MEMORIES AND FANTASY
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While combing through old DC Star material looking for the tracks for UNFINISHED BUSINESS it became apparent that one album wouldn’t be enough for all the material. There had to be 2 or 3 discs to hold the music I worked so hard for years to clean up and remaster digitally from the analog (tape) sources.
As we ground out the final selections however, there were issues with tape stretch, distortion and warble from tape damage we were unable to correct. Many songs that were unfinished we couldn’t fix and others, even after we applied iZotope’s Ozone RX mastering programs, did not meet the standards we hoped for. So, the decision on what songs to release became clear.
The name “Memories And Fantasy” came to me as the title and theme for this release after the songs for UNFINISHED BUSINESS were chosen.
The tracks include two songs from releases that were no longer digitally available “Live and Love” and the first version recorded in New York of “Feeling Good To Me”. Three tracks, “Tell Me Like it Is” (the first studio version), “Walk Away” and “Play Play Play” came from a 12-song demo session recorded live at National Sound in Baltimore. The sonic quality was so uneven that John Grant and I re-animated “Walk Away” and “Play Play Play” with a live audience to hide the imperfections. It turned out fantastic, delivering the hard-hitting drive DC Star was so well known for, and fit the “Fantasy” theme perfectly.
The unreleased versions of “Is It You?”, “Makin’ Time”, and “Wasted Time” are from the original (pre-Picture Disc) mixes done by iconic recording engineer Michael Brauer. The songs are raw and clean and "Makin' Time" includes a third verse that was edited off to save time for a single.
Before we produced the original picture disc we knew that the sonic quality of picture discs was inherently thin. This is because the grooves can’t be cut as deep into the vinyl due to the image imbedded in the middle of the disc. We produced them as souvenirs and they were remarkably successful. But the ones we sent to the radio stations (that were autographed and sealed) were accompanied with black vinyl “Promotional Copies” for the stations to actually broadcast.
In another little-known fact; At the time “Is It You?” was released, the industry standard for “singles” airplay was done from a cassette tape with only the one song! This way the DJ could have 12 cassette decks each with one cassette cued up and ready to play between album cuts.
After the picture disc was mixed (so weak in order to sound “commercial”) by Eddie DeJoy and John Bonjiovi’s uncle Tony Bonjiovi, I hated it. … I was in a hotel in upstate New York the first time I heard the master tape and cried for an hour as I listened to it twice.
Our manager David Sherbow was so moved that he hooked me back up with Michaael Brauer to remix harder versions of “Is It You?” and “Makin’ Time” for the “singles” radio stations cranked out. Those are the versions on “The Best of DC Star Records” and got the most airplay thanks to their inclusions in the Miller Brewing Company’s “Rock To Riches” regional advertising campaigns. That is why I wanted for DC Star fans to hear the real, raw and unadulterated versions of “Is It You” and “Makin’ Time” hot from those original sessions.
This rendition of “Wastin’ Time” is also raw and unedited. Unlike the original edited track that ends with a fade out, this long version (reminiscent of classic jam tune Free Bird) has a magic “button ending”. Kenny Taylor’s last note harmonizing with his lead track is one of the highest pitched things I ever heard. When that take ended the studio went completely silent. All of us at the mix console and every else in the room froze and just stared at each other … speechless. Ken’s microphone was still on but it remained quiet until we heard him take a juicy swig off his bottle of “Rock and Rye” whisky and say “What’s next …?”
The version of “Don’t Call Me Punk” I intended to use for impact was a composite of several incomplete mixes. Unfortunately, efforts to sew it together weren’t successful. So I had to use the version of “Don’t Call Me Punk” that came from the “Best Of DC Star” masters.
“Show Me The Way” is from the last demo DC Star ever recorded and features vocalist John Frederick. John had just done a demo with another group that was produced by Greg Lake of ELP. But that demo was passed over by the labels so he joined DC Star for the last year the band toured full time. John was very nice did a good job singing. But the recording efforts weren’t enough to garner the second shot with Atlantic Records and spelled the end of the group.
