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Liner Notes as shown + jpeg scans of original collaborative collage artwork, the first cassette cover (plundering latenight) & various booklet pages from 3 page double sided booklet included with the tape, lyrics, typed and handwritten, along with scans of postcards from Indonesia & a photo of Charlie from Indonesia ~ Long Live the Gracefuly Aging Hippy Soloists!
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 The Gracefully Aging Hippy Soloists with Fountains Turned Backwards. LINER NOTES
>>>I met Charles Ondras in High School, circa 1981. We had gone to
Junior High School together back in 1979-80 but didn't meet until
around the time there were hardcore shows in the pioneer valley.
Chuck brought a Korg synth to speech class in late 1981 and gave a
demonstration. (the same korg synth we used on these tapes)
I went to see The Ramones a 2nd time in March, 83 and Chuck was yelling at the opening band, Shrapnel, hurling insults at the guy (who later became monster magnet) I started Grey Matter as songwriter & drummer, had a fanzine & wrote scene reports for Maximum Rock 'n' Roll, Chuck was playing drums also, in Abuse, a band from NHS. Chuck had us over to his barn back in 1983 when i was auditioning members of Grey Matter (April, 1983)
We played a show together in July 1984, Chuck frontman for Late Night Cabaret and i frontman/singer for No Preservatives.
We lived on adjacent streets, almost neighbors since summer 1980
and by early 1986 were hanging out. I was 18 years old and less
than a year out of high school when on July 4th we took LSD, and
went to The Red Lion Diner w. an acoustic guitar and by daybreak had
started our band idea, The Gracefully Aging Hippy Soloists with Fountains Turned Backwards! We laughed for quite awhile while making up the name... the fountains part was a lawn sprinkler turning on whilst walking back from town. Chuck's favorite guitar player was Jimmy Page and i chose Jimi Hendrix, and we were both Coltrane fans and liked Zeppelin, Joy Division, Fred Frith, The (early) Fall...
I had bought a Gibson SG Deluxe electric guitar (1971) and Peavey
Deuce Amp & MXR Dist + for $250 total while driving pizzas that summer and in October Chuck showed up with a wheelbarrow to bring my amp up to his barn attic practice space for sessions we did through November.
There was one light switch on the ceiling with one outlet which we plugged
the Korg Synth & Fender Champ amp into! I often played the synth or generating
sounds from it while playing guitar and attempting to sing, at the same time
while Chuck played drums. Our entire premise was to entertain ourselves, and improving our soloing abilities in the process. some ofour jams exceeded a dozen + minutes, most of which were recorded. We approached playing as free form jazz in approach. We switched off instruments a few times throughout the sessions, which were recorded exclusively on Maxell "Communicator" (grey) Cassettes on a boom box. There was a 4-track around but we were too broke to buy batteries for it.
We wrote songs at the red lion diner (hippy solo heaven,the types, noho blues, embark...and sissy water, inspired by Red Lion Mike himself and yelling at us for ordering waters while we were on acid) and we'd tape recorded the diner
conversations on various occasions, which i later added to a tape release i put together (which i assembled as a 90-minute tape release & titled
'Plundering Latenight' & put a 3-page double sided booklet w. lyrics together for) & sold for $2 at Dynamite & Main Street Records.
After out first & 2nd recording sessions we'd bring the tape down the
local radio station and play it on the air & do an interview
(dadavision wmua and wozq) We'd dress in hippy solo garb when
required and head out, drunk on booze to shows where Chuck would
do his Gracefully Aging Hippy Soloist rant/announcement, including
at a Throwing Muses show at Amherst College and wherever else.
Chuck left for Indonesia (Bali, Jakarta) in early 1987, sent postcards back, and the following summer 1987 we reconvened for a studio session, 4 track tape with mics and mixers at the old potato shed on hawley street. we recorded four songs there mixed that night. most everything we ever did was one take, free-form, especially
at the barn. this was my first band that i played guitar for and since there were
only drums & guitar, i'd go for broke, soloing like it was going out of style.
