Music of Darrell DeVore at Tapewarm


(Just so you know, folks, the links on this page stopped working, so I removed them. So, there’s no actual music available here, just an old post about music that used to be out there in the ether. If I can ever hook it up again, I surely will.)

I just got a surprise email from Gene Maruszewski, one of the nicest and most interesting guys that I’ve had a chance to meet (these qualities don’t always go together). I met Gene way back in the day when I used to work at Salsa Cycles (when it was still a small, independent company), putting together quick releases. For awhile Gene ran what was unequivocally the coolest bicycle atelier in town. It was called The Lab and it specialized in the obscure, the interesting, and the handmade. The Lab was decorated with — appropriately — strange quasi-scientific objects and electronic instruments that looked like they might have come straight from one of Universal’s sets for a Frankenstein movie. What I didn’t realize until much, much later was that Gene was also a musician and that these electronic devices were the founding members of an orchestra of strange hums, quirky tonal explosions, tape warpage, digital manipulation, and sounds catapulted from outer space.

Gene and my father met — completely independently of my influence —  a few years before my father passed away from cancer in 2005. My father, Darrell DeVore, always had great things to say about Gene and I was really happy that they had a chance to meet. I also severely enjoyed my dad’s fascination with the waveform analyzer that Gene had loaned to him. In any case Gene was present at several of the improvisation sessions that were held at Studio Um, and he managed to tape some choice cuts while he was there. Here’s what Gene has written about the sessions he attended:

Occasionally (once anyway) Tapewarm Studios goes mobile. I’m not crazy about schlepping my bigger boxes around, especially when the destination is a chicken coop. But this time was decidedly out of the ordinary.

I had just ordered my waterphone, and Richard Waters, the maker, invited me to a gathering at Dr. Um’s studio in Petaluma. “Oh, I know Darrell. He’s the one that got me hooked on your waterphones.” “Well, we’ll see you there then.” I checked with Darrell and he was cool with me bringing a tape recorder. I spent two days huddled in a corner staring at VU meters and taking in the vibes. No one asked me to play (thank Bog) and I tried to remain as inconspicuous as possible with my electrical gadgets. (I think they could smell the digital on me too.)

Here’s the roster of attendees: Darrell DeVore, Richard Waters, Tom Nunn, Bart Hopkin, Chip Dunbar, Gary Knowlton, Sara Winge, Bob Hobbs, Steve, Lee, Tony, and Tom Waits. Vaguely reminiscent of Bart’s “Gravichords . . . ” and “Orbitones . . . ” releases, this session concentrated specifically on the waterphones. Only the occasional electric guitar lick and the Rhodes came anywhere near electricity. All amplification came from balloons, styrofoam, and sound boards. Anything you think is an added echo was actually played like that. They had eleven waterphones going at once. THAT was awesome!

Darrell went to heaven awhile back and I been thinking about him a lot lately so I dug out those old tapes. 3 10″ reels full of half track stereo 1/4″ plastic strips of acoustic (mostly) bliss (close enough).

You can listen to these tracks in MP3 format here.

And while you’re at it, why not visit the main Tapewarm page and listen to the electronic stylings of Mr. Marz himself?


13 Responses to “Music of Darrell DeVore at Tapewarm”

  1. 1 -daddio-

    It’s been a supreme pleasure knowing you both. I hope our paths cross again soon. I’d prefer over there, but a local coop’ll do.

  2. 2 loloro

    thanks for sharing these


  3. 3 Trane DeVore

    Gene — We must always enjoy our local coops, wherever they may be! And sometimes we should fly them too . . .

    Laurel — Someday I’m determined to set up a website dedicated to my dad’s music — then more and more can be shared.

  4. 4 David Laing

    Hi Trane,
    You don’t know me, but I’m currently listening to a live recording of ex-Charlatan Mike Wilhem and his band Loose Gravel from ’71, and they’re doing 3 of your dad’s songs. I’ve known Styrofome for years, but had never heard of Stacks of Air or There Is This Feeling, and they’re wonderful songs. I’ve worked for record companies down here in australia for 25 years and have a had a couple of small labels on the side for releasing more esoteric stuff. At the moment I’m working on a release of unreleased material from ’76 from SF band Hot Knives, who featured 2 of the original Flamin’ Groovies guys (Mike Wilhelm of the Charlatans/Loose Gravel was later in the Groovies…). I’m thiknig of approacihm Mike Wilhelm about the possibility of releasing this recording, and it occured to me that there might be recordings that you’re dad made around this time that are deserving of a release too. If there, and you’re interested in talking about, I’d love to hear from you. The company I work – I’m the GM – is Fuse – – and the label I’m probably best know for is called Dog Meat and a compilation I put together – – got reviews in Rolling Stone and Uncut some years back . I also write for a San Diego-based rock fanzine called Ugly Things –
    anyway, that’s me. Would love to hear from you.
    All the best
    Dave Laing

