VANS X RECORD STORE DAY - "PORTRAITS OF HER."
VANS X RECORD STORE DAY PARTNERED TOGETHER TO CREATE "PORTRAITS OF HER."
A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT TO HONOR AND UPLIFT WOMEN IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.WATCH THE "PORTRAITS OF HER" THREE-PART VIDEO SERIES THAT DIVES DEEPER INTO SHARED STORIES AND EXPERIENCES TOLD BY WOMEN IN MUSIC, DIRECTED BY CHRISTINA XING.
For each episode, we invited two women from completely different fields to meet for the first time and share their stories on navigating the industry. We put the camera in their hands and pieced together their self-captured one-on-one moments, where they discussed their inspirations, hardships, accomplishments and hopes for the future of the music.
EP. 01 - MELISSA MEETS LOTTIE
A SENIOR MANAGER AT AMOEBA MUSIC MEETS A DJ, DUBLAB CURATOR AND CO-FOUNDER OF SOS MUSIC.
EP. 02 - LEYLA MEETS ERICKA
A SINGER AND SONGWRITER MEETS THE SVP OF A&R AT WARNER RECORDS AND FOUNDER OF THE BASEMENT.
EP. 03 - ALICE MEETS ALEXIS
A HYPERPOP MUSICIAN MEETS A DIRECTOR AT LIVE NATION.
Help us celebrate a love of vinyl and all things RSD on Saturday April 30th, 2022 at our Record Store Day Fair. The event will obviously feature tons of vinyl + maker market curated by Wax Trax! Records.
Dig through crates, peruse concert prints, and nosh on some local food with a Goose Island beer in hand. The event is open 6-10pm with performances by K.Flay and Boyish, with DJ sets by Laura Jane Grace and Julia Nash + Jill Hopkins + DJ Patrixia Goth.
Entry to the Record Store Day Fair at House of Vans Chicago is open to guests of all ages and is free with RSVP. AND YOU CAN DO THAT HERE
In 2022, there is one Record Store Day, April 23. We feel strongly that stores have learned and adapted in the past few years and are ready to bring back elements of a “traditional” Record Store Day, bands and beer and fun and people and whatever parts of the party they like, in ways that make them, and their customers, comfortable. We also feel strongly that it’s important to focus on those stores themselves, and celebrate what they do year-round, in their communities.
As we’ve all learned in the past few years, it can be hard to make any plans in permanent ink, so it’s always a good idea to have a sort of contingency plan. A safety net for anything a few months still down the road. In the last few years, our plans for RSD Drops helped record stores around the world get through the pandemic, by marking a change in the way Record Store Day was focused. In “normal” times, the list of releases is a part of the celebration as a whole, but for RSD Drops, the focus became the releases themselves, and getting them into stores, and then into customer homes as safely as possible, bringing much-needed revenue and stock in a very unpredictable time. Importantly, those dates weren’t called Record Store Day, because they weren’t. They were release dates –important release dates, but not the party that Record Store Day is. That was an important distinction.
But we’re well aware of where we are in terms of manufacturing, shipping, etc. etc. We help the stores deal with it every release day, and we know that our Saturday in April is no exception to issues. We worked proactively with artists, labels and distribution to push back by several months the planning for Record Store Day 2022, some of these titles have been worked on for more than a year. We’re also being proactive with designating an RSD Drops date on June 18. That will serve as a street date safety net, for titles that are part of the Record Store Day celebration, but for any number of reasons beyond controlling, can’t make it into stores on April 23. The List includes titles that are coming to record stores on Record Store Day in April and those that will be coming in June. As we become aware of issues for any specific title, that title will move to the RSD Drops date and you’ll see that on the List on the website.
The titles on the RSD 2022 Official List will be released at participating record stores on Record Store Day, April 23, and some on RSD Drop date June 18. There is one List, with titles broken out for each date. You can choose to view the List on our website, with added detail and artwork, or you can print out a PDF that can be used as a wishlist or shopping guide.
RECORD STORE DAY DOES NOT SELL THE RELEASES. THERE IS NO WEBSITE WHERE THESE CAN BE PRE-ORDERED. Please use the Participating Store Search to find a store near you and contact them directly to find out how they’re participating and celebrating Record Store Day. Stores in the US may choose to sell releases online starting Sunday, April 24 and Sunday, June 19.
The List of special releases is below, in a WEBSITE form where you can search and get more information, and a PDF that you can print out and use as a Wish List or Shopping Guide.
There are three categories on our List:
EXCLUSIVES: These titles are physically released only at indie record stores.
RSD FIRST: These titles are found first at indie record stores but may be released to other retailers or webstores at some point in the future.
SMALL RUN/REGIONAL TITLES: These titles are either regionally based and sold at specific stores, or are press runs under 1000, which means they may be harder to find at record stores around the country. The majority of the titles on this section of the List are Small Run titles; any title that's regionally based and most likely to be found at specific stores will have that called out in the description, which can be found on the web-based version of the List.
Things to know and remember:
*Record Store Day does not give or sell the releases to participating stores. Each indie record store makes their own buying decisions and may choose to bring in some titles and not others.
*The titles on the List are limited in number, as are most things created for special time periods or exclusive to certain retailers. This means a store may not get all copies they wanted or that a store may sell out of a release before you are able to purchase it. (NOTE: This is the US website for Record Store Day. The pressing runs listed on our site are the number available in the US. Worldwide numbers are sometimes found in the description of a specific title, when we are given that information.)
*As we said above, this is the US website, and the titles listed here are offered to US record stores. Many other countries participate in Record Store Day and RSD Drops and many record stores in those countries may have some of these releases. Check with your local record store if you’re not in the US. (NOTE: for all kinds of reasons, some titles may be offered and available in some countries but not others. Record Store Day has no control over that.)
