Recording History - Page 8

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The Weezer recording history: Page 8

Recording History
Page 7
(Late 1994 - Early 1995)
Page 8
(Late 1994 - Aug. 1996)
Page 9
(Aug. 1996 - Aug. 1997)
All Recording History pages
Page 1
(1987 - Feb. 1991)
Page 2
(Late 1990 - Jan. 1992)
Page 3
(Feb. 1992 - Sept. 1992)
Page 4
(Sept. 1992 - Aug. 1993)
Page 5
(Aug. 1993 - Spring 1994)
Page 6
(Late Spring 1994 - Dec. 1994)
Page 7
(Late 1994 - Early 1995)
Page 8
(Late 1994 - Aug. 1996)
Page 9
(Aug. 1996 - Aug. 1997)
Page 10
(Sept. 1997 - Winter 1999)
Page 11
(Spring 1999 - Nov. 1999)
Page 12
(Jan. 2000 - Dec. 2000)
Page 13
(Dec. 2000 - Feb. 2002)
Page 14
(March 2002 - Nov. 2003)
Page 15
(Dec. 2003 - April 2005)

late 1994 (?)

Rivers 8 track demo song, never mixed down. Possibly early 1995.

Late 1994: Space Twins demo #2: "Space Twins"

Late 1994: Space Twins 7" #1 : "No Show" b/w "A Breif History"

I don't have much info on this, but I do recall that Brian was selling a box of them while on the Live tour in November '94. I am almost positive that these are not the same versions as appear on the Craterface demo. They sound either entirely re-done, or at least given a much better mix job.

live show bootleg tape, 1/30/95: London, UK : Splash Club

tracklist unavailable

Radio station performance - London, UK - 1/?/95

BBC Radio One "live" session at BBC Studios.

This was an all day 24-track recording session. The tracks were added one at a time, just like for the blue album. The difference here was that the whole thing was done in a day. Later either some or all of the session was broadcast on the radio. The only song that I have confirmed as played on the radio was "My Name Is Jonas". The others might have been but I am lacking this info.

additionally, there are extensive karl video home movies of this day's work.

from a UK fan:
i [heard on BBC Radio] the result of 3/4 of the bands session... here are some facts: all four tracks were broadcast on what is known as radio one's 'evening session' alternative radio program. i heard all but surfwax as i was at work that night & my family were out, so I couldn't tape the bugger. i recall that 'in the garage' was particularly different." ---Stu C..

Stu's recollections are accurate: "In the Garage" featured a B-3 Hammond Organ with rotating Leslie speaker cabinet! (a moment of this sound is heard on the Weezer DVD "Saction" segment)

February 1995: Hamburg Germany: Demos

Matt had to go home due to a family emergency, so the rest of the band were stranded in Hamburg Germany for one week. Rivers worked on Songs From the Black Hole, possibly replacing several 'garage' demos with new ones, but I think he was mostly displeased with the results, and the "final" versions stayed as they previously were, save for "Blast Off!". [could be wrong , there may be others from Hamburg on the tape]. Pat also banged out some demos when Rivers wasn't busy, and even Pat and Karl did a Southern Fried Swing track here. What can be recalled:

Rivers's ADAT masters are either with him or lost. Pat has no record of what he worked on. A cassette mixdown exists of the 'Techno' tracks (which were just a spoof on the foul song the neighbouring German group was doing down the hall.)

note: it is concluded that the Hamburg "Blast Off!" ended up being the "Blast Off!" on the cassette of 'black hole', and is thus the one that is known by fans in mp3 form. The evidence is the presence of the Vocoder (used for the robotic voice effect), which was definitely rented by Rivers in Hamburg and used. There was no Vocoder available in "the Garage" back in LA.

Rivers must have made a cassette mixdown, and it's that cassette he attempted to do the "scotch tape edits" on, creating the rough transition halfway thru the song.

Live show bootleg tape, 2/18/95: Milan, Italy : The Factory

Note: there is also a videotape bootleg of this show

Radio station performance, 2/21/95 - Paris, France "The Black Session" show.

