Without Earth----The Moon
RE- RELEASED BY REV-OLA RECORDS = 2003
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Without Earth----The Moon
Have a listen to a few songs:
The Moon was formed as a result of several individual goals of several individual souls all converging for the purpose of creating music that was newer than all that was surrounding them.
Matthew Moore, Larry Brown, David Marks, Drew Bennett, and Dave Jackson, were the souls.
The music recorded was an effort to contribute an augmented level of warm, meaningful, and enjoyable listening fare for all of the creatures that hear.
The beginnings were mainly generated by the songs being written by Matthew Moore. Matthew's brother, 'Daniel Moore', was an independent record producer in Los Angeles and had produced several singles with Matthew as the artist. Daniel had arranged a meeting with 'Mike Curb' at Sidewalk Productions, in an effort to find a recording contract, and Mike was very helpful in providing the producer, and engineer, and drummer, and keyboardist: (Larry Brown), and in encouraging Matthew to seek out musicians that would form a group to record his compositions. Larry Brown introduced "Drew" Bennett to the proposed gathering, and Matthew had been running into David Marks around town, so he approached David with the idea of recording a few trial tracks.
Within a few weeks the project was under way. The Studio was to be, "Continental Studio", in Hollywood, and the four young adventurers set up camp and locked the doors. These young men were still not yet 21 years of age. The tremendous technical and organizational task had began.
All were single, all were very accomplished musicians, all were ridiculously fearless as to the huge undertaking they had embarked upon. It was agreed upon from the beginning that the fewest possible distractions and interruptions during the recording process must be the rule. The doors were locked and only food deliveries and an occasional visit from Mike Curb was allowed during the basic track recording phase. Sleeping, eating and playing music....that was all. The quest for perfection was the standard, many re-takes, many 'start all overs', and many heated discussions concerning choices of parts to be played or parts, not to be played.
Matthew: " I remember waking up ..having slept on the floor near the piano. A dim light was on in the booth, so I tried to walk to the door out of the studio. I kept stepping on boxes and kicking over cans and bottles but I made my way to the light panel to bring up the light in the room. I couldn't believe the amount of clutter and trash we had accumulated. We had to take a day off to allow the janitors to come in and clean. I still can recall the 'Warnings' we invoked, to "be careful and not move any wires or mikes or touch any set up instruments". We had to go out into the world for a day and entertain ourselves. Dave and I went to a $.50 triple feature western movie downtown and watched the winos sleep. A few days later we resumed our quest.
Have a listen to a few songs:
No one knows for sure, how many hours or days or weeks or months it took to finish the first album, (Without Earth) but we do remember the final moment when we all looked at each other and nodded in agreement that it was finished. (Whew)
The second Album (The Moon), was actually time logged by Larry Brown. He said It took 470 hours, from start to finish. The first one took much more time.
Some Of The Few Existing Photos of The Moon
Matthew Moore Songs
Matthew Moore Songs
The Caribou Albums
Rough Track Mixes:
The mp.3 links below are work mixes used during the recording of the Moon albums. They are unfinished, and low quality, .... so with that in mind.......
(These can take some time to load the first time.)
To Contact "The Moon"
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There were nights and days of meticulous repairs of one measure, or even one beat and eventually everyone became calloused and weary of all the details and constant repetition as we fought for 'near' perfection.
Matthew: "I remember at one point, we all were burned out pretty bad. Frustrated at the endless work to clean up every little glitch and even the slightest slip, or goof, or cough, or snicker, or laugh, or burp, or whatever got caught on tape, and we decided to have 'Dart gun fights.'. You know, those spring loaded guns that shot rubber tipped darts that were like suction cups if they hit a window or smooth surface. Well we chose up teams, turned the lights down low and even built forts to hide in, in the studio. Oooo it was scary. You could hear the gun go off, ...a long silence and then" THOCK". Right on the forehead. "How did you see me?...." Larry would yell. Well of course that would disclose his location and several more darts would fly toward him and he would be hit over and over. We all laughed a lot and actually were able to release the tension of working at such a deep concentrative level for such long periods of time.
The basic tracks were recorded with extremely exact levels of detail and technological, note for note, perfection. Larry and Matthew were OCS oriented. (Obsessive Compulsive Syndrome) "There was no reason not to be."
The most advanced multi-track recording machine at the time, ( the first album) was a 'three track'. This made it necessary to combine two tracks down to one, to make more room to continue recording. Larry had to do this many times, and because these were permanent once finished, they were very time consuming.
Of coarse at some point, a track would be deemed," ready". These were the tracks that were to be treated with 'sweetening'. Strings or outside musicians playing tablas, or sitars, or horns, or whatever occurred to us, if it was needed.