*The List of titles may change. Titles may be added, titles may drop off, information may be amended. Record Store Day does not own or produce the releases (with the exception of those we create ourselves.) The information on each title has been provided to us by labels and distributors and is correct to the best of our knowledge.
*Speaking of changes: everyone is still going through them right now, including your local record store employees. They are doing everything they can to get you the titles you want, but some things, like pressing plant emergency quarantines, or part-time new shipping facility workers learning from their mistakes or a boat blocking the Suez canal, are beyond their control and LEGITIMATELY MAY AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO GET YOU YOUR RECORDS. Let’s all be nice and patient and understanding, especially if we’re talking about Days or titles meant to celebrate and support indie record stores.
BEHIND THE COUNTER 2022
BEHIND THE COUNTER 2022, EPISODE 12: BRIC-A-BRAC RECORDS & COLLECTIBLES, CHICAGO IL
This week’s episode features Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles in Chicago. “The purpose of a record store, the physical experience is more than the sum of the parts… you just can’t possibly download a record store.” Nick Mayor, Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles.
HEY! HO! LET'S GO talk about Ramones with Jon and Ed
Ed Stasium in front of the cover of the first Ramones LP, at The Grammy Museum in LA in 2016. Original Ramones photo by Roberta Bayley.
JON WURSTER TALKS WITH ENGINEER/PRODUCER ED STASIUM, ON THE OCCASION OF THE RSD 2022 RELEASE OF THE RAMONES' THE SIRE ALBUMS 1981-1989
BY JON WURSTER (Superchunk/Bob Mould Band/The Mountain Goats)
If you’re like me, the Ramones changed your life forever. They proved, beyond a doubt, that you didn’t need to be a virtuoso to make music and express yourself. Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy (and later, Marky, Richie and C.J.) altered the musical and cultural landscape in a way very few artists in any medium have. In 2022, it’s unusual to walk down the street and not be confronted with some variation of Arturo Vega’s iconic Ramones logo on a t-shirt, sticker or coffee shop sign. But the Ramones aren’t a logo. They were a flesh and blood gang of musical miscreants from Forrest Hills, Queens, who somehow came together to create some of the greatest pop songs of all time, while also being one of the most ferocious live acts to ever hit a stage. The Ramones are my Beatles, and possibly yours, too.
As a lifelong Ramones fan, I was beyond excited when asked to interview longtime Ramones engineer/producer Ed Stasium about the RSD-exclusive, vinyl-only, set of 1980s Ramones albums he oversaw and remastered. As you will soon learn, we did talk about the remasters, but as a hardcore Ramones obsessive, there was no way I wasn’t going to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gently punish Stasium with as many crucial, inside-Ramones questions as he could handle. And handle them, he did! What follows might not be for the casual Ramones fan, but if you’re a die-hard, you’re in for a treat. Ok, let’s rock tonight!
JW: PUTTING THIS SET TOGETHER MUST’VE BEEN QUITE AN UNDERTAKING. WHAT WERE THE SOURCE MATERIALS FOR THESE ‘80S REMASTERS, AND WHAT KIND OF CONDITION WERE THEY IN AFTER ALL THESE YEARS?
ES: Warner Bros. has been very good about archiving everything. So, they’ve taken all the master tapes and everything has been archived. All the tapes over the years, the multi-tracks the EQ masters, the flat masters, have all been archived at a high resolution 192 kHz-sample rate/24-bit.
We don’t work from the tapes, the tapes are fragile. They basically bake the tapes and transfer them to digital and put the tape away. It wouldn’t be beneficial to FedEx original tapes. I haven’t touched the original tapes since I worked on them. When we did [the 1988 compilation] Ramonesmania, we did use the tapes. But I did go from the original copies (for this). It was all transferred into [audio-editing software] Pro-Tools.
But first of all, the great [producer/engineer] Bill Inglot finds everything. That guy knows where everyone’s master is in the world. He compiles all this stuff and then gets it to me.
The only one we didn’t get the original master for was the  Bill Laswell-produced Brain Drain. We only had an EQ copy of that because nobody knew where the actual master tapes were.
But Bill put them all together in Pro-Tools sessions, and I went through them. They’re all transferred from tape so there’s noise, there’s crackles, there’s some dropouts here and there because the tapes were sitting for years before they were archived. I’d get rid of any noise, any pops, in the Pro-Tools session and then I’d upload all of that with my edits to Greg Calbi at [mastering facility] Sterling Sound. I spent probably a week going through everything and making sure there was quiet in between the songs. I didn’t change any of the spacing between songs.
AND YOU WERE PRESENT WHILE GREG DID THE MASTERING?
I went to Edgewater, NJ to guide through everything and give my opinion, but usually, I would just sit there and eat sandwiches and drink coffee and let Greg do his magic. I’ve known Greg since ’73-’74 when he was working at the Record Plant. There was a mastering suite there called The Cutting Room. The first record I did with Greg was a Gladys Knight and the Pips song called “I Feel a Song in My Heart.” I didn’t know anything about mastering, I still don’t. That’s some magical shit going on.
WHAT WAS THE GOAL, SONICALLY, FOR THESE REMASTERS? WE HEAR ABOUT THE MASTERING “VOLUME WARS” WHERE EVERYONE IS TRYING TO MAKE EVERYTHING AS LOUD AS POSSIBLE. WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU WERE DEALING WITH?
Not for vinyl. This not going to be a CD release, this is not going to be streaming. This is EQ’d specifically for a vinyl release. You get as loud as you can, you can only do so much with that.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE OPENING UP THE FILES FOR THESE ALBUMS YOU PROBABLY HADN’T HEARD IN DECADES?
