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Quagga - When I Grow Up, I Want To Be

SPRCD002

There are currently only two music files available on this site from this album, the studio demo recordings tracks made by Headland. The album is intended more as a story than necessarily as a piece to stand alone on it's own musical merit. However, the text from the CD booklet (including other lyrics) and the images that went alongside them are also published here on this page.

To listen to an mp3 file, click on the song title link (see the first paragraph of text below for the links to the files). If you have a media player already installed, the track should either appear in your browser window and start playing or launch your player and begin playback. If you don't have a media player already installed, QuickTime or Winamp can be downloaded here. To download an mp3, right click on the file and 'Save Target As' if using a Windows platform, or Control + click if using a Mac. 

The story so far: The first 10 years

Band line-ups

Bad Hair Day

Coffee And Amphetamines

Silver Surfer

I Don't Want To Fall

Electric Sound Parade

Thought On My Mind

ĎWhen I Grow Up, I Want To Beí is an anthology of early works. It is intended as a tidying Ėup, chapter-closing exercise that takes the most listenable selections from recordings made by the various bands that I have set up or been involved with in Brighton during the 1990ís, and further serves as a companion volume to The Zamoraís ĎPigeon Souvenirsí. Given that many of them were made as ambient room recordings on portable cassette players in rehearsal rooms, the sound quality is at best varied and in some places, quite poor. The sole Ďproperí studio recordings are the two Headland tracks ĎThought On My Mindí and ĎNot Letting The Grass Growí, which were recorded to give that band a good quality demo with which to secure live gigs. All other music on this collection has therefore been taken, remastered or remixed from the mass of old tapes that make up my musical past.

While this probably appears as somewhat of a vanity project and it could be considered that there is little of musical merit or worth to those not directly involved with any of the featured acts, to me it serves as a marker of development over the period that I have been involved in making music and allows me to close the door on the Brighton era to move on to musical pastures new. And hey, in the exhuming of tracks and jams never meant for release, if itís good enough for The Beatles, then why not for me! It also provides an opportunity to publish the remainder of my lyrics written during my time in Brighton that werenít covered by the release of ĎPigeon Souvenirsí.

This collection opens with a (relatively shambolic) run through of a cover of The Rolling Stonesí ĎGet Off My Cloudí, taken from Crash Fantasyís sole incursion into a rehearsal studio. It was a time when (to me) rock Ďní roll was all. None of the rest of that session really merits inclusion but this track was of interest as it was the first song that I ever performed live, with a band (albeit not Crash Fantasy) and in front of an audience. Although that performance was probably equally shambolic, it gave me a taste for live appearances that Iíve struggled to kick ever since.

While my musical ambitions in Cardiff had been limited to clumsy bedroom-based attempts at songwriting with school friends, answering ads in local record shops that bore little fruit or assembling conceptual line-ups with college colleagues that never actually even met, Brighton was intended to change all that. It was imagined as the place where I would meet the like-minded individuals who would travel with me on the road to musical world domination. Ahem!

Crash Fantasy, my first band at University, was an early stab at that. We got as far as an obligatory photo session on Brighton beach and one studio rehearsal before it fell apart in the way these things do. But it felt like big strides had been made and important experience gained.

My second year at Uni wasnít much more productive either. An exchange visit stay at the University of South Florida in early í94 produced a short-lived covers outfit with mainly American co-students and no performances given or recordings made. Returning to Brighton, I met a moddish bass player called Jim and we started the band that came to be known as Boxed Prophet. We managed to secure a booking at Rough Man Connection, a rehearsal studio underneath a shop selling reggae and dub records, and somehow managed to find a drummer to join in. Given that I was nowhere near up to scratch to play guitar in the line-up, a guitarist was needed and proved surprisingly difficult to find (in a town with a surfeit of them). Jim asked his friend Jamie to join. I was keen too as he had a beautiful white Rickenbacker and could play ĎYou Canít Always Get What You Wantí. He, however, seemed reluctant to make it to regular rehearsals. The guitar on ĎWaiting For The Maní in the Boxed Prophet mix was provided by a friend of mine drafted in at late notice. Jamie performs on the rest, which is taken from a session that (once again) amounted to little more than three hours of extended jamming. Of course, entering the studio with some songs to actually rehearse might well have helped things somewhat! Jim ended the band by dropping a note through my door telling me that me wanted out. So that brought Boxed Prophet to a close.

