Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Lost Morning Reign Tapes: Midnight Approaches

Top left: Larry, Geno, Steven
Bottom left: Cac, Doug, Ric
The Morning Reign, 1970

As I go through the recently uncovered Morning Reign recordings, I am struck by several things, as I sit with my headphones on, tapping my foot. The first thing I discover, just by listening, is who is playing on the songs. I can tell, for example, which of our drummers, by the drumming style, plays on the recording. Also, I am informed by the style of the music, since, even though we were only together for six years, we went through several phases of development, in our playing style, and also in the style of the original material.

First, there was the folk rock stage, when we wrote and recorded some original Seaberg/Heliker songs while we were still students at Willamette, and I myself could still hold court with a stellar version of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" or Tom Paxton's "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound", if left to my own devices. Then there was the Sunshine Pop Era, which was partly inspired by the times, I think, but also by our work with Dennis Lambert, who had offered us his song "Can I Believe in You", which had sunshine pop written all over it. But we were becoming a pack of road weary Jon Fogerty lovin' rockers around that period of time, and before ya knew it, we were crankin' out originals in our Seattle basement studio dissin' on the Viet Nam war. The song I post here today, "Midnight Approaches", came through during that period.

Doug and I, and Donna and Stacey were living in a flat in White Center, on Delridge Way, in Seattle, which, at the time, was affectionately referred to by locals as rat city. I painted the entire foyer of that apartment flat black, much to the chagrin of our landlord, Ling Quan, who owned a small grocery a couple doors down. That apartment and building was demolished many years ago, and that area has been reborn, with lots of new construction and businesses.

Larry, Steve, and Gene were living in Burien, not far from us, where we rehearsed, and Cac had an apartment in Renton with his wife Cheryl. Leroy was our roadie, and his Dalmation "Roach" was our mascot. Imagine that. A dog named after an insect.

We were all 20 somethings. And a 20 something, in 1969, wrote the words to this song, so remember that, and just try to not listen to the words. This song was fun to play. It has a smoothness to it that just felt right. This line up of musicians and the way we played together is vintage Morning Reign. It's also some pretty nasty pre-grunge Seattle shit.

To hear "Midnight Approaches" click here

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