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[Sorry, header accidently deleted. --WIE]
Some Annotations on the Cathy Demos
From: Jorn Barger
I'd vowed not to request any more annotations until I've made a reasonable effort to track down Lizzy Wan and the Old Goose Moon, but having acquired the Cathy demos frees me to move chronologically backwards and request annotations for these...
Where does "Rinfi the gypsy" come from? (in "Playing Canasta", IED's lyrics) In the line "Playing canasta, upstairs, downstairs, and in my lover's... ooooh!" where is "in my lover's oooh"?
"Ferry Me Over" starts "High, can't see you" then an obscure line. Any guesses? Any interpretations of the images?
IED has in "On the Rocks/ Lionhearts/ Where are the Lionhearts?":
"Climbing up the atoms, to slide down the adders" Could this be:
"Climbing up the ladders, to slide down the adders" (-> snakes and ladders)?
In the Joan of Arc verse, what is the line "I see she -------"? Does "at mournings" mean something special? Anybody got a consistent whole-song interpretation?
IED why did you switch from hearing "Craft of Life" to "Craft of Love"? I know the latter makes better sense but it's not what I hear. (Where you have "smutty hands" I hear "sweaty hands") I'm in awe of the line "The sheets are soaked by your tiny fish."
IED, I hear the last line of "Gay Farewell/ Queen Eddie" as "Queenie, come home soon!" (BTW, what "others" in KT's entourage have died of AIDS? Per Homeground 38)
In "Something like a Song/ In My Garden" I hear "resting so in the water" in the second verse. "He keeps coming forward, but never moving" sounds like a reflection in the water?
IED, in "Frightened Eyes" I hear "house" for "home" in line 2, "burning up" (not "out") just before the last chorus.
In "Nevertheless You'll Do" I find the line "Don't know a thing about tapping in on wires" extraordinary. I wonder could this be written to her father?
Does anyone think "You're Soft/ So Soft" can reasonably be heard as a woman singing to a man?
Finally here is a complete lyric, modified from the IED version, with some experiments in syllablizing words the way they sound for ease of following as you listen. (I'm reminded of a certain hot debate about "Man with the Child in his Eyes", but will leave it all up to the reader's imagination.)
Pick the Rare Flower
There's beauty, in such a sacred structure, (Earth<?>)
That thing that is nurtured and loved.
It's quite an occasion.
It's driving me-e-e crazy-ee.
I'm not allowed a touch of lust.
I've gotta get a hold of myself.
I mustn't admit it. (Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo...)
I don't see why I shouldn't,
I don't see why I shouldn't,
I don't see why I shouldn-n-n't
Pick the rare flower.
I don't see why I shouldn't,
I don't see why I shouldn't,
I don't see why I shouldn't
Pick the rare flower.
Walking in a Paradise or Ede-en,
Give me one second to succumb.
It's calling me.
With a <madessy> whisper.
Magical words telling me.
I've gotta get a hold of myself,
You, see, but it ain't easy.
I don't see why I shouldn't,
I don't see why I shouldn't,
I don't see why I shouldn't
Pick the rare flower.
I don't see why I shouldn't,
I don't see why I shouldn't,
I don't see why I shouldn't
Pick the rare flower.
Date: Fri, 4 May 90 00:30:15 -0400
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris'n'Vickie of Kansas City)
Subject: Demo lyrics
> Where does "Rinfi the gypsy" come from? (in "Playing Canasta", IED's lyrics) In the line "Playing canasta, upstairs, downstairs, and in my lover's...ooooh!" where is "in my lover's oooh"?
I could be wrong, but I've always heard that line as "...lover's * room *"
> Does anyone think "You're Soft/ So Soft" can reasonably be heard as a woman singing to a man?
Oh yeah, absolutely. It's a wonderfully sweet song about a sensitive man. I love the lyrics to that song.
Vickie (one of Vickie'n'Chris)
Date: Tue, 08 May 90 16:26 PDT
Subject: Demo lyrics
> I could be wrong, but I've always heard that line as "...lover's * room *"
IED agrees with you, Vickie. He doesn't actually hear the "r" or the "m", but "room" seems the only logical word here.
-- ANdrew marvIck, who no lonGer has to play canasta in cold rooms
Date: Fri, 11 May 90 13:57 PDT
Subject: Demos questions
Jorn: You've asked a bunch of difficult (though very tantalizing) questions about the demo songs. IED cannot, however, give satisfactory answers to them, because the songs remain very nearly impenetrable to him. The imagery in Ferry Me Over may have something to do with the works of Salvador Dali--IED doesn't hear anything he can point a finger to, but at least that way it's surreal --not merely baffling? Also, Dutch Kate-fans Theo Haast and Rob Assenberg claim that the title of the song is not Ferry Me Over but Dali. (In other words, they either hear the last word in the line "Ferry me over the music, darling" as "Dali", or they simply are reporting what was given as the title on the label of the cassette of the demos which they obtained in Florida last year. IED doesn't know which.)
But, IED did just recently notice that there is an old Irish ballad with the title Ferry Me Over. IED couldn't afford to buy the recording he saw of it, but he would be very surprised if this ballad didn't have a lot to do with Kate's own song. Can anyone do some research on this title for the group?
IED would love to be able to conclude categorically that the line "In my lover's --oooh--" ends with the word "room", but unfortunately his ears just don't hear the consonants of that word at all--not any of the times it is sung. Likewise IED can't really be sure that Kate isn't singing "the craft of love" instead of "the craft of life" at least once in the song of that title (though admittedly it sounds more often like "life" than "love" to IED, hence his original title The Craft of Life ).
IED can make nothing of the Joan of Arc section.
IED thinks the name at the beginning of Canasta is "Wrinfrey" or "Rinfrey", not "Rinfi" as he formerly supposed. Is there not an old English name which is spelled something like that? It would make better sense as a companion name for the reference to "Geoffrey the gardener" later on in the same song.
