This is about half of the album we made in Lloyd's bedroom in Oakland, the last project I did in the USA, before leaving for West Africa and then Europe. I haven't included everything because 1 song was damaged on my master tape, 1 song was kind of awful, and a couple of others were more Lloyd's- I haven't stuck exclusively to my own material but I've sort of been trying to keep this an archive of songs to which I at least wrote more than just my guitar part. Sort of.
Lloyd was a guy I'd worked with in the film biz- he was a set builder and I was a camera man, and when a mutual friend (R.I.P. Mitch!) heard I was looking to start a band hurry-up-quick, we were introduced. We seemed to see eye to eye, so I phoned Mike, with whom I'd played in Wonder Merriment, and we made the 7" single of This Grope b/w Life Is Expensive. That was supposed to be it, but we were having fun, and so we continued. I set up my 8-track at his place, and we wrote and recorded the "Rope" album, played, I think, one show in SF, and a mini-tour in Arizona (I think there were 3 shows and one crazy party...) before I left the country.
In listening back to this now, I hear the reasons for re-forming the band later in CZ with Dalek on drums. There's great stuff here, but it's all very much seat-of-the-pants, which was the whole point back then; it was never supposed to be professional. The main problem, though, is something that I have come to regard as a major transgression: it doesn't groove. At all. Groove is obviously something intangible and subjective, but I think you know it when it's there, and it's just not there here. I love Mike's style of drumming, but let's face it: the guy is a doctor, was working insane shifts at a hospital, then playing in the band for fun after work. After all, that was the deal from the beginning, and in retrospect it's amazing that he was able to hang out with us at all, let alone offer the kind of commitment he did. But you can't expect the elusive and mystical element of booty to appear under those circumstances.
As you may have figured out by now, Lloyd and I went on with the band (with Dalek, the new drummer) later, based in Tábor, CZ. We toured Europe for about 3 years, some of it good and some of it not good, but always an adventure, and always in a state of change.
released January 10, 1992
Mike: d., v.
Lloyd: b., v.
Phil: g., v.