THE DEFINITIVE "STAN RIDGWAY - MOSQUITOS LIVE 1989!"
80 minutes of music and blab from this great and RARE and HISTORIC show in 1989... Stan Ridgway and Chapter Eleven LIVE! in Frankfurt, Germany 1989 on the "Mosquitos" tour in Europe in 1989.
The Musicians on this cd:
Joe Berardi: drums and pagoda of percussion
Pietra Wexstun: keyboards, food judgment and bg vocals
Joe Ramirez: bass, animal yowls and bg vocals
Richard Mcgrath: lead guitar, fireworks and blue moods
Benard Hall: keyboards, swiss translations
Stan Ridgway: vocals, harp, guitar and blab and boss tricks
Recorded at the very intimate and famous Batschkapp Club in Frankfurt. The story on this release?
Recorded in Europe on the night of 12/06/1989 while Stan and his band Chapter Eleven were on tour promoting his second solo recording "Mosquitos".
This tour took them all over the world and back. "Mosquitos" was described in print at the time as Ridgway's "Last Picture Show" masterpiece of an album and this show catches Stan and the band in sonic freeze-frame during this exciting time. A stunning performance of 21 songs captured forever during a chilly December night in "the ancient town of Frankfurt", ( a phrase from Stan's between song banter.)
Ridgway himself says of this disc,
"I was fairly stunned with excitement when this showed up recently from some of my dis-information "spies" in Europe. This was one of best shows! And all the songs, the great sound and the atmosphere of this great club and its hip but inclusive audience is just like I remember it. This show really rocked!! And that audience is right there with us all the way. And hey!..well....the beer was flowin' and we were having a gas being on the road and finally playing these songs for people! I'm very happy to make it availble here at cdbaby.com!
An excerpt from the insightful and thoughtful tome' "Man Made Out Of Words", about Ridgway's album "Mosquitos": by Dr. Sam Umland, Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Nebraska:
"Following what was apparently a period of incessant touring, he released in 1989, on the Geffen label, one of the strongest albums of the 1980s, Mosquitos.
If Greil Marcus is right that The Big Heat was as a "compelling portrait of American social life ... since Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska," then Mosquitos is perhaps the most consistently empathetic and compassionate depiction of the disenfranchised since Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding.
Its ambition far outreached anything Ridgway had previously attempted.
He had refined his mastery of the elliptical narrative, and joined these to a wide range of musical styles and highly detailed arrangements.
In addition, he was backed by a crack touring outfit by the name of Chapter Eleven--the band's name yet another example of Ridgway's sardonic humor.
From the majestic, Coplandesque strings of the opening instrumental track, "Heat Takes a Walk," to the melancholy strings of the closing song, "A Mission in Life," it progresses as a series of short stories, each contributing to a general or overall impression of the lives of urban Americans, as Thoreau would say, as "lives of quiet desperation." But they are not judged, at least not as Thoreau might judge them; rather, they are understood, and their peculiar, personal suffering is made real for us the way things exist.
Comparisons between Ridgway and chroniclers of the seedy side of Los Angeles such as Raymond Chandler are probably justified, though Ridgway's influences are not literary but cinematic.
Like those of country and western music, Ridgway's ballads range from the sublime, to the merely poignant, to the ridiculous.
He reveals a knack for putting a twist on a stock country and western situation.
In the song, "Peg and Pete and Me"--musically, not a country song--he presents the instantly recognizable lover's triangle but gives it a sort of film noir twist, drawn from The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, or perhaps the latter's contemporary re-make, Body Heat, thus giving the song a complexity not present in standard country/western ballads.
His song draws on the structure of, say, Jimmy Rogers' classic "Frankie and Johnny," even down to the final moralistic pronouncement, but where Rogers' would-be "cheater" Frankie gets reprimanded by Johnny's sister, Ridgway's rather slow-witted narrator only too late realizes that he has been set up by the femme fatale, Peg, and provides us with what he thinks is the profound moral statement, "never trust a rich, dead man's wife." (Notice Ridgway's sensitivity to language and voice here: the monosyllabic diction following the imperative "never" is reflective of the narrator's idiom).
The humor here lies in the way the narrator's presumed profound lesson or moral paraphrase--so characteristic of country and western ballads--is stood on its head, by giving us a literal statement of the lesson rather than the anticipated homiletic abstraction.
Incidentally, Ridgway's tributes to country and western are many in his music.
In interviews Ridgway has said he grew up listening to country and western music.
He told J.D. Considine that "I've always loved that music too much to think that I could actually do it whole-heartedly as a country artist." He went on, "The important thing is taking the essence of those influences into what you do, to try and come up with something different for yourself" (14).
Stan Ridgway continues...
"The band and I at this time in '89 had a running joke among us in early rehearsals for this tour. That we'd really get all the songs tight and together by the time we got to Germany. Which in our European itinerary was always near the end of our 2 month tours. It was our way of giving ourselves a break 'cuz a lot of these songs were not easy to perform at first. Lots of shifts in tempo and key, and dynamics to consider. I felt sometimes I'd written songs that were unplayable but wanted to let my band know I appreciated their efforts even with the mistakes that would crop up."
"Well...we were right because this recording captures us playing at our peak! And in Germany too. Guess we were right! What a great band we had too. Joe Berardi "the Atomic Clock" slammin' it home...Richard McGrath on guitar, I just love the way he plays blues here...Pietra Wexstun and Bernard Hall blending together as one with the keys into just the right "cinematic wide screen" color...Joe Ramirez, our old friend from L.A.'s "The Eyes" pumping the bottom end and singin' the backups with me..We should have been given an award for this band but the audience response at this show was enough for us. A great sonic document of a great live show! And the recording is excellent. My thanks to all my "spies" who helped get this out there!"
Some of the story.....
Recording provided by Ulrich Angersbach, (German Spy and Prince of Spies)
CD Packaging by John Trvisonno, (Canadian Spy and Prime Minister of Spies)
Photographs by Jean Christophe Morizur, (French Spy and King of Spies...)
Wood burning and varnishing by Jackie "teak" Lazar, (Hollywood Spy and Manager to The Stars)
Recorded in glorious "you are there!" stereo audio hi -fi as only the Germans can. more later...