Bob Drake and his Pals: 1970-20??
Featuring groups of which I have been a member, collaborations, one-off oddities and other such thrills from my collection of cassettes, CDs and hard disks. Will be updated occasionally on rainy winter days.

The Great Escape. (BD with Peter Blegvad - 1997)
BD: guitars, bass, drums.
Peter Blegvad: guitars and vocals.
Written by PB and Andy Partridge,

When Peter Blegvad was here at my studio back in 1997 with Chris Cutler and John Greaves recording what became the Hangman's Hill album, Peter recorded the basic guitar and vocal for this song, but the group never finished it. I really liked it, so afterwards, Peter and I finished it up ourselves. At the time, Peter felt that I'd gone a bit overboard with the production, and I now agree. I think it was because at the time I was still working on my album Medallion Animal Carpet and was still in that noisy, somewhat frantic and lo-fi mood. But what the heck, it's a great tune and pretty rockin'!

In 2017 I dug out the original ADAT tapes, re-did my parts in a somewhat less frantic manner, and remixed it for Peter's box set. I left this version here so anyone interested can compare the two.

Not in Love. (Drag - 1985)
BD: drums, bass, harmony vocal, piano, engineering.
Jeri Rossi: lead vocal.
Susanne Lewis: Mellotron, Casio, harmony vocals.
Jeri and/or Susanne had the idea to do a cover version of this 10CCs' song, so we did this. Recorded at our yogurt factory rehearsal room in Denver, on a Fostex 1/4" 8 track and mixed to cassette.

Crossover Song (2013 Edit). The Bruce Odland Big Band - 1985
Recorded in 1985 in Denver Colorado, the song first appeared on our 1986 album Crossover. Here I've edited out some repetitions, shortening it by a minute, and mixed in some overdubs we'd done for one of our other songs (the rhythmic tubular sounds, reverb-ey voices and slamming refrigerator door). This is the only track on the album we recorded live in the studio, with the whole band playing in the same room, in restrospect we should have done them all that way!

BD: engineering, bass and voice, noises.
Mark Fuller: drums, voice, noises.
Mark McCoin: drums, voice, noises.
Bruce Odland: keyboards, voice, noises.
Gail Springer: lead vocal.
Glen Nitta: saxophones.
Fred Hess: saxophones.
Mark Harris: baritone saxophone.
Wade Sanders: trombone.
Ron Miles: trumpet.

Whithers Olde-Time Town Square Cabaret Orchestra
(27-track album, click here to open as playlist.) (I hope.)

Mostly done between 1984-85 in Denver. This started when I asked Eric to do some music for "Lucifer's Lounge" in one of the Halloween haunted houses I was making sound effects for. Eric said OK but "only if you play bass with so much vibrato you can't tell what note it's supposed to be". (Track 13 was the result). For some of these, Eric would simply improvise songs on the keyboard, recorded live to cassette, I'd (sortof) learn them, and add drums and bass overdubbed by ping-ponging to another cassette machine. For some of them we'd come up with a basic idea, record the keyboard and drums together and I'd overdub bass. Tracks 25-26 were recorded live at a show, just Eric playing alone, I added the bass and drums afterwards. This wholle collection is still a favourite of mine from the Denver decade!

BD - drums, bass, guitar, vocal, engineering.
Eric Moon - keyboard.

The Beasties. (Corpses as Bedmates - 1984)
Corpses as Bedmates was me on percussion and engineering, and Susanne Lewis and Karen Sheridan on guitar, bass, vocals, and whatever else was around. This track is from our cassette album Babaa and Scheibel = 69 which was released in 1984. I particularly like the sound of this album, recorded in a large empty room in an abandoned factory in Denver, and I didn't use any drums - only things I found around the factory such as old barrels, sheets of steel, parts of unknown machinery etc. All the ambience is the sound of the room, not artificial reverb. The recording gear was incredibly minimal as well, multi-tracked by ping-ponging between a cassette deck and a Sony F1 stereo digital recorder I borrowed from my friend Bruce Odland, along with a home-made mixer which was literally falling to pieces, with knobs dangling on wires. After a day recording in there, both yourself and the gear would be all dirty and was great! I chose this piece for the archive because I especially like the percussion sounds.

Military Rampage of Invaders. (BD, Mark Fuller, Patrick Bowers - 1984)
Mark, Patrick and I were at the Packing House studio in Denver, waiting to do a session with someone who never showed up. Rather than waste the opportunity, we came up with and finished this in couple of hours. A tad repetitive it's true, but we had plenty of laughs making it.
BD: bass, Arp 2600, engineering.
Mark Fuller: acoustic and Simmons drums, vocals.
Patrick Bowers: vocals.

