THE QUAKES-VOICE OF AMERICA-30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Part three;The cover songs
A lot of Quakes fans have expressed that Voice of America is their favorite Quakes album. I’m happy to say that we still play many of the songs from this album in our live shows. With this being the 30 year anniversary (recording started July 9, 1990), I wanted to shed some light on how we made the album and give some background about its creation.
Paint It Black
In 1988, the three of us (Rob, Dave and myself) were living in a squat (1) in east London. The previous residents were all bands and there were lots of things left behind including cassette tapes. One of those tapes was “the best of the Rolling Stones”. We had borrowed a cassette player and our only form of entertainment was listening to tapes. The song Paint it black struck me as a song that could be easily converted to rockabilly song and had a dark subject matter which was suitable.We knew that some other psychobilly bands had covered Rolling Stones songs but to our knowledge no one had done Paint It Black. A year or so later we started playing it live and saw that in fact it was going well so we wanted to record it.
(1)A “squat” is a residence that has been taken over by “squatters”. This type of thing was very common in the UK in the 80’s. In our case we knew someone who knew someone and we ended up in an flat that had been home to bands like Voice of the Beehive and Zodiac Mindwarp and many other lesser known groups. The building was owned by the council. After a while they start sending notices to try and get you out. One day a lady from the council came to the house and we were painting and fixing things up with materials we found in a building site dumpster. The lady was impressed and she got us a license to legally stay there as long as we paid rent and switched the utilities into our name.(that is another story for another time .
Ice Cold Baby
This one was originally done by Marlon Madman Mitchell and the Rocketeers.
Just a great song that fit our style with where we wanted to go with it.
Here is the original.
All Messed Up
The original was done by Jess Hooper with The Day dreamers
I like the original and the B side which was “Sleepy time blues”. (Meteor records)
In an interview with Kicks magazine in the 80’s, Jess said that it was Billy Lee Riley on lead guitar.
My idea with this song was to do what Restless had done with the song “That's all right’ (not the Elvis one) by Tommy Stone on an album called “Unknown Rock n Roll” It was a slower hillbilly song that they made into a good rocker.
Growin' Up Evil
When we were living in London, we would often go to the Nervous records office. There was a shoe box full of cassettes that bands had sent in as demos. We were especially curious about any tapes that came in from USA because we had no idea if there were any bands like us out there. (there were not). There was two or three cassettes by a band from New York City called Finn and The Sharks. There was a live version of the song Growing up evil that really blew me away. I thought our version never measured up and I wish we had thought it out a little more.
This song along with “Strike Out King” were the two extra songs. When you recorded for Nervous, you usually recorded 12 songs for the album and two more that would be used on compilations. The album came out in 1990. By 1992 Nervous started releasing Cds and those two extra tracks appeared on the cd.
Here is a studio version of the original