Segarini – Q: Are we not Men? A: We are Demo, D-E-M-O …PLUS – Another Format Free Music Mix

 

In the housing industry, DEMO is shorthand for DEMOLISH, the procedure used by renovators and construction workers to tear down that which is to be replaced in order to upgrade a property and increase its value

In the recording industry, DEMO is shorthand for DEMONSTRATION, the procedure used by artists, labels, producers, and songwriters to preview a song or musical project in order to choose what to record or continue to tweak before committing the time and money to realize a finished product or artistic statement.

There are other definitions of DEMO aside from these two, but when it comes to music, the definitions can oft-times be interchangeable …in, and out, of order.

There has been a long-standing belief that the first recording of a song has an energy and immediacy that can rarely be recaptured by subsequent records of the same song  in order to ‘refine’ or ‘improve’ it.

Often, as in everything labeled “Improved” or “Better”, the result of redoing something neither improves nor betters it at all. It only makes it “Different”. Sometimes, that’s a good thing, and sometimes, it isn’t, but when it comes to spending somebody else’s money to record your music, you have to inexpensively ‘demonstrate’ the quality of the material you intend to record to play for the label/investors before they sign a cheque.

That’s the reason for ‘demos’ …to show the worth of your music to those who can invest, promote, or release it to the public.

To get a deal, to get a bigger budget, to get priority …demos are essential until you establish yourself as a worthwhile entity and build a reputation …and even then, a demo of a song can get it placed with other artists, or placement in a film, television show, or advertisement.

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A demo can be recorded with just a voice and guitar or piano, or, if you have the resources or money, a full-blown ‘dress rehearsal’ made to sound as close to what you have in mind as you can get it. Sometimes, when dealing with short-sighted Industry folks who are incapable of being able to imagine a song defined in different genres by just hearing a bare-bones version with a single voice and instrument, the closer you can get to sounding the way you want it to is a must.

…and there are times when the enthusiasm and energy you capture in a demo DOES make up for any musical short comings or sound quality issues. Sometimes, no matter what you do, recapturing that excitement will elude you, and as good as your eventual finished product is …you will go back to the earlier version time and time again. And your friends and anyone who hear the FIRST recording of a song will 9 times out of 10 ALWAYS prefer the first version they heard, no matter how beautifully defined the finished, polished, version may be.

…because it’s the melody and words and feeling, emotion and groove, that endears music to people.

The Song is The Star.

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There can be a world of difference between first and consequent recording of a single song. From feel, to instrumentation, to attitude, genre, and sound. Which version out of multiple versions YOU prefer can change from person to person, but it is the writers and artists who need to be satisfied, and most are usually left wanting.

Even John Lennon had said more than once that he would kill to re-record or remix the entire Beatle Catalogue.

John, among other things, disses the recording of Help and views good songs as poetry that doesn’t NEED music ….

No song …and no one …is safe from re-evaluation.

Art …I have heard said …is abandoned rather than finished. There is always room for one more stroke of the brush, one more chapter, one more stanza, one more guitar, or one more clove of garlic.

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Editor’s Note – Most of the following recordings are third and fourth generation copies made from audio cassettes, some of which are over 50 years old. Please forgive the SOUND of them, the occasional hiss, cracks, and dropouts.  Thank you.

The Family Tree

After we signed with RCA, our first major label release was this song. Not a demo, exactly, it sprang out as a finished, then released, recording, but was done the first time we were ever in RCAs studio and stands as the first ever recording of the song …basically a demo, with the band playing the instruments and no outside interference. Produced, as all of our RCA output was, by Rick Gerrard, the man also responsible for Harry Nilsson, The Jefferson Airplane, and others.

This was also the first song I wrote that became part of the Miss Butters LP …but written well before Butters was even an idea.

Do You Have the Time

Nickelodeon Music

Re-recorded and renamed for the Miss Butters LP, the band was replaced by members of The Wrecking Crew, with only Jim De Cocq from the Family Tree playing some lead guitar riffs and Vann Slatter and I reprising our vocals. The charts for the Wrecking Crew (Larry Knechtel, Mike Melvoin, Al Casey, and Jim Gordon) were written by George Tipton.

Roxy/Wackers

Written for Roxy’s Elektra LP, this tune also was recorded for the first time and released without being re-recorded in 1969.

Rock and Roll Circus

Years later,  in 1973, The Wackers recorded the song for inclusion in our 4th LP, Wack and Roll, which was never released.

Rock and Roll Circus

Segarini/Bishop

Between Roxy and The Wackers, Rand Bishop and I recorded 2 songs for the movie Vanishing Point. This was one of the demos that got us the gig. Recorded in a storeroom in Sunset Sound in Hollywood with Rand on Bass, Jim De Cocq on Guitar and Travis Fullerton on Drums. Rand, myself, and a few friends did the vocals.

