The Music Will Never Stop 65

Well, that was interesting.

The first side of the tape has eighteen tracks, more or less, taking up a mere thirty-eight minutes.

The first five are Martha and her guitar — two originals, a Beatles tune, an old folk song, and a Joni Mitchell number that probably called for a little more range than Martha really had. The song I’ve had running through my head intermittently since 1974 turns out to be called “Photosynthesis” — there’s no enclosure, but inside the box the bottom has a track listing, and the lid has personnel.

The personnel were Martha, me, three of my four roommates, and Nadia Benabid, who was another roommate’s Moroccan girlfriend.

That only covers fifteen of the eighteen tracks, though. The last few were added later. For that matter, #15 is dated February 12.

I’m listed as playing jew’s harp and providing vocals on “Mountain Dew” (track #7), but I’m pretty sure I also played jew’s harp on “San Francisco Bay Blues,” and the unlisted tracks all feature me playing dulcimer.

Anyway. The first five tracks are Martha, then there are two silly group numbers, then Martha and Ray (I think) do a duet of “Mobile Line,” then Fred and Nadia have two and a half duets (there are two takes of “Proud Mary”), then Nadia has three solos — two in Spanish and an instrumental.

And finally there are three instrumental tracks — “Go Tell Aunt Rhodey” and two rather tuneless jams — with me playing dulcimer and Josh playing jew’s harp and Martha (I think) playing kazoo.

Martha and Nadia were both pretty good. Ray was okay. The less said about Fred and me, and especially Josh, the better. The only place I tried to sing was on “Mountain Dew,” and that was because I was the only one who remembered any of the verses, though everyone joined in on the chorus.

I’m glad to have this stuff. This is from about a week before I flunked out of Princeton, a time I get nostalgic about.

The recording quality is mostly quite good. Nadia wasn’t close enough to the mike for her three solos, so I had to amplify them to the point there’s audible tape hiss, but otherwise it’s fine. I did punch up a few tracks a little, just ’cause, but it wasn’t necessary.

As for Side 2, most of it is blank. The box says it’s got the Mothers’ “Over-Nite Sensation” on it, but it doesn’t. The first fifteen minutes or so, unfortunately, are taken up by a failed attempt at comedy by me and my high school friend Glenn Cooper, with a lot of the jokes lifted from the humor ‘zine I published my senior year of high school.

It’s really, really bad. Not funny at all. I’m embarrassed. I’m not going to preserve any of it. It can all go, as far as I’m concerned, and since it’s mostly me (Glenn’s only in about two minutes of it) and Glenn’s dead, I think it’s my call.

So I’m saving the music, and not the “comedy.” I’m debating whether I should erase the “comedy,” just to be sure.

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