"A Man Who Was Here" contains material written between 1981 and 1985, some of which was originally performed by my first band, Watcher. (This makes me about 17 when the earliest ones were written.)

In 1985 my tax return was large enough to allow me to go into an 8-track studio and record. This is the only one of my albums to have been recorded in a regular studio. At the time, I was frustrated that after 5 years of writing and performing, I had no proper recordings, no record of these songs at all, besides some versions done by "multitrack" bouncing with 2 mono tape decks. I already knew the songs on enough instruments to make the album. I was annoyed to still be receiving unbelieving stares from people who couldn't imagine me pulling such a thing off. I had no proof of my capabilities, just claims.

Even though I was in the middle of recording Night Circus on 4-track with Kenny then, this was the one I was banking on to get picked up by a label. It had more commercial elements and, I assumed, would have better sound quality. I believed that not only would having master tapes in hand increase my chances, but I also thought that a hard, progressive-edged one man band album would be both impressive and welcome. My goal was to make the kind of record that could comfortably have been put out between 1968 and 1973. It was an easy goal to embrace, since that's the type of music I listened to and made! But I thought the pop aspect could reflect some of what I liked in more current music. I was going to craft the album's structure so that it flowed in a way that many of my favorite albums did- eclectic, challenging, textured. Despite the lack of such things on the radio or in the charts, it was my belief that there were a lot of others out there like myself who were starved for something like this, which had been so hugely popular only a short time ago. (What's 15 years to "classic" rock? Especially when every stoner you went to school still with listened to much of it.) Even so....there were elements of a more contemporary sound, a blend which, it seemed to me, could easily have worked. Then as now, I saw no reason for a wide range of styles and approaches to be bad news. In retrospect, I can't tell you if it was delusion, hubris, or just plain ignorance that made me think such a thing would be welcomed by any A&R person in the U.S. after 1973. I'd quit doing drugs on a daily basis years before, so I can't blame it on that. Regardless....

I set the date a few months in advance, and got to work figuring out track distribution for each song. I estimated how much time I would need, and decided to do a marathon recording session. The entire project was to be recorded in two ten hour sessions, two days in a row. For a while I was afraid that I'd budgeted my time too tightly.


April 21st and 22nd, 1985: Clean Machine Studios, Canoga Park.

Upon arriving at the studio, which was in a very rowdy part of town, I noticed an awful stench coming from the carpet. Apparently there was a butcher shop next door. Earlier in the week, one of their freezers had failed.The meat defrosted, and a good amount of blood and water had seeped under the wall and flooded the studio floor. Combine this with a heat wave and the fact that the studio was one large, un-airconditioned room- not pleasant. I figured I could breathe through my mouth during the instrumental tracks, but when I was singing I'd have to deal with the stench. I was vaguely worried it would hamper my performance. I hoped that maybe I'd acclimate after a few hours and no longer be aware of it. That didn't happen. It stank all the way through. But whether it was will power, acceptance, or both, I don't think it weakened my performance. I'd become aware of it and push that much harder to do well.

Time to unload. Being my own roadie was not something I would (or could) do again. I was used to hauling around the guitar equipment, but in addition to that I had a full drum set, a bass, every electric guitar I owned, and a "portable" organ. Loading and unloading the car was rough, and if I hadn't been committed to the point of insanity, I wouldn't have done very well.

Once unloaded, I set the equipment up, at least partially. At some point during this, the engineer told me if I had my reels, he could start getting the machine ready. Say what? He had not brought tape. He'd expected me to do it. I realize that in many cases this is how it's done, but I'd specifically asked him to handle it, and he said he could, and that I would pay him when I arrived. Now he was being a pal and telling me where I could drive to get tape, who would still be open. I told him that wherever the tape was, he was driving. He didn't trust me alone in the studio with his equipment, and I didn't trust him with mine. So we drove together in his truck. This gave me a chance to calm down a bit and relax before recording.

