Monday, 24 December 2007
Some Rare Songs
Mark Mikel.....................................Elanie Mickel
Mark Mikel: "Earth Fogged Over is a cool one from 1987. It was super ambitious- that's for sure. My mom (Elanie) is singing backing vocals on that one along with an ex-girlfriend Merri Shivelbein (now Montgomery)...plus Dan Rhyand and T.J. Evans. T.J. was substituting for Scott Tabner who had washed his hands of Marikesh a few months earlier. Because Scott wasn't part of it, I don't consider it a true Marikesh recording really. But Ian McCormack's bass playing is totally off the hook. His bass parts were so great that when I listen to Marikesh recordings, that's always what I focus on. Earth Fogged Over is one of Ian's best.
Still Much Better You Than Me is from '87 or '88. I know I wrote it in '87 but I think it wasn't recorded right away. The only memories that stick out are the taunting "nah nah nah nah nah" sound of the sped-up backing vocals and a train whistle at the end. Oh yeah... and Jeff Kollman played the lead guitar solo. He was my best friend back in the late 80's to early 90's. He's one of the greatest guitar players to ever walk the earth and a very successful session musician out in LA nowadays. He's worked with virtually every biggie in the business- including Linda McCartney. He also has some music in the recent Fantastic Four movie. There's a few songs that Jeff had me finish writing for him. He'd give me the music and I'd write the lyrics, vocal melodies and harmonies over it. That's happened three times and all three songs are included in the first 100 MP3 set. Don't Listen to Your Head, Come and Rule the Night Time. and Crowd of None.
Mark and Jeff
Day of the Time to Come Gone By is the first song I ever used a sitar. It's from 1988 and I play all the instruments though Dan Rhyand sings backing vocals. The Hallucination used to play this one a lot when we first started out.
It Will Be You was based off a guitar melody from an earlier song called The Rules. It's a solo recording from 1982. The vocals are pretty cool but the music sounds a lot like The Doors.
Plastic Girl was an experiment. It must have failed because it's obvious to me that I never finished it. From 1984, it was a contender for the Love Is What You Want LP. The experiment was: do a different guitar riff every time after each vocal line. Normally you would want a nice catchy guitar riff to be repeated. I wanted a bunch of confusing ones that were NEVER repeated. If anyone ever tried to learn them they would get a severe headache. I don't think anyone in Marikesh thought it was a good idea- including me. We really didn't want the headache.
I recorded the original versions of Let it Not be Forgotten and Passage of Eternity in 1990. Those songs became early Hallucination "live" staples. We re-recorded both those songs as a band in 1991 (not too seriously). I think we were just making tapes to get gigs. When it was time to mix for my first solo album, I chose the '90 version of Let it Not and the re-made '91 version of Passage. Passage seemed to really capture what the band actually sounded like. It was one of our most popular songs at the time.
Fat Evelyn was recorded in 1990. It was the first I worked with Scott Tabner in a year (and that was only because he did that Marikesh reunion song in 1989). He and I laid down countless guitar tracks doing the same line and that's how we got that big sound.It may be the only recording I've ever done that had my voice running through a digital effect. Jeff Kollman lent me an ADA effects unit that had 1000s of crazy sounds. It was then I discovered I don't ever want to own any digital effects. I did use it that one time though for the deep voice chanting at the end.I know it's based around an experience I had of seeing the fat lady at the county fair. She was so huge and smelly. It was disgusting really. So the lyrics aren't that sympathetic. But they aren't geared toward overweight people- just toward a person who is SOOOO BIG that people will pay money to see her. "Who knows where her body ends and where her heart begins?"But I wrote her a dark love story and made her husband Jack the Clown who never put her down. Jack used to be a woman or a nun or something. I'd have to look at the lyrics of the end chant.
Portait of Your Garden. It was written about my Mom. She's an artist- abstract realism with lots of attitude. I think she's the greatest around today. Anyway- she had this long narrow room that she painted in. She designed the house and this room had drains in the floor to wash away the paint. The room was formed by 2 long walls and 2 glass sliding doors. Sky lights across the top, windows all along one wall and plant-life all around.Looking through the glass sliding door was like looking at a painting in a way.So it's (the lyrics) images of her and the song is pretty abstract."