Cooking Vinyl

Frank Black and the Catholics

Yesterday I was Eastbound on the Oregon Trail and today I’m Westbound on the Trail Of Tears. I like to head East, but I think I like to head West better. The West is the best, baby.

These records happened while planning a trip to go North and South, up and down the Royal Road of California, recording and performing as we go, always near the twenty-one Spanish missions,
always near the ghosts that wander along that road. Someday we’ll do it. The FB & The C’s mobile recording studio takes six hours to break down. It’s all on wheels.

I’m so very proud of her. Black Letter Days was done in downtown Los Angeles, near Japantown, in a space that was declared for Spain somehow, and a Spanish flag was flown especially for the session. “Mr. Thompson, the drums must stop,” said the building manager, but by that time we’d finished Black Letter Days and we quickly vacated to a North Hollywood rehearsal complex to begin Devil’s Workshop.

The stout was still Irish, the vodka was still Russian and the Spanish flag was flown once again. The rehearsal studio is right on the Burbank runway, so drum noise was not an issue. In fact, Tommy Lee‘s was much louder than we were, and I suppose his rehearsals are deeply embedded somewhere in our tapes. I don’t think it’s a hindrance to the record. I’ve got to find my next location. I like having my own studio. I could make albums all day. But for the moment Albuquerque is calling. I hear Leon Russell singing and the faint sound of machine gun fire. Love is a Battlefield.

Frank Black
Perry, Oklahoma

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