Flowerbed The Story After the success of our first EP, I heard from some friends in the business that a EP cassette was ok, but, we needed to make a full length CD. So, as I wrote the songs ( it took a while ), each year, I would bootleg my own material onto cassette until I had enough songs for a real record. So, we put all the Put-in-Bay classics onto it as well as some other favorites weused to play in the Flats of Cleveland. It was recorded on an old machine so it took a lot to get the perforamnces out of it. All in all it is an enjoyable CD. Tommy Bukovac was still in Cleveland, so he helped out as well as as bevvy of Calabash veterans. I wanted very much to make it a band project, so I remember recording it a few different times to include the current Calabash line-up, as they could change from year to year. Finally, I just kept the best recordings from each song and stopped trying to make it a current Calabash record and put it out. Iwas already writing songs for the next CD. This one put us on the map at Put-in-Bay and entrenched the summer anthem 'Friends-of-the-Bay into our lexicon of favorites. It still is very popular up there and we play it at the end of every show on the Bay and towards the end of every other show wherever we go. In early 1992 we were playing the Round House Bar as usual. We used to do a long medley of songs within the cofines of 'Roadhouse Blues' by The Doors. We would ask for requests and then get a bunch of paper napkins with all kinds of ideas on them. We would play as much of the song as we could and without missing a beat return to the confines of Roadhouse Blues. Sometimes, when there were no requests (or we didn't know how to play the ones we had), we would start to stretch out the middle part of the song, and eventually we had this whole thing going on in there we called 'Ode to the Empty Glass'. It was this big bolero movement with all kinds of dramatic stuff thrown in. Skip ahead to later that summer and we were doing a job where there was an opening act and they did our little medley note for note, ver batim. When I went up to the band leader and said we must be soul brothers because we had come up with the same thing for the song, he said that wasn't the case. He said they'd watched us in Cleveland and Put-in-Bay and knew we had the good gigs, so they recorded them and copied it note for note. As nonplussed as he seemed to be for such a blatant violation of my creativity, it was right them that I realized that no matter how well we do a Doors song, it will not be something unique, and therefore in order to be special we had to do something else. So, I started writing songs. I came up with a few, most of which people were snoozing through and during which the crowd was asking to hear more Doors songs. That was until I wrote this one song called, 'Friends-of-the-Bay' (notice the cool hyphens like Put-in-Bay). Somehow this struck a chord with the people and they started lining up with their friends and swying to it everytime we played it. Well, you don't have tobe real smart to figure out we needed to make a recording of this song. So, we set up our recording equipment the next spring at The Round House Bar in hopes of making a live recording in April. But there was nobody there in April! We recorded it anyway and by August (finally) we had a cassette tape to sell to the patrons. I will never forget at the end of the first night, we had sold all 250 cassettes and I had a stack of monet that was more than I'd made all week. This cassette is not in production as all the songs on it were subsequently put on our first CD, but if I get some requests for it, I might just go ahead and make some more!
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