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On Vacation

In December 1989, James Spears recorded this session at Primo Music in Phoenix. Joe Debenedictus was in the control room with his keys and headphones. Slim had his fretless precision and harmonics. I used a rather special guitar set-up, including James' unique custom-made guitar with a through-the-body neck of Koa wood, and my Carvin amp. I got together with Joe and Slim the night before the session and we went over the tunes. The recording was basically live in the studio. We did only one or two takes of each track. (I was going to call this "Permanent Vacation," but James told me that Aerosmith had just come out with an album of that name. About the same time, I tried to use "In Living Color" as a stage name, but the management of the establishment nixed my lovely poster and name, the latter of which was later used with great success.)

The Guy features Joe DeBenedictus on the keyboard, with a haunting voice that sounded like a guy chanting. As with all the tracks here, Joe and Slim added their parts on the fly during this session. Slim's bass at times sounds like a trombone.

Dream within a Dream puts to music a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. .

Rockewell Chase includes a jam that runs faster and faster before stopping for breath and returning to the initial riff.

Debassed was the first track we did after Slim had to leave the session for a gig. Hence, we were debassed. Somewhere, there is a recording of me doing this piece solo live on Tuscon public radio show.

Out of Synth has Joe getting out of the synth sounds and into a piano sound for this long, rambling jam. Since he was in the control room and I was in the studio, our only contact was through the music. So, near the end of the jam, when we actually syncopated a few beats together, we seemed to be surprisingly in sync, inspite of being quite out of synth.

The Tyger presents the famous poem by William Blake.

A Different Planet floats around the atmosphere of a not-so-distant but nonetheless different planet.

The Lamb, in imitation of Blake's paired poems in "Songs of Innocence and Experience," goes along with The Tyger, although it does not really work as a song of innocence.