    • 5 Trane DeVore

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for leaving your comment on Troutfactory Notebook. It’s nice to hear from other people that are enjoying Charlatans albums and old Mike Wilhelm material. I actually just got a turntable again after several years without, so I’ve broken out the old record collection and a copy of Wilhelm’s solo album, Wilhelm, is all cued up for a listen. I’ve also got a Loose Gravel 45 somewhere in those stacks.

      As for music that my dad made post-Charlatans, it’s all totally unrelated to rock and roll. My dad started building his own instruments (many out of bamboo) and playing in experimental and improvisational groups. He released several CDs on his own and his music has appeared in a few other places too (on the Gravikords, Whirlies and Pyrophones CD, etc.). My dad basically gave up on rock music after The Charlatans (he was a jazz musician to begin with and for him rock was more of a gig than what he truly wanted to do) so there’s nothing really to send your way on that count. “Styrofoam” might have been one of the very last rock songs that he ever wrote!

      In any case, I’m going to post your comment, but edit out the email address just so you don’t get a bunch of spam or unsolicited mail. Sorry I don’t have a secret stash of recordings from my dad, though there may be something hidden away somewhere. If I do find something, I’ll let you know!

  5. Trane, I knew your father from the 70’s in Bolinas. He stayed at my house several times in the city then. I loved his music. I am a mask dancer and for a while I performed to some of his tapes on stage. Visited him at his place in Petaluma several times. Was sad when he passed away. Am about to do some mask performance again and was thinking of him cause his music was the best. Went online to see if he had any musical videos or music links posted. This is how I have found you. I am not sure we ever really met but he spoke of you at times. We would of met at Piero’s in Bolinas. I clicked the link on this page was sent to a page about tapeworms. Not a link to his music. Can you direct me to any online links to some of his compositions he made with the instruments he made. My name is Erneato Sanchez. I have a art studio in downtown Pt Reyes called Ernesto’s Studio.

    • 7 Trane DeVore

      Hi Ernesto,

      Great to hear from you, and sorry to take a little time to reply to your kind message. I haven’t been able to pay attention to the blog as much lately as I have in the past. Actually, I think I remember you a little bit, but I can’t be a 100% sure! I checked out the Ernesto’s Studio website and also saw a photo of you and you definitely look familiar, and the Piero connection sounds right too.

      Sorry to hear that the link doesn’t work any more! I’ll try to rectify that at some point. I don’t think I want people looking for my dad’s music to be sent to a page about tapeworms, although Dad did once tell me a great joke involving tapeworms.

      I’ll backchannel and send you an email about getting hold of some of his music. Unfortunately most of it is on CD only and not available on line. Putting my dad’s music on line has been a project I’ve had in the back of my mind for ages, but it’s a bit hard to find the time when one is already working full time.

      Looking forward to being in communication with you!

  6. Hi Trane.
    The CD’s that you mentioned – are those the Gatmo Sessions (Swarm Warnings etc.)?
    Would love to be able to hear some of the music, – the link don’t work. I’ve noticed it was mentioned earlier.
    I have the Bart Hopkin compilation.

    • 9 Trane DeVore

      Hi Yuval,

      The CDs that I’m talking about are actually self-produced and haven’t been publicly released (unlike the Gatmo Sessions, etc.) — I plan on making some of them available, maybe on Soundcloud, when I have some spare time (though I have no idea when that will be). Sorry about the link — I think there’s nothing on the other end anymore, so I’ll remove it ASAP.

      The Bart Hopkin compilation is great!

      • Thanks for you reply.
        Please message here whenever you get the chance to upload them, (even if it is far ahead), otherwise I’m not sure how I would know about it…
        Happy New Year

  7. 11 Gene Maruszewski
    • 12 Trane DeVore

      Thanks, Gene! Updated! (I think. If not yet, then soon!)

  8. Many thnks Gene, It’s great to be able to isten to those recordings!

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