I seem to be encountering old recordings of things from my past these days. I have posted a new version of an old song. Now I have some more old versions.
Back in the 1970’s my friend Craig was in a band with Maury Manseau and a bass player named Bruce Buell. As far as I know, they were known as Maury, Craig, and Bruce. That’s what I called them anyway. Let’s call them “MC & B.” Maury had been in a band called “The Sunshine Company,” which had a couple of hits, one of which was “Back on the Street Again” by Steve Gillette. You can find this on YouTube.
MC & B were being produced by Bill McEuen, brother of John McEuen, famous banjo player in the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The Dirt Band had had a big hit with their album, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” MC & B were playing five of my songs. At the time I thought they were going to be big and I was going to have a career as a songwriter. They recorded a demo at United Artists studios with a drummer named Phil Valentine who I didn’t know, but who had gone to the same high school as Craig and I. I guess he played in different bands. I never had a copy of the demo, but Craig still had an acetate, of which he made a digital copy for me. They played two of my songs. The first is “Waiting,” of which I have already posted a version here recorded a couple of weeks ago with Craig playing guitar and singing and me on cajon. The version from the UA sessions, probably 40 years ago, has Craig on vocals and Maury playing lead guitar on a Gretsch Country Gentleman through a borrowed Fender Twin Reverb on 10. It is pretty amazing.
The UA demo also has another song of mine, “I Might Have Known.” Here Maury sings and Craig plays flute.
Finally, Craig discovered a cassette tape of a performance he did at the Penny University Theater, a venue that existed in San Bernardino from the early 1960’s to the late 1970’s. These days he fingerpicks, but in those days he was an accomplished flatpicker. He is at the top of his game for the time. And at the end of that tape, he plays a song of mine that I had forgotten I had written, “If You See My Highway.” It has a surprisingly positive outlook.
MC & B had a falling out with Bill McEuen and the demo, other recordings, and my songs never saw the light of day. So instead I became an English professor. So it goes. And the wheel turns. It is all for the better. I suppose. But this is pretty good stuff that has been hidden for a long time, so I am happy to put it on the internet.