Bladder. (BD, Mark Fuller, Mike Johnson, Eric Moon - 1984)
The cassette from whence this came was labelled "BLADDER" which was probably the first (and very typical for us at that time) name we came up with for the band. Later we called ourselves Emergency. Recorded in our rehearsal room in Denver on a cheap cassette recorder. I really like the horrid, distorted sound; it suits the vibe of the band very well!
BD: bass.
Mark Fuller: drums
Mike Johnson: guitar
Eric Moon: keyboards

Device for Metal. (Ultraviolet Sun - 1984)
It's me on drums, guitar, Casio, vocals and engineering, and John Sheehan on bass and vocals. Recorded in Denver in the same abandoned factory and with the same dilapidated recording gear I describe below. John and I hoped to get a band together to perform this kind of noisy, rockin' stuff but this was all we did. John wrote the lyrics: I remember the sky. Geometrical shapes. This device can help you.

Rising Snail in Sky (1983)
BD: drums, Casio, vocals, noises, engineering.
Mark McCoin: vocals, noises. (Drums on Soldier's Tomatoes).
Mike Johnson: guitar, noises.
John Sheehan: bass, vocals, noises.

Recorded in the basement of an abandoned factory near the former Gates rubber factory in Denver. The upper parts of the building were long gone...there was only the basement which was accessed by a stairway back along the railroad tracks under the freeway overpass in an empty lot overgrown with rank had to know exactly where to look in order to find it...I do wish there were photos. I recall that the mixer I used for this project was a mono 4-channel no-brand-name big old PA system mixer. It had a built-in compressor which sounded great! With some clever trickery in the tracking (recorded on a Teac 3340 4-track) I managed to make a stereo mix even though the mixer itself was mono. Lyrics for Turn the Soldier's Tomatoes written by Steve Courtright.

Feed Your Kitty TV Dinner.

Turn the Soldier's Tomatoes.

Local Artists (1983)
BD: Casiotone, Rhythm Ace, drums, guitar, effect boxes, vocals, engineering.
John Sheehan: bass, vocals, effect boxes.

I met John Sheehan in the early 80's in Denver. He was a very unusual and interesting character. We made some recordings together under the name Local Artists, which was a term we'd often see used by Denver journalists to describe Denver bands, as opposed to terms like "genius" and "brilliant" which were reserved for groups from anywhere else. These two tracks come from a full-length cassette album we recorded in John's apartment during 1982-83.

Ye Fledge

The Pope Called

Great Banana. (1980 and 1990 something)
8-track album, click here to open as playlist.

BD; engineering, organ, guitars, drums, glasses, house, vocal utterances.
Sharon Bradford: glasses, utensils, noisebox, house, vocal utterances, cat.
Mark Bradford: house, trumpet, harmonica, vocal utterances.
Mike Johnson: house, vocal utterances and a little bit of guitar (tracks 1-7).

Track 1-7 Recorded on a Summer's day in 1980 at Bradford's house, Denver Colorado, on a Teac 3340 4-track and mixed to cassette. The mixer was an 8-channel early 70's Sunn Magna, microphones were SM57-58's, and a pair of early 70's Radio Shack Realistic condenser mics. Track 8 was recorded in two sessions, the first in the early 80's and the second in the late 90's. Those of you familiar with Thinking Plague's first album might recognise a bit of track one here; we used a few minutes of it for the break in Thorns of Blue and Red.

Dry Heaves and his Teen-Age Corpse Eaters. (1980-'81)
4 tracks, click here to open as playlist.

More exquisite engineering by yours truly. Tracks 1-3 recorded in 1980 with me and Lin Esser taking turns on guitar, drums, bass and vocals. Later we put a full band together with me on drums, Lin on guitar, John Von Feldt on bass, and Bob Sawyer on vocals, and did one live show, at the 4-Mile House in Denver in 1981 which I recorded on a blaster placed inside one of the PA speaker cabinets. The whole gig is included here as track 4.

Classic Cover Tunes performed by e (1980-81)
A few of the best...that's to say, worst, recordings by e, a group who only did covers of classic rock and pop tunes. I really do like this kind of production a lot! Recorded at Bradford's house in Denver.

BD: engineering, guitar, vocals. (also water faucet on Telstar).
Mark Bradford: bass, organ, vocals. (also firecrackers on Telstar).
Sharon Bradford: cardboard boxes, tools, vocals.

