One of my heretofore unmentioned projects for this blog is digitizing and mixing the original, 1991 5-song demo from my college band The MayTricks, so here’s the first tune: “Run Away.” I’ve also posted an mp3 of the eventual 1993 album version of the tune for comparison. I like the demo better, I think, though the album version has its charms.
During high school, I fantasized heavily about what a kick-ass band I was going to get going in college given the amount of talent that would undoubtedly be available there. During my freshman year I attempted to get an all-songwriter band going, and the only person who stuck out of that was Steve Petrinko, who became my co-conspirator in forming The MayTricks. The initial line-up of the band came together in our sophomore year and included two freshman, a guitarist named Dave Roof and a keyboardist named Josh Fielstra, both of whom were actually pretty great players. Those guys, along with a 26-year-old named Rich Stapleton who played with us for about a week, played the tunes on this demo, the instruments for which were recorded live to two tracks of a 4-track Tascam cassette portable studio. I recorded all the vocals myself after the fact, though some of the live singing bled through here.
This song in particular I wrote when I was 16 and was the first tune I ever recorded (by myself) and then performed, originally with my high school band The Backdrop. I made five studio recordings of the song in high school (it was one of only about three original songs the Backdrop had), then these two with the MayTricks, and I’ve got an unfinished, hi-fi version mostly recorded from 2006 just to give the thing some closure, which I’ll eventually post. The lyrics are total cheese dip, as is the 50s verse and the 1-4-5 chorus, but I’ve still always liked it, and I think this demo version, despite some rhythmically sloppy and/or out-of-tune parts of it, works overall better than the eventual album version, which featured only Steve and I from the original band, plus Geoff Esty imitating a synth with a weird guitar effect and also playing some classical and Brian Drake on rhythm guitar.
Philosophical thought of the post: To what extent can you enjoy the creative products of your naive youth? I’ll be honest: even though these lyrics are cheesy, they’re much better than anything I’d written earlier, and I could still choke them out without being utterly embarrassed.