During the drive, the engineer also informed me he would have to try to borrow a half-track mastering machine to mix down to; he hoped he could get it, but he wasn't sure. When I'd booked, we had agreed that the tape would be mixed there, and he'd said he was reasonably sure he'd be able to get a machine to mix down to. This is why I'd booked two more days immediately following recording. This had been about a week or so previous, and I assumed he'd take care of tracking one down before the session actually arrived. Silly me.

I had also expected he would have enough microphones for the drums. He had three, and insisted on getting a "live" sound. It may have worked, even worked well; but I wasn't pleased; he had promised what I'd expected, namely close miking for everything. We managed to rig something in between, which was satisfactory to neither of us. To this day I still find the drum sound inadequate.

The drum tracks were recorded the first night (except for the section after the guitar solo in "King of the Night"). If I recall correctly, the main vocal tracks were recorded the first night too. The other tracks were recorded the following night.

One more detail concerning annoyances, this one squarely on me: I left the lyrics at home and had to sing them from memory.


1. NOTHING NEW Lyrics & music: '82. Instruments: vocals, guitars, drums, organ .


I heard the man on t.v. selling music for the brand new age

And thought about conformists who had built their fortunes out of rage

Their tongues of revolution stilled by treadmill time society

And fashion's creeping clutching hand threw shut the door and turned the key


You ain't saying anything new babe, somewhere you've said this before

You've got nothing to prove to me baby, just look around you some more...


I've heard the Disco Syndrums metamorphoseinto cracking whips

The dances change, the fashions change,exclusion stays, you're still too hip

A bunch of frightened people throwing water on a primal fire

Stifling by clinging in a crowd you mask your real desires


You ain't saying anything new babe, somewhere you've said this before.

You've got nothing to prove to me baby, I see exclusion galore.

And it's nothing new.


In the early '80's,the punk and new wave invasion had successfully taken over the music industry. Disco was dead; instead we had synthesized dance groups with the what to me seemed to be a similarly elitist attitude, and just as attached to fashion as their polyester-sporting predecessors had been. My experiences with punks told me they were no more exempt from these traits than their trendy new wave cousins. From an outsider's standpoint (my only one), it seemed as though the unreasonable and closed minded had replaced the unreasonable and closed minded. For all their protestations and posturing, the new regime was just the same old story.

One night, very, very late, I saw a commercial for a "K-Tel Superhits!" type package featuring "new wave" and "punk" bands. The industry had had the last laugh after all. Now these artists were just like the people their fans had put down, and in the end, they became product to be manipulated, just as every new thing that comes along and catches on is destined to become. I laughed out loud at this commercial and wrote the lyrics for "Nothing New" to celebrate the final inauguration of a new regime.

This was the first song recorded at this session. It is also the only song I recorded twice. The second take was used.

The instrumentation here is pretty standard: guitar, drums, two unison vocal tracks. There's some simple organ in the background. The one unusual thing is the use of guitar with octave divider and fuzz for the bass part.


2. DELUSIONS. Lyrics: '85, music: '82. Instruments: vocals, guitars, drums, organ .


Who am I? Who am I?

Tell me who I am!

You thought you knew who I was last week

But that was all just a sham.


Delusions, delusions,

I really feel sorry for you.

Delusions, delusions,

Every day I can become someone new.


Your face was red two weeks ago

But now it's green and blue

I hung you from the balcony

And then I ran you through.


Delusions, delusions,

I really feel sorry for you.

Delusions, delusions,

Every day I can become someone new.


All the doctors said that I was insane

So I broke out and I took a new name.


Be yourself, they said.....

Be yourself, they said.....

Be yourselves.....


This song was originally called "Pandrona" after a girl I knew who seemed to change identities like most people change their underwear. With each identity change, she also changed her name, hair color, clothes and lifestyle. The catalyst that sparked these changes was whatever band she happened to be idolizing at the time.

I don't care much these days for the condescension in those lyrics. Whatever else I could say about her, Pandrona was a very nice girl, and I liked her a lot, which doesn't really show.

