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The Akai Years (1979​-​84)

by John Tabacco

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Sven B. Schreiber (sbs)
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Sven B. Schreiber (sbs) Compilations of early works of seasoned artists always are interesting to me, because they demonstrate an excellence in the making, evolving gradually into what we know and appreciate today - unfinished yet, but already exhibiting many of the artist's idiosyncratic properties. Painstakingly recorded on an AKAI reel-to-reel tape machine with continuous overdubbing, the resulting selection of experimental recordings reminds me quite a bit of "The Godfather Of Home Recording", R. Stevie Moore. Another memory triggered is, of course, Frank Zappa's early output in the form of his first four ingenious albums, "Freak Out!", "Absolutely Free", "Lumpy Gravy", and "We're Only In It For The Money". The digital album contains a great deal of additional tracks, yielding 39 in total, summing up to almost two hours of a weird, but highly entertaining and rewarding listening experience. Favorite track: I've Got Creatures In My Yard / So Glad To Be A Free Man / We May Call You Statue.
DJ : Where you can feel the difference. 94.3 beautiful music from WCTO stereo. Muzak version of "Windmills Of Your Mind" plays in background... Dentist : How ya doin' handsome? JT : Ok. Dentist : Let's have a look at those X-rays. How old are you now, seventeen and a half? JT : Yeah. Dentist : How's your dad? JT : OK. Dentist : OK. This looks like a deep one. You're gonna have to open wide. All the way back. Let's have a look. Oh, my this really is a big one. Well, I guess I'm gonna have to use the drill. JT : (panicked) Ah ha... Dentist : Don't panic everything is gonna be just fine. JT : Ah hah, ah hah... Dentist : Lemme just... (Heavy duty drilling occurs along with uncontrollable screaming) Dentist : There, that didn't hurt much did it? JT (whimpering from pain) Ahhhhhhhhh... Dentist : Hum, I don't remember seeing that other hole in your nose before. Ah, Madge, bring the gauze. Humm, what's this? AH! SOME MORE DRILLING! JT : NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! (Muzak plays in the background)
Chameleon Luck I’m gonna tell them where you're coming from I have the ugly right you know The lies you you hide Insure your twisted ways But I see from the clippings of your latest piece you’re slipping hey... Esoteric plagerIsm speaks For the bulk of all the genius In your work You really had me praising’ up a storm I was such a naive “roto” But the “drums” have turned to photos Now! Chameleon luck when it’s good Turns out worse than it should And I am sure that my mIrror WIll reveal your true colors... To the M.A.M who thought you wuz theIr kIng You would gloat at me As they bent to kIss your rIng These humps belIeved that everythIng you dId was truth! I know you’ll have me trialed by your frIends I know you’ll have cement put In my shoes But the evidence Is there for all to see For as long as people know you they wIll skeptIcIze your output now... Chameleon luck when it’s good Turns out worse than it should And I am sure that my mirror Will reveal your true colors... To a host of “Joes” who thought you wuz theIr only kIng To the Y.A.F (you would operate theIr wIngs) Those humps believed That everything you touched wuz gold...
YOU'RE NUTHIN' BUT A... Hey You! You know last night was the end Hey You! I nabbed you with my best friend (again) Hey You! A few beers and you’re ripped (completely) Later on...You wonder why you wuz stripped So I ‘m gonna tell you once Hey, you're Nuthin You’re Nuthin’ But A Product Of Those Bunk Soap Opera Blues Just a Product Of those Bunk Soap Opera Blues! Hey You! You think you’re neat in those jeans (the “Jordashe Look”) Hey You! They fit as tight as your dreams Hey You! You once told me you cared But now...The only thing that you share (with every guy) is a HOLE! I think I’m gonna let you go ‘Cause you’re NUTHIN’! (I’ll say it again!) You’re Nuthin’ But A You’re Nuthin’ But A You’re Nuthin’ But A You’re Nuthin’ But A Product Of Those Bunk Soap Opera Blues Just a Product Of those Bunk Soap Opera Blues You Broke my heart. Boo-who -who-who-whooo... All those years in a disguise You hide it well with your eyes But to think I used to fall for all your lies While you made your bed with all those other guys...WHY? So you say you need me still BUT YOU”RE A NUTHIN! So why should I: Share my love with nuthin’ Spend my time with nuthin’ Dance & dine with nuthin’ Interpret life through nuthin’ Dream my dreams with nuthin’ Plan and scheme with nuthin’ Basically you’re nuthin’ You’re Nuthin’ But A Product Of Those Bunk Soap Opera Blues Just a Product Of those Bunk Soap Opera Blues (That’s right!) Just a Product Of those Bunk Soap Opera Blues Woman ...I’ll let you go to Dallas or Knots Landing!!!
I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MARRIED I can't wait to get married and be just like my folks Fight about bills and take lots of pills and die from a sudden stroke Well I can't wait to get married and have a mess of kids And screw them up with my beliefs And why I work in spite of grief There's no escape There's no relief Blah, blah, blah Or maybe I'll stay single and party every night Wake up every morning and kiss the bathroom light Grow a little older and count the TV dots Until they strap me to a wheelchair and confine me to a home Where life amounts to wishing I had someone to call my own And I get this nauseous feeling when I'm in doubt I just wanna scream but what's inside me never comes out I ask myself for advice but it's the same old line I hear In order to function you must learn to live with fear And I fear it In order to survive you must learn to deal in fear And I fear it
