Solid Gold Electric Chestnut Dispenser

by Charlie Chesterman

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about

Collection of hard-to-find compilation tracks and previously unreleased rarities by the ex-Scruffy The Cat frontman, spanning 1992-2012.

credits

released October 27, 2013

Compiled by Charlie Chesterman & Pete Weiss.

Re-mastered by Pete Weiss at Verdant Studio.

Recorded at: Zippah, Arabellum, the practice space below Looney Tunes, Silvertone, the Racket Shack, and Q Division.

Cover design by Charlie Chesterman & Vicky Sax.
Bandcamp layout by Jeff Mellin.


Information on the songs:

1. "Thunderchicken" by the Harmony Rockets (Chesterman) Big Sloppy Kiss Music/Bug Music
Previously appeared on the compilation Caught in the Zippah - Zippah Recordings - 1992

Mike Faughnan: drums
Mike County: bass
John Fremer: guitar
CC: guitar
Recorded at Zippah (then known as "Zip-Loc") by Pete Weiss & Ken Thomas

As fast as any garage band (the Harmony Rockets, that is) should be allowed to go, especially with me at the wheel. This is yet another attempt at trying to write the definitive HOT ROD INSTRUMENTAL. Fender guitars and fake stereo help get the sound.
-Charlie


2. "Kid Gloves" by the Harmony Rockets (Chesterman)
Previously unreleased - 1992

Same lineup as track 1, with Jim Haggerty on baritone guitar
Recorded at Arabellum Studios, Albany NY by Art Snay
Produced by Jim Haggerty

Who the hell let the yahoos with the beer and the cheese doodles in through back door while the tape was running? Who cares?
-Charlie


3. "Jack Hammers"
4. "A New Lease On Life Parts #1 And #2"
5. "Hamburg Romance"
Previously appeared on the December 1994 edition of the Hello CD of the Month Club

Jim Faris: bass
John Clarke: drums, percussion
Brian Charles: guitar
CC: guitar, harmonica, vocals

The first appearance of "Chaz & the Motorbikes!" Robin Goldwasser at Hello! CD Of The Month Club (and friend of They Might Be Giants, who backed Hello!) asked for tracks to put on a CD-EP. In an overnight sessions at Zippah with Brian Charles & Pete Weiss producing we knocked out some real gems if I do say so myself. Still a personal favorite, "Jack Hammers" holds some of my favorite lyrics and phrasing and, well, a good title. Tea leaves and magazines, indeed!
-Charlie


6. "All By Myself" (Ken Thomas)
Previously appeared on the compilation Hit The Hay Vol. 2 - Sound Asleep Records - 1996

John Clarke: drums
Ken Thomas: guitar, backup vocals
Pete Weiss: bass
CC: vocals
Recorded at Zippah by Pete Weiss & Ken Thomas

Good friend and producer Pete Weiss played this Ken Thomas song for me at Zippah Studio one day and I flipped!! I felt like Ken had written the song just for me (or an English guy named Elvis) and I had to record it! Jerker Emanuelson at Sound Asleep Records was looking for American pop songs so I asked Ken if I could replace his vocals with mine on his recording and send it out that way. Ken said "sure" and the rest is, sadly, not pop history but a blissfull 2 minutes and 20 seconds nonetheless. Thanks Pete, Ken, and Jerker.
-Charlie


7. "Tigerman (version #1)" (Chesterman)
Previously appeared on the compilation Somewhere Down The Road - Lazy Cat Records - 1998

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar (regular & baritone) & drums
Tim Obetz: pedal steel guitar
CC: guitar, vocals
Recorded at Zippah by Pete Weiss - 1998

An earlier version of this song than what appears on "Ham Radio." I like this in the same way I like some early country rock. Throw a pop song into the wash with a fifth of Jack Daniels and hope for a gritty edge and pretty smell (But usually get ugly stares and a lot of broken glass. Ah, but the glitter does help some.) Version 1 walks the line between country, rock, pop, and OH! PIZZA JUST CAME! We'll figure this all out later. In other words, a real nice try. But glad we tried again on "Ham Radio". Always a popular live song to play. Please note that the vocals on this version were processed by sending them through a 55 gallon steel oil drum. That's where the crazy echo comes from!
-Charlie


8. "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" (Dylan) Big Sky Music
Previously appeared on the compilation A Tribute To Bob Dylan Vol. 3 - Sister Ruby Records - 1998

Another example of a song being written "just for me!!" Pete Weiss and I had been listening to Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" album during my "Studebakersfield" sessions, using it as a template of sorts for the sound we might shoot for in the studio. I really like this tune -- wheezy harmonica, wrong lyrics, poor spelling and all. Wish he had written it for me. And it fit nicely into the need of Sister Ruby Records, who had requested a Dylan cover from me. This tune, by the way kickstarted my becoming a fan of the "Minnesota Meteor."
-Charlie

PW note: Charlie's vocals and guitar were recorded together with one microphone (RCA 77) in the tiny Zippah "lounge." The only overdub was the harmonica (using the same mic.)