IED would likewise love to be able to settle the "snakes and ladders" controversy by agreeing with you, Jorn, that this is what Kate is referring to. Unfortunately his ears just cannot hear the consonant "L" in the word which should be "ladders" ("Climbing up the --adders to slide down the adders"). IED agrees that it almost certainly is meant to be "ladders", but if so then (gulp!) Kate mispronounced the word, causing it to come out without the "L" sound. That of course is quite possible, esp. since these were very quickly recorded, virtually "live" takes, without overdubs of any kind.
IED doesn't have a clue to the meaning of the "at mournings" line. Sorry. It's just one of dozens of similarly opaque lines in the demos.
IED agrees with you that the word is probably not "smutty". But IED hears an "ing" sound in there, too. His tentative conclusion is that the words are "sweating hands". Ideas?
IED thinks you're right about the line "resting so in the water" in Something Like a Song. IED also agrees with you about the image of "coming forward but never moving". It seems pretty clear that the song is about (or at least partly about) another bird in a reedy river.
IED also hears "house" for "home" and "burning up" for "burning out" in Frightened Eyes. Both were IED's early errors of transcription which he should have fixed earlier.
In Nevertheless You'll Do, you write that you find the line "Don't know a thing about tapping in on wires" extraordinary, and ask whether it could be written to her father. IED asks why you think that? Not that he doesn't think it's possible. Only that he hasn't noticed any particular connection with Kate's father. IED's thought was that the song is one of Kate's early "story" songs: as though sung by a dangerous young woman who lives life on the edge--apparently a spy, or a detective, or perhaps a criminal. She is singing a wry tribute to her boyfriend/husband, who leads a much more staid life and who may in fact be completely unaware of his mate's nefarious or otherwise reckless activities. Does this seem way off the mark?
-- Andrew Marvick
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 90 13:06 PDT
Subject: Organic Acid
Well IED will tell you, Vickie (and everyone else):
IED has a NEW KATE BUSH SONG!
IED has obtained at long last the fourth and fifth EPs in the long-delayed final part of the Cathy EP series of bootleg EPs. The fourth EP contains five of the seven demos which had yet to appear in EP form, and the remaining two appear on side A of the fifth EP. (Both are in the same very nice-looking format as the first three EPs: color vinyl (orange and dark blue respec.), black labels with white italicized script, white cardpaper sleeves over paper inner sleeves, stills from JCB's Cathy book, and by far the best sound quality available for the demo tapes themselves.
The b side of the fifth and final (?) EP, however, contains a hitherto unknown demo recording (clearly from the same original sessions as the other twenty-two tracks which have been known to fans for a year or more now), which the bootleggers have (not unreasonably) given the title Organic Acid.
This recording is EXTREMELY BIZARRE. It consists of a duet, of sorts, featuring Kate on sung vocals and piano, singing an unfamiliar new (old) song, and her brother John Carder Bush reciting (in between Kate's verses/choruses, and to the accompaniment of her piano bridges) a lengthy and artily pornographic poem in his own characteristic style (characteristic to those who are at all familiar with JCB's poetry). The song, at least on early listenings, doesn't seem to have too much (or anything) to do with JCB's poem, but perhaps IED is wrong about this. The whole track is 5:45, the longest of all the demos by far, but this is because of the length of JCB's poem, not the song itself, which is actually as brief as any of Kate's early songs.
IED will work up a tentative transcription of the lyrics/poem asap, and post it in Love-Hounds for the edification of all.
-- Andrew Marvick
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 90 12:43 PDT
Subject: Lyrics of Organic Acid
The following lyrics--actually a combination of lyrics and "pure" poetry--are taken from an early recording by Kate Bush. The true title of the song is unknown to fans, but IED has accepted the title Organic Acid as a reasonable title for purposes of identification. Organic Acid is the title given to the song by the bootleggers who have released it as the b-side of The Cathy Demos, Volume Five.
The song is a slow and sensitive ballad sung by a very young Kate Bush to her own piano accompaniment. The recorded sound is identical to that heard on the other twenty-two demo-tracks which have come to be known as "The Cathy Demos", and IED believes it must belong to the same collection.
This song is radically different from the others in that collection, however, in that it includes a rather long poem by Kate's brother John Carder Bush, who recites a stanza or two between each verse and chorus of Kate's song. (Kate's piano continues between verses as a support to John's recitation.)
IED cannot see any really clear connection between Kate's song and John's poem: the former seems to be a kind of lullabye to a troubled lover, and is filled with imagery of the sea. (One possibility, therefore, is that this is the song known as Atlantis, which IED has not heard but which is listed among the songs on the near-mythical album, The Early Years .) John's poem, however, is a far more detailed and explicit descriptive poem which details the progress and violent end of a vaguely perverted love affair. It is possible that the speaker in Kate's song is addressing a character in John's poem, or possibly the narrator of John's poem, himself; but neither of these interpretations seems likely to IED. (On the other hand, the reference to the beach at the climax of John's poem does provide for the possibility that the two are interconnected.)
It seems more probable that Kate simply invited John to recite one of his poems during the performance of her song. She must have felt that the two works complemented each other in some intangible way; and IED, for one, agrees with her.
Although this collaboration could have been recorded as late as 1977, IED thinks a more likely date for it is 1975, possibly even 1972 or 1973.
The discovery that the "Cathy Demos" number more than twenty-two songs re-opens the possibility that these EPs stem from the same collection of "thirty songs" which, according to Peter FitzGerald-Morris, were sent round to various record companies by the Bush family's friend Ricky Hopper in late 1972 and early 1973.
[see lyrics section]
Date: Fri, 08 Jun 90 08:56:56 EDT
Subject: The explanation of Acid...
