] didn't/doesn't like 
the production on "Dreamtime" or "Flashlight", you probably also 
would not have cared much for Verlaine's live-sound during his 1981-82
and ' 83, ' 84 and ' 87 tours which I was lucky enough to see.
Granted, live he couldn't duplicate exactly  these albums and their
 production/effects, but he came pretty damn close--you still get the
 really thick guitar sounds together with his icy vibrato. Just check out 
the double cd-r "Tom Verlaine:  Live at  the Ritz, June 4, 1982".  

To post: Mail tv@obbard.com
To unsubscribe: Mail majordomo@obbard.com with message "unsubscribe tv"