Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bourgeois Heroes: the First Ten Years

On the 20th of May 2002, Elise and I walked into Sun Studio and recorded our first song.  Elvis Presley cassettes kept us awake on a straight shot from Connecticut to Tennessee.  A couple days before our big studio date, we had bought a drum kit and an electric guitar on consignment from a Memphis music shop and attempted tighten up in a hotel room.  Despite this preparation, we found ourselves locked out of the van with the keys sitting on the driver's seat shortly before we were due at Sun.  Some friendly Cajun gentlemen at a nearby garage came by to help and after some confusing communication, we were able to call for assistance.

We made it to the studio right in the nick of time only to discover our engineer was absent.  He spaced on the session and when eventually materializing, he was fairly in the bag.  This however didn't have any hinderance on his studio expertise.  He set us up in record time.

After a few false starts, we thankfully nailed the track in our first full take.  I say thankfully because we only had enough money to be in the studio for a few hours.  All the instruments had to be recorded, the vocals sung and the mix needed to be completed all in one short burst.  James, our engineer, warmed up to us as the evening progressed and he agreed to play a guitar solo.  I have a vivid memory of him taking a swig, rolling tape, putting down his cigarette, walking into the live room as the song blasted from the monitors, playing the lead, putting down the guitar, coming back to the mixing desk, placing the cigarette back in his mouth and then stopping the tape.

It's miraculous we pulled off this haphazard little recording considering Elise had just started playing drums and I had little idea on how to operate a guitar.

Bourgeois Heroes began playing live dates later that Fall.  Though our group's activity wouldn't fit most definitions of "productive" throughout these ten years, we've accumulated many adventures much like our first... and here's wishing for more to come!

***many thanks to those whose photos and posters feature in this video***