After years of grinding (writing original material) with Jefferson Antel and Ray “Goliath” McCrory I thought it would be fun for hard core DC Star fans to hear the original ideas that were the seeds of two of our best known songs; “Broken Heart” which became “Is It You?” and a short snippet of Jefferson Antel singing his silly idea “Punk” at a serious song-writing session. The week before he had run it by me when we were working together at his house in Bethesda MD. I told him to surprise the band with the ditty which became “Don’t Call Me Punk” of course. These songs were originally recorded on portable cassette tape recorders.
I want fans to ponder the genesis of these 2 tracks and, while listening to some of the other 45+ songs in DC Star’s digital catalog (and in consideration of dozens more that remain un-finished) consider the magnitude of the “thank-less” work that song writing and recording takes.
The next DC Star release **Unplugged** begins ironically with an unconventional track entitled “I Create A Song”. Ray McCrory, the tough karate guy with a sensitive spirit, brought me the idea about how his musical ideas “were like molecules and came from “above”.” It’s the perfect example of *“The Law of Attraction” and the divine power that brought Ray McCrory and I together to form David and Goliath Music.
Thank you so much for your continued support!
Our fans are the reason DC Star keeps on living ... - David Simmons
* “The Law of Attraction” as extrapolated from best seller “The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
“Memories And Fantasy”
Produced by David Simmons for David and Goliath Music
Edited & mastered by David Simmons and John Grant at Secret Sound Studio
Songs written by David Simmons and Ray McCrory except:
“Don’t Call Me Punk” / J. Antel, D. Simmons, K. Taylor, D. Taylor
“Punk” / The Idea by Jefferson Antel
“Broken Heart” by Ray McCrory
Tell Me Like It Is
Walk Away “Live!”
Play Play Play “Live!”
Original tracks recorded live at National Sound in Baltimore Md.
Produced by DC Star, / Assisted by Eugene Marro
“Live!” tracks re-mixed @ Secret Sound by David Simmons & John Grant
Feeling Good To Me – 1st Unreleased version
Recorded in “The Church” @ Media Sound W. 57th St. New York, NY
Produced by Caltric Simone & DC Star
Assisted by Stephan Galfas & Pete Thea
Is It You? / Wastin’ Time
Makin’ Time / * Don’t Call Me Punk
Raw unedited tracks from the Picture Disc sessions
Recorded in “The Church” @ Media Sound W. 57th St. New York, NY
The original mixes by Michael Brauer & DC Star
* Don’t Call Me Punk is from “Best of DC Star Records” Master
Live And Love
Recorded at Flite Three Studio Baltimore Md.
Produced by DC Star / Engineered by Victor Giordano
Broken Heart / Ray McCrory
Recorded live on a cassette tape machine by Ray McCrory.
From his 1st cassette given to David Simmons for consideration / ‘79.
“Punk” The Idea / Jefferson Antel
Recorded live on a cassette tape machine by David Simmons.
From a song writing session that included Jefferson Antel / ‘78.
Show Me The Way Tonight
Recorded at Top Hat Studio in Glen Burnie Md.
From the band’s last demo tapes featuring vocalist John Frederick
Produced and engineered digitally on ADAT equipment by J.J. Miceli
Added background vocals by Tony Miceli
© 2022 David and Goliath Music
Special Thanks to:
David Sherbow, Ray McCrory, Jefferson Antel, Caltrick Simone
Mediamax Corporation, RCA Studios, Michael Brauer
Eddie DeJoy, Frank D’Amico, Hilly Michaels, Stephan Galfas
Our families, friends, and most of all to our Fans.
Road Crew: Larry Alvey, Danny Barncyz, Joe Moss, Nick Whitelaw, Tony Byrd,
Sam Battaglia, Steve Aitken, Vanessa Koolhof, Billy McGunigal, David Taylor
In special memory of:
Vocalist Kenneth Russell Taylor
Guitarist, Keyboardist, Vocalist Jeffrey Floyd Avery
Sound tech David Taylor and
Drummer Pat McGowan