Gracefully Aging Hippy Soloist rarities from 1986 to 1987
Contains 'Eleven' Bonus tracks/hidden!
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013
>>>The Gracefully Aging Hippy Soloists with Fountains Turned Backwards.
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
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
10-20 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 on Grey Maxell 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... me up again a few times in the city after
Sebadoh shows, 1990-1991, and in June 1992 Charlie o.d.'d in the city
and a few days later i had to be a pall bearer at his funeral.
he had been on 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!
released April 8, 2013
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