Recording History - Page 10

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The Weezer recording history: Page 10

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Contents

Rivers demos, 9/97 Boston

These are home demos recorded in Boston by Rivers on his DA-88 machine.

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING THE 5 RIVERS "SOLO" SHOWS that follow below:

According to various conversations with Rivers at the time, the new material showcased at these shows was both "in consideration for new weezer songs " and, paradoxically also "goofy country songs that are not weezer" (i.e the Rivers-fronted project band, Homie). While songs from both "bands" (Weezer and Homie) seem to be mixed into all 5 shows, the main pattern is this:
Shows #1, 2, and 5 were primarily weezer try-out shows, all songs being either in consideration for use by weezer (i.e. "Prettiest Girl", "Rosemary", etc), or actual weezer songs. Shows number 3 and 4 were Homie, containing new, non-weezer Homie songs (such as "Hot Tub" or "Think About"), and a few "bonus" old weezer songs thrown in for whatever reason, perhaps crowd pleasing. Anyway, its taken a long time to nail down this info, and thanks go out to many helpful detail-obsessed weezer fans...

Rivers "solo" live show #1 ; bootleg tape, October (?) 1997: Boston, MA : T.T. and the Bears (or Axis?)

this was "weezer try out" show 1 of 3, this shows set included "Undone"

With Rivers, there was Mikey (of Chevy Heston, later to join weezer) on bass, Kevin (of the Shods) and Zeph (from Chevy Heston and Stompbox) on drums

setlist:

Rivers "solo" live show #2 ; Rivers home DAT tape, plus possible audience bootlegs(?), October (?) 1997: Boston, MA : The Paradise

With Rivers, there was Mikey (of Chevy Heston, later to join weezer) on bass, Kevin (of the Shodds) and Zeph (from Chevy Heston and Stompbox) on drums

this was "weezer try out show" #2 of 3

setlist:

Rivers "solo" live show #3 ; bootleg tape, 11/4/97: Boston, MA : The Middle East

This was "homie", show 1 of 2

With Rivers, there was Kevin Stevenson of the Shods, and ???

audience tape, decent quality

there may be another audience tape of this show: note from "Skully", 2004: "Skully here, I found something really cool. A long lost bootleg I made at the Cambridge, MA rivers solo show. I think it was show 3, the country night. I thought this was long lost forever, but I got it, the entire set."

Rivers "solo" live show #4 ; bootleg tape, 11/21/97: Boston, MA : TT & the Bears

This was "homie", show 2 of 2

With Rivers, there was Kevin Stevenson of the Shods, and ???

note: audience tape, fair quality (occasionally overshadowed by audience yelling)

Rivers "solo" live show #5 ; bootleg tape, 1/14/98: Boston, MA : TT & the Bears

This was "weezer try-out" , show 3 of 3

With Rivers, there was Pat Wilson on drums, Jake Zavrachy of Quick Fix and Boy Wonder, and ????

note: audience tape, decent quality

Fall 1997 Homie Rehearsal tape

Currently the info of who exactly was playing on this is unknown.

Winter 1997-8 : Various Rivers home demos, plus the unreleased "Homie" album

Over the course of the fall and winter , Rivers recorded various demos, mostly intended for weezer, at his home in Cambridge MA.

Also, Rivers recorded a "pro" demo with a Ross Humpheries engineering. I'm not positive who was playing on this, it was likely the same folks as below on the Homie album project.

Additionally, with the help of "Fred" (from the Gigolo Aunts) on drums and "Drew" (from the Tracy Bonham band) on bass, he recorded an entire album's worth of Homie songs , I believe at Fort Apache in Boston. The song listing will be posted here "ASAP", as track sheets for the sessions have turned up. The tapes were never mixed down, however, so there is no listening copy available at this time. This session includes such "solo" show songs as "Hey M'Darlin'" , "Think About", and "Fun Time". According to Rivers, he considers the recording to be a completed album, and at the time he had hoped to someday release it as Homie.

Early 1998: "American Girls" recorded for the "Meet the Deedles" soundtrack

This was recorded in Boston at a "pro" studio, but I do not know where. This "American Girls" is quite different than the version that was played at the 'solo' shows. The older version of the song was a very up-tempo rocking song. When the "Deedles" version was released (on March 24, 1998), many were surprised to find that it was now a much slower song, smoothed out on the R-n-B / country tip with a pop feel appeal to it.

