Eric Plays “with” The Effects

There isn’t a huge backstory to this other than to say that I am playing guitar on the attached recording with one of my favorite local bands from the 1980s, The Effects.  I am not playing the live show though—I was never anywhere near that good!  The Effects were a Phoenix-area band that played an infectious and very danceable (to me at least!) blend of reggae and ska with a definite rock edge.  I was a regular fan since I moved to Tempe in 1983, and I got to know the guys in the band after showing up at so many gigs.  They kind of disbanded in 1985 or so, but I had the pleasure to record a live show they did around 1986 or so for some private event. 

That turned out to be a great opportunity, ironically because of the lousy sound quality in the hotel ballroom they played.  I brought my old-school Teac Tascam 4-track cassette recorder and a couple of Shure 57s and tried to capture their live sound the best I could.  The only problem was that the guitar wasn’t miked properly (if at all) in the PA, and the room was very boomy with too much bass and reverb, so I really couldn’t hear Kirk Hawley’s guitar on my recording to any significant degree.

I’m a guitar player, so the fact that you couldn’t hear the guitar made the recording somewhat useless, and I let it sit on the shelf for a year or so without giving it much thought.  About a year later, I was recording some other stuff on my 4-track in my living room “studio” (hahahaha!) and the idea popped into my head that I should try learning one of my favorite songs off the old Effects tape and overdub a guitar part that you could hear.  I learned their encore song of the night, “Tears of a Clown” and it was off to the races.  I had two of the four tracks available, so I overdubbed my rhythm track on one and my lead on the other.  As I said, I’m nowhere near as good as Kirk (or Donnie Dean, the Effects’ other guitar player), but I gave it the old college try in terms of doing my best to capture the groove and spirit of their vibe.  As always, you be the judge…

“Tears of a Clown”

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