FREAKY PEPPY LIGHTNING SHOE I’ve watched you dance your way through the thickest of lies And quite frankly i’m impressed ‘Cause no one does it quite the way you do Yeah no one does it quite the way you do Freaky peppy lightning shoe Freaky peppy lightning shoeoooo I’ve watched you thrash a whole club of “jiggers” and “spikes” And quite frankly I'm impressed You see dear : Nobody does it quite the way you do Nobody does it quite the way you do Freaky peppy lightning shoe Freaky peppy lightning shoeooo Ohhh, you made me cynical While Allison (dogmatic with fear) stayed typical I wish i had found you sooner when I still had had my “Hush-Puppy" socks
BASTARD BARBER Well, there were things that troubled me, myself, inside and out How they got there, I'm not sure i have my doubt But I just ignored them I’d swing around my strap Hit something small and then I’d smile - feeling reassured again You Bastards! Now I'm stuck here spending too much time in “Ward Seville” I’m disgusted ‘cause I’ve finished all my pills They say that i can’t be trusted so they strapped me to a chair So i slipped with the pair of scissors? Hey...the brat had greasy hair If I'm good they’ll let me out in five years Well, let me out before I sink to innnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
I'VE GOT CREATURES IN MY YARD I’ve got creatures in my yard They’ve been growing so awfully fast The “aging” center’s a little scared Many of the elders have been bitten bad On certain days of humid dust Paranoia is home for lunch Morals crumble and fences rot Faith begins to falter into stomach knots Boy...it’s not like i think it should be I mean, i need another shoulder Whoa... I did not expect them to infiltrate my inner draws!!! I’ve got creatures in my eyes! I shut them out but it’s no surprise I can’t escape them, i never could ‘Scuse me if i throw up I don’t feel so good No beans about it babe The slugs in my back are growin’ Can’t see no relief and babe My subconscious fears are showin’ If I let’em out I’m afraid they’ll do ya in!!!! In a creamy dentist office where my vision comes to rest I see a paper plate fly like a frisbee (Tent, you’re outrageous - You’re so contagious!) I want that Frisbee™! But I’m afraid that if my clenching tools extend I may never play the drums again! Hey, why is that thing nipping at my elastic parasnoot? Styreen Mo’ betta...Styreen Mo’ betta... I’ve got creatures in my yard Beneath the wax of my playing cards I’m holding on but it’s getting tough “Suicide delinquent” should they call a bluff No beans about it babe One bag wrapped around and over Hot car in a parking vein Inside nitrous ox is blowin Well let me out! Before I sink back innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!! SO GLAD TO BE A FREE MAN So glad to be a free man Lay me down on rolling water So glad to be a free man Da Da Da Da Da Da Da... Ohh Yeah! So glad to be a free man Lay me down on rolling water HOW CAN YOU BE A FREE MAN? WHEN YOU’RE FULL OF RULES YOU CAN”T ESCAPE Like a thorn in the side... It keeps you occupied Ahh...Ahhh..hiii It keeps you occupied Don’t believe you are a FREE... MANNNNNNN!!! WE MAY CALL YOU STATUE ‘Cause we may call you statue - We may force you to steal We may burn the hairs on your brow - Depends on how we feel We may tie you to a soap box - We may make you feel a fool We may hold you for ransom - Or segregate your schools ‘Cause you’re a slice of moldy clay - Rather boring and unperturbed But that’s beside the point you see - It doesn’t matter to much to we (The Nitrous Oxide finally starts to wear off) We can sell you a “Garfield” - We can keep you in spikes We can coat you with rayon - Or disconnect your pipes It’s a freedom you can count on - It’s a freedom to rejoice It’s a freedom you will live with - And you haven’t got a choice ‘Cause you’re a slice of moldy clay - Rather vapid and unperturbed And like a traffic zone in France We’d rather see you than have you heard (Happy Feet Under the Gas Dance Sequence Plays Here) We may call you statue - We may force you to steal We may burn the hairs on your brow - Depends on how we feel It’s a freedom you can count on - It’s a freedom to rejoice It’s a freedom you will live with - And you haven’t got a choice (May have something to do with the DENTIST!) ‘Cause you’re a slice of moldy clay - Rather boring and unperturbed But that’s beside the point you see - It doesn’t matter to much to WE! Because we’re willing to take you home Yeah we’re willing to take you home!
LIGHTING SEED The “Snorkle” Wouldn’t give her a break And I know! I attended the wake She was camera worn and grossly over made Her demise if so prolonged would not have paid The papers signed in full - the deal looked sweet But had she read between the lines She may have seen some better times Or so I do speculate What does it matter at any rate? She like the billions before Destine to break from this shell... By tomorrow she was on her way To sow another gap where darkness breeds As a lighting... seed And “Hedgee” (yeah) was still a mistake The “Snorkle” wouldn’t give him a break The hanger through his head now worn with age He never could release that hidden rage It’s a shame he had to live inside that cage The monkeys teased him all the time But I bet he drew the biggest line Or so I do speculate What does it matter at any rate? He like the billions before He had to break from this shell... By tomorrow he was on his way To sow another gap where darkness breeds As a ummmmm lighting seed Insect chips and all Lighten when they break from Earth “Universe” recalls them to further view “It’s” endless image Mein “Raisin”, I believed it was true The “Snorkle” (you said) had nothing on you The Power drill surprised you in your sleep Just yesterday they caught up with that creep Evil as it may, I could not cry (Discorporating from my shell) That night, I heard a voice within me yell (I felt much more at ease thinkin’): Tomorrow you’d be on your way To sow another gap where darkness breeds as a... THERE'S THIS NUMBER There’s this number “L” and I See rebounding many times when important fields Make their presence known When important deals stumble to our home Subconsciously we pick up on the way