Hello there fellow Love-Hounds--
A quick note of thanks to IED for supplying the words and poetry to Organic Acid. VERY bizarre, I must say, and a tad too depressing for so early in the morning, but nevertheless, pretty interesting and ingenious stuff. You couldn't have gotten ME to write anything like that when I was a tyke! :)
All the best,
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 90 10:49 PDT
Subject: "Organic Acid": the official lyrics
IED has managed to find a copy of John Carder Bush's original poem, Before the Fall. This poem formed the basis for John's spoken text on the early Kate Bush recording which bootleggers and we have mistakenly taken to calling Organic Acid. That is, of course, not the actual title. And although we still don't know what Kate's original song was called (after all, it was almost certainly not written for JCB's poem, but was simply combined with it later during performances), Before the Fall now seems a more legitimate (though admittedly less fun) title than Organic Acid.
Here is the poem exactly as it was originally written (it includes many lines that were omitted from the recorded version, and lacks a word here and there as well):
Before the Fall
[see lyrics section]
From: mailrus!gatech!mit-eddie!eddie.mit.edu!henrik@uunet.UU.NET (Larry
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 90 23:59:58 GMT
Gods, he is the *worst* poet of all time. Are you sure he wasn't a teenage Vogon, adopted sometime after their initial arrival in London, perhaps jettisoned for spouting poetry too offensive even for *them*, and found "in the bushes"?
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 90 14:18:58 EDT
From: Andrew B Marvick <email@example.com>
Subject: Demos, the Gilmour sessions
Apparently in the interview with Gilmour in Q recently, G. mentions that when he originally encountered Kate's songs, they were in the form of a very poor-quality home demo recording. (These must have been the "two hundred" or so--at least there must have been a lot by that time: early 1973.) He says that the tape recorder was not good. So he paid to have Kate go into a studio and re-record some fifty songs over again (again, apparently, solo with her own piano accompaniment-- not, it seems, with Gilmour and his musician friends at Gilmour's house). These must have been done during the spring of 1973, as far as IED can tell.
(Then, in the summer of 1973, Gilmour invited Kate to his house where they recorded group sessions with Gilmour's friends, performing somewhere between ten and twenty of Kate's songs, including the version we all know of Passing Through Air as well as the version we know part of of Maybe. Finally, after the initial solo demos failed to produce a contract for Kate, Gilmour paid to have three of her songs re-recorded in a proper studio with a full contingent of musicians. These tracks were the versions of Saxophone Song and The Man With the Child in His Eyes which are found on the album, The Kick Inside ; as well as a second band version of Maybe --not the version we know the excerpt from.)
With this news of a second early solo-piano session, paid for by Gilmour and conducted under studio conditions, we have at last a plausible explanation of the Cathy Demos. Surely these are the spring 1973 recordings which Gilmour subsidized, before going on to produce the Passing Through Air sessions later in '73, and the Saxophone Song sessions in '75. The sound quality of the Cathy Demos is very high, and (at least as heard on the EPs and, IED gathers, on the new If You Could See Me Fly CD) there is virtually no tape hiss. (Note: If you know these demos only from a cassette dub, as for example the "obsKuriTies" collection or the "Fiddle" cassette, then you will not have been able to tell how quiet the original recordings actually are.)
The most exciting thing about this new information from Gilmour is that it suggests the very real likelihood that there are twenty-seven more demos from the Cathy collection which may yet be released by bootleggers! Even as IED's heart goes out to Kate for the frustration she must feel over this news, he thrills at the prospect of hearing still another revelatory cache of early masterpieces. We will just have to wait and see...
-- Andrew Marvick, Love-Hound, KBC member and Wickham Street Irregular
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 13:38:41 EDT
From: Andrew B Marvick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Babooshka demos
Neil Calton, our much appreciated Senior British KorrespondenT, asks about the Babooshka demos which show up on the If You Could See Me Fly CD bootleg. No-one that IED has heard from knows anything for certain about these tracks, Neil; but IED did hear (he forgets where, now) once that about six or seven years ago Kate made a guest appearance on a unique BBC radio programme in which some recording artist each week came on to explain the genesis of one or more of their better known recordings. I was told that Kate had been on and played excerpts from demos of Babooshka and Sat In Your Lap (not necessarily on the same day). This would jibe well with the incompleteness of the excerpts as they have come down to us on bootlegs--if Kate only played part of each demo, the boot versions would have to fade out early, as they do.
IED has more doubts about the existence of a similar show featuring Sat In Your Lap. It seems more likely that someone simply mixed up the story of that song's early incarnation as a demo; or that someone had in mind that bit of soundtrack from the Looking Good, Feeling Fit television programme, which included the rhythm-track from SIYL, without instrumentation, as accompaniment for Kate's dance rehearsal.
-- Andrew "WE'RE GOING TO THE KATE BUSH kONVENtION!" Marvick
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1991 17:28:16 -0800
Subject: Scares Me Silly
"Scares Me Silly" (or whatever IED and other scholars are calling this song), recorded in '75 with the K.T. Bush Band (or so says the sometimes mistaken liner notes of "PTA") contains the lines (I can't quite make out all the lyrics),
"...close our eyes to the cello solo
and (pray) the music will never let me blow away."
I can't help but connect this to "Blow Away", which was written much later. I guess I'm just wondering if there *is* some connection between these two songs of rather divergent theme (though I guess they're related in a weird sort of way; one is about music and death, the other is about being in the studio, recording music). Anyway, just a weird ponderance I had today, walking home from the doctor's office listening to the tape.
Jeffrey C. Burka
From: Scott Telford <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 4 May 1992 07:44:40 -0700
Subject: The Early Years - the mystery deepens....
