The Doubtful Guests [UK / Australia]
Janey Carden, choral voices
Peter Clare, drums
Roland Clare, piano, organ, bass guitar, backing voices, handclaps
Stephen 'Doc' Wallace, lead voices
Geoff Whitehorn, guitar
RC: The organ that starts and ends this version of
Butterfly Boys quotes a phrase from GB's a cappella vocal
break on the
original track. Our melody stays close to the contour of GB's composition
overall, but harmonises it rather differently ('If in doubt, change
it,' as Geoff put it). I'd been listening to
Argent's Hold Your Head Up when I demoed this track for From
Shadow to Shadow, but the key was too high to take further: it's now
re-done in B, a minor third lower, for the Doc:
he recorded the track on a UK visit in November 2005, after Peter
and I had taken him to hear Robin Trower's Bristol gig.
When I invited Maestro Whitehorn to join us for the mid-section (its chords relocated from About to Die), his reply was, 'It would be rude not to ...': his signature solo came back from Gravesend by return of post (prompting the organist to re-do his own brief riposte, raising his own game a bit): thanks, Geoff! Lacking Jane Clare, our regular backing vocalist, the Guests were glad to find another excellent JC, whose 'Madame Butterfly' chorale was added over three sessions: I think there are nineteen female voices in there, and Janey sounds immeasurably better than my falsetto demo choir did. Initially I busked all the male and female choral parts, and wrote them out formally for re-recording. The regular BVs, however, were sung straight to the track, and stayed there.
At about the time I was wondering how to mix all the above, a former student dropped in to present me with an excellent album he'd done that had charted in Finland; he very generously claimed that in 1983 I'd set him 'on his path' by fixing him up, at fifteen, with four backstage passes to see The Clash! Paul needed no encouragement to take over what he called my 'psychedelic morass': we saw ear-to-ear immediately and I thank him for his excellent 'psychic engineering' over an improbable 24 hours at the controls.
Piano: RD 600
Organ: Nord Electro 2
Bass guitar: Aria Pro IIe
Drums: Roland TD-6
Vocal mic: Sennheiser 421
Cakewalk 9: all audio, no MIDI
Delta 66 M audio sound-card
Sid Poole Les Paul with BareKnuckle 'Crawler' pickups
Marshall JMP-1 pre-amp recorded direct into ...
Akai DR16 hard-disk recorder
In LA (UK):
Post-production and mixing at Whitrow Mansions on a ProTools TDM system and B&O monitors, by Paul Whitrow (additional handclaps too). Thanks also to Andy Henderson for sound replacement work on the percussion track.
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