I only worked on [the 1984 release] Too Tough To Die, and three of the songs on the [accompanying] rarities LP that I worked on with Tommy Ramone. We had the original EQ (versions of the albums) in the same Pro-Tools session so we could A-B them and see what that sounded like, and some of them didn’t sound so hot, let me tell you. So, we went back to the originals and Greg re-EQ’d everything, and did some leveling changes, that voodoo that he does so well.
WERE YOU AWARE OF THOSE ‘80S RAMONES RECORDS WHEN THEY CAME OUT?
Oh, some of them, yeah. Some songs on these records I might’ve heard once, or not at all. These are the Sire LPs we’re not doing box sets for. End of the Century [from 1979] is finished, but it’s in limbo right now. I don’t know what’s going on with it. I’m not privy to the business stuff. And you know what? (whispers) I don’t care about business stuff. Pleasant Dreams, with (producer) Graham Gouldman, I was very familiar with.
YOU RECORDED THE DEMOS FOR PLEASANT DREAMS, RIGHT?
I did. I did “All’s Quiet On The Eastern Front,” “KKK,” “You Sound Like You’re Sick”…
THIS MIGHT BE MY FAVORITE RAMONES ALBUM, SONG-WISE.
There’s some good songs on there. I think Tommy did demos for “7-11,” and “Sensation,” and I also did “Come on Now.” “Airwaves” is a great song. “KKK” is another great song. I know all those songs and am very familiar with that record.
PLEASANT DREAMS WAS UNUSUAL IN THAT IT WAS NOT SOLELY RECORDED IN NEW YORK, LIKE MOST OF THE POST-END OF THE CENTURY RAMONES ALBUMS.
Pleasant Dreams was recorded in New York at Media Sound. My friend Harvey Goldberg did the tracking there, then they took it to Graham’s studio, Strawberry, in Stockport, England. They did the vocals there, and extra guitars, though I don’t know who did those extra guitars. But they used all the backing vocal ideas Joey and I came up with on the demos, they just redid everything. But pretty much, the arrangements of the songs I did are exactly the same as the demos.
DID YOU HAVE ANY CONTACT WITH THE PRODUCERS OF THE OTHER FIVE ALBUMS IN THE ‘80S SET?
No. Nothing at all. The band’s estates trust me implicitly, they know I’ve been working with the band for over forty years. I keep close to both aspects of the estate: Joey’s half and Johnny’s half. I deal with [Johnny’s widow] Linda and [Joey’s brother] Mickey, and they trust me. I did all those Ramones box sets everyone loves, and I feel like I’m part of the band, really.
DID ANY OF THOSE PRODUCERS EVER REACH OUT TO YOU WHEN THEY WERE RECORDING THEIR RAMONES ALBUMS AND ASK FOR GUIDENCE ON HOW TO WORK WITH THEM?
I don’t know Laswell at all. I don’t know Graham Gouldman. [1983’s Subterranean Jungle producers] Richie Cordell and Glenn Kolotkin, I don’t know them. I do know [producer of 1987’s Halfway to Sanity] Daniel Rey, he’s a good friend. I worked with his band Shrapnel. I mixed a single for them called “Combat Love.” [1986’s Animal Boy producer] Jean Beauvoir, I know from working with The Plasmatics. But as far as people asking me questions? Nah. It’s the Ramones. Although, these records really do sound different.
AFTER SUBTERRANEAN JUNGLE, THERE’S THIS NOTICEABLE SHIFT WHERE THE RAMONES BECAME AWARE OF HARDCORE PUNK. THERE’S A FEELING OF “WE CAN PLAY AS FAST AND AS HARD AS THE KIDS.” ON THESE ‘80S RECORDS, THERE’S HARDCORE-INSPIRED SONGS LIVING NEXT TO SUPER-MELODIC SONGS. LIKE, “I WANNA LIVE” IS JUST A COUPLE SONGS AWAY FROM “WEASEL FACE” ON HALFWAY TO SANITY. TOO TOUGH TO DIE IS THE FIRST ALBUM WHERE THIS REALLY CAME INTO PLAY. WERE THERE DISCUSSIONS GOING IN ABOUT THIS NEW DIRECTION?
No, it was just “We’re doing these songs.” There wasn’t any mention of hardcore or any type of styles. It was still the Ramones. “Endless Vacation” and “Warthog,” really, were the two hardcore tunes.
THAT ALBUM’S SINGLE, “HOWLING AT THE MOON,” WAS PRODUCED BY FORMER EURYTHMIC DAVE STEWART. HOW DID THAT WORK, HAVING A GUEST PRODUCER COME IN FOR JUST ONE SONG?
It worked fine. He came in during the tracking sessions, and he had this grandiose idea; It was probably the first time the Ramones had used a click track. But it wasn’t a traditional click track, it was a sample of a piledriver that Dave had. (Laughs) And we cut it with the band with that piledriver sample as a click track to keep the tempo solid. Then [Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers] came in and…did Benmont or [Talking Head] Jerry Harrison play on that song?
JERRY IS ON “HOWLING” AND BENMONT PLAYS THAT GREAT ROCK ‘N‘ ROLL PIANO ON “DAYTIME DILEMMA.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE GOING BACK TO MEDIA SOUND FOR TOO TOUGH TO DIE? DID YOU FIND YOURSELF SETTING UP OR MIC’ING THINGS DIFFERENTLY SINCE THE ROAD TO RUIN SESSIONS YOU CO-PRODUCED WITH TOMMY RAMONE?
(Laughs) Nah. No, I do the thing I always do…haphazardly set up microphones. But (Media) was a great, huge room. It was a church, so it had 60-foot ceilings and it sounded amazing. That’s when I started using room mics. Actually, on Rocket to Russia I used room mics as well.
IT’S KIND OF MINDBLOWING THAT THE FIRST TIME YOU EVER HEARD THE RAMONES WAS WHEN YOU FIRST WORKED WITH THEM ON (1977’S) LEAVE HOME.
Yes. I was living in Canada and I’d never heard of them. There was no vibe about it. I was up in the fuckin’ woods, forty-five miles north of Montreal. I wasn’t getting Rock Scene magazine up there. There might’ve been one article I read about the scene at CB’s, but I didn’t know anything about it, so I didn’t know what they sounded like at all. I’d never heard the first record.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING UP IN CANADA?
I had moved from New Jersey up to work at Le Studio, near Montreal. I ran into [record producer/engineer] Tony Bongiovi, who was starting up The Power Station [recording studio] in New York. I came back to New York and met again with Bongiovi, and they put me on salary at the Power Station. But I was doing a record in Canada and couldn’t get back in time for the first day of the Leave Home session. So, at the last minute, Bobby [Clearmountain, producer/engineer] came in and set up the session and recorded a couple songs the first day. I’d forgotten about it until I got the track sheets for the Leave Home box set I was doing. I called Bobby up and he didn’t remember doing it! I wanted to ask him some questions about it, but he didn’t remember.
My first day, someone had left the volume on the console up really loud. Bob met me there, showed me the setup and put on the tape and said, “Here’s what we’re doing.” (laughs) He turned it on and it was just so loud it blew me away. I said, “This is what I’m dealing with here, OK.”
TONY BONGIOVI DIDN’T REALLY SEEM LIKE A “ROCK” GUY. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN CURIOUS WHAT HE THOUGHT OF THE RAMONES?
I remember Tony telling me about the band when he asked me to “co-produce” Leave Home, which I never got credit for. He went and saw them at CB’s, and he said, “Eddie, it’s like gettin’ run over by a locomotive.” Tony had the sensibility to know there was something going on with the band. Although it’s kind of out of his realm. Tony was more of an R&B cat, and I’m the rock guy. He didn’t play in bands or play any instruments. He was more of a technical guy.
JOHNNY HAD SUCH A SINGULAR GUITAR SOUND. HIS GREAT QUOTE WAS “I WANTED IT TO SOUND LIKE ENERGY COMING OUT OF THE SPEAKER.” DID HE OR ANY OF THE OTHER GUYS EVER BRING IN A RECORD THEY WANTED TO REFERENCE, FOR SOUNDS OR PRODUCTION?
The only record that we ever referenced was at the beginning of cutting (1977’s) Rocket To Russia. Johnny brought in [The Sex Pistols’] “God Save The Queen” and we listened to it and he said, “We want to sound better than this.” That’s the only thing he said. Anything else? Never. (Thinks) Actually…this is funny…(during Rocket to Russia) Johnny referenced a Steve Miller record. They wanted to lighten things up. I don’t remember the song, there’s some clean guitar on it, mixed with Johnny’s badass guitar.
MIGHT BE “LOCKET LOVE” OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
Yeah. So, there was a reference to Steve Miller as well. (Laughing) Steve Miller and the Pistols.
HOW OPEN WERE THE RAMONES TO ARRANGEMENT CHANGES? THE DEMO FOR “HOWLING AT THE MOON” DOESN’T HAVE THAT SPACE FOR YOUR GREAT, TWANGY GUITAR SOLO.
I didn’t work on the Too Tough To Die demos. That was all Tommy, he did the pre-production. The only record I did pre-production with the band was on (1992’s) Mondo Bizarro. When we did that record I was doing pretty major productions, back in the late-‘80s/’90s. We recorded all of it at The Magic Shop in New York. (Thinks) Y’know, I guess I did work on preproduction for End of the Century with the guys.
YOU PLAYED GUITAR WITH THE BAND DURING THE END OF THE CENTURY REHEARSALS. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
Just like being in the band. Johnny wanted me to come to the sessions because Uncle Phil [Spector]’s reputation preceded him.
WHAT GUITAR DID YOU PLAY?
My ’63 Strat. I played on the tracking of End of the Century. (laughs) I was there for the big “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School” first chord*. [WURSTER: *Spector is said to have had Johnny play the song’s opening chord a mind-boggling number of times.]
WHERE DID YOU RECORD THE GUITAR OVERDUBS YOU PLAYED ON THOSE END OF THE CENTURY SONGS LIKE “ALL THE WAY” AND “THE RETURN OF JACKIE AND JUDY”?
I did overdubs at a little studio in the Valley. I don’t remember the name of it. I think it’s in my notes. (Laughs) The only album I ever took notes for was End of the Century. You know why? (Laughs) Because I was getting paid by the hour. I was the Ramones’ Musical Director and I wanted to be very honest about it. So, I’d write down the hours, usually starting at 8 or 9 at night and usually until the dawn, then breakfast at Duke’s.
SORRY, GOING DEEP HERE. WHILE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT END OF THE CENTURY, WHAT WERE THE SOURCE SOUNDS FOR THE RADIO DIAL MONTAGE AT THE BEGINNING OF “DO YOU REMEBER ROCK N ROLL RADIO”?
Phil did that. Apparently, Phil mixed the record two or three times. I was not around for the mixing, nor was the band. So, I don’t know where any of that stuff came from.
THE BASS INTRO TO “I’M AFFECTED” ALWAYS STRUCK ME AS AN ODD BASSLINE FOR DEE DEE TO COME UP WITH. HE ACTUALLY FLOATED THE IDEA THAT HE DOESN’T PLAY AT ALL ON END OF THE CENTURY.