things are to be That’s why on some occassions we will radiate a glow When the pieces fit so nicely And the number is involved Well Mr. Simon must have heard We just stared and without a word took his digit signs... Split’em thrice in half What did we find? Well we had to laugh Like a dozen other times when the moon put on a show He fits with our connections Of this we can’t deny He fits with our connections But we don’t know why! One side of me says that this number is a silent power that is setting up a twist The other side tells me I’m comepletely silly No special numbers can exist Just ignore it Can’t ignore it Should I ignore it? COULD BE THOSE CREATURES IN MY YARD! Who would mistake us for a pair of freaks Well to stay in touch took us many weeks But if you ask us now what the future holds We could not tell but if we were alone And we chanced upon your name We wouldn’t be surprised, If a double digit number made it’s presence known And we wouldn’t be surprised If you were just about to call us on the telephone! E - CLAIR RAOUL An instrumental ditty written at the height of my clarinet dexterity. Tis’ a silly tune for twisted first graders and for priests who own a Synclavier. (Remember those big old things?) (Note the authentic “20s” chord at the end) Whoop pee poo dupe! GORGO TWAIN HAS GONE HAWHYIN' Gorgo Twain has gone Hahwhyin : For a soiled mans’s deight: “All the chalcid you can eat”! There’s perfect beads of sleep on “Crunchy Water” There’s perfect ashtray take outs by the sea They have your special brand of photos and scotch No need for a watch Time is not inflicted in the banyan And best of all an Existential Shower Cap Eraser Guaranteed to lighten up the load Dyad / Spasm / Troll Ar-borizing Ar-borizing Dancing for Earth Nice to have our home here Gorgo sez that Gorgo sez we all should try it: Once Twice Christ! Gorgo Twain has gone Hahwhyin For a sweet and sour chassis after four There’s perfect “jeux” to pit against your ego; Depends on where and when you drop the straw Ah, breakfast anytime by the pool side cafe... Eggsalted soulffles While you buster it about With another cutie! But best of all they got an Existential Shower Cap Eraser Guaranteed to lighten up the load Yeah, best of all they got an Existential Shower Cap Eraser Guaranteed to lighten up the load... TOADS!!! etc...
Nick & Clone 02:30
NICK & CLONE Mem! Aleph! Wah! Daleth! Yod! She’s a “grendel” He’s a “burna” She’s a “candle” He’s a “murmer” They Nick and Clone They’re “E-Zame” Again Like the “eagle” And the “bear claw” I’m a “sickle” You’re a “chain saw” We Fray and Clone We “e-Zame” again Nostrodomas had no fun selling futures to the numble Who would guess that we would come To understand his psychic mumble? Ommmmmmmmmm Our language is up a creek The message we’ll choose to speak will be in the land of “Corks” and “Mayfers” Where all aural wafer are obsolete We are “destine” We are “token” We are “speaking” What is “spoken” If we “fray” Will we roam? With E-Zame?
4747 01:03
STYREEN MO' BETTA Styreen Mo’Betta Styreen Mo’Betta Like a flesh umbrella Styreen Mo’Betta She’d lubricate my wishes while she’d mow the lawn She’d change my auto dishes when they’re spiked and worn My Styreen Mo’Betta Styreen Mo’Betta She’s my own bordella Styreeeeeeeen Mo’Betta Insulates the ceiling while she feeds me chills Hand controls my thermos while she pays the bills She don’t need jewel-ray She’s not like Aingell She don’t want mon-nay She just wants the Blue Cheese Blue Cheese Blue Cheese Blue Cheese Blue Cheese that I own Blue Cheese Blue Cheese Blue Cheese Blue Cheese Blue Cheese not on loan Loan Moan...Moan...Moan... Mooooooooooooooan Ahh! (fantasy in the shed section plays here) Styreen Mo’Betta Styreen Mo’Betta Like a flesh umbrella Styreeeeen Mo’Betta She’s always there to tell me how she loves me so I’m always there to tell her where the lawn bag goes She don’t want mon-nay She don’t need jewl-ray She wants to please me! Crumply old hen peck of a mother screeches: “Stop the day dreaming and cut the goddamn lawn, you loaf!” AW DO I, AW DO I Aw do I - Aw do I have to cut the grass ma? It makes so much noise Aw do I - Aw do I have to cut the grass ma? It makes so much noise The grass is too wet - My sneakers turn green They’ll be rock in my eye - And frog on my jeeeeeeeeans! Aw do I - Aw do I have to cut the grass ma? It makes so much noise Aw do I - Aw do I have to cut the grass ma? It makes so much noise K a i - h e a l l y ! ! ! I’m looking out for hoses Hoses always tie themselves in pieces (discreetly) Aw do I - Aw do I have to cut the grass ma? It makes so much noise Aw do I - Aw do I have to cut the grass ma? It makes so much noise You know there’s nothing wrong with mowin’ It’s just the blade keeps blowin’ dust up my nose And when I cough my foot gets pruned So call a lawn doctor specialist to hep ya with the bag assist Lawn doctor specialist to hep ya with the bag assist etc. She’s a real lawn getter.. Thick grass the better S H U T T H E H E L L U P ! I'M LOSING MY HEAD I’m losing my head - I’m losing my head The blow dryer’s on now the fishes are dead And I’m losing my head - I’m losing my head The “guvner” is adjusted now i’m drawing in lead ‘Cause “Aingell”, it’s more fun to get to ride “Aingell”, if you knew how much I lied.. You would go for my bags Go for my bags Slice through the middle till the clippings would drag Go for my bags - Go for my bags Mulch up the chicks that hoard and snagged With your wheels - Nancy remembers well With your wheels - Nancy was cheap to sell to the boys down “Toros Motor Fix” with their oil cans and their “bill-boy” sticks You know she lost it the day you said: You’d have me first on the sprinkler bed I stole your wheels now you’ll have my head Some say you’ll have my head!!! I’m losing my head - I’m losing my head The blow dryer’s on now the fishes are dead And I’m losing my head - I’m losing my head The “guvner” is adjusted now i’m drawing in lead ‘Cause “Ainjell”,I remember well “Ainjell”, well you can go to hell!!!!!!
