Some extra information on the content
All the stuff was recorded between 1992 and 1993.
In many instances Pickle did his parts in just one take! It is hard not to notice a track that he has performed on
as there is that classic Pickle guitar squeal which is hard to miss. His solos are also distinctive and he usually
came up with them just "by feel" very quickly.
I was attempting to write some Alice Copper style stuff during this time and Pickle played on a number of those songs.
We were obviously younger then and not encumbered by certain spurious social dictates. I had realized that "true love" easily
turns to "true hate" and was commenting on this fact. Of course today you just have to watch the Dr. Phil show to see all these
"loving couples" turning quickly to wanting to kill each other. I was also very bored of hearing the same old "true love"
song rubbish that every "next big thing" vomits out on the radio. At least Alice Cooper did not do that.
The songs in the Hock Collection came about because
someone I knew had become entrapped by a grasping girlfriend of generous corpulence.
She was just as greedy in food as she was in everything else. So we decided to try to write a song
in every musical style about the topic. Neither she nor her victim ever knew that there was an EP out about them.
We were walking past a butcher's shop and a tray with ham hocks
on it led to inspiration. Thus the "Hock Collection" came about. Pickle played guitar and bass on all of the stuff as well as
doing backing vocals on a lot of them. Sometimes it was hard to stop laughing long enough to record anything.
I mean. honestly, some of the lyrics are just ridiculous.
At the same time, Pickle was playing in an Alice Copper covers tribute band and I was doing the Front Of House
as well as roadying for them This was at the old Savoy Hotel (pub) opposite the Spencer Street station.
A most seedy place with many sketchy people.
I had previously obtained an AKAI MG1212
12 track tape recorder which was of very high quality for the times. Thus I could get
very decent recordings at home when most people were still using cassette based technology. In 2002 I transferred
almost all the stuff to digital media as the tape player was getting on a bit and I wanted to ensure access to the
old memories. Thus we still have them today!
Pickle also had a nascent band called Protoge which never got off the ground due to lack of finding a suitable
lead singer. Sometime around 1992 they obtained a fill-in singer to record some demos. So they went over to my place
and I tried to record three songs for them as best as I could. This was not a recording studio but just a living
room in an average house, so it was not ideal to record a full band (with all parts being played at the same time).
Our other stuff was recorded one track at a time so a much higher standard could be achieved (with no instrument
bleed between tracks). I then mixed and mastered the three Pickle's band tracks for him. Sadly I only have the
two track master, not the multitrack master (which Pickle kept) thus there
is not much I can do to fix up the content using modern technology as I have done with the rest of the stuff.
In 2014 I rediscovered all the old stuff and used modern technology to reproduce most of it. I put it all up on
some music and social media web sites. A very talented relative drew all of the graphics for the songs.
Since Pickle played on a lot of them I though he'd be
interested in hearing how his old stuff sounded after being redone using modern
technology. Of course, I had lost touch with him at this stage and knew it would
be a mission and a half to try to find him again. After all, his name is not
exactly unique and searches of the internet brought up heaps of contacts but none
seemed to be him. After a lot of effort, I finally gave up. All the songs
just sat there for a few years with lots of helpful bots breathlessly trying
to entice me to spend real money to buy fake likes, listens and followers.
It was all very tempting, but I didn't feel that I deserved such special consideration.
So in 2016 I took them all down because I felt guilty about over-exciting the bots so much.
In April 2019 I was trying to figure out what Pickle had done
on a certain song. I then got the strange urge to
try googling him once again. This time I did find him because someone had put the
words "Michael Pickle Williams"
in the same sentence. I almost fell off the chair
when I saw the search results. "Surely Not!" I said as I clicked on the link. Unfortunately
the reason why someone would put those three little words in the same sentence became
painfully clear to me. The really twisted thing is that if he was still living those
google search results would not have found anything with those three magic
little words. So now the old stuff has been put up for all those who might
want momentos of a period in Pickle's earlier life.
Pickle's favourite guitar amplifier brand was Laney. He was always saying how great they are.
During the remixing of all the songs, I stumbled across a discarded Laney amplifier on a rubbish pile.
It was in excellent condition, but it didn't work. So I repaired
it and now have a special symbol. I am taking this as an omen that Pickle is approving of
my little efforts down here. It is extremely rare to find guitar amplifiers, especially name brand
ones discarded like that. And to find the exact brand that he loved in very good condition,
is way beyond coincidence.
I wrote the song below in late 1992 when Pickle was given his "trucking orders" which effectively ended any musical aspirations he had.
The song foretold the upheavals in both our lives to come in 1993. Pickle does not play on it and I am not sure if he ever heard it as
the dates on the tapes indicate mastering after he left.