For the dissertation project in my last year I chose to make a documentary film, something that had not been attempted by previous students on the degree but that I understand to now be an accepted medium in which to submit final projects. ĎLet Me Forget About Today Until Tomorrowí was an attempt to provide an objective look at the potential impact of the legalisation of all street drugs upon Brighton. Although the film was unlikely to be shown outside of the academic confines that it was produced for, I decided to sidestep the issue of having to secure copyright clearances by writing and recording the soundtrack myself. A band was assembled from college associates and other mates and named Taxi For Alice (which subsequently became the title of a song) after an utterance by a cabbie in a pub that conjured up images of Lewis Carroll and Jefferson Airplane to me.

The band met up for one session, recording ĎCoffee And Amphetaminesí for the filmís title sequence and jamming for the rest of the booking. ĎJaneís On 54thí, with an improvised monologue, was also used in the film soundtrack; ĎHowlí was another jam from the same session.

To my great surprise, I made it to the end of the degree without dropping out and actually gaining a qualification to show for it. However, the Ďworld-storming, classic four-piece rock Ďní roll bandí Iíd moved to Brighton in the first place for was proving that much more elusive. So, putting off the inevitability of having to enter the world of working for a living, I set about trying to write some material and start another band. ĎBad Hair Dayí dates from this period.

In early í96, as I had started trying to learn to play the guitar, I met Mike, who was trying to learn to play the bass. We decided to start a band together and this time tried to go about it the right way by actually writing some songs first! After many months of shaping and honing, we eventually had enough material to justify booking some time at Rough Man again. Given that the first sessions produced little more than messing around, it seemed only right to expand the line-up to make a full band. By this time, Iíd realised that a job was quite an imperative (if nothing else, to be able to afford studio time). I found work at Sussex Universityís campus bookshop. One day, after the madness of the beginning of term had subsided, a tall, hip looking guy approached me at the counter enquiring about an autobiography by Gil Scott Heron that heíd heard about. The book didnít exist but it got us talking about music anyway. Turned out that he was a drummer and given that they were like gold dust in a town for aspirant bands, I invited him to join. Matt, the guitarist who ended up in the band, I met on a train going from Brighton to Cardiff. And so Quagga (Mark 1) was born.

Having a full band that seemed more committed than members of previous ventures provided me with an opportunity to experiment in the studio a little more. One idea was, instead of writing lyrics for the vocal parts, to recite passages from books (a concept that was successfully revived in The Zamora with ĎHitchcockí). I chose two books to try this out with, ĎFear And Loathing In Las Vegasí and ĎUnder Milk Woodí. Dylan Thomasís prose style lent itself well to a lyrical delivery and a remixed version of that recording is included here. The other two tracks are, again, salvaged jams.

This band seemed to soldier on a little longer than previous efforts. A handful of songs emerged from it and more jams meant more experience. However, it eventually started to drift apart and was time to call it a day when Mike decided to become a bus driver instead of a rock star. He blew me out of our first scheduled performance as a duo at an Open Mic night in a local pub, leaving me to enact my first solo performance, after which I realised that the curtain had fallen on that particular venture.

And so, whilst I continued writing a little, I found myself bandless once again. But, as was often the case, this situation wasnít to last long. At the University Bookshop, I befriended a professor from the campus-based Institute of Development Studies. Gordon White was a wheelchair-bound lecturer with a fearsome reputation amongst the other bookshop staff, who were mostly terrified of him and over-reverent to his face. Never being a great one for reverence myself, he and I hit it off straight away, finding common ground on music and literature. Coming from quite a musical pedigree, heíd studied jazz in California during the 60ís, had seen Mingus in New York and Dylan when heíd just Ďgone electricí, and he had even played piano in front of the Red Guard in China. Naturally, when he heard that I sang and asked me to join E.M.U., his departmental covers band, I jumped at the chance.

