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Demon forum / THE SECOND STAGE - PART 1
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Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-02-11 17:34   » Email
Hello - Steve Watts here...

Whenever I attempt to write anything about British Standard Approved I inevitably end up thinking about both Mal Spooner...and things that remain...unsaid...

This is in no way an attempt at being biased towards controversy simply for the sake of it, or even simply to find something to write about.
It's just that both he and this particular album are so intrinsically linked that it's practically impossible to separate them. After some twenty-seven years, (besides residing in a great album that is part of Mal's legacy), these memories remain embedded in the fractured middle-aged reminiscences of the now, and the half forgotten adolescent mysteries of way back then. I believe that?s a concept worth exploring.

I remember him quite clearly laying the guitar foundations for both
"Second Stage of Amazement", ("Second Stage" was titled back then), and my personally favourite song from BSA, "New Ground", via his recently purchased Ibanez DM1000 Digital Delay Processor *, which is used all over BSA, and features on many later Demon albums.

* I still have it in my studio as a personal keep sake to remind me both of Mal and those times and no...you're not having it back.

I remember also, at Dave's request, being escorted down to Amazon Studio's pool room by Mal, after being summarily ejected from one of the early BSA mixing sessions for naively asking too many questions and driving engineer Keith "Archie" Andrews half insane: an unfortunate combination of studio inexperience and youthful over-enthusiasm.

It was here, over a game a pool, that Mal showed me how to smoke dope using a combination of lighted cigarette and dismantled biro-tube (very handy and enormously practical when you've run out of Rizlas), and it was here, that he joked about how dangerous this technique was due to the fact that doing it would "set fire to the ozone layer" whilst I solemnly; sagely, and very, very stonedly, nodded in agreement...

...and it was here also, that I first saw him coughing up blood in a handkerchief...

I don't write these words in any way to cause unnecessary controversy or undue offense - I'd really like to talk about the music: its just that certain memories tend to stick, and even after this amount of time, besides being somewhat difficult to come to terms with, they're practically impossible to separate from the creative processes involved around this album; processes that are embedded both physically and metaphysically in vinyl, analogue tape, and binary code forever...

My new-found fame in the musical elite of North Staffordshire after joining Demon hadn't got to my head just yet. This would happen in a couple of more years in a spectacular and disastrous way, and is another story entirely.......................

I was at the very beginning of my career with Demon, and to be perfectly honest, although I'd have never admit it, the production of British Standard Approved was a pretty scary and daunting prospect, and I guess Dave, and I think Mal in particular, both sensed this. They were very protective of me in those early days, shielding me from much older and experienced (though not necessarily wiser), musicians than myself, who must have thought me easy pickings, having great fun playing on my naivety and lack of experience, including the bleakly formidable recording engineer at Strawberry Recording Studios - Chris Nagle.

During BSA's recording sessions he possessed all the warmth of the proverbial iceberg that my own personal relationship with Demon would later sail towards: our new progressive rock opus was definitely NOT his cup of tea and he had absolutely no qualms in letting us know his negative opinions on it at any available opportunity. Whenever I had the nerve to ask anything of him, which I believed was his job, (I wasn't that naive), he would shoot me a whippish look that could strip flesh off bone: a look that I remember to this day *

* Although he was a pussycat when compared to The Wilkes Head's Landlady, Joan, who's burnt toasted teacakes alone could make a man's testicles wince and retract in abject terror...

I remember once having the audacity to ask him for a Flanger effect to be added to some string sound or other; in retrospect an admittedly naive request to ask of an engineer with access to a £25,000 Eventide Effects Processor and an even more expensive chip on his shoulder. He was so revoltingly sardonic in reply to me that Mr Hill exploded in a fit of fury...

"HE'S ASKED FOR A FUCKING FLANGER - SO PUT SOME FUCKING FLANGER ON IT !!!!!!"

...he did...

After an official complaint, things calmed down a bit, but still the sessions proved to be a bit of a nightmare and to further complicate matters, I found it almost impossible to get in a creative flow, as Chris would be constantly disappearing into the toilet every thirty minutes or so to "get creative" in his own way - if you get my drift.

I don't remember how we ended up mixing the album at Liverpool's Amazon Studio's after the recording sessions in Stockport, though I
do remember driving over the Leek Moorlands with then Demon Bassist Chris Ellis, and his very impressive, and rather dangerous U-Turn, as we suddenly came up to a totally unexpected police road - block.

(As we approached, I happened to mention that it might be a good idea to turn around, due to the presence of a rather large lump of cannabis resin that was nestling in my pocket.)

I've never seen anyone simultaneously turn so white and a wheel so fast.

(My originally thought was that this was a journey to Amazon, but it must have been during the BSA rehearsal sessions in Leek instead, for I think Chris left the band somewhere between the rehearsals and the recordings at Stockport, though I could be wrong...fractured memories ...unsurprisingly.)

Anyway I digress: I certainly remember Chris' studio replacement for BSA, Gavin Sutherland causing chaos, especially during the recording of the vocal intro for "First Class".

