Saturday, September 3, 2011

Under the Ice

I loved the Christmas records The Beatles made every year for their fans. It was fascinating the way they matured as the years went by. I was so inspired by them, I started making a Christmas recording for my mother every year. I haven’t missed one since the 1970s.

In 1995 I didn’t have access to a studio. My son was a year and a half old and my daughter was on the way. It was the most removed I’ve ever been from music. I was making my living as a videographer, so I taped a live performance for her. My son can be seen running in and out of the frame. I will post that around Christmas.

Some time in the early 80s I began work on my mom’s song and I showed what I had to my friend Carl Weingarten. We were working on the second Delay Tactics album. I had a repetitive guitar part and Carl talked me into making a loop out of it. The piece went through several changes before it became Under the Ice on the Any Questions? LP.

We performed the song live on the show Sound Waves which was hosted by Kevin Martin. That must have been before the release of the album because it was called Antarctica.

Last year I came across the show on YouTube. Unfortunately whoever posted it only played the band being interviewed and none of the musical performance.

I borrowed my buddy Tracy’s fretless for the song and was very proud of my part. That show was the only time I’ve ever been featured as a bass player. I wrote Kevin to see if he had a copy of the show. He said he thought it had been Wax Theatricks and didn’t save it because he was embarrassed by his part. I wish I could find out who posted it and get a copy.

I came up with the name Under the Ice because I had been reading about Harry Houdini almost dying when he performed one of his escapes in a frozen river. He got trapped under the ice and almost died.

Suffocation has always held a special fascination for me. I read somewhere that it was the most painless way to die. I had recently had an experience in a dream. I was drowning in the river where I grew up. I had just gotten past panic and was ready to accept the inevitable. There was no pain and I had an overwhelming sense of peace. Suddenly I awoke to see my girlfriend Jill’s cat moving away from my face. My dad had also recently died by drowning.

Under the Ice went in such a different direction with Delay tactics that I can’t even call it my song, it’s a Delay tactics piece. I’m really happy with it.

St. Louis dancer Suzanne Grace made a great video using the song but I can’t find a complete copy. KETC-TV made a documentary of the band showing how LPs are made and they used part of her video. I posted it on YouTube. At the end of the piece Walter and I joked that we would take one song and slow it down or even run it backwards so we could resell the same song several times. The interviewer took us seriously.

The record pressing plant was in Arnold Missouri. The narration was a little silly, but check out Suzanne’s performance.

Here’s what there was of the Kevin Martin show

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All you have to do is subscribe to the person's page and leave a comment on the video or their page itself. Tell him who you are and ask him how they got it. I'm sure they'll tell you.