In the May Record Collector, there's a review of Robert Godwin's "Illustrated Collectors Guide". The reviewer (the editor, David somebody) starts off by recalling that he once held a copy of The Early Years in his own hands and remembering that all the tracks were listed as being written by *someone* *else* - a woman as he recalls. This is news to me. IED's discography doesn't mention this possibility. It seems very unlikely that KaTe was singing other peoples songs at that age - maybe she was using a pseudonym? --Scott Telford
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1992 18:47:24 -0700
Subject: Piano demos CD discography
For any of you that don't have HOT WACKS, here is a list of the CDs that feature the pre-contract piano demos:
Alone At My Piano (UNIKEL 200...Very Good Mono):
The Kick Inside/Hammer Horror/It Hurts Me/Keeping Me Waiting/Kashka From Baghdad/Coming Up/Oh To Be In Love/Playing Canasta/ Snow/Ferry Me Over/Lionhearts/Violin/The Craft Of Love/Queen Eddie/ In My Garden/Frightened Eyes/Disbelieving Angel/Never The Less/ Goodnight Baby/So Soft/I Don't See Why I Shouldn't/Hold Me
If You Could See Me Fly (CHAPTER ONE 25119..V.G. Mono..surface noise):
Babooshka (30 seconds)/Kashka From Baghdad/Oh To Be In Love (2 vers)/ Playing Canasta/Snow/Ferry Me Over/Lionhearts/Violin/The Craft Of Love/Queen Eddie/In My Garden/Frightened Eyes/Never The Less/Goodnight Baby/So Soft/I Don't See Why I Shouldn't/Babooshka (version 2)
Passing Through Air (CHAPTER ONE 25129..VG Mono..surface noise):
The Kick Inside/Hammer Horror/A Rose Growing Old/Keeping Me Waiting Davy Davy/Disbelieving Angel/Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake/ Kite/L'Amour Looks Something Like You/Strange Phenomena/Really Gets Me Going/Moving/Another Day (from TV Special)
Practice Makes Perfect..Piano Demos Vol 1 (Vg Mono..crackles)
Kashka From Baghdad/Coming Up/Oh To Be In Love/Playing Canasta Snow/Ferry Me Over/Lionhearts/Violin/The Craft Of Love/Queen Eddie/In My Garden/Frightened Eyes/Never The Less/So Soft/I Don't See Why I Shouldn't/The Kick Inside/Hammer Horror/It Hurts Me Keeping Me Waiting/Hold Me/Disbelieving Angel/Don't Push Your Foot On The Heartbrake/Kite/L'Amour Looks Something Like You/ Strange Phenomena/Really Gets Me Going...
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ronald hill)
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 92 02:04:58 PDT
Subject: *** The Cathy Demos Article *****
I hate to send this when we seem to be in digest only mode, but here goes. After I get back from my trip, I'll toss together an article on all the different cathy demos bootlegs
THE EARLY DEMOS
By Andrew Marvick (IED) and Ron Hill.
This article was compliled by Ron Hill who takes responsiblity for any errors that may have occured.
Very little concrete information about Kate's early demo recordings has ever been made available to fans. The number of songs recorded, their titles, even their rough dates, remain obscure. Kate has only released one demo recording officially, the song "Passing Through Air"; and has played only a part of one other demo (a song known as "Maybe") on the radio. More will be said of these recordings below.
Kate first began writing simple songs from about 1969, when she was eleven years old. By 1971 she had written early versions of such songs as "The Man With the Child in His Eyes" and "The Saxaphone Song".
1) 1972 Home Demos.
KATE: [Kate's brother friend, Nicky Hopper] had a friend who'd been in the record business for a couple of years. He came around to listen to me. I put twenty to thirty of my songs on a tape and he'd take it to record companies. Of course there was no response; you wouldn't be able to hear a thing, just this little girl with a piano going "yaaaa yaaaa" for hours on end... (The songs) weren't that good. They were OK, but...
I wondered how the artiste of the early days differed from the current one. I could sing in key but there was nothing there. It was awful noise, it was really something terrible. My tunes were more morbid and more negative. That was a lot of people's comment: they were too heavy. But then a lot of people are saying that about my current songs. The old ones were quite different musically, vocally, and lyrically. You're younger and you get into murders... (1978, Trouser Press)
DAVE GILMOUR: Her home demos were of her sitting at a horrible piano, recorded with a very ancient tape-recorder, and her squeaking away. I listened to them and I could hear the talent but wouldn't have dreamt of taking them to a record company. (1990, Q)
In the 1985 MTV interview Kate says she had "say like fifty songs that were all piano vocals", so it is unclear just how many songs were recorded.
According to the book Kate Bush Complete, Kate's songs were rejected as "morbid", "boring" and "uncommercial".
2) Dave Gilmour session at Kate's house. 1973?
In the 1983 CHEZ interview, Dave said "I did some recording at her house, her parent's house, and then I had her up to my studio and recorded some things." The first half of this sentence is the only known reference to this session, though it can probably be assumed this session happened fairly soon before the next session.
3) First Dave Gilmour studio session. 1973.
DAVE GILMOUR: I knew the only way to do it was to tart them up, if you like. We recorded her properly, with a proper producer and the best engineer, Geoff Emerick, arranger, and chose three or four songs out of about 50, and made a proper record [the 1975 sessions] and presented it to EMI. (1990, Q)
Could you, give us some more details about that very first session with Dave Gilmour in 1973, and do you know the actual date [??? inaudible]...
Someone here would probably know that better than me...
I'm terrible with dates....1973, my God, isn't that a long time ago? No wonder people think I'm like, nearly fifty.
Well that was, uh, that was really the turning point, I suppose. That was the first time I was putting tracks down professionally. Dave Gilmour at that time was trying to help a band called Unicorn, who were putting out their first album, and he was good enough to produce it. And we went to Dave's for a day, basically. And the bass player and drummer from Unicorn sat down and we just kind of put a few songs together. I remember it was the first time I'd ever done an overdub with the keyboard - I put this little electric piano thing down, and I remember thinking, "Ooh! [laughing] I like this!"
[laughter from audience.]