Dee Dee has written in his book, “Oh, it might’ve been Ed Stasium who played…” No, Dee Dee was there. He played on every track. And I never really noticed Dee Dee being really fucked up, honestly…ever. But yeah, that’s Dee Dee on that song, for sure. I did the remixes for End of the Century and Phil did not get rid of anything. The Ramones are all over that record, except for “Baby I Love You.”
I KNOW WE’RE GETTING EVEN FURTHER AWAY FROM THE ‘80S REMASTERS, (LAUGHS) BUT I WANTED TO ASK ABOUT A FEW SONGS ON ROAD TO RUIN. IS IT SAFE TO SAY THAT “DON’T COME CLOSE” IS ALL YOU?
Guitar and bass. On that album, I played a lot. “Needles and Pins” as well. Tommy might’ve done a subliminal guitar bit, but I played most of them, for sure. “Don’t Come Close,” that’s all me. There are early versions of those songs on the Road to Ruin box set that have Johnny and Dee Dee on them doing their thing.
WHAT WERE THOSE CONVERSATIONS LIKE WHEN YOU WOULD SAY “I HAVE AN IDEA FOR AUGMENTATION, HERE”? DID THE GUYS SAY, “DO IT AND SHOW IT TO US, AND WE’LL SAY ‘YEA’ OR ‘NAY’”?
Exactly. Tommy and I would usually come up with the ideas. We did the basic tracks pretty quickly, probably three or four days at Media Sound. Then Tommy and I would take over doing the vocals, and I would do the backing vocals and guitar bits, and silly percussion on, like, “Bad Brain.”
ROAD TO RUIN IS THE RECORD I PLAY FOR RECORDING ENGINEERS WHEN I WANT TO SHOW THEM HOW I WANT THE CYMBALS TO SOUND.
(surprised) Oh really?
THAT ONE PAISTE CRASH CYMBAL, IT’S JUST THE GREATEST SOUNDING CYMBAL EVER. IT’S LIKE GLASS. WAS THAT JUST A LUCKY CONFIGUARTION OF MICS AND CYMBALS?
I don’t remember what I used. I have a feeling it was AKG 414s, and the Neve console in Media, a great console. It was just a great combo. I don’t know what the cymbals were. I didn’t pay much attention to that, I just wanted to get a performance.
GOING IN TO MAKE ROAD TO RUIN AND TOO TOUGH TO DIE, WAS THERE EVER A BRIEF FROM DANNY FIELDS [Ramones co-manager ’75-‘80], SEYMOUR STEIN [Sire Records President] OR GARY KURFIRST [later Ramones manager] ASKING YOU TO DEVOTE MORE TIME TO SONGS THAT WERE EARMARKED FOR SINGLES LIKE “I WANNA BE SEDATED” OR “HOWLING AT THE MOON”?
No, but, going back, I remember Seymour hearing the demo of “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” and wanting us to go right into the studio to record it. We had completed Leave Home, and it was right around the time of the [Stasium-engineered] Talking Heads ’77 session, and we did “Sheena” at Sundragon Studios, as well. We did “Sheena” and the first version of “I Don’t Care.” Did both in a day. Seymour thought “Sheena” was going to be a hit. I don’t know from singles. I know what I like, but I’m not an A&R guy. I’m not a manager, I’m just a lover of music and a fan, and I like to twiddle the nobs ‘til they sound good.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT CAME UP WHEN YOU PRODUCED THE RAMONES? IT SEEMS LIKE MIXING ALL OF THESE RAGING, INTENSE SOUNDS MIGHT BE TOUGH. WERE THERE ANY OF THOSE “MAKE ME LOUDER” ARGUMENTS THAT OFTEN HAPPEN DURING MIXING?
Nah, no problems. None at all. Jeez, I mean, for Leave Home, Tommy and I put that together while Tony Bongiovi was off reading all the airplane magazines. Tommy and I did all the work. (The Ramones) weren’t even around to hear those mixes on Leave Home. We did four or five songs at Track Recording in Silver Springs, MD, and then went up to Le Studio, where I’d been employed, and we did some mixing up there as well.
Ed Stasium and Tommy Ramone in the studio mixing the Ramones double live LP It’s Alive in 1978
DID THE GUYS EVER GIVE NOTES OR CHIME IN ABOUT THE MIXES?
Tommy was there but the guys never heard those mixes. They were fine with them, as I recall. Dee Dee didn’t care. Johnny came in to listen to mixes on Rocket and Road to Ruin. Dee Dee showed up as well for listening, but we would mix it without them in the room. I mean, who wants to sit around and listen to the same song for eight hours? And everything’s manual back then. We’re (mixing) in pieces, bits at a time, trying to get through it one take sometimes. Because Tommy’s moving faders, I’m moving faders during the mix.
THESE WERE THE PRE-AUTOMATION DAYS WHERE YOU HAD TO HAVE A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT HANDS ON THE MIXING BOARD MOVING THE FADERS MANUALLY.
Yeah. Who wants to sit through that? (laughs) I hate going to other people’s sessions. I’ll stay for a minute and say “Hi,” and then go “Bye!” It’s incredibly boring if I’m not doing the work. I have a sign on the wall here that says “Never attend a recording session if you can help it. Studio lighting makes you look ugly, the recirculated air reeks, and the process’s repetitious tedium tortures the soul.”
YOU’VE BEEN INVOLVED WITH SO MANY OF THEM, BUT WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RAMONES SONG?
Oh man, that’s hard to say.
ALRIGHT, GIVE ME FIVE.
