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The Sylvia Sessions

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IN LOVING MEMORY OF TAYLOR HAWKINS

The year was 1993.  The band that would become known as ANYONE had been founded by Riz Story, Taylor Hawkins and Jon Davison a few years earlier and after numerous line-up changes and various band names the group had settled into a state of balance and had made much progress in finding the sound that would eventually be known as MAXIMUM ACID.  

The group had settled on the name SYLVIA in honor of poet Sylvia Plath.  The name wouldn't last long, but what was more important was that the band had found a clear direction.  The push and pull between Riz Story's extremely progressive/experimental direction had blended with Taylor Hawkin's primal rock n' roll influences, resulting in a new breed of progressive acid rock.  It was Taylor who insisted on the addition of guitarist Sean Murphy.  Taylor acknowledged that Riz was the premiere guitar virtuoso in the OC music scene, but he felt that Riz's playing was too technical and gave the band an almost fusion sound.  But it was Taylor's discovery of Riz's ability on the electric bass that tipped the scale.

Story recalls the moment clearly:  "We'd been jamming in Taylor's garage and Juano (Jon Davison) had to leave rehearsal early.  On a whim I picked up the bass and began to play.  Taylor joined in and we became a rhythm section for the very first time.  Sparks began to fly immediately.  That afternoon we played for hours, discovering a chemistry that was as natural as it was inspired.  The thing was that I was able to follow Taylor anywhere he went.  I said, play anything you want...  I'll follow you there.  And I was able to stick to him like glue no matter how radically he would change it up.  He was totally free to go crazy and explore, and I would be right there with him."

It would be some time before Jon Davison left the band leaving an opening in the bass position, but Taylor had already decided that he wanted Riz on bass.  It was Taylor who would use his job at the local music store to supply Riz with a bass guitar and amplifier.  Opportunity struck when Taylor had taken in a black Rickenbacker 4001 on trade and saw to it that the bass, a perfect replica of the model that RUSH's Geddy Lee had made famous, wound up in Riz's hands.  

Sean Murphy's guitar style was much more rock n' roll than Riz's approach.  Drawing heavily from Hendrix, Murphy brought an atmospheric psychedelia to the sound that took the band closer to Hawkin's vision for the group.  Murphy also brought his songwriting abilities to the table, an aspect that Riz readily embraced.  Riz recalls, "It was Sean who brought in some of the most memorable riffs of the early material.  Songs that would became ANYONE favorites, like 'Giving Thrill's' and 'Real' were based on Murphy riffs."  The band lineup was solid and it was time to make a new demo recording.

The band entered PlasticMeltdown Recording Studios in San Clemente, California and began working with Engineer/Producer Brent Hoffenberg.  The studio was far from state of the art but provided adequate sophistication to capture the budding bands sound.  Riz had amassed much studio experience and helmed the sessions competently enough to produce the music with a surprising level of sound quality.  

 

Taylor laid his tracks first.  There was no click track used, just the band playing live, following Taylor's fierce drum attack.  Next Riz would lay his distorted bass tracks, tightly merging with Taylor's playing in a way that few rhythm sections could.  The foundation was solid and fertile ground for Murphy to decorate with his atmospheric guitar stylings.  And finally came Riz's trademark lead vocals and Taylor's backing vocals.  The resulting music was a close replica of the bands live sound and stands the test of time to a surprising degree.  

30 years later we can experience this forgotten sonic time capsule and marvel at the bands unique vision and raw power.  With both Murphy's and Hawkin's recent untimely deaths Riz Story has taken on this labor of love, meticulously restoring and remixing the 30 year old recording and offering it to the world as a loving tribute to his deceased band mates. 

Riz Story sums up his feelings on 'The Sylvia Sessions' Thusly:

"It was a miracle that the tapes didn't crumble in the machine after so many years and I'm thankful that Brent Hoffenberg was able to salvage them.  Tears began to flow the moment I heard Taylor's voice counting in 'Dear Sylvia' and Sean's voice teasing me between takes.  It was as if I was transported back in time to this moment when we were a brotherhood. 

Taylor asked me many times over the years to release the music we had recorded, but I was reluctant, dismissing it as juvenilia.  To honor Taylor's wish I have painstakingly restored, remixed and remastered this album so that you, the millions of admirers of Taylors talents, can hear him at his youngest and most exuberant.  It was a labor of love.

I present this album as a tribute to these two great artists that for a moment in time were my band, best friends and my brothers.  I love you guys and I hope that wherever you are you'll be proud of this music that we created together." 

 

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Taylor Hawkins - Riz Story - Sean Murphy
1993 - Plastic Meltdown Records, San Clemente, California

LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

 

ALBUM CREDITS

 

Originally Recorded in 1993

 

Produced by Riz Story

Engineered by Brent Hoffenberg and Riz Story

Mixed and Mastered by Riz Story (2022)

 

Riz Story – Vocals, Bass, Keys, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Guitars (Real)

Taylor Hawkins – Drums, Backing Vocals (Mommy)

Sean Murphy – Guitars

 

Guest Musician – Brendan Murphy (Rhythm Guitar “Real”)

 

Recorded at PlasticMeltdown Records, San Clemente, California.

http://plasticmeltdown.com

 

All titles written by Riz Story except “Real” and “Sister Someone”, written by Riz Story and Sean Murphy.