The background vocals had to be added. This filled a serious gap in the overall feel of the songs. Dave, and Drew, and Matt, had to double, and some times triple, the voices to make it sound full. If you listen closely to the parts, you can understand how difficult they were to get right. Everyone had to phrase and sing their parts just right....two or three times, ...exactly. This took a lot of time. Time was also a very real factor for Larry. He had the job of combining and blending the vocals as he bounced back and forth between the few available tracks to make them sound full.
Excellent horn arrangements were discussed and finally written by Dave Roberts. Dave was an acquaintance of Larry Brown, and he was very much a strong contributor to the project.
The strings were much harder. This fellow named Robert Klimes, was introduced to the project by Larry Brown. He was a High School music teacher, trying to break into the movie scoring part of the entertainment business. He was perfect for the Moon. He brought such a diversified style of majestic and warm string arrangements to each composition, that it is hard to imagine any other way it could have been done.
Matthew: " I went to Bob Klimes's house on numerous occasions to discuss and argue, different approaches to the song's treatments for strings. He was absolutely a genius with original music arrangements. He would use styles that were old or new or what ever was needed to augment the song in a very warm and wholesome way. This guy was really committed to his work.
" He passed away...but he was a real 'creative' musical person, that I sorely miss."
"The string sessions were unbelievable. I think we had 13 or 15 string players. We did the old trick of recording one take, (which they played perfectly), and then said, "oops, we need that again",. Well we were trying to triple it without paying union scale for three passes. And we did it."
But the arrangements were like throat clogging. " I had spent a few seconds singing some counter melodies that I heard in my head to Bob at his house, and he turned them into orchestrated symphonic movements. I was floored." I actually had tears in my eyes."
The time we spent in the studio seemed as if time stood still. We had no concept of passing moments or hours at work. We just kept trying to perfect each part of each track until we all agreed on the changes and improvements that we eventually arrived at. This was a paradise of creativity.
David Marks was one of the original "Beach Boys". He had left the group a year or so before the Moon was formed. Dave was the perfect guitar player and vocalist for the Moon situation because he had the ability to be patient and when needed, he could concentrate on the 'part that needed to be played'. There were often long hours of waiting, while Larry and Matthew worked on the combines, and ping pong mixes. (Mostly Larry) David would pass through the booth and listen and mutter and return to the studio and pick away at a part or practice a complicated lick and wait till it was time to record.
When asked, "Why did you quit the Beach Boys?", David replied; "I got tired of carrying my own luggage." Well, there may have been a little more to it, but he stuck to his story for years. He has a web page at: www.davidleemarks.com
David Marks has teamed up with the American Gastroenterological Association
(AGA) www.gastro.org/ as the spokesman for their "Be Hep C S.M.A.R.T."
Larry Brown is, and always was, a super, multi-talented musician and arranger. When the MOON project was started Larry and Matthew had only ' just met'.
His audio engineering skills were phenomenal for his age,(20), and this combination of talents, made him a natural choice for the MOON project.
"The discovery of Larry's talent and abilities were a surprise and delight as the recordings progressed. He was always able to help resolve a technical or musical problem during the creative building process of recording the tracks. Larry was the conservative element of the whole group." Matthew, David, and Drew, or Dave Jackson, were loose, and free, compared to Larry. "He held us down to earth...as best he could."
We all messed with Larry...I hope he understands that we were with him, and not just being jerks. BUT,... we had a lot of fun at Larry's expense. There were several situations when Larry would be all hunched down, at the mixing board, and we would be standing behind him. He was concentrating on the work he was trying to finish, but we were all waiting for him to finish so we could move on. We probably just slowed him down by cracking jokes and snide remarks. I remember a combined effort that we all participated in... Larry was hard at work and didn't really notice that we were all behind him...waiting for a final playback of a track. We lit up a joint and blew the smoke at the back of his head ....now this was a a small room....and eventually the room was in a cloud of pot smoke...and Larry got high. He became very happy each time we did this...and we felt we had done him a favor...since he would never smoke that stuff on his own.
Larry has been very active and successful since the MOON years. You can find a good history of his work and contributions at his web site. www.larrybrown440.com
Dave Jackson played Bass on the second Moon Album, "The Moon". He is and has always been an excellent musician and singer. He is still playing and singing, and pretty much whatever he is called on to do. David was a very busy player. He wrote songs as well.
He co-wrote "Joy To The World", with Hoyt Axton. He wrote or co-wrote several other songs with Hoyt and other composers. He has traveled this planet extensively while playing and singing, and is still out there. He was, and is still, always available to play on Matthews demo tapes of new songs. He always contributed to the overall composition and being a cheerful type, he is a pleasure to work with.