I Got That Rockin’ Rollin’ Reelin’ Feelin’ Somethin’ Drunkin’s Comin’ Over Me

The song was changed drastically when it was re-recorded for the film. Recorded live on a soundstage with Elvis Presley’s Vegas back up band, and a girl group called Eve. Rand played acoustic guitar on the track.

Over Me

Wackers/Segarini Band

The Wackers recorded this demo in Montreal at Studio Kebec, Andre Perry’s downtown church prior to his move to LeStudio in the Laurentiens.

A 3 am morning incursion during the recording of Hot Wacks in 1972, led by assistant engineer Nelson Vipond, because we were desperate to play together during weeks of overdubbing one instrument at a time for most of the album, and to record 7 songs that were turned down for inclusion on the album. Years later this demo was to be included in the Wack N Roll album, which was never released.

Teenage Love

In 1979, The Segarini Band took a shot at it for the Goodbye L.A. LP.

The Wackers/Segarini Band

Written in Studio Tempo in Montreal and recorded the same night, this demo has Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson as part of the ensemble, and turned out good enough to be added to the never released Wack and Roll LP.

Juvenile Delinquent

…and the Segarini band recorded it live for their On the Radio live LP.

Wackers/Bob/April Wine

Late night drinks with Myles Goodwyn led to a 4 am session with Myles, Jerry Mercer, Steve Lang, Garry Moffett and myself in the studio where April Wine were recording their latest LP. Myles had the keys and a good knowledge of the board. Except for a small piano riff, he stayed in the booth while the rest of us learned, then recorded several tracks live off the floor. This one was done in one take after a quick run through the chord changes. Amazing players, these guys, with Garry’s guitar being a standout, especially considering he was playing by the seat of his pants. The surprise here is the fact that this song had already been released in two forms, as an album track on Wackering Heights, and as a single that producer Gary Usher had added instruments to and made an edit at the end without my knowledge or approval. Here are the 3 tracks, in chronological order starting with the released album version, the single redo, and the fine April Wine demo where, for a change, my singing was effortless.

Body Go Round LP Version

Body Go Round Single

Body Go Round Demo

This next demo came first. From the same session as Body Go Round. The Winers and I did the first demo of this song, and years later the Segarini Band recorded it for the Gotta Have Pop LP.  There was one other demo after this one, done with great Montreal musicians including Danny Zimmerman and Bucky Berger and a horn section, but I cannot find a copy of it anywhere.

Love Story Demo

Love Story

One last one just to show you a good song can be re-imagined in any genre.

All the Young Dudes/Segarini

Produced by Criteria Studio’s Ron and Howie Alpert in Morin Heights at LeStudio, this was recorded live off the floor by All the Young Dudes as I had originally wrote it.

Sweet Love

Years later, with members of Cats and Dogs, I recorded it in an entirely different way, going from 3/4 to 4/4 time, and reimagining the song as a smooth R&B tune. I actually like them both. Oddly enough, this too is a demo, a rough mix and my work vocal and much more to be done. …and it got a name change. Drew and Suze on BG vocals and Paul Zurin on keys. Steve Sherman played everything else.

All I Can Do

I have a lot more of these. let me know if you would like to hear more comparisons of not only my material, but covers and demos of other artists songs and recording.

Please leave any comments below in the REPLY section.  Have a great weekend.

BONUS!!! ANOTHER UNINTERRUPTED FORMAT FREE MUSICAL JOURNEY

THE ESOTERIC MELLOWER MIX

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Segarini’s regular columns ask the musical question, Can You Dance To It?

Any questions or comments? Just leave them in the “Reply” section below.

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-button7giphyBob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

3 Responses to “Segarini – Q: Are we not Men? A: We are Demo, D-E-M-O …PLUS – Another Format Free Music Mix”

  1. @theRealJJimmy Says:

    Bob virtue-signals a U to favorite, neighbor, color and a shit tonne of others, but still can’t spell my name. Oh well, good stuff anyway.

    • J. Jimmy! An absolute pleasure to hear from you.
      The spelling has been corrected. …at least …I picked one of the other spellings I’ve seen and went with it. Thanks for the heads-up.
      Still one of the greatest players I have ever worked with. The guitar on Over Me, Slow Down, Baton Rouge, and others are amongst my all time favourites, not to mention the evening you spent on the roof of Elektra’s studio in L.A. in the echo chamber playing your English/French horn at the behest of one VERY high producer/engineer.
      And then there was the night Randy’s VW got pulled over in front of Frederick’s of Hollywood’s store on Hollywood Blvd. during the Manson Scare of 1969.
      Wish I could have been in Stockton for Wagner’s Wake. You, Vann, John …all there. We could have played ‘Windy Day’ and you and Dave Hanley could have played pinochle to a million points. Be well, stay safe, please try to stay in touch.

  2. @theRealJJimmy Says:

    You were at the top of the Conspicuous By Their Absence list for sure Bob. Jeff V. sends regards. Small world, especially considering that from your balcony vid it looks like you are 4mi from my elementary school, Buchanan P.S. in Wexford. Baton Rouge, wow, do you have a tape, can you post it?

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