Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Making Of Young Lions (part two)

young lions was solo record #5. the tracks were born so quickly most of them had no names, so we developed a rather ungainly titling system. I am what I am being the first new song recorded was called A5-1. small world was A5-2 and so on. there were 3 tracks based on the drumming of Van Kampen (see hawaiian cowboys from may 21) these were titled A5VK-1, 2, and 3. A5VK3 became the song young lions. A5VK1 became hawaiian cowboys. confusing, isn't it!

our recording sessions began at 11:00 each weekday leaving the weekends free for rich and dan. at nights I would study what we had done, trying to write the lyrics or perhaps completing musical thoughts or writing new pieces. then each day I would advance the recording process by adding things. a great day was a day in which I arrived with new words in hand.
mixing the record was done as we went thanks to "total recall", the computer system which allows you to recall past changes. my tracks sheets show we concentrated almost entirely on
mixing and re-mixing December 8 through January 4 while I continued finishing lyrics.

I am what I am
was recorded on October 17 with the prophet omega's voice added on the 20th. this was the first complete song.
small world was recorded the next day October 21, but would be the last song completed due to a lack of lyrics.
men in helicopters
* was recorded October 26. I labored a long time over those words but was rewarded with perhaps my best effort at an "ecological anthem".
lookin' for a U.F.O
was recorded October 31 the same day as happy guy (which never received words and was left off the record).
was recorded November 3.
young lions
was recorded November 11. for the rest of November into early December the process became one of finishing lyrics, singing the songs, and mixing them. by early December it was clear I would have to resort to "cover" material.
heartbeat was recorded on December 4.
neptune pool
was recorded on December 19.
hawaiian cowboys was recorded on January 1, 1990.
pretty pink rose
was recorded on January 8, 1990.
shoe salesman
was recorded on January 9, 1990.

*men in helicopters was the one song I thought might actually be a radio "hit". I had a very strong concept for the video (something you had to have in the 80's) and with our success the previous year with oh daddy there was reason to be believe we had a shot. ultimately Atlantic Records deemed pretty pink rose to be our first release and video, which was only natural considering the Bowie tour. Atlantic spent all the money they intended to spend on the video and promotion for pretty pink rose which faltered after only a few weeks. they never saw fit to release a second song.


  1. Dear ADRIAN, sorry for put this kind of comment here but i'm happy, and I cannot stop of give this notice to the world: My first child is comming, and my soul is singing this new song:


    4/4:|1,2,3,4 | 1,2,3,I'll
    |el,2,3,4. (end)

    God bless you Adrian, you are my inspiration for make music, and my child is my reason to leave this dynamic and wonderful life .


  2. To this day, Pretty Pink Rose is probably my favorite song you've recorded.

    Nothing, I mean NOTHING beats this song, when played live, by the Bears, and it didn't suck much to see you play this one on the Bowie tour. I think that it was thoughtful of David to go sneak off to the back of the stage for a cigarette during the solo and give you all the time in the world to teach Cleveland how a real guitar player does it.


  3. I'm nuts over half the Young Lions material - I'll never forget the first time that a friend zoomed me out of the blue with the title track, and Pretty Pink Rose remains one of my most common "rush home to give it a fresh listen when it suddenly occurs to me" tracks (and yes, I saw you and David do it in St. Louis). And I'm definitely in the camp that regards Heartbeat vn. 2 as a worthy successor, that lovely glassy guitar. And so on and so forth...

    But I'm curious about something. The more buoyant uptempo tracks never did as much for me, because they reminded me too much sonically of Jeff Lynne's production value, which I don't care for. (It frustrates the heck out of me that he got his hands on the 90s Beatles tracks, I can barely listen to them, "Real Love" not at all. Nor, unfortunately, the Wilburys.)

    So perhaps you could tell me? Was any aural similarity due to influence, or hardware, or what would be your best theory? Do you even hear what I mean?

    No worries, I'm a slavish diehard fan, and you seemed to have shaken the Lynne cues completely by Here, but I've always wondered about this.