Lost Cassette found 40 years later!
Til Tuesday/Aimee Mann debut show with The Dark headlining The Channel 3/18/83
I recently came across a cassette in my basement that I thought I had lost decades ago. Back in the day doing live sound I would typically record the show on cassette. Many times I would re record over an earlier show and really had no thought of saving any show for “posterity” ( cassette tape was “expensive”!). I thought that’s what happened to this show. Was moving some boxes in my basement and some cassettes fell out. 2nd one picked up was this show! (now, if only that James Brown revue at Jonathan Swifts cassette would reappear…but I digress)
In 1983 I was doing sound for The Dark and on that March 18 they were headlining The Channel, the biggest club in greater Boston at the time. This was a Big Deal for the band and for me as it was the first time I was doing sound in that club which had a “real PA” (sub woofers, separate monitor engineer ). Three bands with Aimee Mann debuting her new band, Til Tuesday as the opener at 9pm, then Surgeon Generals at 10pm and finally The Dark headlining at 11:30.
The Dark had included two drummers, Clarke Goodpaster and Michael Hausmann on percussion. Until this show. Michael had become the drummer for Til Tuesday and this was the first show with him not playing in The Dark.
Context for the sound recording:
If it sounds like the band is at the end of a large empty hall that is what is was for the Til Tuesday set. Being a 9pm start and a new band the only fans there were friends and family of the band so maybe the hall was 10% capacity. By the time the Dark hit the stage the hall was 65-75% full and you can hear the difference in the ambience from the two sets.
The microphone was located at the back of the hall at the soundboard about 80 feet from the stage in a hall that was maybe 100 feet wide and 18 feet high ceilings with most all surfaces being hard (meaning sound likes to bounce around). The recording is from a stereo mic (Sony 939 M/S stereo pencil electret mic that was $89 new) going into the Sony Walkman Pro (an incredible feat of engineering in such a small package AND, a cassette running at 1 7/8 ips onto itty bitty tape and it still sounds pretty good 40 years later. That is SO cool… Hey!, I’m a geek. ).
Further context of recording-background conversation:
I had never heard any of Til Tuesday’s material before this night. The sound check consisted of verifying that the mic cables were connected. Not really a sound check. So I was flying from the seat of my pants with a new room, new mixing board, new band including two background singers so don’t know when they sing/on what song. Plus, I had the added distraction of having MORE THAN ONE FX UNIT! Not only did I have a reverb send (did I need more reverb in pretty empty large room? No, but I had it. Woo Hoo!! Had to use it. There was also a delay unit. this was a luxury back then. So , of course, I “had” to (try to) use it. In a poorly lit environment, trying to figure out which control knobs did what etc. Ahh, the good old days. (“Hey kids get offa my lawn”.)
Given the stereo microphone located in the mixing board , it would pick up conversations that occurred close to the mixing board. You will hear an ongoing plea/distress/gnashing of teeth conversation between a woman and myself. She was a friend of Amiee’s and/or a very rabid fan and wanted to plug into the mixing board signal to record the show on cassette.
Reaching through murky memory from 40 years ago: The Channel’s audio board signal, for reasons I never understood, had to be wired by the house techs to a patch bay where you could plug in to gain access to a particular signal, in this case the stereo board mix. Somehow that wiring connection never made it successfully to the patch bay where the woman hoped to get her stereo signal. Her pleas with me was that she wanted to access the signal direct from the back of mixing board since the other connections were not working. This being my first time using this board, my first time doing sound in the (big-time) club and having no time to get acquainted with the equipment, I was far too paranoid to let anyone start plugging into the back of the board not knowing if some “glitch” might occur to stop the show.
I was not going to let that happen. Much to the angst and chagrin of the woman. I now apologize to that woman and truly hope she might find this site/explanation for some sort of closure. LOL.
The Dark’s set was much easier on me. It was wonderful to have Sub Woofers to add some oomph to the bass and synthesizers low end and I enjoyed myself quiet a bit with it. Also during the set there is occasion to witness what it was like with the locals/audience in the northeast clubs during the 80s. Fun. Roger (guitar) had a knack for agitating… audience participation…some might call it.
Listen through a set of good headphones to get a feel for that “compressed room, a-bit-too-loud-being-there” sound.
Til Tuesday debut show , The Channel, Boston, MA Friday, March 18, 1983
and here is The Dark’s set headlining that night, The Channel, Boston, MA Friday, March 18, 1983
I had a blast doing sound for this band for the 1-2 years I did. Not only did they have really good grooves, in any tempo slow or fast, they were also a tight band with idiosyncratically interesting musicians, all of them. They could even jam from song to song in a twisted psychedelic way (though they would probably have been repulsed by the “jam” reference). Plus, they had a percussionist who included a set of Boo Bams on stage! (remember them?) Loved the sound of them through a PA.
