Jesus Acedo Interview Part II
Jesus Acedo Interview Part II June 8, 2004 The interview below features questions by Brian Maloney, follow up questions by Eric Johnson and answers by Jesus Acedo. It was recorded onto a four track cassette machine on the back porch of Jesus's house, after sunset and after a rehearsal. It had been a warm, bright day and everything seemed to relax in the cool evening twilight. 1. So when did you write Dove of the Desert & how did you choose the title? I wrote Dove of the Desert back in 1983. I always had it in my repertoire, and I got it together with John & Michael in 1984 on record. It was influenced by the Yardbirds track Glimpses off the album Little Games. What I am playing on the guitar in Dove of the Desert is actually the vocal line that Keith Ralph is singing while Jimmy Page is playing on the sitar. It is a beautiful song and the title was inspired by the San Xavier del Bac mission here in Tucson Arizona on the Tohono O'odham reservation. It is often called the white dove of the desert, and I called the song dove of the desert, because I feel I am a dove, of the desert. 2. There is one song on Lambent Flame, Lilith, where the lyric comes from the Crowley Book of the dead. Do you want to talk about how that song came about? Lilith is one of the songs that I had written with Michael during the Lambent Flame rehearsals. It was basically just a two chord song, but they were beautiful chords! I structured it and recorded the music the night of the lambent flame session. Then, the story I heard from Odin was that Eric Westfall told him to put some magic on the song. I dosed out Odin on a few hits of XTC and then I fell asleep on the couch in the recording studio. Then Odin woke me up about 3:30 in the morning and said, “Come, listen to what I recorded, it’s fucking beautiful, you’ll never believe it!” And he dragged me to the console and the rewound the tape. I was just waking up and the whole song came on with lyrics that were so beautiful. I guess he sang from the book of the dead, several quotes and phrases he was familiar with, and the lyrics just clicked in perfectly. Odin also put in some e-bow guitar tracks in the background and it came out as if it was magically written. He actually arranged all the lyrics in the studio, all the other songs were rehearsed and written before hand. He did a beautiful job. 3. What was Eric Westfall’s roll in the project? Was he the producer of that project? Eric Westfall was a hired engineer, the actual producer was Ivan Penfall from San Francisco. Eric had done the majority of the Giant Sand records and Howe Gelb’s records, Valley of Rain, some other albums and Blacky Ranchette albums. We hired Eric because I was a big Giant Sand fan and we wanted to be up there with the quality of the recording. 4. There’s a pretty good story on the street about a song called three picks in the bottle. Would you like to tell your version of that story? Three picks in a bottle was the song that Eric Westfall asked us to record in LA because Ivan Penfold told him we needed another song to finish the record. Eric asked Odin & I if we had another song, and Odin gave me a quick wave to shush and said, “yeah yeah- we have another one.” So what we did is dosed out and drank Japanese saki, hot saki, and got on our guitars and tabla drums and just started recording, just what we did on the spot. It lasted twenty minutes! The version you hear on Lambent Flame is only half of the original recording. The name three picks in a bottle came from the night before when we were on a LA beach, I believe it was Manhattan Beach. We were drinking wine from a bottle, and when we were done I asked Merlin, Odin and myself to each put a guitar pick in the bottle and then I put the cork back in. Then I threw it in the ocean and it floated away. So when it came time to name the song, Odin suggested we call it three picks in a bottle, because that bottle is somewhere out there. Somewhere out there with our guitar picks! 5. While were talking about the old stuff, I’ve heard you say that the Goldfish record was recorded in a bunch of different places with different people and instruments. The first Reckless Record was a combination of three separate cassette projects and two songs from the first Pyknotic Record. I recorded three separate tape projects between 1985-1988, and Bridgette Keating came in during this period. We took the best of the three projects and the two songs from the Pyknotic record. 6. You had several cassette projects you sent over seas, like raga del sol. Where these the same projects or were these just done for this album? They were the same thing. XYZ, Raga del sol and sapphire sky symphony were the three cassette projects. 7. How long were the cassette projects? The Raga del Sol cassette was sixty minutes. The XYZ was a sixty minute project as well. Sapphire Sky suite was closer to forty five minutes. There was material from all three that did not make the fish album, but the masters were destroyed in an unfortunate fire. 8. On the original vinyl pressing of the Pyknotic record there were several backwards edits that did not make the reissue. I know there was some contention in the band about this, but would you like to describe who conceived them and how they were done. The original album has a handful of backwards effects, some were the tape was turned all the way was backwards and a large section of the song is backwards and others with just a couple seconds or snippets spliced yhe backwards tape effect into the song. It was influenced by Hendrix and by Paige, and I don’t remember too much else. 9. Did you do the splicing or was it somebody else? It was done by the engineer, but I told him what to do.