Historic event: 01/01/2001
Posted on Weezer's official Facebook page as part of the "Today in Weezer history" series on January 1, 2014.
Today in Weezer History: 1/1/2001 - Today is considered to be the official release date of the 2000 "Christmas CD", which was a promo only release that was sent out to radio stations and retailers to build hype towards the next weezer album (Green, which would be released in May 2001). This CD contained "The Christmas Song" and "Christmas Celebration", but it came about almost by accident. The band first worked on the songs "Move It On" and "No Way", intended for KROQ's annual Christmas album. At the last minute those songs were dumped in favor of these newly recorded Christmas songs, possibly to avoid any confusion as to those untried untested songs' status on a future weezer album. KROQ's release was a regional SoCal thing, and Geffen wanted to capitalize on the potential nationwide hype, so they took the songs and made a promotional EP release. Note that in addition, approximately 1000 of these CDs were sent directly to members of the Weezer Fan Club fans by Geffen Records. (Later this 2 song release was re-released as an iTunes EP "Weezer Wonderland"). (Not to be confused with the later iTunes only release "Christmas With Weezer" which are traditional Christmas song covers recorded by the guys in late 2008, during early "Raditude" sessions in Malibu).
The cover art of the CD has an odd story. The band had been essentially estranged from their label Geffen for so long by 2000 that they were doing most of their own artwork and promotion, (via the rapidly expanding weezer.com). So the plan was to create the artwork for the EP and send it over to Geffen, bypassing their art dept. Back in the summer of 2000, Rivers handed Karl a DV videocamera and told him to start filming. Then, the discovery was made of software that allowed one to capture stills from the video - at the time a revelation, as it seemingly solved the issue of needing a digital camera, which the band did not have and were not yet ubiquitous and easy to manage. On 11/15/00, Karl went and rented Santa suits and the band did a "photo shoot" with Karl filming them to capture stills from later. (The infamous Yahoo Tour webisode promos were shot on this day as well). (The actual Christmas songs themselves were finished up at Cello Studios on 11/15 and 11/16). When it was realized that the stills looked like crap, and that still capturing technology was awful at the time, Karl was finally authorized to buy a digital camera, the 3MP Olympus c-3000. The Santa suits were re-rented and a new shoot was done on 11/31, in the same locations, in front of Rivers' fireplace, and on Rivers' roof.
Due to beginners' ignorance of digital camera file management, and subsequent bungling at the label, this 11/31 set of original photos is almost entirely lost or poorly sized today. The black and white shot used on the disc is totally gone, and the front and back cover photos only exist as the final photoshopped versions with text. 2 shots of Pat and Mikey clowning were resized tiny for the web but the originals were not preserved. No other shots from that day are extant today.
Todays photo shows the 11/15 video still shots, the 11/31 shots actually used on the CD, and the 2 outtakes of Pat and Mikey.
**Additional info, overlooked: The CD art says they were recorded at "Mocha Fusion Studios", this was the joke name for Rivers' home studio, which came from the never finished demo of "No More Confusin'", which sounded like Rivers was singing "No mocha fusion". The 11/15 and 11/16 work at Cello Studios was in addition to the initial sessions on these songs at Rivers' studio.