Of course, things are rarely that cut and dry – so here a few odds and ends that need to be dealt with…
CHEER-ACCIDENT – Life Isn’t Like That (1986)
After a two-year hiatus, Thymme reinvents his Cheer-Accident cassette franchise with a brand new line-up and an arsenal of recent improvs, toy pianos and cohabitive dissonance. Yes, Streamwood finally rears its ugly head! Recorded as the “live” trio first congealed, this Complacency release contains the first recorded versions of “Muffy Needs A New Pair Of Rose Colored Glasses” as well as live favorites “A Day In The Sun” and “Inevitable”. (For those of you keeping score, the title comes from a discussion Thymme and I were having about Frank Capra.) Life marks a new beginning – maybe an end – or perhaps even a continuation. Only time will tell. Also featuring Dan Burke, Jef Bek, Bill Martin and a contingent of light dogs. A must for Cheer-Accident archivists – if you can find it!
CHEER-ACCIDENT – Theme from “Shaft” (1992)
Toward the very end of my tenure with Cheer, we were approached by Pravda to record a cover of our choosing (as long as it fit into the whole 70’s K-TEL Records theme) for inclusion on their upcoming local band compilation 20 Explosive Dynamic Super Smash Hit Explosions!. I had recently spent many a tedious hour at my day job in the pharmaceutical industry taping out rhythms on Diet Coke cans (my addiction at the time) while at the same time moving my thumb over the opening to create a faux wah-wah/hi-hat type effect. So the choice was obvious – it had to be either “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” or “Theme from SHAFT”! Shaft won out and we immediately set about dissecting the original in order to reconstruct it again – albeit a bit askew and with a few extra parts jammed in. As a side note, during the otherwise upbeat recording, Phil was a bit put out after learning that the famous guitar wah-wah part that he had meticulously replicated, would instead be wholly represented by the aforementioned soft drink can – and a swarm of electric bees courtesy of my Strat. But I think he got over it. (Years ago, I saw footage on TCM of Issac Hayes and crew working out the ending bit in the studio – which at times bore a frightening resemblance to our own version! Ah, you know what they say about great minds…) In April of 2010, with help from the extended Cheer family, Thymme, Jeff and I reunited on stage for the first time in 18 years to perform the first live rendition of this timeless classic. It went something like this. 9 years later, we would reprise that feat with an equally impressive line-up as part of the Robert Warmowski Memorial Celebration at Cabaret Metro. So far, a live recording or video of that otherwise well-documented event is not readily available – though it has appeared sporadically on YouTube.
CHEER-ACCIDENT – The Why Album (1994)
While I do not appear on the final release of The Why Album, I had rehearsed nearly the entire album with the band and had recorded a few tracks before they were wiped and subsequently re-tracked by Dan Forden. The bass part that appears on “Sub Herbs” is a simplified version of my own, for which I receive credit, as well as “Today, Today, Today”. It should be noted that the original bass line of “How Do You Like Your Eggs?” was significantly more dissonant than the one that ended up on the final mix. Despite my own reservations about the album, it remains among the most popular of all Cheer releases.
CHEER-ACCIDENT – Enduring The American Dream (1997)
One of the songs leftover from our final studio session was “Dismantling The Berlin Waltz”. You may find it here in its entirety! Several bits and ideas we had played live also ended up rearranged and reinterpreted on Not A Food.