For some reason, I couldn't quite believe that this guy (who would wear a bathing cap and "swim" up and down in front of the control booth window for a laugh while we were trying to record our conceptionally "serious" work of Art), was the same guy quietly responsible for writing "I Am Sailing", made famous of course by Rod Stewart, which was bloody everywhere when I was a kid growing up.

Besides bringing much-needed and appreciated shots of humour to the project, he played the tightest Bass Guitar I've ever heard, especially on "First Class" and the third song from "British Standard Approved"... "Touching The Ice".

Then, by way of an encore, he overdubbed perfectly played flute and congas as well...

TO BE CONTINUED.

I've uploaded the original vinyl recordings of these songs to YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnqNluzRFIs

THE SECOND STAGE - PART 2 - COMING SOON TO A FORUM NEAR YOU...
[Edited 2012-05-14 23:21]

Demon:Dudes Revenge
EARTH
70 posts
Reg: 11/11-11
Posted: 2012-02-11 18:04   » Website   » Email
AN ADOLESCENT FANTASY - VOL 1 by DEMON DUDES REVENGE...ON CD!

Final preparations are almost complete to allow purchase of Volume 1 of AN ADOLESCENT FANTASY on CD-R directly from the DDR - Site Album page.

You can link directly to this by activating the ALBUM OUT NOW!!!! portal on the sites opening window at:

http://www.demondudesrevenge.com

This professionally produced black vinyl-style CD-R containing the fully mastered album, comes complete with beautiful high-quality, full- colour artwork by graphic designer Harriet Love, and will go live on the DDR site, to buy via PayPal on all major credit cards within the next few days.

The CD-R album will be available for just £9.99 with free P+P for all orders within the U.K. Orders from and outside Europe will entail additional postal charges (please see the website for details)

The DDR VOL 1 - MP3 Album is also available to buy and download from all major Digital Music Retailers.

DOWNLOAD SPOTIFY and listen to the full 57 minute album here at:

https://www.spotify.com/uk/
[Edited 2012-02-11 21:29]

Giles
Cheshire
746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2012-02-11 19:57
Go and get the album Demon fans, it's great artistic work, and would compliment your Demon collection. After all, this is the guy that wrote a lot of the music to tracks that are screamed out for at gigs.

In the next couple of weeks DDR Interview 2 will be up on YouTube (see link to the first one below) and the discussion will focus on this album. I will be playing tracks from it too. So, 'watch this space'....
[Edited 2012-02-11 20:08]

Demon:Dudes Revenge
EARTH
70 posts
Reg: 11/11-11
Posted: 2012-02-11 21:20   » Website   » Email
Really looking forward to this one Giles...no holds barred! Smile
[Edited 2012-02-11 21:24]

Demon:Dudes Revenge
EARTH
70 posts
Reg: 11/11-11
Posted: 2012-02-11 21:27   » Website   » Email
...
[Edited 2012-02-11 21:31]

Giles
Cheshire
746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2012-02-13 10:56
Good reading. Another interesting, informative, entertaining and (as usual) well-written anecdote there Mr Watts!

It's sad that few (if any) respond to your blogs here Steve. This internet site/forum is very inactive (despite having many members - it would appear) and only the bar minimum is afforded in terms of information relating to the band, and so it is (or should be!) wonderful to read stories from a period of when the band were in their 'heyday' (so to speak). This is Demon however, a special place for special people?

One comment on the blog: That 'Chris Nagle' dude; I don't think it is very professional of him to try to have his personal tastes override the creative process of the band to the degree that you suggest.
NP: Saga - Don't be late. (On a loop!?)

Demon:Dudes Revenge
EARTH
70 posts
Reg: 11/11-11
Posted: 2012-02-14 23:50   » Website   » Email
...

russel
Sweden, Örebro
261 posts
Age: 51 years
Reg: 2/5-06
Posted: 2012-02-15 17:51   » Website
Like the stories allthough the darker side that shows up.
cdr ordered

*cheers*

Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-04-11 21:57   » Email
Demon Dudes Revenge: An Adolescent Fantasy Vol.1 is OUT NOW!

CD AVAILABLE FROM: http://demondudesrevenge.com from 11: 03: 12

The CD is also available from AMAZON-ON-DEMAND U.S. and also world-wide as an MP3 album from all major Digital Distributors.

For further information, including exclusive access to DDR VOL 2 Audio demo's visit: http://demondudesrevenge.com

ENJOY! Steve Watts

Demon:Dudes Revenge
EARTH
70 posts
Reg: 11/11-11
Posted: 2012-05-14 21:21   » Website   » Email
...
demon drummer
stoke
383 posts
Reg: 6/3-11
Posted: 2012-05-14 21:24
UNBROKEN OUT SOON...

Demon:Dudes Revenge
EARTH
70 posts
Reg: 11/11-11
Posted: 2012-05-14 22:27   » Website   » Email
...

Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-06-11 09:44   » Email
...
» ...

Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-06-11 09:46   » Email
...
» ...

russel
Sweden, Örebro
261 posts
Age: 51 years
Reg: 2/5-06
Posted: 2012-06-11 15:33   » Website
I'm the High Climber
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