The original lyrics have references to pink and blue hair, and when it came time to record it I felt that I really should have different lyrics in order to prevent the song from seeming dated. (Apparently I was unconcerned with how this might apply to "Nothing New".) How was I to know the practice would continue as fashion indefinitely? So one morning before going into the studio, I rewrote the lyrics with an Alice Cooper type bent. It seemed funny at the time. I'd do it differently today, it is.

I had been running "Nothing New" and "Delusions" together for a while; they just seemed to work well that way.

The instrumentation- and the take- is a continuation of "Nothing New", but at "Delusions" a second guitar comes in to do a melodic line during the verses and choruses, and the solo.

In 1983 I recorded a version of this medley in a 24-track studio which, during the day, specialized in Gospel. A friend of a friend's worked there as a janitor and 2nd engineer, and we stole tape and time (usually between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.) to record. We never got to finish it, but came close, leaving only the bass track out. You can certainly tell what it's supposed to sound like.


3. IF I DIE TOMORROW. Lyrics and music: '82. Instruments: drums, guitar, 8-string bass, vocals.



The sun warms my skin

And it makes me feel

Like I could throw it all away again.


Warm wind in my hair

A fresh breeze in the air

But it's not there for me to enjoy

So I just can't care


If I die tomorrow

Don't you cry for me

Take the day off and sit in the sun

And laugh because I'm free.



Too many memories come at night.

No one to share them with

No one to touch


The room rings with silence

Past achievements gather dust

So many self-inscribed trophies...

What do they matter?


If I die tomorrow

Don't you cry for me

Take the day off and sit in the sun

And laugh because I'm free.



You know it's all I want

Just to exist

Take some time to enjoy life


It's too bad that man must be machinery

Whose only purpose is to oil itself

Man is not perpetual motion

And machines never cry.....


Sometimes it's so damned hard to see

Just what's left around here to be.

The sun still shines, maybe an answer's there.....

Kind of find it hard to care.....


All the things I'll never see

All the things I'll never know

All the things I'll never be

All the things I'll never show


But these are speculations and as such, useless

And failure's just a state of mind, right?


But if I die tomorrow,

Don't you cry for me

Take the day off and sit in the sun

And laugh because I'm free.


This was written in fall,'82. I wrote the lyrics in a fit of depression one morning and very nearly threw them out the next day. But I put them aside and eventually read them again, and thought they might make good blues lyrics. So I kept them.

One night at the Teen Center, I was practicing and the chords came together. I read along with the lyrics, changed the chords to fit their feel, and in a couple of hours, it was done.

The 8-string bass makes its first appearance here, and stays for the rest of the album. The bass is an old Hagstrom ('65?). The Hagstrom electric 12-string that first appears on "Water From The Moon" is its evil twin. As it turns out, the 8-string still has yet to be the featured bass on an album again, its place taken by the Frankensteinian Olsen P-bass. The Hagstrom has made guest appearances throughout the years though, on such tracks as "Climb Out" and "Mercury Jones".

The lead guitar running through the song was just something that happened in the studio, and was completely improvised.

There's a quatrain of lyrics that never made it into the song. I was going from memory, and I forgot them. When the song was resurrected for the band Cold Sky, I left it the way it ended up on the album.


4. PLEASE SAY YOU'LL STAY. Lyrics & music: '83. Instruments: vocals, drums, guitar, 8-string bass.


There's a myriad of faces underneath this single skin

And I've seen a thousand places

that I know I've never been

Look deeply in my eyes, babe,

and you'll know that I'm for real

I've got wounds that stretch a thousand years

and I need your love to heal


'Cause when the song is sung and the notes die away

Nothing's left for me now

Can you hear what I say?


I live my life the normal way

But every night I dream

Outside I am a young man

Things are seldom what they seem


I dream of things forgotten

And I dream of things I've known

I dream of empty cities

And the years I spent alone


But when the song is sung and the notes die away

Nothing's left for me now

Will you please say you'll stay?