This was a full live set with a live studio audience. Weezer opened for Radiohead, who were excellent fellows and had a fantastic performance.

a karl home video exists of this (not the Radiohead part though)

Live show bootleg tape, 2/26/95: London, England : Camden Underworld

** Note: JH corectly pointed out that "Pink Triangle", "El Scorcho", "Falling for You", and "The Good Life" hadn't been written yet, at the time of this show. I agree. Either the show was mis labeled or mis dated. I do recall being at this show- But perhaps it was in august 1996.....?

Live performance on TV, 3/10/95 - Hard Rock Cafe - Las Vegas, NV

The band played a full set, to kick off their Spring '95 US tour. I think the whole show was taped, but then only 2 songs were broadcast, on I think an Mtv special. This was the first show at the new Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Al Green and Duran Duran also played.

...the two broadcast songs were:

Live show bootleg tape, 3/15/95: Portland, OR: Music Millenium record shop

Acoustic, tracklist unavailable

Live show bootleg tape, 3/18/95: Denver, CO: Ogden Theater

4/1/95: Radio station performance WNNX Atlanta: Live X - acoustic @ Cat's Paw Studios

Recorded live and acoustic before a small studio audience, before that evenings show at The Masquerade. Bootleg recorded off the radio.

thanks to Farid Kokabi


After the last spring tour show (in LA at the Hollywood Palladium), Rivers went to have his leg operation, and the other guys all went off and did their own things. They would next be together 6/27/95 (see below)

Spring 1995

Brian does a session somewhere in LA, to make some new Space Twins demos.

Space Twins Demo #3 We Are the Space Twins 1995

Spring 1995: Matt's first "real" Rentals sessions

poop alley sessions that created the tracks for Return of the Rentals, For the Ladies (unreleased), plus "California" (released on the The Poop Alley Tapes cd compilation, WIN records)

(the first 9 songs below were finished first and originally put in this order by Matt, but the mixes are no different than the r.o.t.r. album)

Return of... songs, in order they were finished
song comments
"Friends of P"
"Move On"
"Brilliant Boy"
"My Summer Girl"
"Please Let That Be You" (note this is a much refined version of "Jamie 2/Mrs. Young")
"These Days"
"Sweetness and Tenderness"
"California" put on The Poop Alley Tapes comp
(much later redone for 7mm, as "Barcelona")
"The Love I'm Searching For" (finished a little later, see below)

songs intended for For the Ladies
song comments
"It Bust Be Wrong" (much later redone for 7mm)
"The Love I'm Searching For" (this ver was a rentals bside)
(was done before the Return version, then redone faster for Return)
"Beautiful Girl"
"So Soon" (later used for a bside) (much later transformed into "The Cruise", 7mm)
"I've Been Had"
"Say Goodbye Forever" (much later redone for 7mm)
"Wake Up"

6/95 : short 24 track session at Bearsville Studios, Woodstock NY

This was recorded in Woodstock NY at this cool little 24 track studio in a converted old church. "Bearsville Studios". Rivers was on strong medication and his leg brace was still quite freshly implanted (ouch!). Rivers struggled with his vocals and was never really satisfied with his performance on this one. (the rest of us all think it sounds just fine, of course.)

Rob Cavallo produced, he did Green Day's Dookie and was the son of Bob Cavallo, one of weezers managers. Angus was a film production of Atlas/Third Rail (weezers management company) , so the whole thing was a bit incestuous.

Trivia: The photo inside the 1995 fanclub "Secret Suprise" thingy was taken during this session.

The second version of this song (the "El Scorcho" b-side) was done during Pinkerton sessions in September '95 (see below).

