(Double Oh Four) More Songs and Memories: 1980 - 83
Personal Reviews by Michael Evans
Full disclosure: I wrote the liner notes for 004's CD at the
request of Scott Simons and John Reese, and never mentioned a single
song on the their album, because my article focused on the band, and
the scene around them instead!
My State of Affairs review kind of makes up for that (see link
below), but there were a lot of songs in their setlists, and 004 could
have put out two or three 12 inch vinyl albums if the economic stars
would have aligned for them.
This page is
kind of a Post Game Review of 004 songs that are NOT on their CD,
from my own very personal perspective. This band worked very hard,
and I only saw a fraction of their shows -- mostly at Tom Bullen's
Hole in The Wall Saloon. They did some fine concerts at the University
of Utah, where they both starred, plus opened for New Wave pioneers
Bow Wow Wow, and the fabulous Blasters, the latter who congratulated
them for their professionalism.
I missed so many performances -- When their fans gathered en
masse at the Utah Arts Festival, there were THOUSANDS of us!
Like most every
band that ever existed, 004 played songs made famous by other artists
among their own originals.
The term "covers" is often used, although it is a now-ancient
term referring to the recording industry "covering" different
markets with various singers performing one popular tune.
The term "standard" is also tossed around - a well-known
song sets a standard by which an audience can gauge a performer,
in the benevolent sense of the word.
This is an attempt to describe my idea of a typical, but totally
made-up 004 show -- interspersing standards and originals from my
I'll start with an actual recollection -- reinforced by a tape of
the same gig played for Wanda and me a few years later.
It started with an uncharacteristic bass solo by Scott Simons, an
hour or so before sunset, during one of Salt Lake City's glorious
midsummer weekends, beginning a multiple-set show at the Hole In
The Wall Saloon on State Street.
I had an idea what song would follow this elaborately plunked introduction,
and guessed correctly:
It was The Maytals' chugging arrangement of Louie Louie,
a delightful reworking of the R&B/Garage Rock classic from the
recording studios that created SKA and Reggae --
under "Jamaica's moon above."
I always enjoyed Doug's playful vocals, and the band's bouncing
spirit on this song.
Lynne the model, who introduced me to 004's social milieu.
as Lead Singer
started as an upbeat vocal by Terri Mitchell, about a lazy character
who was a bit too fond of Reggae Music, and perhaps its herbal
My understanding was that it was an original song -- Doug chimed
in at key spots in the vocal drama.
The dynamics between the two singers whenever they swapped verses
reminded me very much of Shirley & Lee from New Orleans
-- whose music had inspired the original SKA and Reggae musicians
two decades earlier.
and Don't Look Back fitted 004's style perfectly:
Motown's Temptations recorded this beautiful song, which unfortunately
languished just outside the popular spotlight, although it was later
recorded by Johnny Nash, and then garnered somewhat wider attention
as a duet between Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh.
It was funky, with lots of space for vocal and instrumental imaginations
to run. The exhortative lyrics allowed Doug to shout-out to the
dancers as far as he could see them, and vice-versa.
Terri could sing call-and-response, echo the chorus, keep things
grounded, or help Doug make the dance floor surge. This number could
accelerate a set, or make a good finish before a break.
- Eye View of Terri Mitchell
about my favorite ORIGINAL 004 song was Dance Or Die!
It had a great vocal build-up in the introductory verses and a compelling
chorus that said it all: I Want To Dance! I Want To Dance!
The band knew how to stretch this jam to accommodate the significant
crowds who came to hear these very words and do that very thing.
In my humble opinion, this song would have made a very good single,
and a successful radio hit, but my vote as a fan never counted with
those who decided such things.
Steve Neves later silk-screened a tee shirt for the group, with
I WANNA DANCE as a battle-cry. (See partial image is at the
Given the name of the band, I wasn't surprised to hear them play an
instrumental jam, based on the James Bond Theme.
It was a staple of Punk and Reggae clubs worldwide at the time too.
Roger Moore hadn't quite retired from the movie series, and Sean Connery
would play the role one more time in the 80's.
This famous riff has a certain power, but it is a challenge to sustain
the excitement after a few repetitions. (So says an old garage-band
hacker.) 004 did their best to extend it for the dancers, throwing
in some verbal hijinks, with echo, and other silliness.
surrendered her bass to Doug, and sang solo on *King Floyd's
Groove Me Baby.
Instead of the slow pace of conventional arrangements, 004's version
was faster, with Rock dynamics -- like Doug's zooming, melodic bass
lines. Terri's vocal cut across the rhythm, though, and SHE controlled
the delivery of this sensual soul tune.
*I am, and was, aware that the Blues Brothers had recorded
a Reggae-styled version in the same era, but I never asked anybody
in the band where they'd heard this song first.
004 totally avoided Belushi and Ackroyd's clowning, and their arrangement
was unlike any other. It was the highlight of any set when Terri
chose to sing it.
Doug had his
own take on Jimmy Cliff's Harder They Fall. He used
the upper range of his voice to set up multiple choruses of a song
which was very well-known to his audiences, got them all dancing,
and made each moment work by the force of his invigorating personality.
Phil Miller and Horns
Going To Need Somebody On Your Bond
was another one of Doug's surprises with this Blues standard.