More than crowds are fading, babe,

That's why I'm standing now

We stand to lose more than we've got

Let's win it back somehow


(repeat 1st v. and chorus)


This was my stab at doing a rock love song. The '87 remix (and the version now released) has the harmony vocal line that I'd meant to put in back in '85 when it was recorded. The band Cold Sky did this in its earlier days, and the CD "In Process" has two versions, plus a track of the band having some fun doing it in different styles.



This was originally intended to be an improvisation around "Mean Town Blues", but at the last minute I decided to just improvise. Instrumentation: hi-hat, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, organ. I used the engineer's acoustic guitar; at the time I didn't own one. There are actually two organ tracks. The '85 mix has them both, whereas in the '87 mix (current), I just went with one. I would ideally like to use both, but selectively; this kind of thing is much easier with digital editing.


6. LIFE IN GAMELAND. Lyrics & music: '81. Instruments: drums, guitar, 8-string bass, vocals


A youth misspent by not joining the crowd

Refuse to play games and you're not allowed


But that's how it goes

Yeah that's how it goes

Oh that's how it goes

That's life in gameland


Learn for yourself? Why what do you mean?

Don't you know that we need you to feed our machines?


But that's how it goes

Yeah that's how it goes

Oh that's how it goes

That's life in gameland


We'll make sure your head is made out of wood

And we'll make you dig ditches like itinerants should

Or we'll turn you into pigeons

that can walk a figure-eight

We'll control all your emotions,

tell you what to love or hate and it's a


Blissful existence if you just play along

We'll have your mind to build on if you just play along

We'll waste your whole life for you if you

just play along


Please let us waste your time

Please let us waste your mind





A youth misspent by not joining the crowd

Refuse to play games and you're not allowed


But that's how it goes

Yeah that's how it goes

Oh that's how it goes

That's life in gameland



I decided to record this at the end of the first day, when we had time left over after doing drum tracks for everything else. I hadn't counted on being able to do this one, so I hadn't rehearsed any of the tracks for close to 3 months before I recorded them. Surprisingly, it came out just fine. This is one of my oldest songs, written in high school. There's a great primitive mono-cassette dub version of this, which I will release someday.



Written and recorded in the studio in about 2 hours.


8. I PLAYED IN THE DIRT. Lyrics & music: '82. Instruments: guitars, vocals, drums, 8-string bass.


Mommy took me to the hospital again today,

They gave me more of that medicine.

It makes your hair fall out.

The kids at school all laughed at me because I was bald


But all I did was play in the dirt,

That's really all I did

I just played in the dirt,

That's really all I did.


Daddy says it's 'cause of that big building that's

next to the school.

They threw stuff in the ground that hurts people.

The doctor says I'm gonna die. I'll miss mom and dad

It makes me cry


'Cause all I did was play in the dirt

That's really all I did

I just played in the dirt

That's really all I did.


There's lots of kids in the hospital.

They're gonna die like me.

Some of them drank nasty water,

And some of them were born that way.


Some of them say that they're not scared,

But I hear them cry at night.

I wish I knew what I did wrong

So it could be all right


All I did was play in the dirt

That's really all I did

I just played in the dirt

That's really all I did


And I'll never, never, never do it again.


Most of the song is from '82; the lead line at the end was written a few days before going into the studio.

The lyrics were taken from a news story. It's common to us now, unfortunately; but then, the story of entire towns being poisoned were still something of a novelty. In this case, a young kid got cancer because of something dumped near his school playground, years before. It got into the groundwater, spread out well beyond the dump site, and eventually surfaced through the playground soil.

This song draws extreme reactions from just about everyone who hears it. People either really like it, or they really hate it, all based on the lyrics. These were written "in character" as I'd done with plenty of other songs.