Live show bootleg tape, 7/30/95: Buffalo, NY : Ogden Music Hall

Radio station performance, 8/3/95 NY City: Z100

no songs, just a Pat and Matt interview

Live performance on TV, 8/4/95 - Late Show with David Letterman - New York, NY

Live show bootleg tape, 8/5/95: Montreal, Quebec, Canada : at ?

tracklist unavailable

Radio station performance, 8/20/95 Los Angeles 106.7 KROQ

info unavailable- not sure if interview and/or performance

8/27/95 1st Pinkerton recording sessions - New York City, Elecrtic Lady Studios

A lot of stuff was happening all at once. The Blue Album touring had finally been wrapped up. Rivers had gotten himself accepted at Harvard for the upcoming fall semester, and was looking forward to escaping the limelight for a while. The band was up for 5 different Mtv Video awards and the awards show was coming up on the 7th in NYC. I was to help the still leg-braced Rivers move to Boston immediately after the awards (which he ironically ended up not attending.) Studio time was booked, in order to get a head start on the new album, which was only partly written at this point.

Rivers was still holding out a torch for his Black Hole idea, but as recording got underway, the songs were laid down as before, one at a time- no story, no theatrics, no characters. This reality would later couple with a whole new set of emotions and ideas, spawned over his school year at Harvard, to forge a whole new idea for what was to be called Pinkerton.

Meanwhile Pat was starting to pursue his own independent musical vision, having seen how Matt got himself his own record deal and noting a large block of "non-weezer" time coming up, courtesy of Rivers's newfound school schedule. Simultaneous to weezer's recording, he booked his own time at Electric Lady, and laid down some fairly slick demos. (see below) ...All this whenever his presence wasn't required down the hall in the other studio room. Phew!

8 & 9/95: first Pinkerton sessions
song comments
"Waiting on You"
"Blast Off!"
"Longtime Sunshine": Special 'coda' version experiment This started as "Longtime Sunshine", but after the first verse, lyrics from the above 3 songs, plus others incl. "Why Bother" were recorded on top of it to create a cool overlapping medley, with the different songs vocal parts meshing together. It was then mixed as a fade-out. I think Rivers was trying to emulate a technique used in classical music, where all the major elements of a musical piece are briefly recalled at the end.
"Why Bother?" 8/28
"Getchoo" 8/29
"No Other One" 8/30
"Tired of Sex" 8/31
"Devotion" 9/1
"I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams" 9/2 (no Rachel Haden vocals yet)
"Getchoo" 9/3 , #2
"Getchoo" 9/4 , #3
"Waiting on You" 9/4 , #2
"You Gave Your Love to Me Softly" 9/5 not sure if this take ended up as the "b-side" version
Longtime Sunshine 9/6 , #2

  • Additionaly (as if enough wasn't going on), the summer 1994 recording of "Susanne" was remixed in yet another Electric lady room. This remix would later appear on the Mallrats soundtrack.

The master tapes were then taken up to Fort Apache Studios in Boston, and worked continued on the guitars and vocals. In the end, only a few of these versions ended up on Pinkerton. Most were later re-recorded in LA.

8-9/95: electric lady studios: Pat's 1st "Huge Guy" demo 24 track

Live appearence on TV, 9/7/95 - MTV Video Awards - New York, NY

For the award acceptance, Pat Finn substitutes for Pat Wilson, while Spike Jonze and I substitute for Rivers. The world doesn't seem to notice. Matt spouts Eastern European dialects, fully in Return of the Rentals mode (his own record was due to appear in 6 short weeks). Weirdness.

9/9 through 9/15/95 : continued Pinkerton sessions, Fort Apache Studios; Boston

Fort Apache - unfinished Pinkerton stuff
song comments
"Why Bother?" (these are the versions that were lightly bootlegged at one point...)
"No Other One"
"Tired of Sex"
"Waiting on You" (w/Brian's vocals only)
"You Gave Your Love to Me Softly"

Rentals Radio station interview, 9/19/95 91x fm San Diego, CA - info unavailable


Return of the Rentals is released on 10/24/95. The Rentals go on their first tour.

