Thursday, 20 December 2007

sorghum pudding


1.Holy Roly
2. Deliver My Love
3. Come Tomorrow Feel Alright
4. Right Now
5. Sincerity
6. Food For The Company Pigs
7. Let It Not Be Forgotten
8. Top Of The World And Falling
9. Passage Of Eternity
10. Out In The Midnight Rain
11. Never Is Here
12. Love Fades Away
13. Your Artificial Stand-Up Man
14. (Theme From) Sorghum Pudding
15. 80 Million Days

Mark Mikel"After Marikesh disbanded in 1986 I was pretty much tainted towards the idea of forming another group. I got into the habit of recording alone in my studio and making albums that never materialized. I also started doing lots of production work for local Toledo bands and that kept me busy. The an old friend of mine Mark Kelley called me up one day and asked if I’d consider being in a band if the band agreed to play my songs. I thought that would be okay so long as we didn’t become a recording entity. I didn’t want to put that kind of labour into a group that would just fizzle out again. I liked to record by myself but if these guys wanted to play my songs live then I’d go along with that fine. He suggested calling us The Mark Mikel Band but I suggested Hallucination should replace the word Band to give it more pizzazz. I thought it had a Jimi Hendrix Experience sound to it. I didn’t really like the name but as I thought this group would only last for a few months I wasn’t that precious about it.
So Mark Kelley brought in his bass and Dan Chalmers to play the drums and I brought in Glenn Blattner on lead guitar. I was to play rhythm guitar and sing my songs. We were more successful than I thought we would be, winning a few Battle of the Bands competitions and getting to play openers for big shows for the likes of Bad Company, Cheap Trick and King’s X. So now I had a band that really rocked and played MY songs. How lucky can one be? It seemed like a good idea to release a solo album made up from the best songs I had recorded up to that point. Dan Chalmers was obviously very rock steady. He was so good I’d include him in the studio on most occasions. Dan had the most easy going, eager to work and please, attitude that I’d ever experienced from a musician. He loved my songs and loved being the drummer on the recordings. The other guys would get invited over less but still made it onto a few songs. Mark Kelley was still pretty new to the bass guitar because he’d been a drummer for so many years. Glen Blattner just wasn’t crazy about my songs. When Sorghum Pudding was released in mid 1993 there were no other Toledo rock groups with CDs available. So again local radio was very willing to play it. Out In The Midnight Rain was the track mostly played. I find it hard to listen to this album nowadays because it was recorded to please produce rMike Shipley (Def Leppard, Joni Mitchell, Michael Bolton) so I think I was making too much concession to the music scene at the time. Mike was picking out the songs and advising me what to do more or less. He was courting me with a possible record deal for about a year and a half. Mike’s own career was getting a bit wobbly at the time so he eventually decided he couldn’t take me on. Sorghum Pudding was made during the grunge explosion so a lot of that was coming through. The album is a novelty to me for that reason. Not quite as real as The Idiot Smiles.

In 1991 Chalmers, Kelley, Blattner and I recorded a bunch of live (with overdubs) demos of some of the songs we were playing at shows. It was a tape for the sole purpose of getting us more gigs- something to hand the bar owner.This probably went on for a week or two. The songs (if I can remember all of them) included some covers: Achilles Last Stand (a Led Zeppelin cover) Keep Yourself Alive (a Queen cover) Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Revolution Don't Let Me Down
The songs of mine we did were all previously recorded by me (solo): Passage of Eternity Let It Not Be Forgotten Open For More 20 Foot Rock Star Fantasy World
The version of Passage we did was included on Sorghum Pudding.

And Mark's background on that famous front cover...
"The red thing on the table is a piggy bank. The pigs are: (in no particular order) My brother Matt, Dave Murnen, Dan Chalmers, Mark Kelley, Adam Stark (adamic), Bryce Barnes, Bob Revell, Jon Stainbrook.The Superman w/ mouse-ears were supposed to represent American icons or American idealism. "Superman on a plate" is mentioned in the song Food for the Company Pigs. That song sparked the cover idea."

No comments: