Three things you can count on in this world. Death. Taxes. And today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl. A man I’ll call Scott G, back in Cleveland, was knee deep in both death and taxes one night as he prepared a decedent’s final tax return while listening to Deep Tracks. Speaking of death, the late Tommy Bolin came on with “Post Toastee” and somewhere in the song Scott thought he heard a possible segue with Dave Mason’s “Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave,” which sounds like the punch line to a tax joke. As you probably know, “Post Toastee” is a nine minute cautionary tale about the very thing that killed Tommy Bolin at the tender age of 25. He’s one of two artists in this set who died tragic early deaths, more about that later. Anyway, Scott sent an email about the idea and next time I was out here in the Way Back Studios, I got under the hood and looked at the thing. Turns out Scott was onto something.
“Post Toastee” breaks down into three parts, so my job was figuring out the hows and whens and wheres of merging two other tracks into the transitions. Long story short, it turns out the Dave Mason breaks into two parts that fit in the second break and at the end of “Post Toastee.” So I still needed something to slip into that first break. And once again, death reared its fearsome head. Instinct made me grab the first studio album by the late Jaco Pastorius where I found a track that worked like nobody’s business. I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s called “O-kon-kil-e y Trompa.” Even if I said that wrong, you’re still gonna love the sound of the mix. So that’s the bulk of the set. At the top I tacked on one by those Disgraced Schoolboys, The Kinks, a song called “The Hard Way.” But we’re going to start with something from one of my favorite albums of 1980. Willie Nile’s debut, a track called “Vagabond Moon.”
|Willie Nile||Vagabond Moon|
|The Kinks||The Hard Way|
|Tommy Bolin||Post Toastie (part 1)|
|Jaco Pastorius||Okonkile y Trompa|
|Tommy Bolin||Post Toastie (part 2)|
|Dave Mason||Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave (part 1)|
|Tommy Bolin||Post Toastie (part 3)|
|Dave Mason||Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave (part 2)|
Seems the simple things are hardest to explain. That’s from Alone Together, Dave Mason’s first solo effort after leaving Traffic. We heard that off the original pressing of the album which was done in that very cool, multi-colored marble-looking vinyl. The album featured most of the big names who played with Joe Cocker on the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. Delaney and Bonnie, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge and others. The idea to mix “Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave” with Tommy Bolin’s “Post Toastee” came from our pal Scott G in Cleveland. But those two songs weren’t enough for a whole show, so I added “O-kon-kil-e Y Trompa,” that electric bass, French horn, and percussion instrumental earlier in the mix, courtesy of the late Jaco Pastorius who was born the same year as Tommy Bolin. Two enormous talents with equally enormous drug problems. Jaco had the added burden of mental illness and ended up broke, homeless, and beaten to death at the age of 35 by a nightclub bouncer somewhere in Florida, the same state where Tommy Bolin died of a drug overdose at the age of 25.
“Post Toastee” by the way, was the last song Tommy Bolin played while opening a show for Jeff Beck in December of ‘76. Still alive and well at the top of the set, we heard Willie Nile doing “Vagabond Moon” from his debut album. If you can track it down, get it. It’s a fabulous album. We also heard “The Hard Way” from The Kinks album Schoolboys in Disgrace. You do it your way and I’ll do it my way and we’ll see who’s the one to survive in the Way Back Studios. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for listening. In case you’re wondering, we’ve got the set lists and the show commentaries posted on billfitzhugh.com, along with everything you ever wanted to know about that guy Carl Hiaasen called a ‘deeply disturbed individual.’ I’ll be back sooner or later with another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl and I hope you can join us. Right here in the Deep Tracks.