November 2nd, 2014 12:16 am

Its been a while, but I guess the time is right for posting this piece of work. Psychotic Dogs developed one morning when Jeff showed me some measures of a bass line that he had written down. As we talked about it over coffee, ideas began to fly and of course that called for another pot of coffee. The outstanding component was that it was a cool riff, but in an odd time. We were trying to make it rock, but not sound stiff. What I always liked is that we never went to the instruments until quite some time later that day. Jeff was quite proud of the fact that he had written the idea before it would ever be played. It was really something when it all came together through amps and at the drumset.

Once at the instruments, it became quickly apparent (at least to me) that the lines were physically difficult to play. I had to play through my parts on drumset, singing the lines in my head until I got it right. But really, having known the parts from paper so well, it was just a matter of mind and body coming together. It really was thrilling. To this day, (almost 30 years down the line) I invite any drummer to play this and tell me isn’t challenging.

The recording equipment was our own and it was rough. No real mics to speak of. If I remember right, it was open-room micing into a Fostex X-15 and bass and drums went down first, sharing tracks 1 & 2. Hopefully, the guitar track would go well and not require dumping all 3 tracks to 4. Much more noise if that were to happen.

As we hammered it out through the day, once in a while could be heard, the crazy barking of dogs Stevie and Sheba outside as they ran the fence line, barking at the neighbor dogs. They liked that, but I don’t think they knew how crazy it sounded. There came the comment that the barks were “psychotic” at some points. Well, it was decided that the song and its players were somewhat psychotic themselves and thus the song title.

The reason for this “article” is maybe for myself, but this song was always referred to by Jeff and I as “the” piece of work. It’s a shame that we never refined it and recorded it properly. But, when you listen to it, there is certainly an unbridled attack of enthusiasm that cannot be denied, and that will stay with me always. When someone works at something with all their heart, the listener or onlooker can feel it. This song was special to me and I know it was to Jeff. In my opinion, the guitar work was excellent. Listen and enjoy (or not), but do so with headphones to get the effect. R.I.P. Jeff.

  Psychotic Dogs (Jeff & James Douglas)

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