So, on the 6th of March 1998, having waited over 10 years for the moment (and having scaled my ambitions down from global rock stardom to simply wanting to be able to play a proper gig with a full live band), I finally got to fulfill my dreams. The show was a resounding success and left me feeling elated at having finally got there (by whatever means) yet also slightly empty. What do you do once youíve achieved something youíve strived half your life for? All you can do, it seems, in order to retain your energies and momentum, is to find yourself new goals. And this being my second album goes someway towards attaining what I set myself next.

About two weeks after the gig, Gordon slipped into a coma, caused by the condition that had led to his confinement to a wheelchair. When it became clear that there was no saving him, his life support machine was switched off. The band, all devastated by the news, were next reunited around his graveside. After his funeral it was decided that he would have definitely wanted the band to carry on, and it was renamed The Better Than Average White Band in his memory. The band may have gone through many personnel and name changes since then (as it indeed had before I appeared on the scene) but it continues to perform to this day, and I have racked up many more successful and enjoyable performances with them. I must say though that I certainly never expected the first time that my musical endeavors would be even alluded to in the national press would be in the shape of a footnote to an entry in The Guardianís obituary column!

Another consequence of the first show in í98 was that Julian, the IDS Bandís bass player, asked me to join his outfit. Their singer and drummer had departed and he and the guitarist Mike were building a new band. After years of struggling to get anything serious together, I suddenly found myself with a brand new band, and I already had a handful of my own songs. We set about writing a setís worth of material and recruiting a drummer, becoming Headland along the way. The Headland tracks on this disc are mostly taken from a rehearsal recorded through a mixing desk (at last!) that were laid down to give the drummer Andy some idea of the material, in order for him to work out the rhythm tracks (which is why there are no drums on them). Also included are the two proper studio recordings that the band made, being my first experience of shifting up a gear from merely rehearsing to actually recording.

And to my great joy, Headland actually stayed together for long enough to start gigging. At the end of í98 and the beginning of í99, we fitted in four shows. Although the music I was listening to at home was anything but straight r Ďní r, I finally had my long-wished-for four piece guitar band and was, by then, rocking a full Morrison look of leather trousers, shoulder length hair and even a dab of eyeliner for gigs. It was from those performances that I started to cement a certain reputation among Brighton music circles as a somewhat Ďgregariousí performer!

Then, just as it was picking up, it dropped of again. Andy couldnít give much as his commitments lay more with acting than drumming. And the band slowly but surely fell apart. I was back at Square One, but had also achieved more than Iíd ever done with any previous band Iíd been involved with. I couldnít give up now, not having gotten this far.

In an attempt to better reflect my own listening tastes, the concept I planned for my next attempt was for a group that sounded like Sonic Youth meets Massive Attack, with a bubblegum twist. What did ultimately develop from that germ might have paid a passing nod to the NY noiseniks but ended up pretty far from that original idea. I was introduced by a workmate (then from different bookshop) to Steve, a tall and fairly shy Northerner who had been to an earlier Headland show. Once he realised that the stage persona heíd been so affronted by wasnít actually my normal character, we hit it off and began to plot another band. After months of talking the talk, we finally began to start creating some material for it. The version of ĎTequila Mockingbird Pieí included here (a song that also appears in a different form on ĎPigeon Souvenirsí) combines the first attempts made at it, by Headland, with a bedroom recording that Steve and I produced with the aid of a drum machine.

There were a number of personnel changes before Pete, the drummer in the IDS Band, was invited in and cemented his place on the drum stool. Steveís old college friend Justin later joined on bass. ĎOrc Walkerí dates from a rehearsal with this early line-up, then also names Quagga, and features another (barely audible) improvised vocal monologue.

As the year drew to a close, Justin decided to switch to lead guitar. Thus a new bass player was required and in early 2000, Merlin was auditioned and recruited. This completed the band, who eventually settled on Jaded as a name and set about creating a giggable set.