During WWIII 02:23
WORLD WAR III (DURING IT) During WWlll I remember turning green ‘Cause the mold we had to eat Wuz ya brother in the street During WWlll It was harder enough to see ‘Cause the fragments in our eyes Left us lightless by surprise I remember when the local fields that made our homes were covered thick in roots That’s when we knew no poot But now we are lucky if it’s blue out ‘Cause all these pus clouds block the sky out I’d be scared in every corner that I’d crwal in Because the shadows hid the holes that I could fall in During WWlll On the run so constantly That your legs became your thighs All this time you’re asking WHY? During WWlll You were lucky if your plea Made ya neighbors local news They didn’t care they had no shoes I remember when the grass much greener than the soot that lies before me fed our roots! Those days of care free newts But now we are lucky if it’s blue out ‘Cause all these egg shells block the sky out I’d be scared in every corner that I’d crawl in Because the shadows hid the holes that I could fall in During WWlll... During WWlll... During WWlll All the local food stores now house bones All the local food stores now house bones During WWlll
TILL WE EAT OUT THE MOON In the sewage plaza there is no sun light matter We work by “candelabras” We stir them in the batter I breathe in puffs of basalt The workers share my sorrow In hopes that someday they will be free to see tomorrow bloom Locked up in a cesspool tomb A coprolite room Locked up till we eat out the moon I run the pressure strainer that held the bones of Renda She was my only sister I begged her to surrender But she refused to adhere Now she is just a label A tube of powdered substance among the mixing table Our senses are numbed by the lasers (Invisible pins sent from Mizar 5!) We work beyond nature’s restrictions A zombie who’s only conviction is THOUGHT! Iz THOUGHT! My mind’s the only organ that still retains it’s pieces The other bits of me are somebody else’s nieces A lonely hole to be in but I can see the faces The memories I have are blocking out all traces of this gloom Locked up in a cesspool tomb A coprolite room Locked up till we eat out the moon Till we eat out the mooooooon? Till we eat out the moon? The moon?
FOUR BILLION PEOPLE A young, negative Sri : Squint at all the people grazing off this land They would love to make a living But they’d rather bite your hand They’re sleeping on your door step They’re begging at your feet And when your window’s open they’re ripping off your meat Positive Devil : Hey what’d you expect? Everyone nice and clean? RUKIDIN? On a planet this small, considering all Four Billion People Don’t Do So Bad! Sri : Gaze into the sun smut See the vapors drip in red If you bet upon tomorrow your future might be dead Dole out a food stamp to a blind man See the world through his eyes This dark and dismal midgard is great for suicide (EXISTENTIAL WRETCHING GOES HERE) An old Gorgo Twain Philosopher : But life still continues no matter what's been said Between the midst of all this poot it’s usually time for bed And it’s all in our heads as we discover it all We'll create our own beginnings as we take our last fall Young Sri : Right! Just eliminate your conscious And your so called righteous schemes We’re all a dime a dozen living “Hipper-Critical dreams! Positive Devil : Hey what would do you want? A Utopian scene? Maybe someday But for now let it flow And watch how we grow Four Billion People Don’t Do So Bad! Four Billion People Don’t Do So Bad! I said, four billion people don’t do so bad! It could be worse...It could be a lot...
A MESSAGE TO ALL OFFSPRING LOAFERS (ALL OF A SUD'N) All of a sudden there’s no bedroom All of a sudden there’s no food All of a sudden your “gestines” feel queezy As of this day it won’t be so easy Mom un Dad don’t need you Mom un Dad don’t want you All of a sudden you is nowhere All of a sudden nothing’s free All of a sudden you’re facing “abusement” From now on there’ll be no amusement No friendly hand to loan out money Life’s quick to learn when you get hungry A sponge is well within your past inclines but you will find... Indeed you fill no niche and no one feels sorry Aren’t you sorry? You didn’t bag a trade in college You wasted all your time in bars You never bothered to think of tomorrow Through parents guilt you always could borrow But now your Mom un Dad don’t want you But now your Mom un Dad disown you! The higher you get - the deeper the hole The powder you stashed won’t last very long I think you know how the dices roll in your vacuum container The time you seldom thought of is here to stay to plague your day With needs you once deemed blazay and no cause for worry But now you’re worried All of a sudden no one needs you All of a sudden is now All of a sudden you’re facing “abusement” From now on they’ll be no amusement No friendly hand to loan out money Life’s quick to learn when you get hungry There’s no one to turn to There’s no place to hide You’re on your own - put those ping pongs aside Society wants you but where do you fit? The future is now! This is it! It’s time to get up It’s time to go out and find yourself a job instead of depending on your folks to support you, ‘Cause they don’t want you All of a sudden you is no where...where...where...where...where... where...where...where... WELCOME TO REALITY SON (THERE'S NOWHERE TO RUN) There’s nowhere to run I’m trying to find a place for cover but there’s always a sun that shines it’s light on me So everyone can see that I’m phony and crazy I’m stupid and lazy Yes indeed It seems so unfair - all this time I spent learning, now I ain’t goin’ nowhere - ‘Cause it’s who you know my friend And if ya don’t then it’s the end...I swear! Unless you’re lyin’ and cheatin’ - Hey! It’s you’re only hope in defeatin’ society and it’s game It looks to me it’s just the same: Another face without a name The chances for a shot of fame are about the same as anyone else’s : A billion to one my