Rentals Radio station performance, 11/6/95 106.7 KROQ fm LA, CA - info and tracklist unavailable

(note- San Francisco show later that night, band flew in)

Rentals Radio station performance, 11/8/95 94.7 fm Portland, OR - info and tracklist unavailable

Rentals Radio station performance, 11/13/95 106.7 KROQ fm LA, CA - info and tracklist unavailable

Space Twins Live show bootleg tape, 11/15/95: Los Angeles, California : Spaceland

(taped off the soundboard)

Rentals Radio station performance, 12/?/95 WHFS fm; Washington DC

Acoustic. tracklist unavailable

Rentals Radio station performance, 12/?/95 106.7 KROQ fm LA, CA


The Rentals record a moog-flavored "Silent Night", that is actually just a blatant (and funny) ad for Return of the Rentals. This ends up on the KROQ Kevin and Bean's Xmas tape '95

Rentals Live show bootleg tape, 12/18/95: LA, California : Universal Ampitheatre

KROQ "Almost Acoustic Xmas", broadcast live-to-air

tracklist unavailable

Fall 1995: Rivers Home Demos in Boston

several bits intended for the "tracklist 2" of Songs From the Black Hole

As explained on Page 6.5, This was a sort of last ditch effort to whip the "black hole" themed album together. Soon however, as the spring semester kicked in, the focus was entirely on creating the much different Pinkerton. Rivers' receiving of the letter that inspired "Across the Sea" was a major turning point, as I recall.

Huge Guy : Pat Wilson new acoustic demos... late fall 1995; Portland Oregon

Huge Guy 10(?)/'95
song comments
"I'd Like to Know"
"Much Better Thank You" (later became "Pay No Mind")
"I'm With You Sister"
"Conquistadors Of Nothing"
"Pardon Me"
"Boy Am I Lucky" (later became "A Fortunate Mistake")
"It's All Here in This Book"
"I'm Not Too Proud" (full instruments, electric)
"Muscle Car" (full instruments, electric) (w/ Tom Ackerman of Skiploader)

Huge Guy : Pat Wilson new fully amplified demos.... even later fall 1995; Portland Oregon

Huge Guy 11(?)/'95
song comments
"Pardon Me"
"I'd Like to Know" awesome keyboard bass line
"Pulling Teeth" (later known as "Pay No Mind")
"I Believe in You" (later known as "I'm With You Sister")
"Conquistadors Of Nothing"
"Boy Am I Lucky" (later known as "A Fortunate Mistake")

January 1996: more "Pinkerton" sessions : Sound City Studios; Van Nuys, CA.

The recording lasted about 2 weeks. During this time, the following songs were worked to semi-completion:

Rivers would then return to Harvard for spring semester, Matt would pick up his Rentals tour, Pat would go back into the studio himself, and Brian would continue gigging around LA with the Space Twins.

side note: According to Rivers "COR" document, "El Scorcho" was originally written at Harvard, October 1995

Rentals Radio station performance, 2/5/96 Los Angeles: 106.7 KROQ "Love Line" advice show

Rentals Live show bootleg tape, 2/10/96: New York City : Roseland Ballroom - tracklist unavailable

Rentals Radio station interview, 2/10/96 New York City: Z100

Matt and Cherielynn

Rentals Live show bootleg tape, 2/14/96: Rockville, MD : Tower Records

acoustic - - tracklist unavailable

Rentals Radio station performance, 5/4/96 paris, France "The Black Sessions"

includes "Tracy Jacks" (Blur cover)

Spring 1996, post tour: Rentals recording session starts in London

This begins what will eventually become 7 More Minutes, the Rentals second album. Matt will end up returning to London several times and finally wraps up recording and mixing in the USA, over 2 years later, in summer 1998.

March, April 1996 - The Special Goodness recording session

Done at "the Special Land" studios in Portland OR. Pat played everything except Pat Finn played bass on 2 songs. Tony Lash (ex-drummer in Elliot Smith's Heatmiser, plus producer of Cardinal, Richard Davies, et. al.), produces. Pat just happened to be his roomate.

