Wednesday, March 12, 2008

GLEE & BEAK, Live at the Wright State Rathskellar (unofficial, cassette, 1990)

GLEE & BEAK was sort of a folk-lite duo (sometimes a trio) featuring Dave Ponitz and Morgan Taylor, often assisted by a drummer whose name I can't remember right now. Although I never knew Dave or Morgan, I saw GLEE & BEAK a few times at Canal Street and Wright State. Their particular brand of cute and clever folk rock was never exactly my cup of tea, but it was charming, creative, and original. I genuinely enjoyed their shows. So did a lot of other people around town. And along with their obvious talent, their dueling boyish good looks didn't hurt their popularity either. As with THE WIZBANGS, I remember thinking of GLEE & BEAK as an act that inevitably attracted swarms of swooning girls.

Some other facts:
  • GLEE & BEAK were featured in an Undercurrents Music Showcase in 1990.
  • Dave's first band in Dayton was THE SCAM. They had played all over town for a few years before GLEE & BEAK got together (it's just a guess, but I'll put their tenure as running between 1986 through 1988, maybe?). Come to think of it, although I never saw THE SCAM live, I'm pretty sure that either they or DALE WALTON (Oh! There's a name from the distant past!) are the first local music group I was ever aware of (for some reason, it seemed I always heard ads for their shows on WTUE).
  • Here's what Dave had to say about THE SCAM in a 1998 interview with Yeah, Yeah, Yeah: "We were a quartet. We played Kinks, Stones, Who, Hendrix, Zombies, Bowie and such. We played "Good Lovin", you know. We played "Shout!" We were all friends. A guy named Jellyass played bass and sang harmony. We had a lead guitar savant named Blando who was handsome and had a talk box. And then the drummer, Red Ned, who was like Mickey Dolenz with flame-on hair. It was probably the most solid project I've ever had, up until the current line-up of Sim Cain on drums and John Abbey on bass."
  • Here's what he had to say in the same interview about GLEE & BEAK: "I also played in an acoustic rock trio called Glee & Beak in the early 90s in Ohio with a percussionist named Kelodg and a ridiculously talented guy named Morgan Taylor."
  • According to an editorial note directly following that comment, "Morgan Taylor now lives in New York and leads a rock group called Morgan Taylor's Rock Group. David produced a demo for them in 2000."
  • Dave used to write local music news for the Go! section of the Dayton Daily News under the pseudonym Braxton Hicks.
  • In 1992 Dave Ponitz moved to New York. Since that time, you may have come to know his work under the name David Poe.
  • David Poe's most recent release that I know of is Love Is Red (available at this page on e-music), but David Poe's Wikipedia entry will inform you of a couple of other projects he has in the works.
  • Here's a link to David Poe's web site.
  • In the '90s Morgan Taylor was in OO OO WA, a sort of tongue-in-cheek ultra-pop outfit that also featured Nick Eddy. OO OO WA had at least one full-length release, Screen Kiss (1993).
  • Morgan also worked at Gem City Records (which, along with Canal Street Tavern, seemed to be the area's leading day job supplier for local musicians throughout the '80s and '90s and probably today too) for a number of years before heading to New York in 1998 and starting MORGAN TAYLOR'S ROCK GROUP.
  • Morgan's current project is Gustafer Yellowgold, which is a bit of an enigma to me. However, from what I can tell, it's a combination of storybook, music, and now an off-broadway show for kids. And for some reason, it doesn't surprise me one little bit that Morgan Taylor is writing stories and music for kids. If you've been to even one GLEE & BEAK show, I don't think you're surprised either.
  • Here's an interview with Morgan that better explains the premise behind Gustafer Yellowgold.
To my knowledge GLEE & BEAK issued no studio recordings. In fact, the only evidence of their existence I know of is this recording of a GLEE & BEAK show that Mite ripped and sent to me a couple of weeks ago.

Neither of us has a specific date on this, but both Mite's and my best guess places it somewhere in 1990 or perhaps as early as 1989. It was recorded at the Wright State Rathskellar. At that time, campus radio station WWSU was experimenting with broadcasting live shows from the Rathskellar. I remember OXYMORONS did one of those shows in October 1989 (it was, in fact, Pat Hennigan's second to last show with the band), and I'm sure other bands did too. Grog has lent me a tape of the OXYMORONS show as it was broadcast on WWSU. Mite made this one of GLEE & BEAK. Here's hoping some other WWSU/Rathskellar tapes survive.