friend Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! You know I’ve had this attitude from about the age of three That’s when I came to realize no one’s lookin’ out for me There were no sweet revelations to make this nausea blow away The more I noticed where I was, the worse it got each day Hello! Where can you turn when the things you hold dearly have been shattered by the folks that you’ve learned to trust? They don’t give a shit about you The words you say The work you do Even though you have to put up with their stunts And ya can’t feel sorry for yourself no, no And ya can’t feel sorry for yourself And ya can’t feel sorry for yourself no, no It’s gonna be all right...Another lie to fight - It’s a way of life: A n I l l u s i o n ! You could be a regular drip - Drink your beer and sell the lip Play the game the same way everyday But sameness is boring Your ego is gnawing at the dudes up on the hill At a drop of the hat they could have ya killed for speakin’ your mind I swear! - What a waste of timeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!
I WISH I HAD NUTHIN' Srii (wondering) : Maybe they’re right with this phoniness blight and to be “ins” the only direction Should I enlist or should I try to resist when the “gizmo” passes inspection? Arty : Fad Hoc - Pad Lock...It’s a one mold machine... Keeps us happy with garbage supreme Sri : Pretensions galore Why am I such a bore? Why is it such a chore to be normal? I hate to ride on the passengers side Why do orchestras have to dress formal? Arty : All these real people things make me choke Born in a waste land where life is a joke Sri (confused): So if I’m to be a felony can I use it as an alibi? Daddy can’t stop me from doing the things that I do. Right? All in all it’s the pits when the pieces fall into a wrong hole of striped light that flashed by your voice box that evening and stifled your occupational goal JT : So I sat back and pondered but it just wasn’t good enough for Arty He broke down and cried: Arty : I’ll grow up when I feel like cloning but now’s the time to live life loose Incorporating ideas without worries for bucks Doing out your own stuff instead of some schmucks And if I had my way you know I’d take away those signs! Sri : Calculating every plot Checking out the faulty lines But Daddy sez it’s worthless and what I do means squat...Right? All in all it’s a drag when the leeches suck on your brain because you’ve finally found out that they ain’t got much to do that’s a helluva lot of fun JT : So I spat back in disdain but it just didn’t change the look on Arty He turned ‘round and said: Arty : I’ll dry up when I feel I’m useless but now it’s time to sow more seeds Spray us if you want to man “Airusall” with somebody’s can but it won’t do no good ‘Cause we are here to stay There’s got to be a way we can have our cake and eat it too! Arty and Sri : Oh Jesus, what’s going on? They say they wanna change out interests John! But we don’t even ask for much... JT : Oh I wish I had nothing but I know I never will ‘Cause I got a lot of nothing already!
YOU'RE GONNA DIE SOMEDAY Barlow City Parade Where the actions speak louder than words And words that make the scene ignite like gasoline To burn a quick friend on the side And you question what does it mean? As a dark machine steals for your seat You’ll fight as those who watch will stare and twitch a lot And take a few bets on the side Hide? The situation’s clear : Convinced you have no reason, Here you are and still your actions are the same No matter where you go - what you do - or what you say A little voice reminds you that you’re gonna die someday! COLD AND EMPTY Cold and Empty I wanna go back home Home - remember when I felt assured? When I felt secure Cold and Worthless Hey I just don’t belong Alone - I travel in a circle-line If I should die... Maybe Just maybe I’ll return again And maybe Just maybe I’ll reach the spinal end to find I’ve always been... Cold and Empty I wanna go back home Home - I gaze up to see your glow If you only knew How I long for you Home I wanna go back... (insane, whining ad lib)
COUGH IT UP TO DEATH One day you're gonna wake up And your mind is gonna turn to jello They'll be no time to look at yourself and see where you're at 'Cause this is the place where your mind goes flat And every thing that you have known is by itself - a "left alone" And then you're gonna choke up for the rest of your life
LOOK OUT FOR THE CHEESE Look Out For The Cheese! In the envelopes - the advertising sleeze - boy! Along with the cheap diplomas Photocopied in black and red and green Look Out For The Cheese! A phrase that Nicky screamed to signify a sneeze gone by (Speaking of which) What has become of Mitchell? Does he still sing his “My Little Boy” song? Or has he retreated with stocking face and wine to a “Howard Johnsons” Locked up in some room Dreaming of the day he sings D. Fagen all his tunes for Walter too I can hear him say: ”These guys they should hear me sing”. But something tells me it won’t be so soon He’s got too many parking fines to deal with Oh, watch them repossess his “Gaucho” album now! Look Out For The Cheese! Look out - It’s crawling on your sleeve - boy You’re not high enough for Mitchell
He's got B.O He's got B.O And I think I got it too! SNOT COLLECTION (phlegm bow, spat poop) (Cora’s such a wet drip - we buy Kleenex™ etc...) Snot is in the season The season to be snotty again Snot is just the reason A time we get to pick our old friends Wouldja like to see my snot collection? Wouldja like to see my snot rejections? Wouldja like to see my snot collection? Wouldja like to see my snot infections? Well, for Christmas could I be your boogie man! Snot is in a bubble Snot is on your torn up jeans Snot is on a pinwheel Full of hair and lovely green Flung across late at night Carpet hides that stale delight In with your sleep dirt Smudged on yer T-shirt Well for Christmas could I be your boogie man! (day-yupe, day-yupe) I saw ya stickin’ it under the table in the yard for POOTS! Snotty little bugger!


