Dan Susnara "Blacklite Forest" Mumble Mumble label 1992
Dan and I started trading tapes in the early 90s I believe and I remember thinking him prolific and highly creative with his well thought out arrangements, which were mixtures of guitar and keyboard, progressive/psychedelic rock influences and verbose lyrics. Although not really a pop songwriter Dan would rip off a hook fairly often although his melodies tend to be more complex and obtuse.
On “Blacklite Forest” Dan seemed to have upped the ante a bit with sprawling multi section tunes, long instrumental passages and an orchestral quality (within a home taping rock setting ) that alludes to a grand vision. This is something that continues today with much of his current work honed now on his digital equipment.
My memories on making ‘‘Blacklite…’‘? Well, originally it was gonna be an E.P., just a few songs, one of which was gonna be a cover of The Storybooks’ ‘‘The Pretty Song From Psych Out’‘,culled from the soundtrack of that great Jack Nicholson/Bruce Dern 60’s flick.
What got me going on the tape was the fact that Bill Clinton
had just been elected,after years of republican dictatorship.And I
was noticing a lot more young people growing their hair and stuff.
Though it seems really naive now, I felt it was sorta like the 60’s was
coming back again.And it was with that optimism I set out to work
I remember the album’s title and the first few song titles came
about from a monster weed high/bike ride one sunny summer day.
I had to stop in a drugstore to pick up a little notebook and pen to
write ‘em down! I was originally going to,as I did a few times in the tape days, give myself a band name. Which was ‘‘Mammoth Wokking
Thurbs’‘.(see ‘‘monster weed high’‘!)
And,actually, YOUR beautiful state of California inspired the
track ‘’(Here Come The) Love Children’‘! I visited Santa Monica in
’91, staying a couple blocks away from Venice Beach,where The Doors
were born.There were quite a few longhairs and fairly bohemian-type
people all over,and I loved the atmosphere. I just wrote little ‘‘soap-
operas’‘ in my head regarding the people I’d encounter on the boardwalk. And that became ‘‘Love Children’‘.
Dino Dimuro came by to visit and got a ticket,too,though I
don’t think he wrote a song about it! 1st time I met a fellow hometaper,too!
Looking back, I don’t know WHAT I was thinking putting it out
on a 100 min. tape,which is like DENTAL FLOSS, but….there you go!
The tape became one of my most popular,made me several really
good musician friends,and even is on permanent record in the Harold
Washington library (far as I know)!
I remember working on ‘‘Behemoth Dayglow Lint’‘ with Frank
Rutledge adding lead guitar and keys. It was in the little one-room
basement apartment he had back then right off 63rd and Pulaski,really
tight quarters to work with (considerable) volume in! Frank’s a real
perfectionist and never seemed to be satisfied with what he did on
tape,though his additions were always fantastic.One of the best
musicians I’ve ever played with and a great friend.
I also recall doing ‘‘If You Meet A Believer’‘ with Dan Sweigert
in his folks’ basement out in Batavia, with Dan adding his bass parts
and backing vocals.Several cool recordings came out of sessions in
that basement for other tapes,too. Dan’s also a fantastic multi-
instrumentalist and a good friend/occasional collaborator to this day.
Ron Jagielnik contributed ‘‘What Would You Wear On The Moon’‘
which, I THINK,he started and sent to me (the memory’s a little fuzzy
on this). I first heard of glissando guitar,which Ron played on here,
by working on this song. Ron is also a long-time friend and great
guitar,keyboard,you name it player,too.
On ‘‘Drs. Hype And Chatter’‘: the guitar solo on that was the
result of some tequila consumed on the sly at a Xmas party at work!
I never drink hard liquor,only beer,and I guess that rocket fuel
EMBOLDENED me to take on something I was originally gonna ask
Frank to do! Mabye not the best solo on earth,sloppy and all, plus I
broke Work Rule #1 (about being totally straight while recording),
but,hey,it turned out pretty good,methinks!
Home taping buddies Dan Susnara ( from Chicago) and Dino Dimuro ( from Los Angeles).