Dave Jackson is still alive. (He didn't wear the hat in the MOON)
Drew was the quiet one. He played Bass, so he had to be somewhat isolated from the live drums and guitar. He knew this, so he built a private little fort, using sound baffle sections and eventually he was invisible while in his recording "Kiosk". Recently he told me that he was smoking something, and burning his Buda incense, and with his earphones on he could hear everything being said and recorded, so he was quite comfortable. I do remember that there were 'playbacks', that he didn't bother to come out and listen to. We admired this, because we assumed that he was not completely satisfied with his performance. Now we find out he was probably unable to move. Good stuff in the Bass booth.
Drew tells a story about one of the sessions that goes like this:
Larry had met, and was engaged to a young lady, that was very strong minded and assertive. He had been so involved with the Moon project that these two had not been able to spend much time together. Somehow Larry allowed her to visit the studio during one of our marathon sessions. (Or she just decided to drop in)
When she came into the booth, she smelled the pot smoke and exclaimed: "This is disgusting, how can you work with these people? This session is canceled!!!"
Well...Matthew, Dave, and Drew all looked at each other, lit a joint, took a huge hit, and walked into the booth. They all exhaled at once and filled the room with smoke. She shouted about how the session was "canceled".... until Larry escorted her out...trying to console her..... she left. She just didn't understand what was happening.
I must add that Larry say's that story isn't quite correct, in fact he doesn't remember anything about it.
Matthew Moore Songs
Matthew Moore Songs
Yes. I'm last. I have so many distant memories of the Moon years, and they all jumble together, it's hard to organize them in a coherent and factual way that will convey the spirit and dedication of those times. I feel the experience as a gestalt mass of totally analyzed and properly organized occurrences combined down to a really nice memory. But Hell, I've had years to do this, so I can accept the fleeting moment it warms me when I think of it. I will never regret the feeling of progress and accomplishment that was always happening at each recording session.
We all were without question, heading for the same goal. That's rare in any time frame, to gather more than one or two humans for a pure cause. We didn't even think about the oddity of the situation, we simply worked toward the goal and didn't stop till we finished. The first album was a personal 'Grand' accomplishment for each of us, and for all of us as a group. The 'World Wide Rejection", was a painful failure for us all as well. We considered not recording again, but we had an open contract with Imperial Records to do another album, so.....three of us opted to go ahead and try once more. I think Drew Bennett was unwilling to continue because of the powerful feeling of rejection and apparent disapproval from the public. He may disagree, and we all felt the pain of not being accepted and appreciated, but we decided to give the world one more chance at the Moon. Drew decided to leave the group. (He actually rejoined the group in October of 1969.)
There were many nights that were fruitless. We had hundreds of takes that were lost due to technical problems, clicks, hums, power surges, bad human noises that got on tape, and we even had a rain storm that made the roof leak. Pizza deliveries, Chinese food, crash at dawn, start again at dusk. We actually didn't know if it was day or night for several days at a time.
I went on after the Moon. I wrote songs and tried hard to find recording artists to place them with. I continued to record my own songs. Attempts at procuring contracts for releases of songs as singles, in hopes of landing a recording arrangement for album projects. And in 1970 my brother Daniel Moore hooked me up with Leon Russell. Leon was partnered with Denny Cordell, who was the discoverer of Joe Cocker.
Well, as it worked out, Joe Cocker, had been obligated to tour for some specific period of time, with "The Grease Band", but that band wasn't available. So Denny Cordell and Leon Russell had to put a group together rather quickly to fulfill the contractual requirements, and have a good situation develop from a potential disaster. They succeeded, and the "Mad Dogs", tour was the result.
I had written a song called "Space Captain", that everyone was fond of and they decided to record it for the upcoming tour project that ended up as "MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN".
I went on the tour. I was completely overwhelmed by the size and scope of the situation, and It was one of the most exciting occurrences in my entire life. I loved it. A movie was made called, "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", and I have a copy. probably one of of few existing on the planet.
I continued my pursuit of recording opportunities and song placements with artists that were current and active. Over several years I was able to find, or was found by, many respectable recording artists and eventually I was asked to record as an artist again.
In 1977 & 1978 I recorded two albums for Denny Cordell, Leon Russell, and their label "Shelter" records. They were able to sell the production to Columbia Records, well actually a subsidiary label called, "Caribou".
After all was said and done, I had recorded two albums and they were released in 1978 & 1979. Titled "Winged Horses" and "The Sport Of Guessing". Both were produced by Robert Apear.
I was fortunate enough to do some interesting sideman jobs, one was during the spring of 1973 & 1974 with David Cassidy. I got to go to Europe both times. I played keyboard and sang background vocals.
Wow...this life has been full. I'm at a loss to recall every detail of the numerous back ground vocal sessions and keyboard sessions that I was privileged to have contributed to....actually, I just am glad to have been able to be a part of the constantly changing and growing recording industry, during the 60's, 70's, and 80's.