National Projects


Band: Wesley Willis Tribute
Title: Loved Like Milkshake
Year: 2003
Label: M-Halo
Genre: Various

Notes: It was a sad day in September when I heard that Wesley Willis had passed away from leukemia at the age of 40. Soon after the news, my evil twin, Loren Hill, discovered a listing on Craig’s List from a guy named Hiji of M-Halo who was putting together a tribute record. I contacted him, offering my mastering services on the record. And, before I knew it, I was recording four songs on the disc, remixing three others and peddling friends all over the country to be involved.

Haggis Rising: A project David Howe and I have been brainstorming for nearly ten years. We had played once for Loren’s return to Reno doing a Spinal Tap cover and figured it was time to put this band on tape. Snake Green from Skin Lab kindly donated his time to come play with us on this. Eric Stangeland from Convicted Innocence joined us on guitar, Sutafe Bogle from Steve Dave played bass and Michael Connell, director of the Reno Firefighters Pipe Band, came and blew pipes. The song, “Blood, Guts and Fire Trucks,” was actually a Wesley Willis Fiasco song we transcribed from a live EP. Dave “Scotified” the lyrics. Tracking was done in eight hours and I had been up for two days before even starting. For the photo, Snake was back in the Bay so John McGlothlen came in as a body double for the shoot.

Eat at Joe’s: This was the first time in three years that “The Joe’s” actually did a song as the band. We had thanked Wesley on our “Under the Limbo Stick” CD, asking him to write a song about us. When he played the Zephyr Bar in 2001, we gave him the last copy of the CD and showed him his highlighted thanks and request. During the show, he actually did the “EAT AT JOE’S” song for the first time and, fortunately, we found someone bootlegging the show. He subsequently recorded it on his studio album “North Carolina Highway Patrol.” We used a sample of the Zephyr bootleg for the opening of our cover of HIS song about US! It was arranged, recorded and mixed in eight hours. It’s all recorded live except the background vocals, harp and tambourine.

The other artists I had a hand in recording were: Uncut, Twice and Delusions of Grandeur from Reno, Lullabelle from Seattle and Absent Me from Sacramento. My old USC friend, Matt Angus from New Jersey, had his song mixed by my other old USC friend, Carter Humphrey, just after mixing the new Rod Stewart album! Quite a jump from ballads to “I Smoke Weed!” My personal favorite of the record is the Shut-Ins’ “Rock‘n Roll McDonalds.”