(Ray Brandes shares a long-lost track from his formative San Diego band, created with some production wizardry from Unknowns sonic prodigy Mark Neill.)
Towards the end of 1986, as the Tell-Tale Hearts were heading toward an inevitable break-up, we headed back into Mark Neillâ€™s Swinging Studios in Dulzura, Calif., to cut what would be the bandâ€™s final recordings with its first edition. Neill had produced the bandâ€™s highly acclaimed six-song EP earlier that year, and we hoped we might be able once again to pick up a little of his studio magic.
The bandâ€™s line-up included Mike Stax; Bill Calhoun; David Klowden; Peter Miesner (who had taken over guitar duties from Eric Bacher); and myself. Three songs were recorded: The Scorpionsâ€™ â€œToo Many Loversâ€; â€œPromiseâ€ (Brandes); and â€œNothing You Can Doâ€ (Brandes). The first two were released as a single on Australiaâ€™s Cavern 7 label the following year, but â€œNothing You Can Doâ€ stayed in the can. (Bart Mendozaâ€™s Sound Affects magazine included the song on a giveaway cassette with one of its issues.)
I recently discovered a rough mix cassette recording of â€œNothing You Can Doâ€ and rescued it with a little help from Audacity. I hadnâ€™t heard the song in more than 20 years. Listening to the recording brought back vivid memories of the sessions, which were held on a rainy Saturday in November, 1986.