And, well, I mean really it was because of those tracks that I then went on [19 to do the tracks which were then used - two of which were used to go on the first album. As far as I remember the tracks we did with this session in '73... There was a track called "Passing Through Air", which I think went on a b-side -"
No, I hadn't written "Army Dreamers"...
B-side of "Army Dreamers"!
B-side... Oh - oh, was it?
The other track was, um... It had a couple of titles...
Yes, it was, "Maybe". There was an - "Humming", it was called, as well. I see you've heard of all... But, I just can't believe how long ago it was. My god! (1990 Kate Bush Con)
Kate played this version of "Maybe" on a radio program called Personal Call It is presumably the same version included in the "Early Years" LP (see below) and should not be confused with the "Cathy Demos" song called While Davey Dozed (see below).
Ed: Well actually Kate has very kindly brought us in a tape of a piece of music you recorded... how old were you with this one Kate?
K: Oh, I was about fifteen.
Ed: Do you mind if we play it for everybody?
K: [Laughs] I'll shut my ears, OK?
Ed: Will you, OK. Would you like to introduce it?
K: Yeah, here it is! [Both laugh]
[A portion "Maybe" is played]
Ed: Kate had a very wistful look on her face. Why was that?
K: I was waiting for the flat note in the middle. [Laughs]
Ed: Ah, you mean we faded it just in time!
K: No, you caught it actually, I'm sure...
Ed: I never noticed it.
Ed: But how soon after that was it that EMI found you and signed you up?
K: Um, it was about a year, year and a half after that.
Ed: Was it on the strength of that tape?
K: No, it wasn't. It was on the strength of the tape that came after that. [The 1975 Demos] But that song was actually on the tape that got me there.
Ten recordings from these early Gilmour sessions briefly appeared in the form of an album (possibly East or West German) known as "Kate Bush: The Early Years". Few people have actually seen this album, but Peter FitzGerald-Morris, while insisting that he does not own a copy, nevertheless did print the track-listing in his fanzine Homeground. It is important to remember that none of the titles in that track-listing has been authenticated by Kate herself. They are probably only make-shift titles suggested by words the producers of the album thought they heard in Kate's demo-vocals. In fact one title in the list is almost certainly incorrect. With that qualification duly made, I list the titles from the "Early Years" collection:
1. Something Like a Song.
2. Need Your Loving. <Clearly this is simply Passing Through Air.>
3. Davey. <See above>
4. You Were the Star.
5. Gay Farewell.
6. Cussi Cussi.
7. Atlantis. (Possibly this is Organic Acid )
9. Disbelieving Angel.
10. Go Now While You Can.
These first Gilmour-produced demo recordings also failed to interest the labels.
4) 1975 Dave Gilmour Studio Session.
In 1975, therefore, Gilmour arranged for and financed (again to his credit) another recording session, this time under fully professional conditions. Only three songs were recorded: "The Man With the Child in His Eyes", "The Saxophone Song" and a new version of the song known as "Maybe" (this version has never been heard by fans). The first and second of these three recordings were later incorporated, almost without changes, into Kate's debut album for EMI, "The Kick Inside".
This new set of three demos, together with Gilmour's personal backing, finally succeeded in obtaining a contract for Kate with EMI. In 1976 Kate bought a modest piano for 200 Pounds and, according to the book Kate Bush Complete, began only then to "screech into existence her unmistakable voice."
5) 1977 Demo Sessions.
Kate Bush Complete states that "during the first year of the [EMI] contract Kate makes two further demo tapes." Whether these were piano demos, more fully produced demos, or both, is unknown.
6) The Kick Inside Recording Sessions. August 1977.
The actual recording sessions for the album.
THE CATHY DEMOS
These twenty-three tracks have only started to surface within the fan community since the spring of 1989. A description of the various bootlegs will follow in a seperate article.
All twenty-three songs are recorded very, very simply, and all feature Kate singing while simultaneously accompanying herself at the piano. Between all but one song on the Fiddle tape there are a few seconds of dead air, and in that space one can hear not only some loud clicks (much like the sounds of switching on and off an old-fashioned tape-recorder), but even the sound of a page (of music, apparently) being turned. The echo-delay applied to two of the twenty-three songs is audible as part of the original recordings, not something added at later stage. It adds a certain sheen to Kate's vocals but also makes the words even less clear.
As for the eighteen "new" songs, IED cannot detect any inherent qualities in them which would explain why they were rejected for inclusion in Kate's early albums in favour of the ones that were selected: each one of these songs is filled with fresh and powerful musical ideas, each one has a wealth of remarkable lyrical ingredients, and each one is a completely polished composition, performed with sometimes astonishing strength and assurance. The well-known songs fit in well with but do not stand out from the others.
DATING THE DEMOS
If claims made in the book Kate Bush Complete about Kate's development of her high range only after the beginning of 1976 are accurate, then we must conclude that this collection of twenty-three songs dates from the period 1976-1977. Certainly the sophistication of Kate's compositional style, lyrics and keyboard work support such a dating. Also, Kate's high soprano technique is fully under her command, there is no hint of uncertainty with intonation, and a few of the little vocal embellishments of the melodies seem similar to some of those heard on the first two albums. Based on the only other pre-album recordings known to us already--the tracks Passing Through Air and Maybe, both of which stem from the first David Gilmour session--IED believes that the demos probably date from a somewhat later period, because in both PTA and Maybe Kate's voice is a little timid and uncertain, and does not venture into her now-long-since-abandoned-but-historic falsetto range (which is at its primein these demos). Also, although IED is the first to admit loving Passing Through Air, and especially Maybe, he thinks it would be silly to try to argue that either of those songs--particularly PTA --is as complex or as stylistically singular as any of the 23 solo-demos.
