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Herrera & The Handouts - A Handout From A Cheepskate (1989)
This is a very special post: it's from David John Herrera, the original guitarist of the legendary Cheepskates. After the Cheepskates post, David sent to this blog his only solo LP, released back in 1989, along with some really informative notes about it.
A few notes from the man himself: I produced the album and it was recorded between Febuary of 1987 and December of 1988 at Dubway Studios in Manhattan. Al Houghton was the engineer.
Since I was the original guitarist of the Cheepskates, the album was titled: A Handout From A Cheepskate. Orin Portnoy played bass in the Outta’ Place, and the Optic Nerve. Bob Baker was a drummer I met at Dubway studios. Elan Portnoy played guitar in the Fuzztones, the Headless Horsemen, and the Lords of the New Surf. Jon Weiss was the lead singer of the Vipers. Dino Sorbello was the guitarist of the Mad Violets, and the Blacklight Chameleons. Tony Matura played guitar and sang in the Optic Nerve. Bobby Belfiore also played guitar and sang in the Optic Nerve. Christian was a Swedish fellow I met in the summer of 1988. I never did get his last name, but he played a mean blues guitar. Mike MiracondaRaunch Hands. Michael Chandler was the singer for the Outta’ Place, and the Raunch Hands. Grec Pekorsky was the guitarist for a garage/psych band from Pittsburgh named Uncle Sydney. Shane Faubert was the singer/organist of the Cheepskates. Steve Marshall was the owner of Libra Studios where the Cheepskates first rehearsed. Sandy Vogel was a blues singer and my girlfriend at the time. I wrote all of the tunes except the following:"Mayfair” is an Optic Nerve tune that was written by Tony Matura. It was always my favorite tune of theirs (still is), and once in a while I would drum for their band."Credit Card” and "Yesterday’s Night” were written by Jackson Weir III."I Don’t Want You To Go” is a Horrible Flowers tune that was written by Jackson Weir III and Paul (Cliff Hanger) Wilkerson. The Horrible Flowers was a band that I was in (as a bass player) before the Cheepskates. We were a post punk psychedelic band out of Hollywood and briefly toured the Midwest in the summer of 1982 before I left the band. Jackson Weir III (the guitarist) played with 391, Seizure, and Rik L Rik. Cliff Hanger was one of the first drummers of the Germs. Both he and Jackson are now deceased and the album is dedicated to the memory of the two of them. David John Herrera
Tracklist 1- One story high 2- Another lie 3- Some folks 4- Frog booth 5- Your chance 6- Party 7- Hard to find 8- Out that door 9- Credit card 10- The fall 11- Mayfair 12- I don't want you to go 13- Yesterday night
This is the only review (in english) I could find on this LP - it's on rocknrollradio.org : An anomaly on New York's garage-rock scene: when most of their peers were scouring exurbia for vintage paisleys and vinyl, this low-key quartet was creating some of the most carefully crafted pure pop to escape from those Seed-y halls!
I can't resist to add some notes myself: This LP came out in 1989 on Midnight Records, and contains 9 originals written by D.Herrera and 4 tunes written by his friends. As you may noticed if you read the names in David's notes, the musicians in this record are the cream of the NYC garage scene: members of the Optic Nerve, the Fuzztones, the Headless Horsemen, the Mad Violets, the Blacklight Chameleons and others. More on the NYC scene you can read here. David John Herrera has a great web site, with much more info about Cheepskates. I din't want to go in a track-to-track description, but here are a few notes, just to get you curious: Credit Card & Yesterday's Night are two rockers with driving rhythm and owing a lot to Ramones. Some Folks - rock'n'roll with odd vocals. Frog Booth begins with tribal rhythm from the bass of Orin Portnoy and the drums of Bob Baker and a slow surf riff, then Jon Weiss's sax hovers above and a psychedelic guitar takes the lead and lifts the whole track for a short flight. Hard To Find & I Don't Want You To Go - These come as close as it can get to the first two Cheepskates' LPs, a bit wilder guitar in "Hard To Find" and Shane Faubert's organ in "I Don't Want...". The Fall - A streight blues with some fine slide guitar from Mr.Herrera (in fact he plays all instruments in this track - and sings too).
As David Herrera wrote, this LP is long out of print and there's no chance for a re-release. You can visit D.Herrera in myspace.