Sunday, July 6, 2008

First Day Of Spring (words & music Bernie Heveron)


Bernie Heveron: Upright bass and vocals
Colorblind James: Guitar, bg vocals
Phillip Marshall: Lead Guitar, bg vocals
James McAvaney: Drums
G. Elwyn Meixner: Lead Guitar, bg vocals

Recorded at Marcus Glodell Studios

This is the only song to make it onto an album that wasn't written by Chuck. Written by Bernie Heveron, this song was extremely popular over in Britain and the band often heard shouted requests for it from the audience. As Bernie had left the band shortly following the release of the first record, Chuck felt no responsibility to play it and simply apologized to the crowd stating "Y'know? The guy who wrote that isn't with the band anymore so we just don't do it!" Sometimes people accepted that, sometimes we were booed for avoiding an obvious favorite.

And I have to admit it is catchy. Everyone referred to it as "She's a Witch", the more obvious title. I remember walking into a rehearsal while Bernie and Jimmy were working out the opening riff. The recording is powerful and it really jumps out of the speakers. It also benefits from having been one of the three album tracks recorded at Marcus Glodell Studios.

The Marcus Glodell session happened probably some time in '86 with the band simply looking for a demo to shop around for gigs. Bernie was friends with the guys who worked their and they agreed to record 3 songs for something like $100 dollars or so. What I remember is the session's engineer being not overly friendly to any of us and conversing only in whispers with either Bernie or the studio hands.

On "First Day of Spring", you can hear right before the fade my high E string breaking. I was playing an ultra-hip Modulus Graphite Blacknife strat-copy with a tremelo bar. Of course the thing went completely out of tune and I began whammy-ing all the out of tune strings. My recollection is that I asked Dwight if we could overdub my guitar and he responded with "Bernie, I thought you explained the agreement to them." Needless to say, it was left as is. Furthermore, the fade was necessary as the quarter-inch reel ran out while we were still playing. Top shelf stuff, that.

But for whatever our engineer lacked in warmth and personality, he certainly made up for it with the sparkling sheen he gave the songs.

As it stands now, I'm glad we didn't redo it. The spontaneity is fine with me. C'mon, how many times to you get to hear someone break a string on a cd?

The first guitar solo is me coming in right after the second chorus. Following that is G. Elwyn playing a blue Tele with a really clean sound and tune to drop-D. At the time, I was really wanting to stand out as more of a rock player against Elwyn's shiny twang. Today, to my ears, G. Elwyn's solo sounds a lot hipper than mine.

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