The line up of Homie that recorded this song was:
Rivers Cuomo -- vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, lyrics, and melody
Yuval Gabay [soul coughing] -- drum loops
Matt Sharp -- co-producer and background vocals
Sebastian Steinburg [soul coughing] -- upright bass
Pat Wilson -- miscellaneous, drum playing (what got looped)
Greg Brown [cake] -- electric guitar (lead and solos)
Brian Bell, Justin Fisher, Adam Orth (both ex-Shufflepuck) and Todd Sullivan (weezer's a+r guy from Geffen ) -- backing vocals

Radio station interview: aired 3/22/98 Modern Rock Live (Los Angeles)

This episode of Modern Rock Live was known as "Deedles Night", and features an interview with Rivers, Pat, Brian, and the two actors from the "Deedles" movie, who talked about the Deedles thing and the "upcoming" weezer "recordings for the 3rd album".... "American Girls" was debuted on this program. The mood was apparently euphoric, according to one fan: "they were all crazy and in the best moods I'd ever heard them in. Someone called in and asked about the S.T. and the S.G., and both Brian and Pat said that it "is all about weezer now" and that they were "done with their own bands".

(clearly this wasn't the case, as we shall see below....)

Interview Videotaped for MTV, (taped january '98? ) aired spring 1998 - New York City, MTV studios

Matt Sharp and Rivers did an interview, that was mostly about Homie and "American Girls" and the Deedles soundtrack.

Late February 1998 : Weezer records demos in LA

contrary to conventional wisdom on the matter, it seems these 2 songs were given serious consideration for formal "weezer-ness" . They were practiced for a little while and recorded at "j.j.'s home studio" ........"j.j." being owner of a certain Hollywood rehersal space that the band often used at the time.

note that at this time the band had no bass player, as Matt had left the band late in 1997, and Try-outs for a new bass player would soon commence, ending with the selection of Mikey in early summer 1998....

March 1998: Rivers demos

  1. "I Got the Gold"
  2. "I Got the Prettiest Girl"
  3. "Damn That Wine"
  4. "I Shot Yer Momma"
  5. "We Don't Wanna Be Cheated"
  6. "I Shot Yer Momma"
  7. "Damn That Wine"
  8. "I Got the Gold"
  9. "Everybody Wants to Get High"
  10. "Cheap Love"
  11. "Ol' Backwater"
  12. "Everybody Wants to Get High"

Early summer- November 1998 Weezer rehersals and sporadic demo recording, with Mikey: Los Angeles

After a lengthy process of trying out new bass players, Mikey was finally installed by summertime.

While master tapes of lots of demos recorded during this period do exist after all, none have been mixed down to a listenable format to date. This section should get a lot bigger when that happens, as there are many hours of tapes to go through.

The bulk of these recordings were done at TK Rehearsals on L.A.'s west side. There also exists a rather rambling tape of just Rivers at TK brainstorming on a bunch of song ideas. However this is not listed here as the tape is very confusing and there are few complete ideas on it.

According to conversations with band members, I estimate as many as 50 or more practiced, demo'd songs to exist. However, at this writing, only a small amount is known. Some of the songs were 100% Rivers's writing, some were jam session collaborations, some were Pats (later pulled back for the Special Goodness), and some were Brians (see below for a recording session of his songs.)

a few known titles from this period:

...of the multiple songs of Rivers's, there are 2 known (non-final) titles. These songs come from later in the summer of '98, when Rivers started writing heavier and heavier material.

June + July 1998: "TKX" demos Rivers demos at TK Productions in West L.A., and that the "X" refers to a particular influence on the demos.

Set 1

81 tracks, all unfinished "sketches" recorded into a hand-held recorder. Some developed into songs later, but none survived as far as The Green Album. (However one, "Cheri Berry" did make it as far as the voting process early in the track choosing for the Green Album sessions. It didn't make it, despite being considered a fine song by the band.)

Set 2

These were developed into full songs.

