Venice California 1985
Film nair fading in the acid sun
Orson's arches, thai touch of evil, falling in the reign of president Ron
Muscle beach to the marina, Lincoln to the sand's end
Where they come to cop what the cops can't stop though they try
Wedged between goody two-shoes Monica to the north
And the power hungry yuppy Del Rey on the south, she's the sister who liked RnR, leather, smoking and walking on the wild side.
The ghost of Mr Mojo risin is always lurking around the corner,
Walking along Linnnie canal wrapped in his wild, romantic notions
Poems by the oceans raw roar, even as the lovely Arthur Lee comes staggering into Mad Dog ("goddam maddog"), brown paper bag full of intoxication,
Him no ghost yet, but one wonders
Venice 1985, hangin' at the man's place, philosophisin', anesthetizin', a meeting of the minds as garyguru, rockin' back 'n' forth, whispering his crazy angelheaded hipster deductions...musing on our brother beachboy, taken from us just the other day by the undertoad, his doctor Jeck so much more sweetly sad for his horrid mister high. Misspent martyr mourned, missed from our midst.
Music in the warm liquid night, surf punctuated Night blooming jasmine sugar-coated breeze.
And th¢ mad dog, 2000 miles from Philly just 'cross the street, the mad dog where we went one last time to pour out our hearts on magnetic oxide.
The good old I-was-there-from-the-beginning gang playin' our encore and layin' down our swan songs.
Left for dead sleeping since then, Venice 1985, now reincarnate.
August 2, 2000
Retrieved from the dustbin of history, this collection represents what would have been my sixth album.
It was recorded in Venice, California at Mad Dog studio, from December, 1984 until February, 1985 with Dusty Wakeman (who co-owned the place with Mark Avnet) as engineer. At this stage, Mad Dog was an underdog facility making the step up from demos to master recordings. I had just gotten married, and as this was recorded, my wife, Tammy Ann became pregnant with our son Walter, Jr.
After four LPs on Columbia records (including my million-seller MAGNET AND STEEL), I had done an album for Tom Petty's label, Backstreet/MCA, in '83. Despite critical acclaim and the single, FOOL MAN FIRE, which went up to the mid thirties on Billboard, I was caught by label politics and came out on the wrong side, as Irving Azoff was made president of MCA. Thereafter, I was as welcome at his label as a rabbi at a communion breakfast.
My manager Greg Lewerke thought it would be wise to just start recording the next disc on our own and then sell it to a major label, as we had done with my FUNDAMENTAL ROLL back in '76. So, that's what we did, assembling the Professional Band at the Mad Dog. The sessions were great fun as we all got back to what we did best together, making records. They were even more enjoyable thanks to my other friends who added their considerable talents to the mix. Lindsey Buckingham helped me with some of the arrangements and played guitar on JEAN and THE LONELIEST BOY, and played piano on SOMEONE LIKE YOU. That's him doing the harmony with me on JEAN.
It was always more than a pleasure to work with Christine McVie, you might even say it was always a "perfect" experience. Here you can hear her on ONLY LOVE IS LEFT ALIVE and SILVERY SLEEP. The latter is a song I composed following the suicide of my friend Martin Smith, which more or less coincided with the passing of Elvis. The title of the song is an anagram for Elvis Presley. This recording is enhanced by the pedal steel guitar of the great Ed Black.
My first California mentor and champion, Chris Darrow plies his fiddle with aplomb on THE LONELIEST BOY.
Jackson Browne was one of my first California friends and it was a dream come true the night that he and Daryl stopped in to Mad Dog and he sang the second part on my paen to teenage car lust, CHALLENGER.
The track called INVISIBLE MAN was cut a little while after the others on this collection, but in looking back it seemed to be a good fit. It too was recorded at Mad Dog and it boasts the inimitable guitar prowess of the late Randy California.
When Lindsey produced my NOT SHY album he asked me not to record a song of Stevie Nicks' which I had been performing live, for whatever reason. I went home that night and wrote what has turned out to be my most covered composition, HOT SUMMER NIGHTS. It is my pleasure to include that omitted tune herein, SISTER(S) OF THE MOON, graced by the wonderful voice of my old friend Annie McLoone. All of the horns were played by David Woodford.
The project was moving along with all due speed, when the fates conspired to bring it to a halt, with only 4 or 5 tracks mixed to completion. So, through the years this collection has been just a shadow following me and I must admit that I thought no one would ever hear it. The tunes here are in various stages of development, you might look at it as something that's not quite finished, yet possessing a certain rough charm. I'm happy to finally get this material out, and I hope that the listener will be forgiving of the somewhat less than master quality of it. All my thanks to these people who made it possible: Greg Lewerke, Dusty Wakeman, Mark Avnet, Chris Darrow, John Selk, Scott Monahan, Randy California, Christine McVie, Jackson Browne, Lindsey Buckingham, Tony Zamora, Ed Black, Annie McLoone, Tom Moncrieff, Mike Huey, Lee Kix, Mike Pritchard, Skip Edwards, Ted Zambetti, Jeff Nadeau, Hugh at Renaissance, and Tammy Ann.