He didn't work his voice as hard as he did in other songs, although
he sang fast, really fast -- the one who worked the hardest
was Terri, who unleashed a double-time bass pattern that literally
RAN through the entire number.
One night I was standing nearby when a young couple were getting
ready to sit down after Doug introduced the band's next song
(this one) as "Blues."
"Dance to the Rhythm, drink to the Blues," the young
man was saying -- they pulled out their chairs, but were immediately
in the pack again, as Terri's bass flowed like water under their
feet, and carried them back into the flood of dancers.
less taken -- Scott used to sing lead at times!
004 wrote an original called You Are A Machine, with
Devo-like staccato rhythms, featuring Scott's low voice, Doug's
lead counterpoints, and some robot-like dancing by Edwards, as Simons
smiled at everyone.
They seemed to retire that Machine number early in their
which was too bad. I shot enough photos of Scott to learn how little
he moved once a gig began. Despite looking down all the time, he
was aware of everything, but SO concentrated on the music, that
it was a joy to see him facing the audience and spreading a whole
new level of humor on top of the set.
The Who's I Can't Explain got a similar treatment!
It was played with a tongue-in-cheek, somewhat syncopated arrangement,
that still had enough pace and drive to keep people hopping. Mod
Music like this sneaked into the Zeitgeist again after the Quadrophrenia
movie -- shot with a New Wave sensibility.
Scott Simons at the microphone.
talked ME to into road-racing too.
The Way God Wants It became famous as Billy Preston's gospel
- flavored show-stopper during the Concert for Bangledesh.
Doug was very fond of this song, and even created a semi-theatrical
character named Reverend SKA to sing it. He'd wear a robe and sunglasses,
all topped with a squarish brocaded hat.
Once he talked me into joining in a procession with him and the
band through a very thick crowd, since he was starting the next
set with this song. (Successfully, I must add!) I was crunched up
next to Wanda, trying to act as a good-natured linebacker, and she
exclaimed something like: "This is so weird!"
Doug also brought his Reverend SKA character and this song to his
next band, Temple of Rhythm, along with a disciple or two.
Doug was a prolific
writer, and fearlessly tried out songs, riffs, and chants in performance
-- sometimes they worked, sometimes not, but it was always fun to
be on hand when he was creating.
Love You was the "A" side of 004's 45 RPM single.
It was a delightful uptempo duet between assertive Terri and baffled
Doug, with humor, pathos, and a wicked groove tying it all together.
Terri: I never loved you! Doug: WHAT?
-- HOW DARE YOU!
to I Don't Love You:
I know people who heard it on the radio, but I bought MY copy from
one of the band members -- at Scott's apartment I seem to recall.
The reworked image (right) is from a performance of this number.
I Don't Love You always took the level of excitement
several clicks higher - sometimes even to ELEVEN!
Since we're on the subject of the single -- Unlike the dub on the
CD, Brite Lite, the "B" side, was a vocal
version of the song, featuring Doug and Terri intertwining their
voices. Scott picks a short,trebly guitar solo. Phil's sax supports
the bass and sets the instumental "hook." Wanda's drums
sound fairly 'crisp' in comparison. These two sides represent producer
Eliot Case's first sessions with the group.
Terri Mitchell singing "I Don't Love You"
was an original song, with a backstory of its origin related to
me by one of his roommates - supposedly Doug was inspired by watching
a re-run of this old Ivan Tors TV show, and extemporaneously made
up the core of the song while leaping about the living room.
Quoting from my liner notes: I'll never forget 004 unleashing
Daktari in the late hours. Doug went percussively gonzo with
while Scott and Wanda churned out counterpoints. The dancers leaped
and surged at Doug's command, then Terri took over with her
mighty electric bass - plunking a sinuous riff that caused waves
of sensual, passionate movement which were impossible to resist.
Wanda's thundering drums drowned the crowd in dance-sweat, while
their backbones, hips, thighs, and feet skanked away uncontrollably.
from my liner notes: There were many reasons why this group
didn't last. Utah's stupid, self-contradicting liquor laws under-mined
the economic health of places like Hole In The Wall Saloon -- which
was set up to showcase music, but whose owners were forced to sacrifice
their gains to the state-controlled booze industry, and enforcers
from on-high. These same laws also fractured 004's audiences along
the fault line of the legal drinking age. Mixed concerts were almost
impossible to arrange, because there was no way of paying the overhead
and staying within the limits of the laws. Sure there were other
factors involved, but Reason Number One was the liquor laws!
I was also in the entertainment business before I met this band,
and I'll testify that rent and gas tanks will drain capital faster
than any amount of small-gig money can replenish it. Record sales,
song royalties? If a musical group survives long enough to get lucky
with these kinds of things, there are wolves who know what to do
with the sheep. Sex and drugs? You tell me YOUR stories, I'll tell
you MINE, but I'm not going to gossip about anybody else. The bars
were full of those kinds of tales. The same stories walked in and
out of the doors at every public place too, but there was a time
when 004 created dancing magic with their incredible music -- outshining
the garish cacophony of Salt Lake's entire State Street drag strip!
HERE or on the logo to the left, and read about the music on State
of Affairs -- a CD that
was almost thirty years in the making!
A Look At The CD Cover with
Michael's Liner Notes
Images from State
of Affairs and 004 memorabilia used for review purposes. Drawings by
Rights Reserved for this review. Drawings © Michael R. Evans 2011