Anecdotes

The Last Film Hymn Version: the vast endless note at the end of this track was made at AIR studios using their reverb chamber, the largest I've ever seen. It was an enclosed corridor, running the length of the entire studios. Projecting out of the chamber wall were hundreds of metal plates, each about 2 feet square, and set an inch or so apart. The sound to be treated was fed into the chamber and the resulting reverb was then re-recorded. You could sneak into the chamber and make funny noises and listen to their strange echo drift on forever - - a sound richly layered with lush undertones totally different in quality from that produced digitally by a small black box.

A year later we would go to a disused water tank many miles out of London, climb inside and record, using a Nagra portable, the incredible echo that the vast cylinder created. We took various objects that we thought would make an interesting echo, though in fact anything was made to sound brilliant by the effect. The tapes were used to create background atmosphere on a series of fine compositions.


Paul Mccartney, Linda, and George Martin, were in AIR making whichever Wings album was being done at the same time as 'Naked'. They were experimenting with an eccentric new kind of recording technique. The idea was that music would sound more real if you could record it the way a human hears it, so a dummy head was suspended from the studio ceiling with microphones where the ears would be, and was composed of substances that accurately reproduced the acoustic qualities of bone and brain matter. We were very polite about this new theory. Later Paul McCartney came next door and listened to the rough tracks of 'Naked' and was very polite about them too.


The band had wanted Eno to produce 'Naked', (his work with Talking Heads was a big deal to the band) but Magnet decided to go with the more commercial Colin Thurston, who had engineered Bowie's 'Heroes' album, and gone on to produce such bands as Duran Duran.


Kissing the Pink, probably like most bands, created a really good sound at home after becoming totally familiar with their own instruments and equipment. When they played live they rented or used the in-house PA system and mixing desk, so they usually sounded not so hot (especially with the kinds of engineers available for no-name bands.) In the recording studio, they would end up using the studio's equipment and so no matter how much they tried to recreate the sound they wanted, it never really materialized for them on record. (Plus the producer rarely shared their ideas of how the music should sound.) Thus the demo's, recorded at home or in a rehearsal studio, are the only recordings of how they wanted to sound.


Quite a few other people would come round and either join in or use the equipment to make their own music, most notably Roland Gift. Before Roland sang for Fine Young Cannibals, he used to come round and make demos with the Nuttall brothers. Toby Nuttall was a close friend of KTP, briefly played bass with them, and made a lot of demos with Jon. His band, Smell Funky Beast, a kind of retro hard rock band with a modern beat, made one meaty album and then disappeared.


I'm trying to find out more details about Nick's involvement with the Swedish band DOG. All I know so far is that maybe 3 or 4 years ago he went to Sweden to write a few songs for a synthpop band there called DOG. They liked him so much he ended up fronting them on 2 albums, but I've never been able to find out the names of these albums or any other details.


Fashion note!: Before 'Naked' came out Jon had a job playing lounge lizard type muzak on the grand piano in a very large posh old art deco hotel on Piccadilly called the Hyde Park Hotel. He bought himself a black tuxedo, and was soon wearing it with various incongruous articles of clothing. A tradition was born! I don't think there are any photos of this style, but for a while everyone seemed to be sporting black tuxes. His playing started off regularly enough but he soon got bored and started playing nonsense, but in that hotel lounge style, so no one ever noticed.