BAG: sound clips

Goodnight Gretchen
Fortress Of Solitude

the "BAG" page


The year was 1992, and though God Street had been a band for over three years, we had really only just started to work at it full-time, when we all moved up to "The Great Northern", an old house in the woods of Ossining, New York, about an hour north of New York City. We had done several recording projects of varying degrees of seriousness (see "Other GSW Studio Recordings"), but never a full-scale release, and never pressed a CD. We were quite short on money, and lived with seven people in a house (the band plus crew members Dean Mullin and Michael Weiss) who each subsisted on $100 a week, when it was a good week.


We did, however have two good friends in Joe Rogers, a local engineer who offered to sneak us into any studio we could find after midnight for a cheap or nonexistent rate, and Amy Tucci, a good friend of the band who offered to lend us money to make a new God Street CD.

So we started a very democratic process of voting amongst ourselves as to which songs would go on the album, and once the tunes were chosen, began diligently arranging and rehearsing them. "Bag" was by far the most pre-rehearsed album we ever made; knowing we wouldn't have much studio time, every note was preplanned and rehearsed and even the order of songs was clear in our minds before the first note was recorded.

Most of the actual recording was done at the House Of Music in West Orange, New Jersey; bits and pieces of overdubs and mixing were done at a number of other studios around the New York area. We would come in at a moment's notice whenever Joe said he could get us in for cheap! The recording stretched over a period of about two months but I don't think we used more than about ten full days of solid studio time.

The title of the album was Dan's idea, and came when the album was about three-fourths complete; we all adopted it immediately. We then came up with the cover concept and the idea that the inside graphics would look as if they were hand-drawn on a brown paper bag (I did all the handwriting for the lyrics and album credits). Rob "Squibb" Sinclair, a friend who had designed many posters for the band, drew the "Bag Guy" cover and the back cover showing the song titles on the bag. Jon's girlfriend Toni took the solarized picture of us in the insert, while the back cover of the booklet was a picture of us outside of Aiko's in Saratoga Springs, New York. We pressed something like two thousand copies of the CD to release at a big show at the Wetlands, Thanksgiving weekend 1992; they sold out in a few weeks, more were pressed, and eventually we contracted with our friend Mango at Ripe'n'Ready Records to distibute the album nationwide.

And the rest is history!

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