(Laughs) Five Ramones songs? (Flustered) There’s so many. I do like “Sedated.” I’m very proud of that. But stuff I didn’t work on? I really like “We Want the Airwaves,” “Psychotherapy,” (looking at the tracks on the remaster set), “Somebody Put Something In My Drink,” the song that Richie wrote. “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” is really great, “Something to Believe In,” written by Jean Beauvoir and Dee Dee. Halfway to Sanity, “I Wanna Live” is the best song for sure. “Pet Sematary” is a great song. “Merry Christmas” is a great song.
The records I did? I love “Mama’s Boy,” “Commando,” “Cretin Hop,” “Ramona,” “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment,” hell yeah. (Looking at Ramones LP track listings) How many great songs do they have? It’s unbelievable. Oh, “Questioningly” is another one of my faves. That’s another one I played everything on. And the guys were fine with that. Y’know, Johnny wanted to do that. They wanted to be a little bit more commercial.
AND I ASSUME JOHNNY FIGURED YOU COULD DO IT FASTER?
Yeah. Johnny’s a specialist. He does what he does. He does his guitars, and then he leaves. Then Tommy and I stick around and do overdubs, fix stuff up and put stuff on there, then Johnny will come in the next day and say, “That’s great” or “I don’t like that.” So, that’s how it worked.
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH TOMMY. A LOT OF US FANS THINK OF YOU TWO AS PARTNERS. HOW DO YOU DEFINE THAT RELATIONSHIP?
Yeah, partners. We were co-conspirators. We had a good relationship, we had very similar musical tastes, and we complimented each other.
YOU ARE THE ONLY PRODUCER TO RECORD ALL THREE RAMONES DRUMMERS: TOMMY, MARKY AND RICHIE. I’M NOT INCLUDING BILLY ROGERS OR CLEM BURKE, HERE.
Who is Billy Rogers?
BILLY ROGERS PLAYED ON ONE SONG ON SUBTERRANEAN JUNGLE. IT’S ONE OF THE COVERS, “TIME HAS COME TODAY.”
I don’t know anything about this. Why did he play?
WELL, I THINK MARC WAS MAYBE—
WELL…(LAUGHS)…BILLY PLAYED WITH JOHNNY THUNDERS AND WALTER LURE. WALTER KIND OF FILLED YOUR LEAD GUITAR SHOES ON SUBTERRANEAN JUNGLE. ANYWAY, BILLY CAME IN AND PLAYED DRUMS ON THAT ONE SONG.
Wow! But yes, I recorded Tommy, Marky and Richie.
THEY’RE VERY DIFFERENT DRUMMERS TO MY EAR. THEY EACH HAVE A DIFFERENT SWING. I THINK IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE BAND’S SOUND THAT TOMMY HAD NEVER PLAYED THE DRUMS WHEN THE RAMONES FORMED.
Yeah. He came up with that beat. (Imitates the Ramones beat) That’s Tommy. And he had a light touch. He was well-rehearsed, he did well. How could he do those fucking constant eighth notes?
BELIEVE ME, IT’S INCREDIBLY HARD TO DO THAT FOR A SUSTAINED AMOUNT OF TIME.
And Marky? Great hitter, had good time. Y’know, I got in trouble with Richie once because, I forgot what book it was, but I was interviewed, and they cut out half of what I said. I complimented him by saying, “Richie is great, but he’s really a great jazz drummer,” and I compared him to Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, but they cut that part, so it just read “he’s a jazz drummer.” He was pissed at me for a while, but we kissed and made up after I explained what happened.
Jon Wurster making it look easy
WAS ONE DRUMMER EASIER OR MORE CHALLENGING TO RECORD THAN ANOTHER?
No. it was all good. Back then, we just did one or two takes and that was it. There wasn’t a lot of editing, which I got into later on in the mid-‘80s. I don’t think I did a lot of editing on Too Tough. On Mondo Bizarro there was a lot of editing involved, and we actually played everything with a click track.
THE GUITAR ON MONDO BIZARRO IS ABSOLUTELY RAGING, AND I THINK JOHNNY WAS ON RECORD SAYING THAT WAS THE ALBUM THAT BEST REPRESENTED HIS SOUND. WHAT DO YOU THINK ACCOUNTED FOR THAT?
It’s the Mosrite (guitar) through the Marshall amp on ten, really. Everything turned all the way up. Probably a (Sure SM) 57 on the cabinet and an (SM) 87 backed off a little bit. I started doing that on Rocket and really didn’t change much.
JOEY SAID SOMETHING ONCE ABOUT THE FOUR OF THEM HAVING A “STRONG CHEMICAL IMBALANCE.” WHAT ABOUT YOUR PERSONALITY GELLED SO WELL WITH THEIRS THAT YOU BASICALLY BECAME THE 5TH MEMBER?
(Laughs) Well, I guess I’m chemically imbalanced as well.
Yeah. I’m not what you would call a “normal” kind of person. I could never hold a job. I was lucky I found something to do with my life. I was kinda from the same mold as those guys. Kinda street smart and, not a high school dropout, but I never paid attention once I got a guitar when I was in eighth grade. Once I got that, my grades (makes an airplane plummeting sound). I never studied. I’d be playing with tape recorders or playing guitar and not studying English or Math. I liked History and Science, but I was just a bad student.
ALL THESE YEARS LATER, WHY DO YOU THINK THE RAMONES’ LEGACY HAS ONLY GOTTEN MORE MASSIVE?
Because they changed everything. It wasn’t Emerson, Lake & Palmer, it wasn’t the Eagles. It wasn’t what turned out to be your parents’ rock ‘n’ roll. Even though I like some of that stuff. Johnny used to make fun of me for liking the Eagles. (Imitates Johnny) “Ed likes the Eagles.” I forgot when that started, but he used to bust my ass about it.