A K A I ?
Summer of 1978. In the distance, high school graduation was rearing it's ugly head at me. I kept hearing a voice cry from the pool skimmer, "Now fool, it's time for you to go out in the real world and fend for your miserable little self". For me, that meant college, which wasn't real. I had the next four years ahead of me to figure out how and where I could fit in the GREAT SOCIETY without feeling like I had to go to a McDonalds and shoot a bunch of innocent folks. The future had something to do with music, but what? I didn't have a clue. Disco was at it's plastic peak. "Farrah Fawcett Leaking Majors" who actually turned into a "serious" actress had her TV perfect body plastered in every locker, sports store, stationary, boy scout's pup tent, underwear etc, while every true American was only concerned with one cosmic question: WHO SHOT J.R.? Designer jeans like the ubiquitous Jordache™ label were just creeping in along side an oil crisis loaded with hostage material. A thing called NEW WAVE MUSIC was happening and just waiting for it's mommy (MTV ) to be born. Bigger video stores started popping up next to pizza joints and many of my favorite rock stars were turning 40... Basically, nothing in particular up our dress. At least for me.

I was hell bent on writing music but the simple process of recording more than two parts and hearing it back instantly seemed like light years a w a y. The stuff I wrote out on paper was theoretical bullshit that I couldn't persuade anyone to play. I didn't have the proper grasp on what I really wanted to hear until I started bouncing musical ideas from one mono "NORELCO" cassette deck to the deck in my Wurlitzer organ and back. This was exciting for about a month. I quickly decided there had to be a cheap, more efficient way of recording without having to be a millionaire. A day later, my high school chum Chris Pati introduced me to a device called an Akai GX - 4000 D sound on sound tape machine. In fact, it was in his tiny, red bedroom studio downstairs where the recording virus really infected me. I can still recall the distinct aroma of this room :

