On this site, I have often spoken of the great musical opportunities I’ve had during my lifetime. The first was with the band, The Contents Are: and the second was with Silver Laughter.
Recently another old friend of the band, The Contents Are:, found Dave Neumann and sent him a copy of one of the studio songs we did in Pekin, IL. Wade Calvert was a big supporter of ours and happened to find a 9 song studio demo we recorded somewhere in his collection. The tape was old, but the 9 songs were successfully recovered to digital format, and then Dave took them into a local studio to get them remastered.
Over the course of the next month or so, I will be releasing the various studio versions of these songs which were written and/or recorded during my formative years as a rock musician. This first is a studio version of the song, “All Around”, which has been posted previously in a live version. I wrote it with Neil Young in mind as we were big Crazy Horse fans during those days.
I must say, looking back, all those years on the road playing night after night with Silver Laughter really strengthened my voice. This version was even double tracked, and it still sounds weak compared to some of the work we did on “Sailing On Fantasies”. That’s Craig’s excellent wailing on the lead guitar as the song nears the end and fades out. I think Dave came up with the repetitive guitar fill during the verses.
Note from Wade Calvert – Friend of the Band. Apparently we recorded at a studio called Golden Voice in Pekin Illinois. Wade said, “This was what their brochure looked like. Still haven’t found my pictures of the actual studio.”
I’ve always known I’d had those tapes, but thought they were recorded live at Al’s Lounge in Bettendorf. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this particular tape sounded so much more professional than my “recorded live” tapes did. Still to this day I can’t remember how I came to have that tape, it was almost certainly given to me by one of the band shortly after it was recorded at Pekin, possilby at my request or even at my own expense..
Maybe you’ll remember the guy at the front table at Al’s with the big Sony stereo recorder with the 2 cheap plastic microphones. I still have a tape with several songs recorded live at Al’s, I also came to hear you folks play, sat in the front row and smoked cigarettes and drank beer until you would finally play “Boogie-Canned Heat” for me as the last song of the night. Or “Hear Me Callin’-Ten Years After”, and it was usually announced that you were playing it for the “oldest rock and roller that we know”. I think I was about 6 years older than most of you. I was hooked on making recordings from then on.
Incidentally, the studio in Pekin was called “Golden Voice” and the guy, Jerry Milam, that built it was an excellent engineer, he did a super job on this recording as well. Golden Voice was sold shortly after that, and it burned completely to the ground in about 1978 and was never re-opened. My wife and I visited Golden Voice for a tour in the late 1970’s to get some ideas for a studio that I was contemplating building at the time. I may still have some pictures of the inside of Golden Voice, if I could just remember what I did with them. My various studios have evolved from tape machines to a pretty good 8 track digital studio. I was the one who converted the tape to digital here In Port Byron, IL. and sent it to Dave. The remastered music was very nice, I thought, I’m proud to have a copy.
I have to say I didn’t know much about Silver Laughter until I read your site, but I loved Contents Are. Of course Dave and I were classmates at U of Iowa at that time, both of us studyiing Electrical Engineering and we had many classes together. I graduated in 1971, and I think he had another year left. My wife and I came to visit the band in Colorado shortly after you moved there, to a little house where you all were staying. We didn’t stay more than an hour, and were on our way exploring the mountains.
Well, that’s it, the rest of my story, FYI.
Very best regards to you,
Wade Calvert, Port Byron,IL
I remember you very well. I had a lot of good times with The Contents Are:. It was my first really professional band and my first recording studio experiences! Thanks for checking in, and thanks for the history!