Lyrics by Riz Story

LYRICS

Peace Love and Toxic

This is the ecstasy of toxic and dream

I'd like to know if real is what you seem

The clever chef is crying over spilt milky way

Toxic! Toxic!

Peace, love, toxic, toxic!

Peace, love..  yea.

This is a beautiful toxic and dream

We swallow fantasies and choke on the real

Peace, love toxic..  Toxic!

Peace, love, toxic... Toxic!

Peace, love... Toxic!

The clever chef is in the kitchen

I'll be waiting

I'll be waiting

Peace love and you're beautiful

Toxic!

Beautiful!

Love!

Peace love and you're beautiful

The clever chef announces dinner

Take your place in the rat race

He peels of a rubbish of human rind

Eyes of eyes are as lost as you'll find

Peace love and toxic

Peace, love and you're beautiful

Peace, love and you're ecstasy

Sister Someone

Sister - Beautiful

Sister says 'toxic'

Sister feels curious

Ooh she's a pin prickly skin take a bow

We worshipped our Julia

But her backs to us now

Sister feels beautiful

And I don't know if her Romeo's the seed

And I don't know if her flowers are free

Beautiful

Sister says 'toxic'

Sister feels furious

Ooh she's a cinch, panty pinch take a bow

We made little christians but their backs to us know

Sister feels beautiful

And I don't know if her Romeo's the seed

And I don't know if her flowers are free

And I don't know if her Romeo's the seed

And I don't know if her flowers are free

Dear Sylvia

Dear Sylvia I wish you were here

I was hung up when the weather turned cold

pray for a day in the coming of spring

when ginger snapdragons will fly

Come around the outside there's a trip that I'd love you to feel

It's the coming of spring, and the poet says it's a big deal

And the cinnamon wig's on your head so full of surprise

There's a trace of doubt in your head and I'm bent on making it lies

So many people will never know

So many people will never know

Dear Sylvia I wish you were here

I was hung up when the weather turned cold

pray for a day in the coming of spring

when ginger snapdragons will fly wing to wing

Did i mention the sale on Dr. Kavorkian's machine?

When the angel of thrust invaded my suicide scene

A Shakespearian girl cried a tear when the whales were all gone

There's a trace of doubt in your head and I'm bent on turning it on

So many people will never know

So many people will never know

Dear Sylvia I wish you were here

I was hung up when the weather turned cold

pray for a day in the coming of spring

when ginger snapdragons will fly wing to wing

And the company fair

Sings my baby blue

And the Juliet's pearl on the oyster that's spreading so wide

Hides a mannequin's skin, on the floor a banana peel slide

In addition to love there's so many instincts to go

There's a trace of a doubt in your head and I'm bent on letting it show

So many people will never know

So many people will never know, no!

Dear Sylvia I wish you were here

I was hung up when the weather turned cold

pray for a day in the coming of spring

when ginger snapdragons will fly wing to wing

Dear Sylvia I wish you were here

I was hung up when the weather turned cold

pray for a day in the coming of spring

when ginger snapdragons will fly wing to wing

And the company fair

Sings my baby blue

Mommy

Dream if you could a suicide someone

And dreams will all fade away as dreams often do

And mommy can't chase away the panty pinch perverts

The cold day and the fade away will swallow you whole

Drown in your ocean 

I'll be there beside you

And no one will miss us at all

Mommy!

Throw me a line boys

Mommy!

Reach me in time... boys

Boys

Dream if you would one Chester Molester

kneels all in pantomime in the congress of the pigs

Mommy can't chase away the panty pinch pregnant

Waiting in embryo in pussy's warm box

Drown in your ocean 

I'll be there beside you

No one will miss us at all

Mommy!

Throw me a line boys

Mommy!

 Reach me in time... boys

Boys

Drown in your ocean 

I'll be there beside you

And no one will listen at all

Drown in your ocean 

I'll be there beside you

No one will miss us at all

Dream if you will we've become wasted

At Sunday's dull charity that rings at the door

I spoke to your faith when your cynic was still sleeping

And pro-life blew another wife with a hanger on the wire

Drown in your ocean 

I'll be there beside you

And no one will miss us at all

Mommy!

Throw me a line boys

Mommy!

Reach me in time... boys

Boys

Mommy!

Reach me in time... boys

Real (Bonus Track)

Can you tell me what's real in this world?

Can you tell me what's real in this world?

I can't wait to go under

I can't wait to go in

I... I don't know

Which side you're on

But it better be real

Can you tell me what's real cuz I don't know?

Can you tell me what's real cuz I don't know?

I'm beginning to wonder

I can't wait to go in

I... I don't know

Which side you're on

But it better be real

I... I don't know

Which side you're on

But it better be...

Just say what you feel

Just say what you feel

Just say what you feel

What you feel

And it better be real

It better be real

Can you tell me what's real in this world?

Can you tell me what's real in this world?

I can't wait to go under

I can't wait to go in

Won't you tell me what's real in this world?

Won't you tell me what's real in your world?

I'm beginning to wonder

I can't wait to go in

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