There were no tracks recorded besides the 10 that make up the CD

"Spring Break" 1996; continued "Pinkerton" recording sessions

Sound City Studios, Van Nuys , CA

Rivers flew out to LA, and the band got together to continue plugging away at the new album. By this time Rivers had had some major breakthroughs, having written "The Good Life" , "Across the Sea", "Falling for You" and "Butterfly" during his strange months at Harvard.

Summer '96 : "Pinkerton" wrapped up

After a ton of last minute studio juggling, all 10 tracks were eventually finished and mixed, plus:

Also nearly finished were:

Both of these were worked on to the point of just needing a final mixdown. Although this was never official, it's nearly certain that they would have been the b-sides to "Pink Triangle", if that had been put out as a "for sale" single. Of course, that never happened, and the songs were never dusted off and finished up. Note that Matt Sharp had left the recording session early, to fly back to London and continue work on his own second Rentals record. This left the band in a bind near the end, and a substitute bass player was brought in for some of the late b-sides sessions. more info on this as its sorted thru.

Later, "I Swear It's True" saw some action at a few soundchecks and at exactly one show in 1994. "Getting Up and Leaving" was never played at a show, but was possibly played at a soundcheck or 2.

Overview : "Pinkerton" recording

From the liner notes of Pinkerton Deluxe Edition, Karl's essay "This Ain't No Butterfly Girl - Making Pinkerton and more" clarifies some previously very muddy and poorly documented parts of the development of Pinkerton in the studio, and its b-sides and lost recordings...

"Pinkerton starts with "Tired of Sex" and the origins of Pinkerton start there too, it being the earliest post Blue album demo that made it to Weezer's second album. The demo was made in December 1993, after the Blue Album was completed, but before it was even released. By February 1995, midway thru the endless Blue Album touring, Rivers had an idea of what the second album would be. He recorded a series of new demos at his mom's house and at an unplanned extended tour stay in Hamburg, Germany, combined them with several older demos he had recorded up to that point, put it all into a specific order and called it Songs From the Black Hole. This he pitched to the band for the blueprint for Weezer #2.

Black Hole was a 'space opera', inspired by rock musicals of the past, especially Jesus Christ Superstar. The story was a clever one that infused Rivers' own concerns about rock success vs. quiet home/school life into the tale of young space recruits and their galaxy wide mission, and the drama that unfolds between the characters during the long months together in a small craft (kind of like a band in a van/bus for 15 months). It was quite bold and ambitious for a new band's second album, but Weezer had two things on their side: their sudden growing success, and a prior pledge from their label allowing them to produce their second record on their own. In any event, once the concept was laid out, more demos came, and by summer's end, the band was ready to get off the road and make a new album. But this would be no ordinary recording session.

Recording started at Electric Lady Studios in August '95. The band worked on "Tired of Sex", "No Other One", "Getchoo", "Why Bother", "Waiting On You", "Devotion", "You Gave Your Love To Me Softly", "Blast Off!", "You Won't Get With Me Tonight", and "Longtime Sunshine". It's interesting that of the songs started, none of the songs specifically written for The Black Hole (the last three just listed) made it past this stage of recording. Perhaps this was an early sign that The Black Hole wasn't destined to be. Overdubs were worked on at Fort Apache in Boston in September, and then Rivers started school at Harvard - interrupting the recording process until January '96, and (unbeknownst to all at the time) effectively blowing The Black Hole plan to bits.

Rivers had extensive and painful surgery back in March '95 to lengthen his leg, correcting a congenital problem and allowing him to again do many things that had become painful due to bone deterioration. However the healing process was much slower than anticipated, and so he started college limping around with a cane and a painful metal contraption bolted to his leg. This condition persisted throughout his whole 1st year at school, and this combined with the events of his social life (or lack thereof due to his self consciousness about his condition) provided a whole new tone for his songwriting - darker, more visceral and exposed, less playful.

