Red House Panties
What is encapsulated within these tracks is a combination of the past and present inextricably fused and melded into an inevitable future, i.e. The listener's experience, whether on first or subsequent hearings. The past is represented by poems that originated in their nascent form over a decade ago. The present is the moment within which these improvisations were created live in the studio and the future is you, dear listeners. The genesis for Serious Fun was three musician's mutual respect and love of each other's talents along with a willingness to jump into the fiery lake of spontaneously inventive improvised music making. We were initially drawn together to explore and create de-constructed versions of rock, pop and soul classics which were webbed together with my original poetry in order to generate themed programs. In no short order it became evident to all of us that what was most attractive to our imaginative spirits was the musical improvisation behind the linking poetry. The particular poems on this record are part of a large cycle I facetiously dubbed 'The Psycho Poems.' They were written during the early 1990's in a purgative burst after spending approximately three years delving into the noir and graphic novelists from the 1930's through to the early 1990's. A connective trail if you will that began with James M. Cain, through to Jim Thompson, David Goodis and others, and ended at the visceral doorstep of James Ellroy. I was also combining this literary 'self study' with like minded films concerning the darker aspects of human nature. Hence this aperient out-pouring of a series of poems from the perspective of a serial killer and/or at the very least a person or persons of an extremely anti-social nature, sometimes hidden beneath a fragile veneer and sometimes with the beast blatantly unleashed. There is no apologia for these poems. They simply exist as a conduit or doorway in and out of the darker seedlings that are planted deep within all of us. We are all capable of the most exulted beauty and also of the most heinous deeds. It's a delicate balancing act and one which most of us are adept at managing. Thank God! That's a lengthy explanation of the poems (written in the past and sometimes re-written during recitation in the spur of the moment). The present is what occurs when the three of us get together. Every time we perform this repertoire (of 'The Psycho Poems' or other poetry) it is unrehearsed and spontaneous. If we find a musical cell or riff that strikes our fancy, it may 'sorta, kinda' remain as part of the over-arching structural concept, but the musical minutiae is always fresh. These tracks were created, in one take, spontaneously and live, in the studio. There was only one overdub. Peter re-played his entire guitar part on Refrigerator. That too was performed in one take, while listening to the entire track. Some slight musical and rhythmic nuances were added after the fact to enhance the listening experience and to give some underscoring to the emotional content of the pieces. Ninety nine per cent of what you hear was one take and totally live. I am proud of what we were able to lay down on these tracks and extremely grateful and appreciative of the talent and friendships I share with Peter and Anthony. They are personal and musical mensch's of the very highest order. James Manno operated on a genius level in the studio and not only brought out the best of the raw tracks but was the 'fifth Beatle' in his creative input and expansion of these tracks with subtleties like the hand drums and other 'beautiful noises' during the mixing and mastering. C'mon, let's take a walk on this wild side together. John Hammel.