Peas volume 1 no. 2
nestled between the Illinois state fairgrounds and the railroad tracks was an architecturally-challenged building that once served as a potato warehouse. this is where rich denhart and his gal christy bley set up their 8-track tascam studio called cwazy wabbit.
it was, as the name implies, a wacky place to work. the cast of characters included saxophone master and live wire bill janssen, the ebullient pianist ms. christy bley, engineer and bassist rich denhart who would become my best friend sidekick for the next 16 years, and a colorful host of friends like mike getz (aka sandwich boy) the graphic artist who painted the twang bar king guitars and album cover. cwazy wabbit reminded me of things I had read about termite terrace, the little back lot building at warner bros. movies where they created bugs bunny and daffy duck. fresh from my year with frank zappa I fit right in with my head full of ideas that music could be funny. (eventually I decided I didn't want to hear the same musical jokes over and over but in 1978, 79, and 80 it was perfect for me). boy, we had fun. for the recording of the tiny pea voices we rented a tank of helium. everyone would fill a balloon with helium, then en masse we would suck in the helium and quickly do our parts before the effect wore off. day two of such activity I was standing alone in front of the studio control room glass preparing to do an overdub. I filled my balloon, sucked it in and.....I remember asking, "how was that?" and hearing everyone in the control room howling with laughter. "what", they said, "you didn't sing anything yet". I had had enough helium. for the funeral scene our friends gathered in the big potato vault studio room where rich had placed microphones all around. everyone strolled through the room having the kind of conversations one has at a wake. and when the tiny little peas get a little too excited, that's mike getz shouting through the door; another of his many talents. it was an atmosphere of inspired lunacy. peas* shows how kitschy we were willing to be. now, just imagine my manager stan hertzman taking this tape around to record labels to procure me a solo record deal. ha!
piano, organ, vocals: christy bley
saxophone, vocals: bill janssen
bass guitar: clif mayhugh
drums: jerry hertig
guitar, tympani, bells, whistling, and lead vocals: adrian
recorded in early 1979 at cwazy wabbit studio, springfield, ill.
engineer, vocals: rich denhart
reconstruction and re-mix:ken latchney
* (I always thought this would have been such a good mtv video song for pee wee herman).
to download peas go to storebelew. thanks.