Mar 152010

I am proposing that musicians in the Halls of Rock participate in perhaps the most daunting thread ever: Rock Town Hall’s First Annual Talent(less) Search: My First Demo.

Details follow the jump.

I propose that those of us who have played, written, and recorded music over the years reach into the dark recesses of our musical archives and share – in blinded, non-downloadable fashion – one or two of our earliest demo or live recordings.

Obviously, the expectation is not that your first recordings display any of the stunning musical abilities that you possess today. Even the most successful, skilled musicians who pass time here probably started out sounding…awkward on tape. Regardless, I’d bet each submission would be…interesting if nothing else.

I’m thinking that if we could listen to a dozen or more of each other’s earliest efforts, not knowning who did what or who’s even in the game, if we so choose, we could suffer together, laugh together, marvel together – and then arrive at a point of healing.

What do you think? Feel free to comment here and/or write me offlist with specific questions or, if you dare, an mp3 of one of your earliest recordings: mrmoderator [at] rocktownhall [dot] com.

Thanks for taking this difficult challenge into your consideration.

NOTE: Should we accept this mission, this thread will spoil the opportunity for some collector, should any of us ever get famous for our musical efforts, to stumble across our earliest recordings and bootleg them for wads of cash.


  26 Responses to “Rock Town Hall Talent(less) Search: My First Demo”

  1. I’ll see if I can dig something up but this is going to require me to mix from tascam 4 track. And if I do submit something, I do not want my name associated with it at all.

  2. Mr. Moderator

    All submissions will be kept HIGHLY anonymous, and I think we should only keep them posted for a short time, maybe 3-5 days?

  3. Mr. Moderator

    Hey, spaces are filling up for this landmark opportunity for rock ‘n roll bravery. If interested in submitting your first demo (or whatever early one you can dig up), let me know. Let me know, too, if you have thoughts on the “ground rules.” One Townsman has expressed that he’d be fine with submitting his demo with his name and an explanation. Whatever works for you works for me. Thanks.

  4. I have no shame. I will post some 1989 recordings from my band “The Groovy Tubes” right before we changed our name to “The Stonesouls” which we kept through 1995 (with a revolving door of lead guitar players along the way). The singer (my brother) was 15 and the rest of the group had just turned 18. This was recorded in a “real” studio the night of my (missed) senior prom.

  5. After an extensive search in the basement, I was unable to find either a mixed version of my earliest songs, or my cassette player.

    I did however find a tape containing my very first recordings but now I need to get my 4 track back from a friend in order to make a mix.

    It’s counter intuitive to make this much of an effort to embarrass the shit out of yourself.

  6. Mr. Moderator

    Beautiful, jungleland2. That’s what we’re talking about!

    I can assure you the healing that will follow this exercise will be well worth the effort, cdm!

  7. Ok…. (deep breath) This is a collection of songs from 1989 – 1992 from The Stonesouls (Waiting Here So Long is under the “Groovy Tubes” name.

    My brother does not want to have these too available since he is trying to get his current band more attention.

    WHAT YOU’RE DOIN’ is my donation to this post. The other songs are there if you want to see if we got better (we did)

  8. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, it’s the big Horrible Demo I Recorded Several Decades Ago Contest! I’m in!

  9. I am currently really high on at least a few of the songs on the first demo I ever played on. I will send the song that I currently have, and I’ll see whether I can get some of the more embarrassing stuff.

  10. Mr. Moderator

    Sounds great, Rick. So far this is lining up nicely. We’re lining up a cool presentation for these tracks. Should be fun – and ultimately healing.

  11. Mr. Moderator

    For those of you who’ve made music over the years and who follow the “Latest comments” page, let me keep this in your thoughts. We’ve received a number of early recordings from Townspeople and Friends of the Hall – with more to come. This should be a really fun project, even more fun if YOU send in one of your earliest recordings. Lots of fun and games are in store if we can keep the momentum going.

    Send your early recording to mrmoderator [at] rocktownhall [dot] com. Thanks.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    Sorry, Mod — this fell off the radar screen. Unfortunately, my first recordings are buried in a Swazi land fill somewhere. And how I wish I had my first recordings of me and townsman kcills “jamming” out to his original composition “I Don’t Want To Die (In a Nuclear War).” complete with me dropping the amp to make the reverb springs shake and rattle, simulating explosions and such.

    I went through a few of my old demos from the mid-80s, though, and most of those are pretty painful. I’ll send a couple, in an electronic plain brown envelope.


  13. I just got my 4 track Tascam back although my friend neglected to give me the power source. Once I have that, I will try to send in an mp3 of the first song that I ever recorded. It is horrendous.

    I suspect that you are doing this so that you can feel better about your early recording but I have no way of proving it.

  14. Mr. Moderator

    Believe me, the earliest thing I can track down will be as bad as anyone else’s first recording efforts.

    HVB, andyr or I may have those Bob’s Revenge tracks.

  15. hrrundivbakshi

    Oh, I’ve got the Bob’s Revenge stuff. The stuff that’s gone missing pre-dates that, and would be especially painful.

  16. I’ve got some stuff on tape that would make you all sorry *I* ever picked up a guitar.

  17. Mr. Moderator

    Bobby, don’t tell anyone the song title, in case chickenfrank finds the tape, but aren’t you on one of his CLASSIC early recordings? I’m trying to get chick to come up with that bad boy for inclusion!

  18. Bobby is definitely on that song. I was actually talking about that track with my kids a few days ago.

  19. Yeah, I “sang” it, and he has it. He gave me a CD-R copy last year. It’s held up surprisingly well, esp. considering we went through the whole thing maybe a total of once before hitting “Record”!

  20. If he doesn’t get it to you, let me know. I’ve got it on my laptop, and can always get it to you, unless he expressly states that he doesn’t want others to hear it (he did write it, after all). He didn’t say to me that he was embarrassed by it.

    So, Andy, was this a “Well, the greatest punk rock song I ever heard was…..” type of conversation you were having with the kids?

  21. Double BB, feel free to send it to the Hall. There’s no shame in what we were clearly just having fun with. It’s my sensitive juvenile solo demos that I’ll continue to sit on. I’d rather send Mr. Mod one of my molars than contribute one of those. I wasn’t sure if a prerequisite was that you HAD to be mortified to share. I’m not that honest, but am glad others aren’t so uptight.

  22. Mr. Moderator

    Use the address given in this thread, bobby. Looking forward to throwing it into the blinded mix!

    chickenfrank, after all these years I didn’t even KNOW you had sensitive juvenile demos! andyr, Sethro, and I have too many adolescent secrets over which we can no longer keep under wraps. Had we known you a few years earlier we’d demand that you give up one of your possibly excruciating demos as we will our own. So give one up, will you? 🙂

  23. I knew nothing of sensitive juvenile demos, either. You can’t expect to get away with bringing up something like THAT and then NOT sharing some of it with us, can you? Doesn’t seem fair…

  24. When do you think this thing is gonna get off the ground? Looking forward to it.

  25. Mr. Moderator

    Do you have anything to contribute, nanker? Glad to hear you’re anticipating it. So am I. I need to follow up on about 8 more contributors who seemed sincerely interested. Hopefully we’ll have all the tracks we can realistically expect and get this show on the road in April. Thanks.

  26. Don’t hold it up for me. I’ll try to get it together but I am very busy for the next two weeks or so

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