Cover Tunes / Old Demos / Unreleased
Dave, you mentioned that you and Leonard started out jamming on covers. Do you remember what songs? Did you sing at the time?
DAVE: We played all kinds of covers when we were playing navy bases, weddings, etc, before we started writing originals. We had over 5 hours of tunes worked up. Some were the standard songs everyone did, but then we started adding some more obscure rock tunes that we liked too. Let's see, we played songs like: Smoke on The Water (duh), Proud Mary (Creedence), One Way Out, Trouble No More & Stormy Monday (Allman Bros), Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder), Moby Dick (Zep - for drum solos), Superstition & Situation (Jeff Beck), Hocus Pocus (Focus), Can't Get Enough of Your Love (Bad Co), a medley of old 50's R&R tunes, Color My World & 25 or 6 to 4 (Chicago), Put it Where You Want It (The Crusaders), & songs by Dave Mason, Humble Pie, Freddie Hubbard, Mountain, The Beatles, & tons more.
Okay, so maybe I have too much time on my hands. Check this out. With a little web research I have discovered a bunch of songs written by Y&T but not released on any of their records or CDs. Here they are: Mars Venus, Baby Blue, Rockazoid Rollaroid, Hot N Heavy, Wild If I Wanna.
The first three are Yesterday and Today era. Hot N Heavy is circa 1984 (I think). Dave, Mars Venus and Rockazoid Rollaroid? Sounds pretty psychadelic. Do you remember those tunes? Here's another kicker. The same source lists a song from Y&T called "Gimme The But". An obvious typo.
I'm still searching (surfing) for who covered Hot N Heavy.
DAVE: Mars Venus & Rockazoid Rollaroid are 2 songs that were on our first demo tape we ever recorded, at Freeway Studios in 1974. We were having fun with those 2 & thought we'd stick them on tape, since we had just started writing original songs & didn't have many to record at that time. They were influenced by us playing gigs with this "space-rock" band called Zolar-X. Most of the guys were from the bay area, but they moved down to LA & picked up a singer from there. They used to dress in full alien garb every day - even when they went to the grocery. They talked in weird alien-type voices (speaking mostly english, of course). In fact, they wouldn't even break their voice & movement put-on's when they were around us in their apartment. They just lived the whole fantasy 24/7. Now that was dedication to the gimmick. It worked well & they actually got a bit of press & had a few good tunes. I often thought that they should have been picked up by a major label. They would have probably been huge. It worked for Kiss & others. Nobody else was doing an alien rock band. Anyway, those 2 tunes were kinda tongue-in-cheek, yet played with conviction, very heavy rock tunes. I'm sure they would give me a laugh if I heard them again. Pretty cool though, especially for the time. Baby Blue was a Phil Kennemore tune that we played all the time in the 70's. It was our closing tune because we would build it up to a frenzy & it usually always insured us an encore. I'm not 100% sure why we never cut that on record. I think some of the members thought it was too poppy sounding in the verses, if I remember. Hot N Heavy was written by us & Jeff Leeb for the In Rock We Trust album. It never made the record & Jeff decided to have his publisher shop the song to another band. I still can't remember the band's name, but I think Carlos Carvasso's brother was the bass player in the band that recorded the song. Wild If I Wanna was a tune that was brought in to the band by a good friend & sometimes background singer for us, John Nymann. John is a great guy & a fine musician. His main instrument is guitar & he plays keyboards too & has a great voice. He used to be in the Eric Martin Band/415. He was also considered to be one of the few people we ever entertained having join the band. He sang background vocals on 2 or 3 of our records & went on tour with us in the mid 80's. He brought the song to us & we changed it quite a bit. We ended up co-writing it & recording it for a movie called Out of Bounds. It was used in one scene for about 30 seconds. Gimme the But is a typo. That's supposed to be Gimme The Beat, which we recorded on our last Y&T recording. There are many other tunes that we recorded on demo tapes, or in pre-production for different records that never made it. I have them all on tapes around the house. Some we never played live, some we did. Songs like: Help Me Hear Me, It Must Be Love, American Dream, Fasttrack, No Respect, That'll Do The Trick, Dirty Love, On The Radio,
etc, etc, etc.
By the way, I just finally looked for & found the cassette of Wild If I Wanna. Maybe I'll put a copy of it on the site today. -Dave
Dave:I have been in talks with my manager, a contact in LA & Phil over the last week about doing this for real. Phil & I have started going through the archives of tapes & are finding all kinds of great stuff. Phil has some rough mixes of 3 tunes we recorded for the Black Tiger CD that were never released. This was unexpected stuff he found. The tracks sounded big, chunky & mean (at least over the phone). They need vocals cut & solos, so if we do this, I'll cut new vox/solos over the top. Otherwise, they are just basic rhythym tracks with nothing over the top & that would be boring by itself. These were "final take" tracks, just waiting for the vocals, but were cut from the final tally before we got that far. There are lots of great tunes that we've uncovered & we'll be having fun putting this together. Just thought I'd let you know that the wheels are in motion here. Thanks to all of you for the initial idea. This wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for this forum! This could potentially get released before my next solo CD, if we act on it fairly quickly. We'll see how it goes as the weeks progress. OK - let me answer a few questions that you all have posed.
1) I think it would be a great idea to include a few "what Y&T have meant to me" kind of quotes on the liner notes. Cool idea. 2)The tracks that were recorded during the Black Tiger record were bass, drums & rhythm guitars. No vocals were performed, or solos, so that's all that needs to be done to them. The lyrics were already written & the melodies in place, so it shouldn't be that hard to track the vocals now. Although Phil had thought about tweeking & updating some of the lyrics for at least one of those tunes.
3) The tunes we tried out at the Omni were all recorded on my 8-track & demoed for the Ten record, so we could use any of those tunes that didn't make it & use it on this release. Those 8-tracks sounded great & had really memorable performances on them. One of those songs was "I Surrender", which did make the "10" record. There is a common thing that happens in the music business, that the rough tracks or demos many times end up being better than the actual record. That is very common & I have a lot of those "better" tracks still on tape. Some of the songs that look good to be included on this un-released CD are as follows - and this is just after a few tapes have been listened to - many more to be considered: Wild If I Wanna, Get Tough, 16 Tons, Ashes to Ashes, Fast Track, No Respect, All The Way To The Top, Dirty Love.
Oohh it's late & I can't remember all the ones I heard in the last few days that might be considered. Maybe a few from our very first demo tape (MarsVenus & Rockazoid Rollaroid), some old rehearsal studio tapes recorded on our portable tape players, rare live stuff, record out-takes, etc, etc, etc. This might have to be a double CD! We'll see how it all comes together in the next few weeks/months.