Funky, sweaty, mammy- flappy, swoopyjackieslittyclittymatted, frenzy pinky stinky cummy, inspiration / perspiration, Italiano grease ball out of tune musty ol' school piano cheese vinyl with more funkypoopy clinging to ya face and hot poster babes pinned on the carpeted walls.... FUNK!)

Well, Chris played me some nice tune he wrote, recorded and over dubbed using the Akai. He achieved a superb blend of four or five instruments. Not only that, the performance was way out of control! It sounded like a record. I was so depressed. I went home and immediately went to sleep or suicide would have ensued. When I woke up and realized it wasn't a dream, I was still depressed but totally inspired and excited. I HAD TO HAVE ONE OF THOSE AKAI THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A few days later, Chris and I drove around and found a TASCAM 2 TRACK that was more than half price off. It was a Harrison Electronics' floor model. The fidelity was better than the AKAI, so we went for it. I was one happy human, but in an innocent, joyful way, (a feeling that eludes me more and more the older I get.) As soon as I brought it home, the motor started to slow down and my father yelled at me: "NEVER BUY A DEMONSTRATION MODEL YA JERK YA!" (I think I convinced him to pay for it.) We quickly returned my missing link and for three hundred bucks purchased a brand new AKAI. Happy days were here again. That was the last the outside world would see of me for the next 5 years. I recorded for days and days with the aid of my cheap "REALISTC" microphone I bought at "RADIO SHATS". I WAS INFECTED WITH OVERDUB VIRUS. THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK. A new era in my life began. The machine lasted for about a year. I broke it while trying to record a wicked choking fit (last piece on this CD). I was in a totally steamy, grotesque, bizzaro kind of world, jumping up and down and goin' ape on this deliberately evil tune, when in a quick spasm, stepped on the microphone cable pulling the AKAI forward and off my bureau. It crashed three feet face down. Time stood still for a few seconds and then a foul taste shot in my mouth. All of a sudden the absurdity of the machine and my dependence on it for ultimate earthly happiness became clear. I shuddered, took a deep breath, cleared away my tears and proceeded to estimate the damage. The hub wheels were completely bent. Shattered plastic was everywhere, dents - really screwed. With the utmost sincerity and seriousness I told my father my dilemma. I managed to convince him to bring it back to the store. In a very clever fashion (I won't tell you how) he managed to get another one for free. He was good at that kind of stuff. Come to think of it, I must have been really freaked out because he wasn't a big fan of me spending months pounding and screaming away in my stuffy room by myself. He'd always complain that I didn't get enough sun and my social skills were going out the window. Of course he was right; just watch me at a party, UGHHH. But that's what I had to do. It was some sort of twisted form of self actualization / masturbation I guess. I'm not sure. Go ask THE PRIEST! Anyway, I still found room in my busy schedule (which consisted of throwing out the garbage every Tuesday night) to hang out with my buddy Chris. He'd always play me something new he and his brother were working on or they would jam in front of me and I would feel like the most totally inept musician. Every time I'd return home my depression would double but my desire to compose, triple. I subconsciously brushed up on different instruments, exploring their timbrel combinations and problems inherited in recording them. Here are the key instruments I had to work with back then:

I bought it with the money my deceased grandmother left me.
Unfortunately, I was never quite comfortable playing it (the toms never
sat right). In the late 80's for lack of rent money, I sold it to my cousin Susan's husband Frank for doodley squat.

2. THE LEGENDARY WURLITZER FUN MAKER ORGAN with it's rotating Leslie speaker. It had a cheap sounding rhythm box that allowed the adventurous musician to mix a 3/4 waltz with a 4/4 rumba beat (Gorgo Twain). It also had this top layer of keys where you could modify these really brittle, corny sounding synth patches. They sounded great when you sped them up on tape and played them in unison with the drums. The foot pedals always got stuck and the “romantic" vibrato always sounded like a tacky radio horror show. The best thing about this keyboard was the built in mono cassette deck that had a pitch control wheel on it.

3. A YAMAHA™ ACOUSTIC GUITAR. I bought it from Chris for twenty bucks. He used to play these ridiculously fast Al DiMeola type riffs on it and then spin it around to get that "leslie organ" effect. The guitar would then be propelled at some vase or piece of Italian furniture with a plastic covering over it. Ten years later when two strings broke I was too poor to buy new ones. So I thought to myself: " Why not take this, negative situation and turn it around?" I re-tuned the remaining four strings in an unorthodox fashion and BANG! A song about alien abduction appeared out of no where. Thus, we have "SPEAK WITHOUT A VOICE AND A MOTIVE TOO". It remains one of my favorite tunes and I can only play it using that old Yamaha devil.

4. A FRENCH MADE CLARINET who's mouth piece always smelled like baby puke. The case for it was so faggy looking I could never be seen carrying it home, especially by the handle. It would mess up my masculinity. When you're young boy in this conservative society, that's a no no. "FUCK THE SOCIETY!", as Mike Crum would shout.

5. Around 1981, I bought a cruddy "TELSTUD" or "TELSCAM" (which ever) BASS GUITAR from a high school acquaintance. The strings were literally an inch and a half off the fret board. I was desperate for some low end (what young boy isn't at that age) and didn't know any better. (PIECE OF SHIT BETTER LEFT UNSOLVED, REALLY.)

6. A WASHBURN electric guitar which stayed in tune for about a fortnight. It didn't matter though, the purple veneer and whammy bar looked like something professional was going on. The small "GORILLA" amp added to the whole "ROCK STAR" effect. It cost me three hundred bucks of my hard earned pay. I used to sit around in Media Services, at the Health Science Center and wheel a slide projector into a class room, lock a few doors, answer the phone once a week and arrogantly shoot rubber bands at my friend Nick DiMauro until he'd retaliate with a bigger box of rubbers. That was the life.