Jaded gave their first performance to a private invited audience in the early summer of that year. A string of other shows soon. Followed, with the band growing in confidence and reputation. After a first recording and in trying to augment the live work with a web presence, it was discovered that there was already another band holding the same name on mp3.com, and therefore something else was needed. After much deliberation, The Zamora was settled on. But thatís another story altogether and where íPigeon Souvenirsí comes inÖ

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Personnel involved in the making of this album:

Crash Fantasy: Quagga (#1):
Chris Gledhill 
Danny Goulds 
Dom Pates 
Rob Swanson 
Bass
Guitar
Vocals
Drums
Dom 
Matt 
Mike
Julian
Vocals
Guitar
Bass
Drums
Boxed Prophet: Headland:
Jamie 
Jim 
Justin 
Dom Pates 
Liam Sheerin 
Guitar
Bass
Drums
Vocals
Guitar
Andy Costello
Julian Gray
Mike Hadlow 
Dom Pates 
Drums
Bass
Guitar
Vocals
Taxi For Alice: Quagga(#2)/Jaded:
Ian Currie
Matt 
Dom Pates 
Richard Moss 
Guitar
Bass
Vocals
Drums
Justin Chamberlin 
Peter Newell
Dom Pates 
Steve Raffť 
Bass
Drums
Vocals
Guitar

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Bad Hair Day

Coffee And Amphetamines

I saw you crying in the neon afterglow
Of another broken summer painted fallout shades of red
I heard you trying on another Christ for size
Just to see what suited best what lay inside your head

I donít want to wake up on a bad hair day
I just want to wake up another way (x2)

I thought of you as I turned over in my grave
Couldnít find another way to announce my death
I know that you canít ever forgive yourself
For not being the one wearing my wooden suit instead

I donít want to wake up on a bad hair day
I just want to wake up another way (x2)

You said an artist should always starve for his art
But even great outsiders need to feed their head sometimes
You cast me for the film then tell me Iíve lost the part
So itís about time for me to claim whatís mine

I donít want to wake up on a bad hair day
I just want to wake up another way (x2)

You promised me the moon, the stars, and all that lay below
But you still canít even think of me as someone with a name
Iíd shave my head for you although I donít know why
Iím getting kind of tired of playing your silly games

I donít want to wake up on a bad hair day
I just want to wake up another way (x8)

Tried deep sea fishing in those caverns in your mind
Only to find a twisted line and nothing to bring home
Coffee and amphetamines
Just to keep me up
Coffee And Amphetamines
So I can stay awake

Coffee and amphetamines
Itíll help me through
Coffee And Amphetamines
Little else to do

Canít stop me coming down
I canít find the right compound
Stop me coming down
I canít find the right compound
Stop me coming down
I canít find the right compound
Stop me coming down
I canít find the right compound

Coffee and amphetamines
Iíve been up for days
Coffee and amphetamines
Been told itís a phase

Coffee and amphetamines
I need another spoon
Coffee and amphetamines
Now youíre singing my tune

Canít stop me coming down
I canít find the right compound
Stop me coming down
I canít find the right compound
Stop me coming down
I canít find the right compound
Stop me coming down
I canít find the right compound

Losing my grip
Reality
Losing my grip
On reality

Stop me coming down
Stop me coming down
Stop me coming down
Stop me coming down

Silver Surfer

I Don't Want To Fall
Sometimes I feel as young as a baby
Sometimes itís as old as the hills

I pick myself up off the street
And sit and peel the skin from my feet

Silver Surfer in PVC
Iím gonna find it so easy

Silver Surfer in PVC
Intravenous De Milo envy

Silver Surfer in PVC
Iím gonna find it so easy

Sometimes itís as young as a baby
Sometimes I feel as old as the hills

I pick myself up off the street
And sit and peel the skin from my feet

Silver Surfer in PVC
Iím gonna find it so easy

Silver Surfer in PVC
Intravenous De Milo envy

Silver Surfer in PVC
Iím gonna find it so easy

The heat of the city rises through my room
Iím trying to sleep before morning looms
The beat goes on through my head in the night
My brain is setting my pillows alight

Silver Surfer in PVC...

