Underdose had a more complicated life. Jim Kehoe and I decided to record four songs with the Young Fresh Fellows in Seattle. I'd already worked up a good version of Follow The Shining Path, but with a week until the session, I still didn't have my second song. Up to this point, I just worked at my own leisurely pace. With a deadline looming I needed to get cracking.
A one time Donovan's Brain lineup (Don Mazzola drums and Tony Zanella bass) had recently played a Stones Tribute show, 'Exile On Rouse St'. Rather than just learn some Stones hits, I searched through the Stones B sides and bootlegs and came up with a set list of oddities which included: Sad Day, Itís Not Easy, 2120 S. Michigan Ave, Claudine, Little T and A, and Gangsterís Moll.
In an effort to capture an authentic sound, I'd played several songs in the open G tuning that Keith Richards uses. This seemed a good starting point for Underdose. The original lyrics were an inside joke; name checking a couple of friends, and their bad habits. The whole thing was inspired by Roy Loneyís classic Flaminí Groovies number 'Slow Death'.
This is the demo I played for Jim and Tad. The version cut at Egg in 1991 followed this arrangement pretty close. Scott McCaughey came up with idea to get back to the verse straight out of the chorus. On the demo you can hear how it vamps for a couple of bars before it gets back to business. Iíve tried to follow this advice in all my future song writing.
A couple of years later while preparing for some solo gigs I came up with a new arrangement. The intro lick seems to have disappeared, and it took a much more rhythmic feel. When I played this to the guys, Colter and Tony fell right in with me, and Jim and Seth had no choice but to jump on board.
I hadn't intended to re-record Underdose for Eclipse And Debris, but the band's 1997 rehearsal recording of this variation was so good that we decided to do some finish work on it and include it on the album. I made a couple of changes to the lyric and we emphasized the Groovies tribute to a much greater extent. There is probably a touch of 'Aftermath' in this version as well.
When we were mixing this, Ken Stringfellow was bopping along. He finally looked up and said "This is the real thing Ron." Iíll take that compliment, thanks Ken.
Another song from Eclipse that has gone through several different arrangement is Days Playing Perky Pat. This song dates back to the spring of 1988, when it was first recorded. The original idea was the result of an experiment running the drum machine through my Roland Space Echo. The guitar riff is played on the Silvertone tuned to an open G variation. It's actually a dulcimer tuning.
The initial recording was an instrumental which appeared on the first cassette I assembled called Punch In Punch Up Punch Out. The lyrics came spontaneously to me while performing on a KGLT Live Wire broadcast. Six years later this was one of the first songs we recorded for Eclipse. In a effort to capture some of the feel of the demo, Jason McKnight recorded two drum patterns via an overdub. There was a mistake on the original track which was the reason I didnít take this song to the Alaska St sessions.
Upon returning to GLEA I was able to solve the problem through some creative editing. In the end this repair actually enhanced the arrangement. Each subsequent line up of the band has come up with a unique arrangement. The Ptolemaic Terrascope POT 28 release of Perky Pat was recorded at the same session as Underdose. Richard Treece added his guitar tracks two years later. As he knew the song, I just put the tape on and let him have a go. When it was done, he said "Thatís not the Perky Pat I know".
For the fall 2000 shows Days Playing Perky Pat became the third part of a medley: Central Services>Make A Noise Quietly>Perky Pat. It took a decidedly raga rock turn this time around. This recording is from The Filling Station October 25, 2000. For our Terrastock performance, I explained to Scott McCaughey that the idea was for us not to all march through the riff in unison. After our set, he laughed and asked if anyone had actually played the main theme, adding that he had played it once or twice himself.
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