9. "Fool Of Love" (Bobby Fuller) War Cloud Music
Previously appeared on the compilation Our Favorite Texan: Bobby Fuller Four-Ever - #9 Records - 1999

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar & drums
Tim Obetz: pedal steel guitar
CC: guitar, vocals
Recorded at Zippah by Pete Weiss - 1998

Bobby Fuller was a rocker and so was this song… originally. Hey, the Motorbikes were rockers too. So how did we mess this one up and make it a kissy pop song? What happened, huh? Well, after years of not liking this version, I'm changing my mind. The lyrics are a real heartbreak. Very blue. This take brings out that feeling in a way that maybe Bobby was trying to mask over. "Oh gosh, the guy's a romantic at heart!" A romantic with his foot to the floor and a real lust to rock! BFF 4-ever!
-Charlie


10. "Big Hug" (Ray Mason) Captivating Music
Previously appeared on the compilation It's Heartbreak That Sells: A Tribute To Ray Mason - Tar Hut Records - 1999

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar
Gary Gendron: drums
CC: guitar, vocals
Recorded at the practice space below Looney Tunes, Boston by Charles Hansen - 1998

When a dear friend, Ray Mason, asks me to choose a song of his and record a cover of it for a compilation, what do I do? Whadda ya think? I grab it by its fuggy little neck, throw it to the floor and let my band walk -- no, stomp -- ALL OVER IT! Crackin' a beer and kickin' 140 RPM to boot! Ray now plays this song my way. Nuff said.
-Charlie


11. "King Size Cigarette" (Chesterman)
Previously appeared on the compilation A Place To Call Home - Reverse Curve Records - 1999

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar
John Clarke: drums
Ken Thomas: organ
CC: guitar, vocals

Outtake from Dynamite Music Machine
Recorded & produced by Pete Weiss at Zippah - 1997

I hope this song gets me into the GARAGE ROCK SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME one day. Until then, pass me your Zippo and a church key.
-Charlie


12. "Shiner" (Chesterman)
Previously unreleased outtake from "Ham Radio" sessions - 2000

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar
Gary Gendron: drums
Peter Linnane: synthesizer
CC: guitar, vocals
Recorded by Pete Weiss & Peter Linnane at Zippah

"I know just what I'm doin'…" I sing in the chorus but, in fact, I have no idea what I was up to here. Based on the Chi-lites' "La La Means I Love You" (duh…) Maybe I was looking for something soulful. Oops, missed! And as kinda cool as it all is, it never found a home on a Motorbikes CD. Poor little Shiner. Hope you like it though…
-Charlie

PW note: possibly the only CC-related song ever to feature synthesizer (!)


13. "Jealous Again" (Chesterman)
Previously appeared on the compilation Rockin' At The Barn - Dusty Records - 2001

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar
Gary Gendron: drums
CC: guitar, vocals
Recorded & mixed by Neal Ward at Silvertone - 2001

I had been listening to the Marty Robbins song "El Paso" when I wrote this piece. The long, long drawn out notes in the verses? That's the "El Paso" part. The rest? Hell, I don't know… I'm a midwestern transplant to New England who's short on vocal skills. Still, it's a groovy little boot scooter and Andy has a nice solo. Also featured is my now-famous BLACK RICKENBACKER. And if you listen really hard, there's the sound of someone stomping on my Blue Suede Shoes.
-Charlie


14. "Sad & Blue" (Chesterman)
From the 2007 film "The Adventures of Johnny Tao"

Jim Faris: bass
CC: guitar, vocals
Andy Pastore, John Clarke, Declan Faris, Jim Faris: "lap slapping" percussion
Recorded by Jim Faris at the Racket Shack


15. "Process & Pride (Harmony Rocket #13)" (Faris) Big Sloppy Kiss Music
Previously unreleased
Recorded & mixed by Neal Ward at Silvertone - 2001


16. "Maybelline" (Chuck Berry) Arc Music/Isalee Music Pub. Co.
Previously unreleased outtake from "Ham Radio" session - 2000
Recorded live at Zippah Studio by Pete Weiss & Peter Linnane

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar
Gary Gendron: drums
CC: guitars, vocals


17. "Carolina Blue" (Chesterman)
Previously unreleased
Recorded summer 2012 at Q Division, Somerville MA
Engineered by Rafi Sofer & Pete Weiss
Mixed by Pete Weiss & Charlie Chesterman at Verdant Studio

CC: guitar, vocals
David Charles: guitar, backup vocals
Peter Linnane: organ, backup vocals
Samantha Linnane: guitar, backup vocals
Jim Haggerty: bass
Jeff Norcross: drums, tambourine


18. "Dodge That Dart" (Chesterman)
Previously unreleased

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar
Gary Gendron: drums
CC: guitar, harmonica
Recorded & mixed by Neal Ward at Silvertone - 2001


19. "Bluebird Tattoo" (Chesterman)
Previously unreleased outtake from "Skunk On The Loose" session - 2003

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar
Gary Gendron: drums
CC: guitars, vocals
Recorded by Pete Weiss & Peter Linnane at Zippah - 2003


20. "I Hate Everything" (Chesterman)
Previously appeared on the compilation This One's For The Fellows: A Sonic Salute To The Young Fresh Fellows - BlueDisguise Records - 2004

Jim Faris: bass
Andy Pastore: guitar
John Clarke: drums
CC: guitar, vocals

Outtake from Dynamite Music Machine
Recorded by Pete Weiss at Zippah - 1997

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about

Charlie Chesterman Boston, Massachusetts

The late, great CHARLIE CHESTERMAN brought punk to the plains with THE LAW, sowed the seeds of alt-country and roots-pop in SCRUFFY THE CAT, and blended twang & tenderness with humor & heartache in HARMONY ROCKETS and CHAZ & THE MOTORBIKES.

He was a tremendous talent and a wonderful human being.

We miss you Charlie. Thanks for leaving us with all this great music.
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