They also had a slew of good songs that included thought-provoking lyrics, coupled with that moving groove, so it significantly enhanced the show experience to actually hear/understand the lyrics clearly in the mix. (Again, I don’t think they would have admitted back then to expressing ‘social commentary’ but it was a very real part of their ‘guerrilla’ aesthetic at the time.) It was fun to have the challenge of getting the vocals over all the sound coming off the stage without blowing out the smallish clubs we were playing.
It is somewhat sadly not surprising that many of these 40+ year old songs seem even more timely today than they were then… ( Wait, TV89, The Morons Are Coming, Dance to Death, Dark World, Self Fulfilling Prophecy, House Are Falling, Happier, Rules, Whatever You Need, New Job, The Sensitive Executive, What Are Friends For?) … all diamonds in the rough…
…and on a more positive note, a nice aside to the recordings are the random band and audience comments at the beginning, ending and in between the songs displaying, for that time, a loose, fun and funny group of people.
The majority of shows were recorded on a Sony Walkman Pro cassette deck using a Sony 939 M/S stereo mic which was always located at the sound board where ever it happened to be located (which was typically not optimum in a typically not optimum room to begin with) up about 7 feet in the air. The shows that were recorded directly off the sound board are Irving Plaza, City Gardens and maybe one of the Unknown shows.
Given the recording medium was cassettes with 45 minutes per side, there are times within the recordings that have abrupt song endings and beginnings which generally meant I had finally remembered to look at the tape deck to see if the Record buttons had been engaged, or if the tape had run out and needed to be turned over. Ahhh, back in the day…
…it can be a nice listening environment to be in the car when you have 35-50 minute drive in front of you. Adjust Bass and Treble to taste and enjoy.
If you want to download shows Email me and I will send you a link.
The Vanguard, Boston University 10/1/82
City Gardens, Trenton, NJ 1/31/82 1st set Sunday
City Gardens, Trenton, NJ 1/31/82 2nd set Sunday
City Gardens, Trenton, NJ Sunday1/31/82 notes:
For context, the band had played this club 2 nights before (Friday) and the club management asked if we wanted to play on Sunday as we were driving back up to Boston from playing in the NJ/DC area so this gave us a ‘break’. It was surreal. I marked on the cassette box that the place was half a football field long, 50 feet wide and 15 foot ceilings. In this huge space on that Sunday we played to a total of 10 people in the audience including 3 crew members and, 150 feet back at a long bar, right out of the Sopranos, were 3 “regulars” and the bartender.
So the band was very loose and their band banter was relaxed and funny, especially in the second set. Crazy versions of Roll Over Beethoven and some other off the cuff stuff that was not part of their ‘normal’ show.
The 930 Club, Washington, DC 1982 1st set
The 930 Club, Washington, DC 1982 2nd set
Inman Sq. Men’s Bar 9/3/82 1st set
Inman Sq. Men’s Bar 9/3/82 2nd set
The Rat, Kenmore Sq, Boston 11/27/1982
The Mudd Club, NYC May 22, 1982
The Mudd Club, NYC June 11, 1982
Irving Plaza, NYC May 2,1982 recorded off the board, not audience mics
Leverette House, Harvard Univ 10/2/82 1st & 2nd set
Leverette House, Harvard Univ 10/2/82 3rd set
Boston/Prov? 1982 1st set
Boston/Prov? 1982 2nd set
The Rat (1983?)
Beaver Country Day, Cambridge, MA 4/8/81 1st set
Beaver Country Day, Cambridge, MA 4/8/81 2nd set
Adams House Harvard Univ 4/30/83 1st set
Adams House Harvard Univ 4/30/83 2nd set
Marble Bar, Baltimore 1983? 1st set
Marble Bar, Baltimore 1983? 2nd set
36 thoughts on “The Dark – a Boston band from the 80’s”
Jeff thanks for posting these recordings. They sound great. Such fond memories from all these shows.
I am surprised by how well the cassette recordings have held up sonically. And the Dark’s songs are even more appropriate today, sadly.
Jeff— Erich here. It seems I found your name by accident. Your recordings of us (The Blackouts) are the best, most accurate take on what we actually sounded like live. I wanted to make sure I thanked you for that.
MIND BLOWN! Just last week I’m driving through Revere and thinking about that Blacouts session trying to get the biggest bass sound.
Thank you for the rush!
Oh, The Dark. Remnants of my wasted youth. I was the second bass player, replacing Stuart Hamm, of all people. Doug Sweet played keys, Paul Heckert on drums, Roger on guitar, me on that red Fender Musicmaster short-scale bass. Auditioned singers, mostly female. One had a nervous breakdown backstage at our first Rat gig. Clark Goodpaster was our drummer by then, and no keyboard player until we lucked into Bob Familiar. More auditions and we found Jace Wilson. I asked Mike Hausmann, my freshman roomie at Berklee, and drummer in Flying Particles, our 1979 band with Joe Gallant and three guitar players named Dave (1, 2, and 3).
