Recalling the sessions for Webb Wilder's albums Hybrid Vigor
and Doo Dad
, former Wilder guitarist Donny Roberts (above left, with the REO Speedwagon hair) forwarded some demos of songs that that never made it to the studio due to time and money limitations.
"These are some demos I did in Dallas with Chris Kelly, who worked for Ibanez Guitars, and drummer Mitch Marine, who of course plays for Dwight Yoakam now," Roberts says.
"Chris was always coming to Nashville to talk about building guitars for me, and we got to writing stuff and showing each other stuff that we were working on and we just naturally started to write stuff together.
"He'd never done anything as far as being in a band or anything, so we decided to try to cut some stuff. We did three or four tunes in Nashville but we agreed that they sounded kind of stiff."
Roberts goes on:
"Then Chris came up with this studio in Garland, and he knew the engineer and we got a good deal, so we cut these there. It was a funky old studio where Willie Nelson and Jimmy Day had worked together, Paul McCartney had cut some tracks in there, etc. It had this great, funky feel and it just turned out to be the right place at the right time.
"Chris being a guitar nut, we of course had to do an instrumental and Chris wanted this song 'Boneyard.' I definitely tip my hat to Bobby [R.S. Field, who produced Doo Dad and wrote several songs on the album] on this. It was my total intention to do this as a sort of homage to Bobby and his sound.
"The original title of this song is "Boneyard (Return to Horror Hayride)." [Horror Hayride was the title of a short movie that Wilder and Field made.] I wrote most of it around the same time as R.S. wrote 'Cactus Planet.' We were going to record it for Doo Dad but we ran out of time and R.S. had 'Sputnik,' which was the instrumental we ended up cutting on the album.
"'Don't Worry' is another song from that unfinished demo. We had a different drummer on this one and I don't think it swings enough. I think that's Chris singing. It was his first time to sing and record. I had written this right after Hybrid Vigor. R.S. and Webb liked it. So I gave it to Webb to do his own lyrics and maybe change the melody if he wanted. It didn't get done. No biggie.
"I am a huge fan of The Animals," says Roberts, who contributed guitar work on Steve Earle's Copperhead Road
, "and the 6-string bass riff in this is my take on them."
is the first song that we did with Mitch," he adds. "Kinda blew our minds. It's a shame we ran out of money, I think Chris lost his job, so we just ran out of money and it just kinda sat there. I'm glad somebody's finally going to hear this stuff."