You take it easy through the lessons of life
You take a week at a time
And though Iím not sure where I began
Iím quite convinced Iíll get high

And thereís a source of reasonable tension
That most people can take
But if youíre gonna fuck me around
You know that Iím gonna break

And the wheels just keep on turning
Like the creation of an unconscious mind
Iím sitting on the edge of a stone cold world
Youíve gotta get me out of here, you gotta get me out!

I, I donít wanna fall
No I, I donít wanna fall

Iíll ask you now what sets us free?
Is it the look in my eye?
Do my words hang on you, a phrase or a verse?
As you drop down through the sky

Somebody put something in my drink
Iím not sure what it was
But it made me stop and think
About effect and cause

And the wheels just keep on turning
Like the creation of an unconscious mind
Iím sitting on the edge of a stone cold world
Youíve gotta get me out of here, you gotta get me out!

I, I donít wanna fall
No I, I donít wanna fall

Youíve been everywhere and back again
Youíve seen the end of yourself
Even though youíve never left home
You tell me youíre quite content

This could be the start of an infinite number 
Of reasons why I should go
But if youíre going to fuck me around
Well you know, I donít know

And the wheels just keep on turning...
Electric Sound Parade Thought On My Mind
On the electric sound parade
Your inner light begins to fade
Iíll turn you on so youíve got it made
You know I wonít forget
You know I canít forget

So if your sky it seems too blue
And colours too bright to be true
Iíll send you a calmer moon
You know I wonít forget
You know I canít forget

Thereís a brand new morning come
Iíll follow you to the rising sun
Iíll never compromise
Thereís too much in your eyes

When your thoughts they turn to black
And the rope round your neck becomes slack
Iíll protect you from renewed attack
You know I wonít forget
You know I canít forget

And if we make it to the other side
Youíll see youíve got nothing to hide
Iíll take you for another ride
You know I wonít forget
You know I canít forget

Thereís a brand new morning come
Iíll follow you to the rising sun
Iíll never compromise
Thereís too much in your eyes
I got invited to the launch of a rocket at the weekend.
I found a flyer in my back pocket from an old friend.
Curiousity raised, generosity praised, I asked where it would be,
And with a smile on his lips, he told me ĎAt the end of the armouryí.

Iíd like to feel the sunshine on my shoulders
Iíd like to feel the sea rushing round my feet
Iím gonna try to change my whole situation, yeah!
Life could be so sweet, it could be so sweet.

Iíve been to Tiananmen Square, there was nobody there Ďcept policemen.
Iíve walked the Himalaya, man it was wild and serene.
I lived in Tokyo, donít you know that it gets kind of crazy there
Iíve got a thought on my mind but itís not something I can share.

Iíd like to feel the sunshine on my shoulders
Iíd like to feel the sea rushing round my feet
Iím gonna try to change my whole situation, yeah!
Life could be so sweet, it could be so sweet.

When I was just a boy, I looked out of my window during floodtime,
And watched the animals pass, down the street past my house in a straight line.
Although Iím older now, I still look out with the same eyes.
So if they evacuate the circus again, I wonít be surprised

Iíd like to feel the sunshine on my shoulders
Iíd like to feel the sea rushing round my feet
Iím gonna try to change my whole situation, yeah!
Life could be so sweet, it could be so sweet (x3)

'When I Grow Up, I Want To Be' was compiled, produced and edited by Dom Pates

Lyrics by Dom Pates ('Bad Hair Day', 'Coffee And Amphetamines', 'Silver Surfer') and Pates/Hadlow ('I Don't Want To Fall', 'Electric Sound Parade', 'Thought On My Mind'). Lyrics published by SPR Music.

Photography by Dom Pates, except Crash Fantasy shoot (Mike Sissons), Headland shoot (Cathy Gray), IDS Band (Jenny Edwards) Artwork by D1 Designs - d1_designs@yahoo.co.uk - except Headland demo cover (by Julian Gray).

 

© Sounds Phenomenal, 2003

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