I’ve got this cool stand-alone CD burner here we use to record rehearsals and I decided to burn things off of old cassette tapes I have most of which is stuff I played on.
It was really weird to listen back to all this stuff. Some of it was pretty cool. Some was pretty bad. I was really trying to compile some sort of weak-ass discography for myself. Sigh.
The earliest full-blown record I have of myself was a couple songs I recorded for a band called Misery. It was Greg Gilley’s (Mickey’s son) band with some friends of mine playing on it. They needed a different bassist on two tracks, so I went to the big mansion in Pasadena one night and did it.
The drummer from that band, Kevin Coffey, was and is a tremendous player. Mostly though, I remember how nice Mickey and his wife were, his gold records on the wall and their monkey. Yeah, they had a monkey. I want a monkey!!!
After that, it was mostly stuff I did with Under the Sun, the Surrealtors, Tony Vila, the Basics and Sancho, a project with some of the guys from the Basics.
It was really interesting to hear it and compare it to what I’ve done recently. My playing as a bassist is just much more mature. I don’t hear it so much on the rock songs, but anything resembling a ballad or r&b or something like that, it is evident.
I could really hear the change around the time the Basics recorded what would be the last tracks they did as a band. That was where I really turned the corner I think in my playing.
I still cringe at plenty of it – just like I do today. If I practiced every minute of the day for the rest of my life, I’d still probably never be near my heros in terms of skill and character, but that’s fine. I enjoy it nevertheless.
What is hilarious is listening to the dramatic change in production since the late 80’s. Wow. Digital technology has really changed things. Stuff that we did in big studios back then doesn’t sound as good as stuff I’ve done in my house recently.
Of course, we weren’t as talented back then either.