Putting together a piece was a pain to perform but easy to realize. First you record the drum part real hot to tape (practically distorted). Then slowly, you get nervous and depressed as you overdub more parts, there by deteriorating the fidelity. If the drums weren't recorded loud enough, by the time you add that bell part that doubles the vocal you weren't able to hear the beat. It really becomes discouraging when most of a recorded part is good except for that one out of tune chorus you sang. Punching in a wrong note in order to correct it was nearly impossible on the AKAI. It makes an annoying click. In this case we'll say that's what gives these early recordings their charm. Lots of clicks. Yeah, OK... If a part was to hard to play, I just took John Pati's advice: "Slow the fuckin' thing down!" (I'd take off the capstan and this would allow me to record at half speed.) Sure it sounded funny when I put it back to regular speed but then again the music was kind of funny like trick shoes. And since I never had privacy (the bedroom door was thin and didn't have a lock), the sound of my voice is compressed (held back) with a heavy, nervous, angry edge to it. There was also a lot of sarcasm in the lyrics. Most of them directed at my college peers and the stupid rituals and trends they would fall for. Basically I had nothing good to say and I was probably very unpleasant to be around. I guess you could say these pieces presented here, represent a time in my life where the EXISTENTIAL UNCERTAINTIES of the universe continually crashed into my brain at every waking moment. Not much has changed, except my senses are now frayed and dulled beyond all recognition. Very little phases me anymore and the shear fun of coming up with a song back then has now settled into a subconscious formula that is sometimes broken by a new environment or conflict... Oh well. I still get a certain charge from it. (See Vance Brescia - C.Pati's surprise party, 1988.) I had no other expectations other than to please myself musically. Sort of like now but totally different.

The performances on most of these cuts are in my opinion - average to good, with a gold star for "inspired". I rarely returned to a song once I had something down. Too much of a pain. Also, you'll notice, there's very little kick drum on any track. This is because I had only one microphone. A mixing console with more than one mic input was too scary & complicated to even think about...not to mention the price. What, we're talking a grand or so?...Jesus. That's all the money in the world for a freshmen in college. That would soon change in May of 1984, when I finally bought the Tascam 38 eight track recorder. The funniest aspect of these tunes after having not listened to them for a few years is my voice. I was so influenced by Zappa (NOWHERE TO RUN) and Fagen (YOU’RE GONNA DIE SOMEDAY) it's pathetic. At times it sounds like a lame parody of those guys. I didn't mean it to sound that way, I was just so caught up in their brilliance I emulated it the best I could. Remnants of that voice long ago still pop up in some of my current work. Now a days though, I'm totally aware of it and the Zappa/Fagen voice is a definite word emphasis effect, HONEST. My style of composing has obviously matured since these works or I would have been famous by now. It has in some sense become more commercial, but still remains slightly unpredictable and subconscious. Many of these early songs were written more conceptually as a suite. (The idea of tying things all together has always been my bag. It's no surprise one of my mentors is Frank Zappa.) Unfortunately, there were songs I never found time to stamp down a decent take of i.e. "WE MAY CALL YOU STATUE" or "I'M LOSING MY HEAD", so they sound haphazard. They are included for continuity purposes. One tune, "WASH THE BLOOD WITH THE RAIN" was originally intended for the "CREATURES" suite but no performance of it existed until 1988 so I inserted a bit of the 8 track ending of that piece in order to join The Lighting Seed suit. ("BIG SCREAMING DEAL!", a struggling artist cracks while sweeping the floors at a McDonalds.) Also, a few sampled horn parts and tidbits originally constructed for some of the tunes were added on in stereo just before the final edits and mix down. Digital reverb and massive re-equalization of everything was executed lovingly at the now defunct BACKDOOR RECORDING STUDIOS IN HUNTINGTON STATION NY, (Home of CONTE’S BURGER HAVEN) 1989.

N O T E :
The recordings here in are in no way an indication as to the type of fidelity one can achieve with an AKAI GX 4000-D. IT IS A VERY WELL BUILT MACHINE. I was untrained at the time and much too impatient to work on painting a great sound. The real master of sound on sound recording was Chris Pati . He devised methods of simulating slap back, echo, chorus and other effects without the use of electronics. He also got a drum sound that kicked ass with only two microphones. IT SOUNDED LIKE A RECORD! Unfortunately, his old world Dad carelessly threw out the wonderful 1/4 inch tapes he made and only a few privileged ears probably still remember the genius that went into them. This collection is dedicated to him.

Sincerely :
JT (a mockery of someone’s friend)

P. S.
"Who's that acorn looking kid screaming in a small room by himself, unaware of his own creations as they continually weave the landscape to hold more creations?" "Well, it most certainly isn't you Phillup!... But I think he owes me a lot of money!" "Hand me that spongy wig with the mint spider flaps will ya?"
- The Priest


released November 29, 2014

Produced and compiled by John Tabacco (2007)
All titles engineered and performed by John Tabacco
Recorded at Suburban Hermit Studios I, St. James, NY
Keyboard and Horn overdubs completed at Backdoor Studios,
Huntington Station, NY in 1988
SA3 Re-master from the original 2 track Master Reels that were transferred to beta tape via the Sony PCM 501 ES

Recording device : AKAI GX-4000D two track sound on sound
1/4" tape reel to reel
Analog tape : Maxell, Ampex, TDK, Shammrock
1 Radio Shack condenser microphone
Monitors : Warfdale speakers, headphones

All lyrics and music © by John Tabacco except as indicated
Liner Notes © 2007 by JT
CD design: Farben Fosfeen Artwerks


all rights reserved



John Tabacco Stony Brook, New York

John Tabacco is a composer, singer-songwriter, producer, recording engineer, and visual artist.

Like an unfolding musical diary / puzzle, Tabacco’s music and art are constantly being re-worked, juxtaposed and intertwined.

For more info : www.johntabacco.net
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