Rusk & McGowan
Johnny Rusk - Vocals
Jimi McGowan - Vocals
Derek Morris - Guitar, backup vocals
Special thanks to Chris Loecher for the label scans and audio files!
Click on a song title below to hear that song!
Musician Don Lampson knew Rusk & McGowan for a short time when he was stationed at Ft. Ord military
base near Monterey, CA. He performed at a local restaurant/nightclub called The Sable Knght.
Here are some of his recollections :
Derek Morris was in the band that backed up Rusk and McGowan. He shares some of his memories of the recording session.
"Our band name was Nobody's Children (later changed to Magic Mushroom I think! ). We had played a number of local gigs including maybe three Elks Club teen dances , a few John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch events for their summer youth tennis school, a number of private parties, and of course backed up Rusk and McGowan recording these two songs. We also played at their "single release party" at Sable Knight on Fremont Street in Monterey. We were junior high/high school kids and they probably sneaked us in to play at the bar since we were underage!
We recorded at Meagher Electronics on Webster in Monterey around 1965 or 1966. Jim Meagher was sort of a legendary but quirky guy who helped with sound reinforcement at the Monterey Pop Festival. He was doing the recording for free as a favor for Mike Marotta Sr - a well known local musician and at the time owner of a music store on Alvarado - ABC Music. The band included myself Derek Morris (guitar, backup vocals). Mike Marotta Jr (keyboard,backup vocals), Dave Marotta (guitar, backup vocals), Bill Catalano (drums), Anthony Lucido (bass), and Alex Tumparov (vocals). Alex was not involved with the recording session as I recall since he didn't play an instrument and was not involved with vocals on the recording. So it was "one take and out". We weren't allowed to re-record the mistake at 1:47 in "What Your Eyes Say My Heart Hears." That part always made me and my friends crack up! I don't want to point any fingers but it wasn't me! Meagher was really kind of a jerk about not letting us just do one more take. I don't know if it was time, or tape, or just his personality, but now that song with the mistake is memorialized for eternity. Of course it was a live recording and not multitracked. The most time was spent setting up the mics and making adjustments in advance of the recording. The recordings themselves only took about 3 minutes each. So why he wouldn't let us re-do the song with a mistake is still a mystery to me. I know tape was expensive - but I just blame it on Meagher's personality."
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