I think listening to this recording will give you a pretty good idea of what GLEE & BEAK were all about. Their appeal was very closely tied to their live show. There's a good amount of stage banter, and a lot of the immediate charm of the band seems to come through best in this context.

Track List:

1. Window
2. Bloody
3. All of Your Letters Back
4. Down
5. How Much
6. Dandelion
7. Leave Brutality
8. Feedback Jam
9. Mystery Love Revealed
10. Grow
11. Tree House
12. Infinity Ring
13. Tunnel of Trees
14. I Am Not A Hippy

Download It! (62 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

Again, you'll hear a drummer on some songs, but I just can't remember his name now.

UPDATE: The drummer was Kelly Morelock. He later played percussion for JAYNE SACHS' band. There's a bio for him here on her page.

I ran Mite's rip through some post-processing to boost the overall presence and eliminate tape hiss. Unfortunately, removing the hiss sometimes introduces latency (audible distortions -- kind of like a low resolution MP3) where the volume gets very low. I don't think it affects the quality where the band is playing, but it does introduce a little distortion where the volume dips between songs. Mite, if you're reading this, listen to it and let me know if you like the original version you sent me better.

take care



G said...

I'm almost positive that they released a cassette. I'll go through my stuff and look for it, then I'll post an update.


jones() said...

That would be cool. And hey, if you thought they had a cassette, why didn't you give it to me when you gave me the other stuff? What other lost treasures are you holding back, Mr. Simerlink? Huh? A Haunting Souls EP, perhaps? A Dale Walton 8-track?

Anonymous said...

I have the Dale Walton 8-track with the song, "This Christmas." They played that on WTUE all of the time!!!!!!!

BTW--I found a Mystery Addicts t-shirt at a thrift store this week. What a find!!!! Later Jonesy!!!!


jones() said...

You mean there really is a Dale Walton 8-track? Holy shit!

G said...

You know, Fen might actually have the cassette. I think she had it when I met her, she picked it up a few weeks earlier at Dingleberry's. I'll ask her.

I do need to look through my 7"s though. I probably have quite a few gems I never passed along.


mite said...

I ripped the cassette awhile ago and the sound quality I know wasn't the greatest due to my piss poor stereo. I'm trying to locate the original cassette, but can't remember where I stored it along with my other cassettes.

I also have a rip of the band The Life and Times "Suburban Days" cassette, which I believe David Poe and Morgan Taylor were in as well, that I will send you when I'm back in town. The only show I saw them at was during Wright State's "October Days" where I believe they shared the stage with Tuba Blooz in 1987.

You also mentioned the Oxymorons playing at the Ratt. That was actually the first time I saw the band and is what really got me into exploring the local music scene. I remember the show being loud and chaotic and ending with the entire band jumping on the drummer and his drumset. I loved it. I also remember that Pat Hennigan was the DJ on the air during the live broadcast of the Glee & Beak show.

I know that Glee & Beak did a studio recording of the song "Infinity Ring" but I don't think they officially released it, but I do have a copy of it somewhere.

And since I know you like Christmas songs, I have a Jayne Sachs original christmas song that she recorded, but I don't think officialy release that I'll have to get to you.

jonnieb said...

wait, which Dale Walton iteration was that? The Second Wind? The Last Gasp???? I always loved going to the Dale Walton concerts. It was like a class reunion. not unlike going to see the Lovers at the Hills, where it was more like a senior class meeting!

Anonymous said...

I have the Cassette "Fronday"...wish I could get in digital for my zune...but for now, sits in the '71 Super Beetle and comes out when I need great "uplift".

Anonymous said...

I was a UD student 84-88 and saw the Scam at first stop many a thursday. They were high school students at the time. Their guitar player studied EE at UD and eventually got his Phd. Good times, heard INXS dont change on Sirius today - that was a great cover they did.

Matt Benzing said...

I remember "This Christmas" well. Any way to rip this to an mp3? I would love to hear it again.

John said...

I have lots of SCAM stories, if you're interested.

Craig Newman said...

I have a copy of Glee and Beek's Fronday on cassette...from my days at Kent friend Joe Fish gave it to me. I have practically worn it out but still dig it out from time to time. Great memories/music

Craig Newman said...

I have an old cassette of Glee and Beek's Fronday...a gift from my friend Joe Fish at Kent State.
Practically have worn it out over the years...but still love every song. Need a digital copy!