Still with me? It gets hazy from here, personalized tapes and all. There may have been a goat sacrificed, maybe a pancake and champagne breakfast or two. Whatevs. I GOT TAPES AND TAPES
Love to all, mask up, stay safe.
thanks for checking in. good history background of the bands origins.
check out Karlo’s website for more music and pics
Assume stuff, saw the Dark many times, TT the Bear, Young Snakes opened, Mike H was the man.
Are these no longer available? Would love to find their original records.
I can hear them, but no downloads available?
I have a mac and on that the audio player form each show on the Dark’s page offer a Download button. It is my desire that anyone wanting to can download these shows. Please let me know if this is not the case with your web browser and let me know what youare using.
There appears to be a problem with the Download buttons linked to my music files. If you want to download a particular show please email me and I will send a link.
Fantastic – thanks! (I co-founded Adventure Set, and am making new music with Ken Scales today).
FYI, on Discogs, the band is “The Dark (5)”. There’s a lot of Dark out there.
A million thank yous. My old cassette tape broke and I thought I’d never hear “Fashion Sharks” again.
one of my fervent hopes when I put these shows up was for people like you to find this stuff.
Wow…this brings back memories. The Dark was one of my favorite bands back in the day. I still play their vinyl recordings!
It’s great when people stumble across the site and get this blast from the past…
Thank you for posting these! I loved this band, saw them at the Channel in 1982-3 while a freshman at BU. My buddy took guitar lessons from Roger.
Thank you for taking the time to share this!!
you are welcome
Pure. F’ing. Gold.
Thanks for making this stuff available.
You Are Welcome! Appreciation is always appreciated around here…
So happy to hear The Dark again. Can’t understood why they never attracted any national attention or even a good record deal. So smart, hip, danceable and fun!
The show marked boston:prov 1982. Perhaps Lupos in Providence -i recall that show well.
On the Beaver Country Day set 2- You can hear the Archbishop’s Enema Fetish playing their hip new pop song ” Mrs. Zinmann!”
I was wondering when someone would stumble across that little nugget…
Oh wow….never thought to see reference to the Archbishops….and Eric Zinnman’s mom.
This is, truly, awesome and forever! Thank you so much Jeff!
You’ve no idea how happy it made me to hear these again.
You are So welcome! Continue to enjoy. Share the link.
What an amazing find! I was playing my poorly digitized copy of Don’t feed the Fashion Sharks and idly googled The Dark. I saw them at least half a dozen times, including a ‘BCN Lunchtime concert; (at the Metro, I think). I made a very low fi recording of that show, and I have always been amazed how much of the lyrics were audible – now I know why. . . and thanks! I would have been standing at your elbow or nearby because I always liked to listen to the good bands from near the board. My tape is (of course) degrading and currently resides in the deep archives . . along with the Archbishop’s Enema Fetish, Unnatural Axe, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and numerous others, almost all un-listenable. . . You refer to listening in your car, but I don’t find a link to download these files. . can you make any or all of them available?
Did any of the group end up making a living in music? I’d be curious to know what the did after The Dark.
Anyway, thanks for posting these.
Fantastic – I just reloaded the page and there are the download links! The City Garden show is amazing.
I had forgotten Reeve Gabrels (sp) was part of Darkworld industries – oh yeah, he went further in music I’d say! Saw him with Tin Machine at the Orpheum.
Hi Steven, Happy you found the site. Thanks for pointing put the lack of Download button. Am remedying that now.
I think there is a bit of the Archbishops on the Leverette House show – 3rd set?)_
To the best of my awareness, Roger, the guitarist, and Michael, percussion, have stayed in the music biz. Roger is in Berlin and Michael has been (still is?) the artist agent for Aimee Mann since Til Tuesday days. Everyone else is in the Boston area and most all still play around to one extent or another. Or get together randomly to play poker…
Thanks again for the heads-up on being able to download. Enjoy!
Revees Gabrels VERY famous
went on to play with
* David Bowie *
and LOTS of stuff
Revees was not associated with the Dark during this period of recordings/shows
I was age 17, pretty clueless, would love to know more of the bands story, they still move me with their musical prowess, I’ve never heard anything on that sounds like they did if you know of some I’d be curious to hear them and thank you so much Jeff for sharing these if I can find an old cassette tape of a live show they did on zbc at some point I didn’t find it on your list at 5 probably 1980 I remember it had some really good tracks I especially miss hearing the memories of The Refuge of my mind song, and oh yeah Niagara Falls!
Father Takki has just put up a bunch of early period Dark material. http://takkimedia.com/archive/7484.html