I am thrilled to share the news with all of you here about a bonus track that will be included for the Conversation reissue. It was never submitted to IRS Records, even though it was part of the second album recording sessions – and it has an interesting story.
Back in 1974, I wrote some songs that were intended to help launch what ultimately became the Skafish band. Before then, I had primarily been writing instrumental pieces, even though the first record that I made in 1970 was a vocal song.
One of the early vocal pieces was called Five O’clock Face. It is one of those Skafish tracks that is truly one-of-a-kind, meaning, you won’t hear anything else like it, then or now.
Lyrically, I wrote about my father’s transition into spirit which had happened within a few years prior to me composing the piece. I wrote the lyrics from the viewpoint of the woman, meaning my mother, and what it was like for her to lose her husband and life partner.
Musically, this piece is extremely singular: dark, atmospheric, emotionally haunting as well as melodically and harmonically unusual, containing elements of ambient, classical, new age, and 20th century Avant Garde.
After my band started performing publicly in February 1976, we sometimes performed Five O’clock Face over the next few years. As a band, we never did a studio recording of the piece, but there is a live recording of the song as part of a three-track medley that also features Joan Fan Club and Sun Stroke. The three-track medley is included on my bootleg album, Bootleg 21-35. Here is the Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/1WDPWZuAbgo82aVchpdmLF
When my band and I initially went into the studio to record my second album for IRS Records in November 1982, one of the pieces that I decided to record was Five O’clock Face. But, the track was never submitted to the label. That’s because the session was abruptly halted once IRS Records brutally rejected many of the tracks that we had already submitted.
So, Five O’clock Face was never mixed, and no one ever ended up hearing the piece. It sat in limbo for almost 38 years….
Back in August when I first announced the news on Patreon that I was going to be releasing a special-edition Conversation reissue, I wanted Five O’clock Face to finally be mixed and possibly included in the package. I had a clear vision of what I wanted the song to be, but I didn’t know how the mix would turn out.
The end result of this track and the final mix exceeded my expectations. It is more than I had hoped for and I can’t wait for you to hear it. A big part of that success is because mixing engineer Chuck Lucero did an outstanding job on the mix.
Also, a personally heartwarming aspect to this track is that it reminds me of my former keyboardist and friend Javier Cruz. Since only he and I performed on the track, it brings back memories of many experiences we shared. As many of you know, Javier Cruz transitioned into spirit from cardiac arrest in April 2020.
I will keep you posted every step of the way regarding the progress and forward movement of the Conversation reissue. There are going to be a lot of surprises to look forward to on this album, ones I hope that all of you will love.
Until my next installment, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support. It means the world to me and it helps a great deal,