9. SO FAR. Lyrics & music: '84. Instruments: guitar, vocals, drums, 8-string bass


I saw you just the other day

and you said that you were doing fine

You couldn't pay the rent, you said,

It's too expensive when you're doing lines


And then you couldn't get to sleep

so you had to buy some downs

The world's not made for having fun,

Maybe it's better in some other town


Maybe someday soon we'll see the life we used to know

I think of you and think about how far we have to go


Saw fearless leader on the tube

and as usual his news was bad

The children of the USA

won't have a richer life than Mom and Dad


The standard of living's sinking fast

and the past is dead and gone

And half my paycheck builds your bombs

and cuts the White House lawn


Maybe someday soon we'll see the life we used to know

I think of you and think about how far we have to go


I sit up late at night

and wonder what the hell I'll do

'Cause all the fears and doubts all seem

to be coming true.....


I saw you just the other day

and I said that I was doing fine

I couldn't look you in the eyes

'cause I was handing you the same old line

Can't find a job, can't find a girl,

and there's so much that I don't know

And I don't know where I'm going to,

is there anyplace to go?


Maybe some day soon we'll see the life we used to know

I think of you and think about how far we have to go


I think of me and think about

How far we have to go.


A political pop tune that takes no sides and spares no one, the narrator included. (Again, the narrator is not me, he is a character.) The lyrics actually were written to fit the music this time- usually it works the other way around for me.


10. KING OF ILLUSION. Lyrics 11/13/81; music mid-to-late 11/81. Instruments: drums, vocals, guitar, fretless guitar, 8-string bass


I am the truth in every lie

I am the laugh in every cry

I am the black in all blue skies

I am the dead that never dies


King of illusion

A perfect conflict


Which is illusion

Which is reality?


Searching for answers near and far

Gazing beyond the distant stars

Seeing only what is right there

Ignoring truth, answers everywhere


King of illusion

A perfect conflict


Which is illusion

Which is reality?


All is one and one is all.


If I remember correctly the lyrics were written first, and very shortly after that I came up with the music. The manic drum beat, kind of like Love's "7 and 7 Is" played in 7, came into my head at a bus bench one afternoon; and I played it very hard with my fists on the wood 'til the bus came. If anyone else at the stop noticed, they didn't say anything. The melody arrived before the bus did, and by nightfall the song concept/arrangement had developed. The melody and chord structure came from the vocal line.

At that time I thought I'd make it the title track of an album, and it would take up side 2. (The picture above was originally intended as the album cover, and this image -photo tinted dark purple w/yellow highlights- was also designed, in my head, that day, based on a b&w image in one of my textbooks.) At first I imagined lots of strange instruments in it. I later abandoned that and tried to work the song into "Night Circus", reconceptualized as a 3 piece jam, like Cream, or the jams on "Man Who Sold The World". Eventually it ended up in that form on "A Man Who Was Here". There is a version recorded for "Night Circus", which I like very much and intend to release someday.

For "A Man Who Was Here", this was intended to start off side 2. The album was arranged so that side one was all shorter tunes, and side two featured 3 longer songs with extended solos.

After the second verse and chorus, the jam section was left totally open. The fretless guitar in this section was bought with money I had been saving for the session. I bought it about 2 weeks before recording for $170. The first time I saw it had been years earlier, and I'd always wanted it. Originally it had been selling for something like $1200. Each year, it went down in price, as people would come in and play it for hours, but never buy it. Finally, one day I walked in and there it was at a price I could afford. I found out it had been sitting in the store for 10 years. I had to shave off recording time to buy it, but I ended up with more time than I needed, shaving off 10 hours. (I was originally going to do 2 fifteen hour sessions-totally unnecessary.) I'm very glad I took the chance to do it. It's a fantastic instrument, very unique and distinctive and capable of a wide variety of sounds.

The drum solo is a first take, straight through, and in retrospect I wish I'd done a second take. The solo's O.K., but I was capable of much better. At the time, I didn't want to interfere with the natural flow, and chose to leave it just the way it happened.

The voices at the end, during the coda, were fed through my 16 second delay. This enabled me to put an entire chorus of backing vocals on one track and use the delay to alter the pitch. It also enabled me to put in the backwards and slowed down voice, which is saying" there is no backwards message". This section ran overtime into the count off for "King of the Night"; I left it alone.