On the other hand, if the collection dates from 1976 or 1977, then we must accept the notion that Kate was re-recording songs (such as "Something Like a Song", "Disbelieving Angel" and "Davey") which she had already composed four or even five years earlier, and which she had recorded with Gilmour during her first sessions with a band in the summer of 1973. This is possible, of course, but it also suggests the possibility that the collection of twenty-three songs dates from considerably earlier than 1976. Whatever the correct date of the recordings, they are an absolutely invaluable document of Kate's early talent and astoundingly precocious mastery of the crafts of songwriting and performance.
There is much confusion over the titles to the songs, as we don't know what Kate's original title's were and each of the bootlegged releases has given them different titles. Also, various fanzines have given them titles. With the exception of the five titles which have since been authenticated through their inclusion in Kate's albums, the titles on the following list of twenty-three songs are completely hypothetical, and in some cases may not even accurately reflect the songs' lyrical content. They are merely temporary and tentative titles which are used solely to facilitate identification of individual songs. In some cases I have not even been sure of the words I have chosen to represent the songs, because the sound quality of the recordings is not clear enough to enable me to decipher the lyrics properly. These disclaimers made, then, here are the twenty-three songs which make up, for want of a better group title, the "Cathy Demos" collection:
1. The Kick Inside. TKI veers from its album counterpart's lyrics several times, even referring explicitly to the song's characters' identification with Lizzy Wan--making it very clear that the actual story of TKI, though similar, involves quite different characters than Lizzy Wan 's. The piano arrangement--which Kate obviously plays in real time with her vocal--also differs in several places, and stands as further evidence of the subtle and unassuming, quietly sophisticated nature of her songwriting technique even at this very early stage. Naturally the performances are all highly professional.
2. Hammer Horror. Hammer Horror contrasts with its later album incarnation even more strikingly than The Kick Inside. This is partly because we know the song as a rocker of sorts, and in its solo-piano demo arrangement the expected visceral power of the song is, of necessity, suggested rather than hammered home (ha). On the other hand there are several marvellous structural touches, especially in the piano writing, that are absolutely brilliant, and the overall feeling of intimate confession in this demo version is, for this listener, a revelation: it completely transforms the long-familiar song into a fresh and touching new piece. The bridge section from the album version had evidently not yet been composed at the time of the demo's recording, for it is missing and the song is consequently much shorter. Also, many of the words are different than on the album version.
3. Feeling Like a Waltz. <Incorrectly identified as "A Rose Growing Old" on the "Cathy Demos" Volume One EP: the word "waltz" was mistaken for "rose".>
4. Keeping Me Waiting.
5. Kashka From Baghdad.
6. Carmilla <possibly Camilla>. This is probably called Carmilla, in reference to Sheridan LeFanu's vampire novella. The lyrics strongly suggest imagery from the book. However, "Camilla" (the name on the bootlegs) is the title of a well-known novel by Fanny Burney, and "Camille" is the title of the classic by Alexandre Dumas (the younger), and Kate might conceivably have been using an Anglicized form of that name in her song.
The song is listed as Coming Up on the Cathy's Album LP This title is definitely wrong. The idiotic and sloppy bootleggers simply mis-heard "Carmilla" as "Coming Up".
7. Oh To Be In Love. A hauntingly slow and moody early incarnation of the TKI album track.
8. Playing Canasta in Cold Rooms is another early song--and arguably one of the most perfect jewels in the history of twentieth-century music.
9. Set in the Snow. The song is referred to on the Cathy's Album LP as " Snow ". (Though IED is not entirely sure that those are the words Kate is singing.) Further confusion could arise from the fact that the EP (Volume Two) lists this song as " Snow Bowl " (a definitely wrong title which resulted from the EP's bootlegger hearing "Snowball" as the quite meaningless "Snow Bowl"!).
10. Ferry Me Over (the Music), or Dali. Another great early song. The full phrase is "Ferry me over the music, Dali." Anyway, a few fans do hear "Dali"--most notably Theo Haast and Rob Assenberg, the editors of the Dutch fanzine Kate. (They offer still a third set of alternate titles for the twenty-two demos.) IED used to hear "Dali" as "darling", but Theo's and Rob's suggestion makes better sense. The song's lyrics are at least marginally less mysterious if the song is read as a tribute to Dali. And we know that Kate's favorite painter (at least in earlier days) was Salvador Dali.
Also, there is an old Irish ballad with the title Ferry Me Over. IED couldn't afford to buy the recording he saw of it, but he would be very surprised if this ballad didn't have a lot to do with Kate's own song. Can anyone do some research on this title for the group?
11. Where Are the Lionhearts?, or On The Rocks. <N.B.: Not an early version of "Oh England My Lionheart", but a completely different song.>
12. Violin. Another early version of an LP track. The lyrics are slightly different than on Never For Ever, and the song has a very different tone than in the big-rock-orchestration on the official LP track.
13. The Craft of Love, or possibly The Craft of Life. Craft of Love is probably the correct title, not IED's earlier " Craft of Life ", though IED thinks Kate may be alternating between those two phrases in the choruses.
14. Gay Farewell, or possibly Eddie the Queen. Queen Eddie is another adequate, though almost certainly wrong, title. The real title (assuming the Early Years version is correctly identified, which is likely) is Gay Farewell. Both this song and Something Like a Song, therefore, were written by 1973 or earlier, but the solo-piano demo versions on the The Cathy Demos probably date from two or three years later.
15. Something Like a Song. N.B.: This song was also recorded by Kate with Dave Gilmour and a small rock band in 1973, when Kate was 15--according to the track-listing for the Gilmour-demos collection which was briefly, allegedly marketed as an album called The Early Years .)
In My Garden is a good alternate title--though probably a wrong one--for Something Like a Song.
16. Frightened Eyes. An extremely beautiful, poignant song about the loneliness of life in civilized society.
17. Disbelieving Angel. (N.B.: Also recorded with Gilmour in the '73 sessions. Incidentally, this song appears to be a very bitter rejection of traditional Christian faith--apparently by an angel, not necessarily by Kate herself, though the implication is hard to resist. Beats both "XTC"'s and "Midge Ure"'s Dear God's to hell.)
