Swim Herschel Swim: Bohemian

Swim Herschel Swim: Bohemian

Continuing on in the remastering saga that has spanned multiple years and survived the birth of my second child, expansion of our business, etc. etc.

This track was one that Jeff Hubbard brought into the band. At least that’s how I remember it. As is always the case, I could be wrong.

When I first wanted to be in a ska band, it was mostly to play in a band that had a horn section. In this song are the horns I heard in my head in 1988. Almost exactly, even though I don’t remember contributing too much to the horn parts on this song.

Lyrical themes in this one: Posers and hipster affectations. For such a crooner, Rod (vocals) has always had an edge. However, this was one of the all night tracking sessions and we did vocals at the end. The chorused guitar? My idea. Also, the Hammond B3 solo is good until the last two bars. Talk about a cop out. I tracked all of the B3 stuff at the very end of that session as people were loading out, mostly in a single take because we were up against the clock. The organ was stellar. I remember being super tired, and cranked up because I floored the pedal and got the greatest, dirtiest sound out of that organ. I had never worked a leslie speaker switch before. Success on the leslie alone is a technique all by itself. So I’ve got drums and cymbals walking by me as I’m trying to figure out the solo and trying to figure the optimal time to whack the leslie speaker control to kick the vibrato into overdrive as well as make the solo listenable. I think I did pretty good, given my first time ever playing a Hammond and the stresses of the moment. However, those last two bars have haunted me for a long time.

I can’t remember if I noted this in the past or not, but we tracked five songs, including live drums, live horns, vocals and overdubs in a single night. I still can’t believe we pulled these songs off like that without more errors and flaws given we were trying to learn a bunch of new gear, the studio and get usable takes down. We used the grand piano on a couple of songs as well. Really incredible, if you’ve ever been under the gun in a studio.

When we were asked for a song to include on the Skarmageddon, Vol. 1 compilation and we chose this song as it seemed the most ska of our 1993 playlist.


Download link: Bohemian (stereo MP3, 320kbps)