Weezer's third demo
|Weezer's third demo (The Real Demo)|
|Demo by Weezer|
Weezer's third demo, often referred to as "The Real Demo", was recorded in early November of 1992. Though an exact date for this session is not known, Karl Koch supsects that it took place on the evenings of November 4 and November 5. Comprised of four songs, this demo tape was an important component of the band's aggressive campaign to get signed to a major label.
The recording sessions for the demo took place at a converted garage in Hollywood, CA. The band "borrowed" the facilities without the consent of the studio's owner and recorded on the sly. Jon Pikus, drummer for the band El Magnifico and friend of the band sat in as recording engineer. Over the course of two nights, the band recorded five tracks. Rivers also recorded a 30 second rendition of classical music (either Bach or Beethoven) to serve as a "bonus track".
Koch recalls, "Jon was at the time a capable but still learning engineer, and the tape, while being the best-yet representation of the band, was still flawed by some sonic strangeness, such as a snare drum that sounded kinda like a tennis ball hitting a racket."
The tracks were mixed in a late night session by Matt Sharp and Pikus after the other members of the band (and Koch) had gone home. Pikus recalls that a copy of The Pixies' Surfer Rosa was used as a reference for the mixing, and that "the cracking snare sound was an impulsive late night decision that seemed to lend itself to the recording." The mixing session concluded at about 4 AM, and the completed tapes were then sent off to Alan Yoshida at A&M for mastering.
In all, four tracks made it to the completed demo; "No One Else", "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here", "Say It Ain't So", and "Undone - The Sweater Song". Unsatisfied with the final version of "Surf Wax America" (a track which the band had not played up to that point), the band decided to only tack it on the b-side of a handful of tapes given to friends.
The cost of the recording session was estimated at $200, but the band didn't have any money to cover the costs. In exchange for his services, the band gave Pikus a pair of stereo speakers which they had purchased from "a dude in a van" a few months before the session. Mastering engineer Alan Yoshida mastered the tapes for free as a favor to Pikus.
The "Undone" sound collages
Notably, "Undone" features Koch's first contribution to a Weezer recording, in the form of sound collages during the intro and before the second verse. A series of samples were taken from Koch's record collection and recorded directly from the turntable at the studio to tape. Records used included The Star Wars Story Book and The Hobbit, among others. Also included is dialog from Joe Sib and Soda from the band Wax. Jason Cropper can be heard saying, "I told you not to touch me!" before the second verse. Originally, he had said, "I told you not to touch me there!" The outro of the song features Rivers Cuomo's short classical music piece.
Many copies of the tape were sent to record labels and given to lawyers, producers, label-personnel, and friends. Three different printings of the demo were made - a first edition of approximately 75 copies with blue labels and a second and third edition of approximately 100 copies each with green and yellow labels respectively. None of the cassettes had J-cards. In all, around 275 copies of the tape were made and circulated.
All five songs had been bootlegged for years, going back to the late 90s, but the quality usually left something to be desired. In the early 2000s, Koch announced at the official site that a 'genuine' copy of the demo was up for bid on eBay. Someone purchased the copy, and ensured that a high-quality rip was made. These mp3s are widely traded via the internet. Unfortunately, this tape did not include "Surf Wax America".
- "No One Else"
- "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here"
- "Say It Ain't So"
- "Undone - The Sweater Song"
- "Surf Wax America" (included on the b-side of a few copies given to friends)
The birth of the Weezer logo
Sometime during the session Patrick Wilson and Koch were drawing on the purple, fuzz covered wall of the control room area, when the discussion turned to the development of a Weezer logo. Pat drew a crude =w= into the fuzz. Amused by this and wishing to make a more permanent version of the symbol, Karl used engineer's labeling tape to make another =w= and attached it to the back of Cuomo's shirt. Thus, the Flying =W= was born.