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Matheson, Andrew - Monterey Shoes

Format: LP
Label: Ariola SW 25000
Year: 1979
Origin: Sudbury, Ontario, 🇨🇦 - London, England, 🇬🇧
Genre: rock, new wave
Value of Original Title: $10.00
Make Inquiry/purchase: email ryder@robertwilliston.com
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: Ontario, 1970's, New Wave Post Punk Wave


Side 1

Track Name
True Romance
St. Catherines Wheel
Eyes of Harlem

Side 2

Track Name
My Girls (Pin-Up Parade)
Johnny Lets Run
Tender is the Night
It Only Hurts When I Cry
Can't Stop the Angels


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Monterey Shoes


No Video


In your sailor suit and your side-button Monterey shoes

Camber Sands, Sussex, photography Gered Mankowitz, coat from Milan, white canvas shoes from Hollywood Boulevard, black tie with tiny red polka-dots from Kensington Market.

I last kicked a football in anger for a losing cause, late September ’77, scoring a goal in a 1-1 draw. Not enough. My team didn’t make the playoffs. Boo hoo hoo. Next day I was on a Pan-Am flight to London.
The following Wednesday I was in a demo studio on King’s Road, ideas rattling around in my skull, in particular a song called “True Romance”. A few mates came along to help me out: Casino Steel on piano, Brady on guitar, Geir Waade on drums and some bass player whose name escapes me but whom I’ll no doubt hear from in the next twenty-four hours.

‘True Romance’ was an immaculate conception from the moment we rolled tape. Great groove, tempo that went straight to your toes and stayed there. It was sticky, like a smear of chicken grease on broken glass. Would have been a perfect slice of sleaze for a Soho stripper.

That little ole wine spiller Ken Mewis took the tape downtown and ten seconds later came back in a black cab with a record contract. What took you so long? Afterwards my mates got back to their lives (The Boys, Wreckless Eric) and I went into Townhouse Studio in London with a hand picked troupe of musicians:

Pete Kircher: drums (Status Quo, Climax Blues band)
Andy Pask: bass (Freddie Mercury, Pet Shop Boys, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey)
Tommy Eyre: keyboards, (Joe Cocker, B.B. King, Alex Harvey, Gary Moore, Wham!)
Nigel Jenkins: guitar (Albert Hammond, Gerry Rafferty, Cliff Richard)

Additional musos included Raphael Ravenscroft who played that scintillating sax intro to ‘Baker Street’ by Gerry Rafferty and the utterly brilliant Howie Casey (Derry & the Seniors, Paul McCartney & Wings) who played every stunning sax solo on Monterey Shoes.

We recorded at Townhouse Studio in London, The Manor in Oxfordshire and the Record Plant in Los Angeles.

At the Manor, in the wilds of deepest Oxfordshire, my suite looked out over a graveyard and on foggy nights huge spectral Irish wolfhounds would run wild, howling and crapping among the headstones. Gave me the willies.

The only other artiste there at the time was Van Morrison. As you probably know, Van can be the life of the party, telling jokes, making pirate hats out of newspaper, pouring cocoa for everyone, but that week he was pretty touchy. Especially when I grabbed the last two bottles of Guinness out of the fridge just ahead of his stubby little grasping fingers.

After the sessions, god it was boring. Not a pub anywhere near.
Me, the “producer” Mallory Earl and the engineer Hugh Padgham (Police, Human League, Phil Collins) came up with an ingenious idea to attract more congenial company. We decided we needed chick singers on the songs, so the record company duly sent three cute chanteuses out from London in a limo.
We never did use those tracks.

Eight songs went flawlessly, straight from my brain, through my 1962 Gibson J-45, to the band and on to the two-inch tapes. But then we came to ‘True Romance’, the song that got me the deal in the first place. And that’s when the problems started.

The elusive alchemy that lit the spark (like napalm in the Mekong Delta) in that Kings Road studio had vanished. What went wrong? The groove was gone. Vanished.
Ain’t music a funny thing? It’s weird how often the demo is better than the record. The bombed blondeshell Geir Waade nailed it, laid it down. Others couldn’t.
The “producer”, in frustration, took his razor blade, his mirror and his rolled up dollar bill back to LA. The idiots up in the offices running the show took the final mix and artificially sped it up. My vocal ended up sounding like a cross between a butch Betty Boop and a fey Hank Snow. Makes me shudder even now.

Horrible production notwithstanding the rest of the album is ok though. Sort of.

But the fact remains I wouldn’t have got that record deal without my mates helping me that September day down the Kings Road. To Casino, Ken, Brady and the man on the drums, Geir Waade, thank you lads.

Pete Kirscher: drums;
Andy Paske: bass;
Tommy Eyre: keyboards;
Nigel Jenkins: guitars;
Howie Casey: saxophone;
Howie Casey, Raphael Ravenscourt, Bill Street: horn sections;

Produced by Mallory Earl
Engineered by Mallory Earl and Hugh Padgham
Recorded at Townhouse Studios, London,, England,, U.K.


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