Hat Box Bass Drum

HAT BOX BASS DRUM

Kieran, Dermot and I recorded an EP which was never released. The Cranky George Trio played shows in Los Angeles, The Double Door in Chicago and the Mercury Lounge in New York City. Once Brad Wood had joined, to play bass and the hatbox bass drum, the ‘trio’ bit didn’t make any sense, so we cut it off, and called ourselves Cranky George.

In time, Sebastian Sheehan Visconti came in on drums. In keeping with the dictatorship I visited on Andrew Ranken in the Pogues, I insisted that Sebastian stand up to play. (It wasn’t until Andrew came back from a German hospital with a bandage and splint in the shape of a toucan strapped to his finger, and his eyes welling with tears at the possibility that he might have had to have his finger amputated because of the repeated impact of his knuckles against a lug-nut on one of his drums, that we said, ‘Okay, you can sit down to play.’)

We played quite a few gigs, ‘toured’ Southern California (to play Matt Hensley’s Flying Elephant in San Diego – we had tour passes and everything) and then, in 2011, started recording an album at Brad’s Seagrass Studio in North Hollywood.

CG RECORDING PANORAMA

Seagrass Studio, live room

It took us five years to finish the record. We tracked everything in the Winter of 2011 – and then life and career changes sort of took over. I was on tour with the Pogues; Kieran was going from writing deadline to writing deadline; Brad’s had other artists to produce; Dermot’s acting career took off, again, with roles in The Grey, August:Osage County and more or less series regular parts in New Girl and Enlightened. (One of the jobs he had at the time was a pilot for the remake of The Rockford Files.)

And then there was the audiobook to do of Here Comes Everybody, which Brad Wood and I recorded over a period of a couple of weeks the October before last, again at Seagrass Studio.

A couple of the things I learned over the course of the recording were that licorice and Granny Smith apples help to keep your mouth moist, and that Brad Wood has the patience of Job.

licorice

 

About James Fearnley

I am a co-founder and the accordion-player for London/Irish folk-punk group the Pogues.
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