18. Nevertheless, You'll Do. A departure for the early Kate: an attempt to write a consciously upbeat, British pop-rock song somewhat along the lines of McCartney's Penny Lane.
19. Goodnight, Baby, or Who Is Sylvia?. (N.B.: The title IED has chosen from among the lyrics sounds trite, but that's misleading--the song seems to be about a woman whose lover is in love with someone else, and who is talking about the other woman in his sleep. The full phrase is "Goodnight, baby--come on home." Extremely brilliant and neato song.)
20. You're Soft, or perhaps simply Soft. A very sophisticated and spooky melody with imagery that anticipates In the Warm Room.
21. (I Don't Know Why I Shouldn't) Pick the Rare Flower.
22. While Davey Dozed, which is sometimes called just plain Davey, is an amazing early song which should not be confused with another early song called Maybe. (The reason this is stressed is because Maybe was originally called Davey, too, according to Peter.) Maybe is another song which Kate recorded at the '73 sessions at Gilmour's house.
23 Organic Acid This song is only available on the fifth EP. This recording is EXTREMELY BIZARRE. It consists of a duet, of sorts, featuring Kate on sung vocals and piano, singing an unfamiliar new (old) song, and her brother John Carder Bush reciting (in between Kate's verses/choruses, and to the accompaniment of her piano bridges) a lengthy and artily pornographic poem in his own characteristic style (characteristic to those who are at all familiar with JCB's poetry). The poem was published by John as Before the Fall. The song, at least on early listenings, doesn't seem to have too much (or anything) to do with JCB's poem, but perhaps IED is wrong about this. The whole track is 5:45, the longest of all the demos by far, but this is because of the length of JCB's poem, not the song itself, which is actually as brief as any of Kate's early songs.
The song is a slow and sensitive ballad sung by a very young Kate Bush to her own piano accompaniment. IED cannot see any really clear connection between Kate's song and John's poem: the former seems to be a kind of lullabye to a troubled lover, and is filled with imagery of the sea. (One possibility, therefore, is that this is the song known as Atlantis, which IED has not heard but which is listed among the songs on the The Early Years. album) John's poem, however, is a far more detailed and explicit descriptive poem which details the progress and violent end of a vaguely perverted love affair. It is possible that the speaker in Kate's song is addressing a character in John's poem, or possibly the narrator of John's poem, himself; but neither of these interpretations seems likely to IED. (On the other hand, the reference to the beach at the climax of John's poem does provide for the possibility that the two are interconnected.) It seems more probable that Kate simply invited John to recite one of his poems during the performance of her song. She must have felt that the two works complemented each other in some intangible way; and IED, for one, agrees with her.
Organic Acid is, we now know, definitely not the actual title of this song, and although we still don't know what Kate's original song was called, Before the Fall now seems a more legitimate title than Organic Acid.
THE "KICK INSIDE" DEMOS
An additional six demo recordings have recently begun to circulate among fans, in very poor-quality audio. These may be called, for want of a better term, The "Kick Inside" Demos. These recordings are of a far more refined and polished type, and are fully orchestrated and produced. They would seem to have been recorded in 1976 or 1977, and are probably among the many tracks which were worked on prior to the final selection of the thirteen songs on "The Kick Inside". Five of the titles are familiar: "Moving", "Don't Push Your Foot on the Heart Brake", "L'Amour Looks Something Like You", "Kite" and "Strange Phenomena". They are very professional in sound, but Kate's vocals seem (perhaps only in hindsight) a bit constrained by the backing rhythm, and the tone of some of the instrumentalists' work sounds inappropriately lightweight for the songs, in comparison with their official versions.
The sixth track from this group of demos is an unreleased song called "Scares Me Silly". Apparently an effort by Kate to make a very pop-oriented tune, it is extremely bouncy and catchy, laden with melodic hooks. Its lyrics are fascinating, as well (they describe the challenge of retaining the original spark of feeling of a song during the recording process). Perhaps the song's carefree tone may have been the reason for its omission from "The Kick Inside", though as is often the case with Kate's music, the lyrics belie the song's light-hearted sound.
Finally, there are at least two known demo versions of the song "Babooshka". Excerpts from the demos were apparently played by Kate herself on a British radio programme ca. 1980 or 1982. (I have heard that she played demos of "Sat In Your Lap" as well, although this has never been confirmed and is probably someone confusing this with the "Babooshka" demos.) The first demo of "Babooshka" features Kate on piano, and she has added one backing vocal during the choruses. The second version has a percussion pattern from an early rhythm-box, and features a synthesizer and, in addition to the lead vocal, at least two over-dubbed backing vocals.
There has been a debate amoung Kate fans as to whether or not it is ethical to purchase the bootlegs these songs are on, or to even own tapes of these songs. The side that is against this advances the following arguments against the bootlegs:
1) Although Kate has never commented publically on the release of these demos, the following did appear in Homeground, which pretty much acts as a Bush family mouth-piece when called upon to do so:
HOMEGROUND feels that it should be said, in view of possible legal actions pending, that these tapes are highly illegal, and that copying and distribution, even amongst friends and not for gain is still illegal. Kate herself is highly upset about these releases.
Given this, they feel that its best to simply respect Kate's wishes and not own the songs.
2) It supports bootleggers, who are making a profit off of Kate's work, while Kate makes nothing. And they have been released in such a way to mazimize profit at the purchaser's expense.
3) The tapes were, somewhere along the line, stolen from Kate or her record company.
4) The bootlegs are illegal. According the the Bern Convention, Kate retains the copyright on the tapes even though they have never been published and even though she has not prosecuted to stop the bootlegs.