In January the band convened at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, and worked on the new songs "Pink Triangle" and "El Scorcho" and they revamped most of the songs started in New York. Tellingly, while "Superfriend", "She's Had a Girl" and "Dude We're Finally Landing" (Black Hole songs) were attempted, these recordings were then shelved (in the case of "Superfriend" completely erased). This was a sign perhaps that The Black Hole energy was now fading as this new kind of energy was growing. No one knew where things were going, but everyone loved the power of the new songs.

More work was done at Fort Apache during Rivers' spring break, and by May '96 the band was back at Sound City, this time with Dave Friedmann engineering, in for Joe Barresi. By now, Rivers, leg healed, had the rest of the album written and had solidified the new concept of the album, likening his own struggles and adventures with leg/emotions/girls/rock stardom to the story of Lieutenant Pinkerton, the flawed protagonist of Puccini's 1904 opera Madama Butterfly Opera and classical music had taken center stage in Rivers' writing inspirations over the school year. That influence was serendipitously stoked up with a February '96 fan letter from Japan that both inspired "Across the Sea" and helped tie together the ideas that would solidify the album. Besides "Across the Sea" the band worked on "The Good Life" and "Falling for You". The intended b-sides "Getting Up and Leaving" and "I Swear It's True" were also worked on, but not finished. Finally, near the end, Rivers finished writing the final song "Butterfly" putting it to tape at 6 A.M. the last night in Sound City. He did it both alone and then once through with myself playing percussion. I guess I didn't mess up too badly, as that version made the album.

Recording was supposed to be wrapping up by late June, but there was more work to do so several more studios were employed to continue the overdubs and final parts, as well as the b-sides. Rachel Haden came in one night at Sunset Sound Recorders and nailed "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams" on her first take. (She did an extra few, perfectly, just in case). Meanwhile, the album artwork was furiously worked on in every waking hour not spent at the studio.

Then in the 11th hour, while I was back East for some reason, everything moved to Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park CA for a mysterious last minute session. By this time, Matt had gone overseas to work on his own album, under the impression that Pinkerton was in the can. But Rivers had written another song and needed to try it to see if it belonged on the record. Adam Orth was called in for the session, and "Tragic Girl" was worked on. And then it was promptly packed up, unlabeled and undocumented. Not even a rough mix was made that day, so no one could listen back or in many cases even remember they had worked on it. While it was a bit rough around the edges it was still 6 stunning minutes of Weezer glory, inexplicably unheard (by anyone) till now. I returned to Los Angeles shortly thereafter, totally unaware there had even been another session.

While mixing began with Jack Joseph Puig at Ocean Way, Rivers grabbed studio time in bits and pieces all over Hollywood, frantically adding finishing touches right up to the last second. In the end, Rivers and I barely made our flight to Europe on August 13th - having been in the studio wrapping up the "Across the Sea" intro that morning!

Once the album was released, there were several more sessions still to come. Neither "Getting Up and Leaving" nor "I Swear It's True" had been completed for b-side use, and so when it came time for a 3rd single in spring '97 ("Pink Triangle"), a session was scheduled at Fort Apache (during Rivers' Spring break). In fact, the label was not confident in "Pink Triangle" for radio release as it stood, so that was given a tune-up as well. The bass was one of several aspects that needed changes for radio, but Matt was unavailable to come back from his own sessions in the UK on such short notice. So Scott Riebling (ex-Letters To Cleo) was brought in, and "Pink Triangle" was tightened up. With that in a FedEx pouch en route to mixer Tom Lord-Alge, the guys still had a few more days scheduled in the studio before Rivers had to go back to Harvard (he had deferred his Fall '96 semester to tour, but not the Spring '97 one). So the b-sides were worked on, but never quite finished. As it turned out, no commercial release for Pink Triangle was ever released, and so there was no need for the b-sides. They have remained unissued till now"

see also: Spring 1997 Pink Triangle sessions

6? 7? /96: Matt returns to London, to continue sessions for "7mm"

August '96: weezer reconvenes for Pinkerton tour: UK