[The Ramones] was simple, down to basics. The kid next door could pick up a guitar and play a Ramones song. I’m not a proficient player at all. I can play bass, keyboards and drums, rudimentally. And that’s what attracted me to the Ramones, and probably what attracted Billy Joe Armstrong and the rest of the gang to be inspired and play some power chords and make it loud.
IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT THE RAMONES ARE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BAND OF THE LAST 50 YEARS.
I always like to quote Legs [McNeil] in the End of the Century documentary. He called the Ramones “the pied pipers of rock ‘n’ roll.” They would go to a town to play, and the next day there were two dozen new bands starting up. I think that’s what’s attractive, even today. They’re bigger than ever, it’s insane. (Looks at the wall) We got this platinum record for “I Wanna Be Sedated” back there. (Laughs) It took forty-three years to get there. I always loved that song. I remember playing it, the famous one-note solo.
IT’S GENIUS. IT’S ONE NOTE, BUT IT’S THE GREATEST SOLO EVER.
Open E string. I was inspired by “Cinnamon Girl” by Neil Young. It’s the same type of thing.
AND YOU’RE A VENTURES GUY, RIGHT? THAT EXPLAINS YOUR “HOWLING AT THE MOON” GUITAR SOLO.
Could be. (thinks) Yeah, I played that on my Strat. Dave Stewart played some rhythm guitar on that as well. He had a little tiny guitar and he played an octave above. That was fun, doing that solo (hums the solo), just follow the melody.
I ONCE TOLD JOHNNY IT WAS MY FAVORITE GUITAR SOLO EVER. HE LOOKED AT ME WITH A VERY CONFUSED EXPRESSION, WHICH CONFUSED ME, BECAUSE I ASSUMED HE PLAYED IT!
(Laughs) I actually sat in onstage with them, maybe three times. Once, in particular, at Perkins’ Palace, right after Pleasant Dreams came out. I was living in L.A., early ’82 or something. Johnny asked me to play the bit on “Airwaves” (hums the song’s single-note guitar hook). So, I plugged into an amp and played it offstage, during the encore. Then they busted into “I Just Wanna Have Something To Do” and I played along with that.
WOW, WHAT A GREAT MOMENT TO BE PLAYING WITH THE RAMONES ONSTAGE. ONLY A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE GOT TO DO THAT.
I miss those guys and I love them all. I’m proud to be part of their legacy. And here I am forty years later, still working on Ramones stuff. It’s insane. I would never have thought that, ever, in a million years.
WELL, THIS BAND IS VERY IMPORTANT TO SO MANY OF US. FOR ME, THEY’RE THE MOST IMPORTANT BAND OF MY LIFETIME.
Right on, me too.
Ed with Joey, Marky, Johnny and engineering assistant Paul Hamingson at Baby Monster Studios during the overdub sessions for 1992’s Mondo Bizarro. Photo by Chuck Pulin.
Vinyl Club Lviv - Ukraine
She did. We are.
TL:DR The people in the world of record stores in Ukraine are just like the people in the world of your record store, except where they hold their festivals is being shelled, and their employees, customers and musicians are now soldiers.
PAYPAL address for donations: email@example.com
LINK to Come Back Alive Charity Fund: https://www.comebackalive.in.
It’s been more than a month since the full-scale war in Ukraine started. In Ukraine we say that everyone here is fighting in their own way, and as a vinyl shop in Lviv we’ve felt it every day since February 24th. On the first day of war all of us woke up shocked and for a few days it seemed that our lives and our routines were now destroyed forever. Nobody was really prepared or knew how to act at first, but very soon we mobilized. Not just militarily, but mentally. In times like this it is hard to imagine how businesses like ours exist. We are here to tell you about Ukrainian music and how Ukrainian vinyl shops fight for Ukrainian freedom and share Ukrainian culture with the world.
We are the team of Vinyl Club, the only vinyl-selling business in Lviv, that has been representing vinyl culture for almost five years now. Vinyl is, and has been a huge part of our lives. For a long time vinyl was the only sound carrier that allowed people to listen to true Ukrainian music, while our country was under the rule of the USSR. Funk bands of the ‘70s truly transformed our music, using traditional Ukrainian music motifs in their own unique way, creating one of the many generations of people fighting for their uniqueness. Just talking about some of these bands and this period in Ukrainian history could take up many articles, so instead of reading about it we recommend for you to watch the genius movie Mustache Funk, that tells this story perfectly: https://takflix.com/en/films/
Considering our history and our love for music and vinyl we decided to open a cozy and modern shop in the center of Lviv. We have been popularizing and actualizing vinyl ever since. We are constantly working on providing the newest releases and the best sound for our customers. It is not easy, as there are no vinyl factories in Ukraine (we’re hoping there will be at least one, one day) and Ukrainian artists find it prestigious to release vinyl, but often can’t. They have to press them in the US and Europe, which limits the Ukrainian vinyl market a lot, even though there is a large demand among Ukrainians to listen to Ukrainian music on vinyl. But still, since we opened, we’ve shared our passion with many people and are continuing to share it today.
We are not only a shop. Since the day of our opening, we’ve been building a community, a club. Vinyl Club is one of the organizers of a large festival: Craft Beer & Vinyl Music Festival that grows its audience of audiophiles every year. We are also a constant participant of one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe - Leopolis Jazz Fest that annually hosts talented musicians from all over the world. We have a personal contact with many Ukrainian artists, they often come to our shops to meet up with their fans or just to browse through our vinyl records and listen to them in our listening room. We host events, lectures about music, markets because we know that music is an integral part of our culture and we want to talk about it as much as possible.