Wild Thing

Crimson and Clover


The Metrotones - Change of Status. (1980)
It's a band of which I was a member during the early 1980's in Denver. This track was recorded live at the Blue Note in Boulder Colorado sometime in 1980.

BD: bass, Taurus pedals, backing vocal.
Grant Hall: drums
Lin Esser: guitar and lead vocal.

Doppleganger. (BD and Mike Johnson - 1979)
One of the first things Mike Johnson and I did together. Recorded by ping-ponging between two cassette decks in the basement of the house we shared in Denver. Some of the guitar melody was meant to be a vocal part, but we hadn't found anyone to sing yet and neither of us was brave enough to try it at the time. The early sound of what soon became Thinking Plague. Note there are more of our early cassette recordings here on my Bandcamp page.

BD: drums, bass, guitar, noises, engineering.
Mike Johnson: guitar, noises.

What we Did That Day. (BD and Mike Johnson - 1979)
A improvisation recorded live to cassette in 1979, in the basement of the house we shared in Denver. We used to spend hours setting up all our instruments and effect pedals around the room, all the inputs and a few microphones all feeding into a Sunn Magna mixer, which in turn went into a cassette deck. We'd start recording and fill both sides of a C90 cassette with completely unplanned improvisation. With this recording, I cut one of those 90-minute sessions into four segments of 22 and half minutes each, and mixed them together, so at times you may be hearing one single segment, sometimes four, and everything inbetween. The instrument which sounds sometimes like voices or strings is a Gibson electric 12 string which I played by bowing with a smooth piece of metal, one of those "extended techniques" one stumbles upon simply by messing about with things. That Gibson 12-string wasn't mine, and to my dismay the owner sold it shortly after this. I have never found another guitar which could make that voice-like sound so well.

BD and Mike Johnson - guitars, Taurus pedals, tape recorder, mixer, effect boxes, house, anything within reach, mouth, drums, etc etc.

Rhythm Ace Symphony. (BD and Mike Johnson - 1979)
Whilst poking around an especially intriguing-looking pile of rubbish in a particularly inviting-looking alley shortly after I'd moved to Denver in 1978, I found a dliapidated Ace Tone Rhythm Ace rhythm machine which I promptly carried home and repaired. It had buttons for Samba, Rhumba, Waltz, Rock 'n Roll, Tango, all the styles a good livingroom organist might require for a family sing-along. There were also buttons for adding/removing individual elements from the rhythm, such as the "clave", "tom", "cymbal", etc. Here, Mike and I plugged it into a mixing desk and every foot-pedal effect box we could muster up between us, a reel-to-reel tape deck for echo and other effetcs, and did this live performance directly to cassette. Though I'm sure it wasn't designed to do this, one could also press more than one "style" button at the same time and get some funny sounding result, in this case I think we started with "Rhumba" and "Waltz" simultaneously...

Draw Guidelines/Or Pandemonium Plus and Leisure Time. (GSPS - 1973)
BD: voice, tapes, engineering.
Steve Courtright: voice, tapes, sounds.
Marty Buswell, Richard Bird, Bruce Hustedt: voices.

GSPS stood for "Ganglionic Society for the Prevention of Sanity." It still does, needless to add. This excerpt is from the full-length 8-track cartridge recording Son of Ganglia, recorded in a garage attic in Watseka Illinois, 1973 or possibly '74, using my Realistic 8-track cartridge recorder, two Radio Shack microphones and a Teisco guitar amp. Steve and I had also prepared some sounds and voices pre-recorded on cassette which we'd play back through the guitar amp (here it's my first chanting voice). Of possible interest to those familiar with my subsequent engineering work, one can already notice my attention to, and love of, extreme stereo imaging even here on this early recording, but mainly it's just funny and inexplicable and since I still have it, why not share it with you all for the betterment of everything.

Yellow Rose Petals on the Yangtze. (Avant-Garde Jazz Trio Ensemble - 1973)
BD: bass, voice.
Steve Courtright: drums.
Richard Bird: electric piano.

An improvisation recorded in the band room at Watseka High school in Watseka Illinois in 1973. I had to include this because for one thing it's almost certainly the earliest known recording of yours truly on the bass (age 16), it's also my oldest best friend on the drums, but mainly because obviously it's one of the finest compositions of any type ever recorded. I'm playing the school's Mosrite bass through a Silvertone amp, and doing the spontaneous narration: " the way...the Avant-Garde Jazz Trio Ensemble, which we are presenting today, has won the Downbeat jazz poll award for most complex composition, most original rhythm section..."