We played one last minute show at L'Oasis a club in d' town northampton run by a frenchman (mi-chelle) who told me i was 'breaking his circle'
my new friend and housemate Jens joined us for that show and in a few recording sessions/jams with Charlie. They would later be the bass and drums with Boss Hog in New York City (1989-90) Chuck and i recorded one last session together in August 1987, back at the barn attic, covering Sgt. Pepper's. In February 1988 i had Chuck over my new apartment where we recorded Hippy Solo King (about abby hoffman) and Lifestyle 75. These were the very last tracks we recorded together...
we met up again a few times in the city after Sebadoh shows, 1990-1991, and in June 1992 Charlie died of a heroin and/or alcohol overdose in the city and a few days later i had to be a pall bearer at his funeral.
he had been on and off the road in the US and overseas, playing drums with Boss Hog & The Unsane, and i had been on tour & recording with Sebadoh since about the time we had last recorded in early 1988.
I've had reoccuring dreams for the past decade or two that Charlie
is still alive.. always a strange dream to have. And In a way, he is still here, through the no holes barred free form hippy soloing captured here on these tapes, and from the memories of those free flowing lsd trips in the summer of 1986.
Long Live the Gracefully Aging Hippy Soloists, a Public Concern of
the very first Fucking Importance!
Additional Liner Notes (written in 2008)
July 4, 1986 while on an all-night acid trip with Charles Ondras
(we brought a crappy nylon string acoustic to town and
to paradise pond and to the Red Lion Diner) we made up
a band/duo: The Gracefully Aging Hippy Soloists with Fountains
Turned Backwards!" a progressive gel duo.. Chuck split to NYC,
but then In October-November we recorded 90-minute jams/songs
on his G&L elec gtr/drumset and a 1979-era Moog Synth plugged
into one small fender amp, which ran up to the barn loft ceiling light
fixture! The Red Lion Diner was the spot... Mike ran the place,
a scary balding guy who used the same towel for the grease on
his head as for the plates... the place was an actual old boxcar
not everyone knows that or understands how it got to be where
it is. One time Los Lobos were in town and some guy blew
his brains out in the bathroom. Well, on July 4th we were there,
tripping and ordered two waters, and an eternity later Mike
came round and slammed 'em down, "here yer Sissy waters,
you coupla sissies" or something along those lines. So, we
got to work and wrote a song about it (Sissy Water) That
night we wrote Hippy Solo heaven (i've seen the dead and the
airplane too, hung out with the sabbath in 72, did coke with ozzy
and i'll do it with you...' chuck's lines which i added to, and then
i came up with: 'stardust, golden, endless free-loving drugs'
The first we set up in
Chuck's room (later in the barn space w. 1 lightswitch)
and recorded an epic-length version of "Hippy Solo Heaven"
Chuck played the bass and in his best falsetto, sand about
crystal methadrine.. i played the G&L electric guitar and soloed
over everything, inc. the drum machine beat we had going.
We recorded a few more times, next was "I want to give you
my touch,' which i ad libbed lyrics for and played elec gtr and
sang through a plastic mic hanging from the barn ceiling,
while generating noise on the Korg Synth. Then we recorded
'The Types," "Sissy Water" and "Embark" the next time.
~i wrote embark after using the 'rest room' at the Red Lion
Diner... as they had a condom machine and a brand called
'Embark' with different colors and themes.
(Morning Blue, Siesta Green.... Embark on a new adventure
my friend... Embark" i delivered the vocals dead pan
over a nifty hi-hat/kick-snare drum beat while i generated
weird sounds from the Moog synthesizer)
Nov 1986... assembled the Hippy Soloists cassette, which
i maxed out at 90 minutes, including soumndbites from an
80's movie Chuck and I were watching on tv, re: Surgical Steel,
I came up with 'Plundering Latenight' as a title and photocopied
a drawing i had made of a character with antlers, and included a
booklet with the tape (all for $2 or $3!) using color cardstock paper.
I sold a few at Main Street and Dynamite Records.