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 across two days in early November of 1992 (suspected by Karl Koch to be November 4 and November 5). Composed of four songs, the demo was recorded as part of the band's aggressive campaign to be signed to a major label.
The recording sessions for the demo took place at a studio (actually a converted garage) in Hollywood, CA. The band utilized the facilities without the consent of the studio's owner. Jon Pikus, drummer for the band El Magnifico and friend of the band, engineered the album. Karl Koch recalled, "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 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.
Over the course of two nights, the band recorded five tracks, plus a 30-second "bonus track" performed by Rivers Cuomo, consisting of the melody to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" played over the chords to "Undone." 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 recalled 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 resolved only to include it on the b-side of a handful of tapes distributed to friends.
At some point during the recording session, Patrick Wilson and Koch were drew on the purple, fuzz-covered wall of the studio's control room when the discussion turned to the development of a Weezer logo. Wilson drew a crude =w= into the fuzz. Amused by this and wishing to make a more permanent version of the symbol, Koch used engineer's labeling tape to make another =w= and attached it to the back of Rivers Cuomo's shirt. The "Flying =W=" design has been in use by the band ever since.
"Undone" sound collage
"Undone" features Koch's first contribution to a Weezer recording in the form of a sound collage present 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 was an audio recording of Joe Sib and Tom Gardocki 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 renditions of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" played over the main riff to "Undone".
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 were distributed in (often low-quality) bootleg form by fans from the late 90s onwards. In the early 2000s, Karl Koch announced on the band's official website that a "genuine" copy of the demo was up for bid on eBay. A fan subsequently purchased the copy and ensured that a high-quality rip was made. These mp3s have since been widely available via the internet. The song "Surf Wax America" was not present on this rip, but lower-quality recordings do exist in circulation.
|Original album track listing
|"No One Else"
|"The World Has Turned and Left Me Here"
|"Say It Ain't So"
|"Undone - The Sweater Song" (incl. "Ode to Joy")
|"Surf Wax America" (included only on the b-side of a limited number of copies)