The Patron Saints' Latimer Sessions CD.
The creation of The Latimer Sessions is covered in detail in the Patron Saints Retrospective section, but here's the gist of it again so that you can see how the recordings were first created...
I was getting that old recording itch again; both Jon and I had new songs that we wanted to get down on tape and so we started to search for another place to record. A band friend, Lynn Latimer, offered her family's basement...we could even move the family piano down from the living room! It was too good to be true...her parents were even into it! Lynn, along with friends Dan Reiner and Jackie Fornerod pitched in for the cause. Below is a shot of John Doerschuk standing in front of the Latimer's Chappaqua, NY, domicile back in 1970 or so.
We brought in our equipment, put up blankets for soundproofing, set up mikes...I think we envisioned this as Fohhoh Bohob: The Sequel. We had better decks and mixers than before, and we felt confident that we could produce something marketable this time around, since nothing seemed to be happening with our one and only almost two-year-old record. Jon came down from Massachusetts when he could, which was not too often...we had been essentially a four-piece band since Kirk joined, practicing and recording, for the most part, without Jon. Finally, in April of 1971, he made it official: Jon was leaving the group for personal reasons.
So now we were back to four: me, Joe, John and Kirk. At the end of April 1971, we finished creating our new "masterpiece." We had rearranged and re-recorded many of my songs off of Bohob, plus a bunch of new ones. The final product was, quite honestly, a mixed bag: some stuff was inspired, some so-so, some just plain silly. Most of the songs were new, but we also re-recorded versions of Flower, Do You Think About Me?, White Light and Andrea, all of which appeared originally on Fohhoh Bohob. Lynn and Jackie sang on Golden Richard, the last song we recorded; the first "female" voices to appear officially on a Patron Saints recording. We weren't sure if the final product was good enough for vinyl, but it was definitely useful as a demonstration tape for the band. We brought copies of the tapes everywhere and sent a number out to various record companies, including the Moody Blues' newly formed Threshold label. Unfortunately, they sent us back someone else's demo tape. Another band must have ours; to this day, I expect to hear our songs pop up on someone else's album!
The Latimer sessions allowed us to gel as a band, if nothing else. We played a lot of jobs that summer and continued into 1972 (that's us to the left playing live on New Year's Eve, 1971-72). We disbanded at some point, but in early 1973, for reasons completely erased from my memory, the Saints reformed and decided to try our hand at recording ourselves again. We bought even better tape equipment, and constructed a new studio (nicknamed "The Bunker") in the attic of the house Joe, his wife April, and our friend Don Kratzke lived in. Don and I did most of the design and construction; we really wanted to do it right this time. Finally, tape started rolling in May. At some point during this period, we decided that the name Patron Saints had outlived it's practical usefulness and changed it to Diamond Reo, after the garbage truck line. Since we never performed publicly as a group after this point, nobody but us ever knew (or cared, for that matter). Another group used the name, so it's just as well.
l-r: Charlie Wilhelm, me, my brother, Tom, and April Newswander up in the attic...
We did a lot of good work in that attic. I had written a fair number of new songs which we were able to try out, including One For The Road, which ultimately ended up on disc one of the CD reissue of my solo albums, and a re-recorded version of which ended up on my 1978 album release, Modern Phonography. We also recorded a new version of Doin' It All Myself and the then-unrecorded April's Fool, both of which finally saw the light of day on the Latimer Sessions.