  1. "You Lied to Us"
  2. "I Love This Band"
  3. "I Don't Wanna Bust My Heart"
  4. "Everybody's Thinkin' Too Much"
  5. "With My Own Two Hands"
  6. "There's a Bomb in the Air"
  7. "Why Did You Give Up?"
  8. "I Needed You Now"

August 1998 : "Velouria" recording session, Mouse House Studios, Los Angeles

This recording session yielded "Velouria", for the Pixies tribute CD Where Is My Mind?, which was released in early 1999. Several songs were also recorded, but apparently the "non-Velourias" didn't come out too good. This is apparently due to the songs being somewhat unfinished at the time of recording (thus really being demos.) mixes from the session:

  1. "Everyone"
  2. "Trampoline" ("sped up")
  3. Trampoline ("normal")
  4. "Disco Queen"
  5. "Velouria" (released on Where Is My Mind? Mikey's 1st released track with weezer)

mystery tracks:
These titles appear on a cassette from this time but it is unclear if they are misnamed or changed titles from the above 5 songs - or totally seperate tracks from another session around that time.

Fall(?)1998 "Random Demos"

these demos seem like full band recordings from their sound...its possible that these were also recorded at "j.j's" home studio

Late Summer 1998: Demo of Brian's songs (not really Weezer nor Space Twins)

Brian had 4 songs that everyone enjoyed playing at rehersal. When it was suggested that they could record these as a demo, Rivers decided that he didn't want to do them for weezer. So Pat and Mikey played on it and it became a kind of Space Twins demo that sounds like weezer playing the songs. Details on this should come when the summer/fall 1998 tapes are examined at last.

  • "Butterfly Collector" (later softened and changed and turned into a Space Twins song)
  • "Seventeen" (later softened and changed and turned into a Space Twins song)
  •  ?
  •  ?

Fall 1998 : more Weezer demos

the above 2 songs fall in right about the time Pat Wilson packed up and went back to Portland, unsatisfied with how rehearsals were going. Mikeys friend Todd Phillips (also an alumnus of Juliana Hatfields band) filled in on drums from then until early 1999 (when rehearsals were finally put on hold), and also played in the 2 Goat Punishment shows (see below).

further demos late 1998:

  • untitled 12/3/98 ("1/2 song")
  • untitled 12/10/98 ("1/2 song")
  • "Bon Fire" 12/14/98
  • "Average Town" 12/14/98

Fall 1998: Rivers and Mikey TV appearence

In what may likely be the most regretful public appearence in the band's career, Rivers and Mikey appeared on an episode of the public access(??) local L.A. tv show, Colin's Sleazy Friends. Aside from sitting there looking amused and confused, they contributed only minorly to a show widely considered to be an obnoxious waste of airtime. They were encouraged by the host to converse with and comment on the stripper guests, and they gave it an attempt. This episode was unfortunately included on the Colin's Sleazy Friends DVD collection.

Winter 1998-1999 : Goat Punishment

after a few months, the increasingly sporadic rehersals took a turn, when Goat Punishment was spontaneously formed, in order to play a whole show of early Nirvana material. It is still unclear as to why this happened, outside of perhaps a primal need to break up the monotony and get inspired. As far as I know, no rehearsals were taped...

show #1, Hollywood, CA

set consisted of several songs from the album Bleach, plus a track or two from Incesticide and Nevermind

Band's own cassette bootleg:

The Word from Dale Johnson (the student engineer of the "Jamie" session at LMU) "FYI, I was also one of the promoters of the club that Goat Punishment did their first "secret" show at in 1998. I did a club with my partner's Frank Rodriguez and Vaginal Davis called Club Sucker, which took place every Sunday night at the Garage from 1995 thru 2000. Our pals OtherStarPeople were playing and I guess the Goat Punishment thing happened via Todd Phillips and Mikey Welsh being old Boston buds and ex-members of the Juliana Hatfield band. Anyways, the show was great....I'm glad someone recorded it for posterity and you have mp3's available on the website. "

show #2, Santa Barbara, CA

was to be a well attended show (the word got out), but police came and kicked all out except for about 20-40 kids: set consisted of Oasis songs from their first album. Sadly, it seems that NO ONE recorded this show!