Psychodrama

The England's Dreaming Spires LP took about two and a half years from the start of recording to its eventual release, with Mark Lemon painstakingly overdubbing the instruments. Once the red light goes on, it isn't so easy to get a good take on the track being recorded, so some parts took a few takes. Each song was gradually assembled by trial and error, sometimes with a load of stuff being wiped before arriving at the finished version.

This was the case with Psychodrama, a stand alone track. It was originally wriitten as a 70's rock song, in the vein of Dave Kusworth. Then Mark decided to put a 60's spin on it, along the lines of the Monkees, so initially a load of overdubs were put on, some of which were erased, such as a Vox Continental keyboard and acoustic guitars. It was decided in the end to strip it back, then a very experimental approach to production was undertaken. Drums were dropped out on the third verse, and much other chicanery took place production wise. The guitar on this track is Mark's Danelectro which won't stay in tune for long. The record was recorded after 2 hours sleep. Mark was inspired by some film of early 70's Rolling Stones he had seen when he did the vocals. He says

''I saw Mick doing this wild tribal dancing, wearing glitter around his eyes, and the whole vibe was of someone performing from, instinctively, their inner core, not someone putting on an outward appearance. I was inspired to sing this way on Psychodrama. I don't want to be some lounge pop singer, some boy band emoter. I'm too old to do that and anyway, faking emotion for fans is a fraud, an artistic fraud. I'd rather sing and find my true voice. Psychodrama also has very hard, angry drums. I was furious I'd blown the previous takes and decided to keep the take, however bad or good it was, and I was very wound up. I was hitting them really hard. I'd only been drumming about 3 months. Do you know, I've been called lazy, a waster. But as Sir Noddy Holder said 'you think I have a lazy time, but you should know better'. And brown holes to the english...

Psychodrama reminds this writer of a '66 Who song, having a spooked atmosphere as well.

This week has seen more overdubs on second album future track Magistrate On A Donkey, with some great rhythm guitar going down which is sounding excellent with a lot of reverb and volume. It is musically complex and experimental, but again it is influenced by the Monkees. Mark says -
''I believe in trashy pop, but it has to be beautiful trash. The trouble with todays music is that it is usually trashy but in a rubbish way, and when it tries to be kitsch it is often no good either. Nothing to match the Velvet Underground, thats for sure"

Mark Lemon will this week be attending his aunt's funeral. She was a concert pianist, and did not consider her piano playing nephew a suitable recipient for her Steinway piano when she no longer had a use for it.
''She wanted it to go to a classical musician. She was a generous person in other ways, though''.

See the gallery section for a picture of Mark's favourite car, a 1961 Rolls Royce silver Shadow.

Check back for more on another track from England's Dreaming Spires next week, and a detailed account, of whatever Mark Lemon feels like talking about. Toodlepip,

Sir Percival Spitfire



Reading Village Green Machine's ezine. Psychodrama
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