And then there are the people who may agree with much of above, but put forth the following arguements in favor of owning the demos:
1) The songs were apparently made originally to be played to other people, so it's not like they were personal diaries or anything.
2)The songs aren't available through the record companies (and they would buy them if they were), so they aren't stealing money from the companies or Kate.
3) Copying the tapes and giving them to friends keeps people from buying bootlegs.
4) That one more person owning or not owning the demos is not going to change anything.
SOURCE OF THE DEMOS
IED doesn't know any details of where these recordings came from (probably no-one but the bootleggers themselves do), but he was told by an apparently knowledgeable source that the tapes originated from someone in the Manchester Square, London offices of EMI--someone "high up" in the corporate hierarchy. Who knows? The "Kick Inside" demos would seem to support the idea of a leak at EMI itself, since presumably those tapes were made after Kate had definitely signed to EMI. This is also probably true of the "Cathy demos", although it is still possible that those recordings were made prior to Kate's signing, and therefore might be among some of the tapes which Kate submitted to other labels.
IED thinks it very unlikely that whoever got these tapes to the bootleggers had had them for fourteen years (or whatever) before releasing them. Remember, these are not the same as the "Early Years" demos, which have been known about (though never heard) since at least four years before the release of "The Cathy Demos". Those recordings may have been in bootleggers' hands for years, but the 23 demos in the Cathy Demos collection had never been heard of by fans prior to the appearance of the Volume One EP in 1989. The one exception to this was a letter from Phenix in the April/May * 1984 * issue of Breakthrough:
"Also there's a small but loyally followed radio station, KSTM, which isn't averse to playing Kate's songs. In * 1982 * when local DJ (name deleted) was at KSTM, he aired an hour of Kate's rarities which included some of her very early solo-piano work. He had worked for EMI at the time of Kate's initial signing, and aquired the tapes then. There were some real surprises for collectors, including an altered version of Hammer Horror and another song with a refrain about 'playing canasta in cold rooms.' Does anyone know anything about this rare song? ...Now I'm off to write the KB club!"
From: email@example.com (ronald hill)
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 92 17:23:03 PDT
Subject: *** CATHY DEMOS PART III ****
The first sign of the existence of "The Cathy Demos" came in the spring of 1989 in the form of a bootleg seven-inch EP (anonymously pressed and distributed) called "Kate Bush: The Cathy Demos, Volume One." Eventually a total of five EPs were released containing 23 songs. The EPs still contain the better sound quality then the later albums and CDs, as these later releases seemed to be mastered from the EPs. The fifth EP remains the only source for Organic Acid, but these EPs do NOT contain the six "Kick Inside Demos" nor the two "Babooshka" demos.
Meanwhile, a cassette, also entirely anonymous in origin, but sometimes called "Fiddle" (a reference to the song "Violin"), became available through classified ads and at U.S. record swapmeets in 1989. This cassette contained a total of twenty-two tracks, as Organic Acid was missing. The sound reproduction on the cassettes is noticeably inferior to that found on the vinyl EPs.
The albums Cathy's Album and Cathy's Album Two contain all of "The Cathy Demos" (except Organic Acid) and "The Kick Inside Demos". These were apparently mastered off of the "Cathy Demos" EPs and the sound quality is not so good.
The Alone At My Piano CD contains all of "The Cathy Demos", except "Organic Acid", but doesn't contain the six "Kick Inside Demos" or the "Babooshka" demos. It is supposed to have the best CD sound quality.
Practice Makes Perfect Piano Demos Volume One (Europe) CD has "The Cathy Demos" (except Organic Acid and Goodnight Baby) and "The Kick Inside Demos" (except Moving). It does not contain the "Babooshka" demos. The sound quality is said to have some cracks and pops, and it is edited in such a way that the songs sometimes fade out a little soon.
If You Could See Me Fly and Passing Through Air (together, and these CD'S are DIFFERENT then the LPs of the same names) have all "The Cathy Demos" (except Organic Acid), the "Kick Inside" demos, and the "Babooshka" demos. These were apparently mastered off of Cathy's Album and Cathy's Album Two, and so the sound quality is not so good.
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 1994 23:13:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: THE OLIVE-LOAF VIGILANTE <METH@delphi.com>
Subject: Interview with Cathy Demo Song
Back in June I sent money to the local NPR affiliate (WSHU in Fairfield, CT) during their broadcast of the Public Radio International (nee American Public Radio) show Echoes, so I could get the premium: a cassette tape featuring Peter Gabriel, Philip Glass, David Sylvian, Robert Fripp, and, yes, Kate, plus a few others I'm blanking on. I thought it was going to be music and I sent the station an extra $60 on top of the money I'd sent them in the last fund drive just to see which Kate song they'd put on the tape, but when it arrived last week I discovered the tape is actually interviews! Echoes is a daily show on PRI, and the producer Kimberly Haas has an interview with a different artist every day. (Some of you may be interested to note that the list of artists profiled also includes Happy Rhodes -- e-mail for more info.) Well, one day in the relatively recent past she got to interview Kate, and the result is rather interesting.
Especially interesting is the choice of background music -- Kate's music is in the background throughout, and at one point while Haas is talking about Kate's early career, what do we hear but one of the Cathy Demos!!!!! I think it's the song called "Snow" in these parts (titles differ depending on the source of the bootleg). I would *dearly* love to know where they got that, whose idea it was to put it there, and what happened after it was broadcast, assuming someone heard it who was able to inform Kate of what had happened.
Hmmm... Echoes has a net.address. I think I'll drop them a note right now!
Anyway, one of these years when I'm settled again (moving sucks moving sucks moving sucks) I'll get around to transcribing the interview, provided this hasn't happened already (don't think so, but I might have missed something). If anyone wants a tape copy, send me e-mail, but only if you're a very patient soul!
On to The Cathy Demos General Thoughts Pt. 4
written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Sept 1995 - June 1996