Monday, 22 July 2013

#19. Crazy Invitation – The Extreme Sprinklers

Harry Fahey: drums.
Matt Hewson: bass.
Jade McLaren: vocals.
Matt Neal: guitar, backing vocals.

Lyrics by Jade McLaren & Matt Neal.
Music by Jade McLaren, Matt Hewson, Harry Fahey and Matt Neal.
Written in 2004.
Recorded live at Rosco’s house in Melbourne, 2004/2005?
Produced and mixed by Dave Wilson.

As mentioned previously, The Extreme Sprinklers wanted to be the next Ween. We were keen to try our hand at any genre possible and didn’t see any reason why we shouldn’t. I even had this crazy notion that we could release an album where every song was a different genre and that such a move could even being a selling point (I might still do this one day, just to see what happens).

While it meant that the Sprinklers took a while to find its own sound or style, it also gave myself and singer Jade McLaren carte blanche in the early days of the band to try to write anything we felt like in any style we wanted. Having such an insanely talented rhythm section – Harry Fahey and Matt Hewson – who could play anything just made it all the easier to genre-hop.

So we did a funk song.

Here we are, looking pretty funky. PIC: Glen Watson.

Here’s Harry:
“I always felt a bit guilty playing this at gigs in case anyone really loved it then waited for the rest of the funk set... and waited...."

This could have been true of anything we played – reggae, blues, country, punk, rap-rock. Our early setlists pretty much featured one of each.

Crazy Invitation was largely Jade’s baby. He took the melody to Hewy, who crafted some cool jazz-influenced chords for the verses. For some reason, neither of them bothered to write a chorus, so I came up with one and the song was done.

That's Hewy's handwriting at the top, mine at the bottom. 
Hewy rather helpfully tabbed out what an "A half-diminished seventh" 
was just above the chorus I wrote. Which is good because I genuinely had no idea.

Here’s Jade:
“I wrote it about an outrageously hot girl who once smiled and beckoned for me to come dance with her at The Whalers. I was way too shocked that this gorgeous girl was interested in me and I ran away. Days later I think I started to write some lyrics about what I wished I had done. I eventually worked up the courage to go talk to this girl where she worked but, alas, she had left the day before to go work overseas. I still like the chorus melody … I just remembered that (Doc) came up with the chorus. Ha ha, (it’s) the only part of the song I like.”

Sadly, we never did a proper recording of this song. Harry laments the fact we never got Hewy to come up with “some kick-arse horn parts” for a studio version.

He continues:
"This was a good song (from) Jade and Hewy. I don't know why we didn't spend much time workshopping it. In hindsight, I could have listened to what Hewy was playing and tightened up that verse kick a bit. I don't remember having much planned for this apart from '1, 2, 3, go!'.”

Here we are "workshopping" stuff in Extreme Sprinklers HQ. PIC: Glen Watson.

Meanwhile, Jade laments his performance on this recording, taken from a gig we did at an awesome party in Melbourne.

“This particular version is horrible and embarrassing as I’m so drunk and just over-singing like a demented Christina Aguilera,” he said.

Jade impersonating a demented Christina Aguilera. PIC: Glen Watson.

To be fair, we’re all pretty drunk on this recording. Some are just handling it better than others. I think my solo (if it could be called that) is one of the most lacklustre and lame solos ever committed to tape, while Hewy called his own playing “terrible”.

On a side note, after playing this particular party, we all slept in an empty house next door. Having been told that the accommodation was “taken care of”, no one thought to bring any bedding. As a result, we ended up sleeping in a dilapidated house with carpet underlay and cardboard as our only bedding. There were spiders everywhere and plenty of evidence of mice. I’m not even sure if the toilet worked properly. We were so drunk we didn’t really give a fuck until the next morning, when the surroundings only compounded our hangovers. I think someone may have been having a laugh at our expense.

Although, it’s possible it wasn’t after this party and was in fact after another similar party. None of us can remember for certain.

Good times. Good times.


What's this crazy invitation?
*Your hips are something something (?)
*The something something something (?)
Whoa baby, what's that smile that you're making?
What's your motivation
'cos you're swimming through my mind?

What's this crazy invitation?
My hands are celebrating
running down your thighs.
Whoa baby girl, your eyes are implicating
that, baby, I'll be making
that little body mine.

I say "yes", you say "let's go".

What's this crazy invitation?
Your body's devastating
*something something something.... (?)
Oh baby, I've had a little too much
but you're responding to my touch
so give us some room, woah, to dance

****I've got no idea what Jade's singing here... and neither does he.

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