Boy, did you guys dodge a bullet! the original version of this post was SUPER long, but I thought better of myself. So here's the short version:
Friday morning, during the seven o'clock hour, we will be playing the the vinyl reissue of The Beatifics' How I Learned To Stop Worrying... for the first time anywhere. I have been working on this with Chris Dorn from the band for the past year and a half, and it's finally something that exists in the world. It's crazy.
This project is something that I would daydream about on the show on a pretty regular basis, and sometimes Shelley and I would be running costs and brainstorming it during the show, much to the chagrin of listeners. Anyway, a year and a half ago I sent what was probably my first ever fan letter to Chris to let him know that his record is my favorite record of all time, and it was a tragedy that people were unable to get it in any format at all. I asked him if he would be interested in putting out a 20th anniversary reissue of How I Learned To Stop Worrying... for the first time ever on vinyl. The e-mail was probably super stalkery, but I think I showed amazing restraint. Luckily, Chris liked the idea, and for the past 18 months we've been plugging away at this thing.
The whole process have been incredibly interesting. I've purchased an unhealthy amount of records in my lifetime, but I've never been involved on the manufacturing side of things. There's mixes to worry about, lacquers to prep, pressing plants to hire, bonus tracks to assembly, and a certain amount of archaeology involved. All of it has been very fun, though, and it's such a relief to feel like the project has gotten past the superstition stage and is safe to talk about.
Chris Dorn listening to his album for the first time ever on an LP
So what have we put together? Some of the project is still underway, but this October will mark the 20th anniversary of The Beatifics' debut release, and since Chris and I are both record collectors we've approached it with an archival sensibility. He remastered the album for vinyl, and it sounds great. We approached the artist that did the cover art and he'll be prepping that for an LP jacket. Chris is working on liner notes about the album, too, which will be interesting. Beyond that, there will be bonus tracks included in the download of the album. There will be early and alternate versions of songs, as well as songs performed on Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight radio show in New York about six months after the record release. It's fun stuff.
The other super nerdy collector thing is that we're putting out a limited edition 10" EP that features all eight of the songs that The Beatifics performed on Idiot's Delight. Five of them are songs that appear on How I Learned To Stop Worrying..., one is from Chris' pre-Beatifics band The Rockefellers, another wouldn't be released until six years later on an EP, and then there's their great cover of Paul McCartney & Wings' Junior's Farm. Seven of these tracks will also be included in the digital download, but that Macca cover will only be available on the vinyl EP. Why? Because there's a whole rights thing, and also nerdy collector reasons.
Anyway, there are many components of this project that are still in production, and it won't be officially available until (hopefully) the end of October, but the test pressings just arrived, so it officially exists in record form. We're going to play the entire thing during the seven o'clock hour tomorrow morning, so please tune in and hear the most expensive record in my collection! It's pretty exciting to be able to have a hand in making my favorite record of all time available again.
SIDE NOTE: There are two radio performances The Beatifics did that we haven't been able to track down. The copies that the band had have vanished into the ether, and the stations that originally broadcast them no longer have copies. The first was on KVSC on the show Monday Night Live during Winter Semester 1996/97. The other was on Winona station KQAL in the Spring of 1997, and this performance had songs that the band never recorded. Do you happen to have copies of these broadcasts? WE WOULD LOVE COPIES OF THEM!