All of the released and recorded versions differ pretty significantly from how the song was originally conceived. There are two more variations on this I'd like to try, so you never know- they may pop up one day.


11. KING OF THE NIGHT. Lyrics & music: '81. Instruments: guitar, drums, vocals, 8-string bass


You say you don't want me hanging around

Your friends think I'm strange and get scared

You say you don't want me sharing your ground

I was stupid to think that you cared


But one day babe, that sun will go down

And darkness will steal you from sight

And when that dark comes, give up hope, give up all

'Cause I will be king of the night


I sit in this room staring at the four walls

And I see your face form on the ceiling

The walls, closing in, seem to scream I can't win

They've forgotten with who they are dealing


One day, babe, that sun will go down

And darkness will steal you from sight

And when that dark comes, give up hope, give up all,

'Cause I will be king of the night


Thinking about how I tried hard to love you

Watching the world laughing right in my face

For now I'm the ground, but the sky up above you

Changes in hue to bring me to my place


More dark, psycho, mysogenist lyrics. I stopped being fond of them years ago. Fully character driven and not personal, I assure you.

The guitar track is one straight take up to the end of the solo. Since the time of the solo was indeterminate, the drums for the next section had to be laid down after it was recorded; this meant the guitar for that section had to be laid down after the drums.

Since everyone was shunning this kind of rock when I recorded it, I suppose I should be proud of the fact that I did it before it became popular again. Trouble is, people either don't believe you when you say that, or don't care and roll their eyes at the mention of it.

I did basically the same extended guitar solo on the Paper Bag tape "85.5" under the name "Saigon Falls". At the time it was my only outlet for any of this in a live context.


12. A MAN WHO WAS HERE. Lyrics & music: '85. Instruments: guitars, organ, vocals, drums, 8-string bass


Do not think you are forgotten

Though I quickly slip away

I am of a drifting nature

Too uncomfortable too stay

And it has nothing to do with you

There's no reason for that fear


Time will show me as a shadow seeking darkness

Just a man who was here


All these people I have passed by

Will never know what I have learned

Better that they never find out

See themselves as bridges burned

Yet I love them still and always

And their memories are near

But they hold me as an undesirable leecher

Maybe sometimes shed a tear


And even those who really know me

Can only see what I will show

A different side, a different nature

A changeling everywhere I go

For only I can hold my secrets

Absorbed from life and death and fear


Time will show me as a shadow seeking darkness

Just a man who was here


Visions of mind

Of space and time

Of lies and pain and bedsheet stains

Emotions and how they are kicked to death

Of love and sleeping lover's breath

All the experience a life can give

These I will know, these I must live


Do not think you are forgotten

Though I quickly slip away

I am of a drifting nature

Too uncomfortable to stay

For only I can hold my secrets

Absorbed from life and death and fear


Time will know me as a shadow finding darkness

Just a man who was here


This was written a few months prior to going into the studio. The riff it is based on suddenly came out during a rotation at a Paper Bag rehearsal, and I decided to turn it into a song. The result was something I liked enough to make the title track. It became a staple of the Cold Sky repertoire.



As the previous reveals, I'd had enough time left over both days to record extra tracks that had either not been rehearsed (Life in Gameland) or were improvised or written in the studio (Middle America, Because You Lied). Everything else had been planned out or rehearsed quite thoroughly. There are improvised sections in some of the songs, and I allowed my ideas to change in the studio, but not at the risk of running out of time. Things were handled decisively.

There were good and bad points to recording this way. I found the pace completely exhilerating. I hate to be stopped when I'm creating something (creatus interruptus- BAD!!!), particularly when working alone and multi-tracking. It's easier (and necessary) to relax a little when recording with a band. But when working solo, I find any interruption of momentum to be borderline infuriating. (Necessary interruptions such as going to the bathroom, eating and changing reels or setting up sounds are excluded, as they are part of the work. Even so, it may take a while to get me there sometimes.) Having a patient and energetic engineer is essential. I may have had a number of complaints about the engineer's handling of the session, but where this was concerned, he was excellent. I ran a marathon and dragged him along and he kept up. Of course where my solo stuff is concerned, after this and Night Circus, I've been my own engineer. On the one hand that's a pain in the ass; on the other, I never have to argue, or fear slacking, subterfuge, or mutiny.

