Monday, October 20, 2008

Dave's Big Deluxe


Billy K from Dave's Big Deluxe writes:

"This is Dave's Big Deluxe's first release, a self-titled cassette. It was recorded in a high-end home studio on some kind of video cassette format. It was some weird set-up. It sounds pretty weak by today's standards, but recording was not so easy back then, and we didn't have a lot of money to spend (we self-financed this one). It was released by Third World Underground, which was a very small local label that focused mostly on punk rock. The label owner, Jack, would soon start a new label, Slimstyle, that focused on ska and swing.

"My memory's fuzzy about most of the details, but I think we'd been together a couple years at this point. This was what I'd consider our first "real" line-up. In those days we just let anyone with a passing interest play. If you could hold a wind instrument, you were in. At one point we had 12 people in the band; 7 horns. And we (sadly) didn't have an organ player, that was done by the producer.

"There were two Guitarists/Singers back then; Dave and Doug. Doug was into space rock and trippy stoner stuff. "Hardest Thing," "World Full of Ugly" and "New Start Tomorrow" were his songs. Dave was really political back then, as you can hear in most of the lyrics not written by Doug. If I recall, "Idle Gossip" was written by our first bassist, Gordon, who was heavy into Mod culture at the time. I wrote most of the horn parts. Not that they're particularly intricate.

"The lineup on this record is basically the same as "Sounds from the Credenza," but would change drastically between there and "Miss Fortune." In fact, only Dave and I stuck around for the next "era." You can really hear a difference in the rhythm section. Gordon played this awesome Vox Cougar bass that had that old plunky sound that really defined us early on. His lines really moved. I think Dave was playing a vintage Mosrite through a vintage Fender Twin (killer vintage equipment was cheap and plentiful in Tucson in those days...sigh.) the guitar solos were all played by Doug. You may notice as we "grew" as a group, our guitar parts disappeared. Dave hated playing leads, and when Doug left, so did our guitar solos. But our horn section got a lot better, and started playing more and more solos. You'll notice the horns on this I hadn't really played in two years, but I was the only one with more than high-school band experience, which is why the mix is so heavy on trumpet.

"I did the "artwork" for all our releases (except the 45). In 1992 I didn't own a computer, so I hand-lettered the logo and set the credits with a typewriter. Remember, this was 1992/3. In the next couple years, desktop publishing would really take off, and I got significantly better at design (and got access to a computer). This one is kind of embarrassing, but also reflects the DIY way we did things back then.

"I don't even remember how many cassettes we pressed or how many we sold - if any. Frankly, I think we just gave most of them away. We never made any money in the band. Anything we made from shows or merch went into the band fund for equipment and expenses, and later touring.

"And that's officially more than anyone needs or wants to know about the early days of Dave's Big Deluxe."

1 Intro
3 Post Cold War Political Satanic Ritual
4 Idle Gossip
5 Hardest Thing
6 Left and Right
7 Political Correctness is McCarthyism
8 World Full of Ugly
9 New Start Tomorrow




ryl0 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryl0 said...

WOW! this is awesome! i grew up in tucson and saw DBD at the downtown performance center numerous times those were great shows it was an amazing genuine ska scene back in the early 90s and daves big deluxe was always far and away my favorite ska band not to mention LOCAL.. anyways i had this cassette way back then and at it of course fell apart at some point and of course i could never replace it. so today i was going thru some old boxes and i opened one and saw the cassette insert and figured i'd google it and see if i could find it and Here It Is for download! thank you for making this available!!!

edit: Hardest Thing is still an amazing song...

ryl0 said...

hahahah i just noticed you posted this TODAY. amazing. here we are 16 years later and i happened to google you the same day you posted this.

Internet = Awesome.

thx again Billy!!!

(daves big deluxe fan in Alaska)

Billy K said...

One more set if anyone is interested.

This is Dave's Big Deluxe's only vinyl 45 release. The A-Side is an edited version of Little L.A. and the B-Side is a cover of Johnny Too Bad. It's one of the best recordings we ever made, not available anywhere else.

Also included is a soundboard recording of our live set from the University of Arizona's Spring Fling c. 1994 or 95 I think. It was basically the Sounds From the Credenza album live with a couple tunes we never recorded in a studio. Good energy, but pretty rough (we were just figuring a lot of things out).

I have one more live recording from a radio program which I'll up if anyone is interested. It's from around the time of Miss Fortune/Live at University High and is actually pretty good.


Anonymous said...

THANKS! I was in the same exact boat as ryl0 -- I really did pay for the tape once upon a time at a live show back at the DPC in Tucson, but after all of these years, it was in thoroughly dreadful shape. I've tried to find this online several times in the last ten years or so. It had been quite a while since my last search. Today, I googled for "Dave's Big Deluxe" "left and right" ... and POOF! I found your post! Thank you! Thank you!