Archive for the ‘Studio sessions’ Category

Fun with “Pix” app on my iPhone.

Let’s get ‘artsy fartsy” with some photography, and who better to be the guinea pig but Art the Fart himself! On our most recent visit to Alchemy Sound Studios, I took a few pictures with my iPhone, and after some haphazard manipulation in an app known as “Pix”, I created the above monsterpiece. The photo was taken at the same time as the photo on our What’s In A Name blog entry, except that the photo on that page was altered in Photoshop.

In above pic, Art is playing the stuido Les Paul through a D/I (translated, that means he’s playing a vintage guitar and instead of using an amplifier, the signal is “direct input” into the mixing board). The song in question was Kevin’s own “Crazy For Your Love”, which needed a stronger guitar intro, and which Art was only too happy to provide.

Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid and Buzz Constantly at Gary Taylor’s Rock Room, 1979. Photo by Dee Lippingwell

Buzz and Art at Gary Taylor’s, 1979. Photo by Dee Lippingwell.

SOLD OUT SOON!! Thanks to the hard working efforts of Rosie, we only have a few tickets left for our July 22nd CD release party. Get yours FAST before they’re all gone. Yes, we still have some reserved tickets for the people who have asked us to “hold on to a couple of tickets for me” — but now that we only have a few tix left, we have to respectfully ask these folks to purchase their tickets now if not sooner. Don’t be disappointed — get your tickets for this event before next weekend by sending an email to In the subject line of the email, just type your name, how many tickets you need, and your phone number, and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Thanks for your support!

Speaking of Apple… As Steve Jobs was fond of saying, “One more thing…”

It’s now official — the new title for our CD, by unanimous vote, and suggested by “Anonymous” on this blog, is “Hard Core Apple“. Not surprisingly, the logo we intended to use for the CD cover (the wheelchair logo with the figure playing a guitar) turns out to be a registered trademark: “ On 11/15/2004, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for GUITARDED. This trademark is owned by Media Solutions, Inc.”. So Steel Wheelchairs Rehab Tour 2012 is now the name of the tour only, not the CD itself.

Gird your loins and be prepared for the new Sparkling Apple CD, Hard Core Apple, soon to be available at your local Home Hardware Store (just kidding!). The CD will initially be for sale at Sparkling Apple performances, but before long, our website will be offering these discs online.

Art undergoes the Andy Warhol treatment at Alchemy Sound Studios

Our producer Scott Young mentioned that the title of our CD, namely Steel Wheelchairs Rehab Tour 2012, is somewhat misleading. The album is not a concert recording of our current tour, nor is it 100% live. In fact, it’s a tribute to the old Who LP “Magic Bus: The Who On Tour, on which the somewhat deceptive title implies that the songs were recorded live, whereas all recordings on that album are in fact studio tracks.

An astute observation, and we had thought of pointing this out on a disclaimer found on the back of the CD.

No, this is NOT a document of what Sparkling Apple sounds like onstage in 2012! The title is merely what we decided to call the CD. We could have selected all manner of titles, including Scott’s choice, The Odds Are Good But the Goods Are Odd, as well as a pantload of other potential handles, including:

All You Can Eat
Antiques Horror Show
Auntie Gravity
Because We Know What To Do With It
Bleeding Eardrums
Born To Be Mild
Buzz Saw to the Brain
Can't Stop Rockin'
Digging Up Some Old Friends
Drop the Acid NOW
Drunk Rock
Free Beer
Get it Right or Say Good Night
Get Over It
Hard Core Apple
Gone Plywood
Is All This Noise To Cover Up a Lack of Talent?
Keep On Rockin'
Make It So
Meeting of the Mindless
Mindless Boogie
Missing Persons of Interest
My Way or the Highway
Old School Is Cool School
On With the Show This Is It
Persons of Interest
Play at your Own Risk
Plywood Hits
Power Play
Prognosis: Negative
Resistance is Futile
Ride That Bomb
Rock n Roll All the Way From Mars
Roll Em On Down
Seems To Me I've Heard That Song Before
Slow Motion Walter
Standard Operating Procedure
The Final Frontier
The Good, The Bad and the Average
The Whole Enchilada
Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Three To Get Ready
Total Recall
Vintage Mayhem
Whale Oil Beef Hooked
What Might Have Been
What Were We Thinking
When In Doubt, Throw It Out
When Men Were Men and Sheep Were Nervous
Within the Realm of Great Achievements

With so many available choices, we at first chose Steel Wheelchairs Jihad Tour 2012, but not wishing to risk a terrorist retaliation, we dropped the Jihad (and substituted Rehab)! In any event, folks, you can call it what you want, but I call it messin’ with the kid (thanks to Junior Wells for that one). Seriously, though, most people will refer to this CD as Sparkling Apple’s Greatest Hits, in spite of the fact that we didn’t HAVE any hits. In the words of Miles Davis, “call it anythang”!

So do you think, people? Should we change our CD title, or is it too late in the game for that sort of foolishness?

Art in the control room between takes

Our CD is nearing completion! As we speak, hamsters are working overtime on their treadmills and minions are feverishly scurrying around the office typing liner notes & finding suitably tasteless graphics. Vintage tapes are being remastered and digitized, new tracks are being remixed and committed to hard drives and frightened villagers are fleeing New Westminster after the berserk thrashing Art has given the studio Les Paul. We are now aiming for a summer 2012 CD release party (although we said that LAST year, didn’t we?) to commemorate the planned demolition of the Flamingo Hotel in Whalley. Advance warning will be posted here and on Facebook, to give each of you ample time to either find higher ground or to gird your loins for the Sparkling Apple onslaught, the likes of which has not been since the Dawn of Time (or last week, anyway).

So in honour of our threatened and as yet unnamed CD, we present exclusive never-before-seen outtakes of the band in a sound studio environment in 1978 — for further photos, go to “Windmills of Your Mind” on the Road Stories section of the Official Sparkling Apple website, and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

On November 20th and 21st, 1978, Sparkling Apple recorded Killer By Night, Roll Em On Down and Play At Your Own Risk in Ocean Studios which was still located in North Vancouver (the studio later moved to larger premises in Kitsilano near Granville Island). Production and engineering were ably handled by the amazing Dick Drake and Dave Thomas (not the SCTV guy). Shown on this page are two of the few existing photos of our manager, Bob Burrows, who single-handedly (OK, Simon Gunn helped) launched us on our spiraling journey to the depths of obscurity! Without his able assistance and direction, we could be languishing in the depths of Walmart cutout bins or whimpering in The Middle of Nowhere, BC, anguishing over why we’re not as big as Twitch! Although we didn’t say so at the time, we now offer our heartfelt thanks, and offer you a laurel and hearty welcome to our blog. (Hey, how about that — a rhyme for languishing is “anguishing”. Not bad, eh?)

By the way, readers — to see these photos at full size, just click on each one. We now return control of your computer to you, until next week at this same time when the Control voice will take you to… Out of Limits!

Art on guitar in the studio, with his favourite adult beverage close by. Note the shape of the beer bottle!

Buzz in the studio, on the fabled White Bass.

Colin on the drums in the studio. For those of you keeping score, the kit is Ludwig, but the snare drum is a wood shell Camco.

Bob in the studio, while Dave Thomas (not the SCTV guy) sets up microphones.

Bob in the studio control room with Ding.