At the end of the 2nd and final night of recording, the engineer and I sat and listened as we dubbed a rough mix of the tapes onto cassette for me to take home and study. I felt very satisfied and was excited to begin mixing.

He told me he still hadn't found a half-track mastering machine to mix down to; he hoped he could get it, but he wasn't sure. I was not happy about this and asked that he figure something out. I packed up the gear, took my tapes, and he told me he'd call in the morning to let me know how things were going.

Next day, early morning passed; late morning crept in, and afternoon wasn't far off. I called; he claimed his wisdom teeth needed to be pulled. He gave me numbers of alternate studios and wished me a nice day. I wanted to strangle him, or at least do his dentistry without anasthesia. (I'm so much nicer now.)

I was working with limited time. I'd taken my vacation from a horrible factory job to do this. My schedule was apparently wrecked. I spent the next two days looking for a studio to mix down in. Finally I found one that was semi-satisfactory, and did what was to become the first mix. This was accomplished in about 8 hrs. It was originally intended to be done in two 5 hr. sessions, but on the way to the first session, I forgot my money and had to drive nearly all the way back home for it. (The studio was about 40 minutes away by car.) The owner/engineer refused to negotiate the time, and I paid for the full 5 hrs., though I only got in 3. We finished the the next day without a hitch. The engineer liked "If I Die Tomorrow" so much he kept a copy of it (with my permission). Given the way things had gone, I now regret this and wonder why I agreed to it at the time.

My approach to the first mix was to give the whole album a cohesive sound, which was a kind of a reverb-laden gloom, a big sound, full of mystery. In some ways I feel I succeeded, but not without some problems.

I made up lots of cassette copies and sent them to record labels, gave them to friends, to other musicians, to family. Nothing happened.

Between finishing "Night Circus", my work with Paper Bag, and dealing with my personal life, I was kept very busy after shifts at the factory.

As time passed, my dissatisfaction with the first mix grew. I felt as though I had rushed it and that my production style had masked and hidden some good playing. My suspicions were confirmed when I dug up the rough draft tape of the unmixed tracks, made right after finishing recording. There were lots of things I felt to be important that were too subtle or just plain inaudible on the first mix. I resolved to set the matter straight with a re-mix at the first available opportunity.

That opportunity came in 1987. I found another studio that fit my budget (but as it turned out, not my needs) and began to remix. Because of the moniter placement and my misjudgment of the result this would have on my ears, some of the remix was actually too tinny and high-end. It still lacked bass response, overall. To compensate for this, I eventually had Hyam Sosnow use his home system to remaster it with some extra punch, which helped a lot. Overall, I feel the re-mix had some superior qualities and I rate it higher than the '85 mix. This was the version used for the Pale series releases.

The current remaster uses the first pass from '87 (minus the Sosnow bass boost) as its jumping off point. I loaded it into my digital studio and was able to boost the bass in a more controlled way, and to use other tools to bring out a lot of subtleties. It is not the ideal remix/remaster I'd always wanted, from the original multi-tracks transferred to digital; but considering I was encountering oxide flaking from the tape in '87, I can only imagine what condition the masters might be in now. They could be fine; they could also, very easily, be ready to leave a flurry of brown particles all over someone's studio. At this point I don't know, but kind of doubt, that such a remix/remaster will ever take place. There's only so many times one may flog a particular old horse. I think this is it.

"A Man Who Was Here" was my first attempt at a multitrack album, and in many ways, it shows. The beginning of a learning curve is usually awkward. But I have never been anything but happy with having made the move to record it, and with having done it the way I thought it should be done. This was the first volley in my personal war for musical independence, and I never looked back.

GS, '12