Our community has transformed since February 24th. On a larger scale, and in the smallest details. Everyone in our team started volunteering in different ways, to be a strong rear for our courageous warriors. Soon, we understood that by getting back to work in our shop we can also be useful in this war. We can support our economy and support our people and use our informational resources to share our voice. Which is exactly what we are doing now.
We are proud to have gained a lot of international support. We have friends and business partners all over the world and they have supported us both with their words and their actions. We have managed to urge one of the turntable brands that we represent – Crosley--to leave Russian market. We have had many other vinyl shops reach out to us and offer their donations. We are incredibly grateful, but we still think that we can do more and spread more awareness around our war.
We are open. We are working. We know that many people now are finding solace in music. We are organizing fundraising events to raise money for our army and we are working on many projects about sharing our music, our history, our culture.
You can follow our social medias to know more about us - https://vinylclub.com.ua https://www.instagram.com/
If you want to make a donation and support us and our army, here is our PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catch up with the legendary Bonnie Raitt as she chats with Paul Myers about her new album JUST LIKE THAT, which is coming to record stores on 4/22. And on 4/23, Bonnie herself is coming to a record store as she celebrates Record Store Day with Bull Moose - Scarborough for a very special Q&A!
THE RECORD STORE DAY PODCAST WITH PAUL MYERS
EPISODE 62 ROBERT GLASPER & TEARS FOR FEARS
EPISODE 63 JOHNNY MARR & JENN D'EUGENIO OF WOMEN IN VINYL
RSD SONG OF THE YEAR
THE BALLAD OF DOOD & JUANITA
(Also check out our contest: win an autographed art card and a test pressing)
PORTRAITS OF HER
Sixteen songs PORTRAITS OF HER, from Asiahn, Julien Baker, Banks, Leyla Blue, Boyish, Bully, Alice Longyu Gao, Laura Jane Grace, Girl in Red, Girl Ultra, K. Flay, Mariah the Scientist,Julia Michaels, Joy Oladokun, Princess Nokia and our 2022 RSD Ambassador, Taylor Swift.
Cover art by Sofia Enriquez. Limited numbers available in participating record stores on Record Store Day!
THE BOOK THAT TELLS THE STORY!
RECORD STORE DAY: The Most Improbable Comeback of the 21st Century goes back to the beginning, with the remembrances and voices of the organizers, record store community, musicians and more is coming in April in three editions:
A thick matte paperback edition wherever books and records are sold. STARTING APRIL 12
A Think Indie x RSD + Vinyl edition, limited to 1100 copies, at indie record stores starting April 23. This special edition includes a compilation LP of in-store performances at record stores across the US, featuring Paul McCartney, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Billie Eilish, Brandi Carlile, Imagine Dragons, Jason Isbell + the 400 Unit, Justin Townes Earle, Regina Spektor, Frightened Rabbit, Mudhoney, and Jose Gonzalez
RSD GLOBAL AMBASSADOR 2022
2022 marks the 15th anniversary of our big party to celebrate record stores. We thought that for the Ambassador, we'd go big. Global, even. So we're pleased to bestow the Ambassadorial sash on to one of the biggest artists in the world, TAYLOR SWIFT.
THE RECORD STORE DAY AMBASSADOR, TAYLOR'S VERSION
Watch for the Official List of RSD Releases, coming soon.
"I’m very proud to be this year's Global Ambassador for Record Store Day. The places where we go to browse and explore and discover music new and old have always been sacred to me. Record stores are so important because they help to perpetuate and foster music-loving as a passion. They create settings for live events. They employ people who adore music thoroughly and purely. Those people and shops have had a rough few years and we need to support these small businesses more now than ever to make sure they can stay alive, stay eccentric, and stay individual. It’s been a true joy for me to watch vinyl sales grow in the past few years and we, the artists, have the fans to thank for this pleasant surprise. Happy Record Store Day, everyone! Stay safe out there."
BEHIND THE COUNTER 2021
Behind The Counter US '21: Boo Boo Records, San Luis Obispo, CA (Episode 12)
This week's video takes us Behind The Counter at Boo Boo Records in San Luis Obispo, California!
Behind The Counter is a 12 part video series that tells the stories behind the wonderful world of independent record stores.
Click "Read More" to see Previous episodes
OPEN DOORS Ep. 4 features Drew from 606 Records
Click "Read More" to see Previous episodes
BEHIND THE COUNTER 2020
Behind The Counter is a brand new 12-part video series taking you inside the weird and wonderful world of independent record stores of the US. Behind The Counter is brought to you by Classic Album Sundays, Dogfish Head Craft Beer and Record Store Day. A new episode will be released every Monday and Thursday leading up to Record Store Day 2020. Follow on social media or right here to get to know some record stores!
BEHIND THE COUNTER Episode 11: The Telegraph
Today we meet Rich Martin owner of The Telegraph in New London “I think people prefer record shopping, I think streaming is an important way of discovering music. But, they still want to feel something physical, they want to engage with their community and other people who love music and they come to a record store and they get all of that.”
Click "Read More" to see Previous episodes
WE’RE PROUD OF OUR PAST!
We’ve gotten a lot of requests for the lists of past Record Store Day releases, and we’re happy to announce our HISTORY section, where those lists from2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 Record Store Day and Back to Black live. (We’re working on older lists, and we’ll get them up there as we get them completed.)
Click here for the RSD Archives
Sometimes there are little bonuses for buying your records at a brick and mortar record store! These special things are available at participating stores, with the purchase of specific records, while they last. (DISCLAIMER)
5 SECONDS OF SUMMER
STREET DATE 3/31 NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS A silvery poster seems just right to commemorate the DVD/BLURAY release of ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING, a film about the recording of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' latest record. (DISCLAIMER)