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AIDS and Language (1990)

AIDS and Language cassette cover featuring Thom Whalen's artwork and Emily Morgan's graphic design

It's July of 1990 and while no one is really using the term yet, "grunge" is in the air in Seattle. Emily has taken a job with The Rocket magazine as Art Director, and suddenly, the entire Seattle music scene is at her and Jerry's fingertips. It's an exciting time. There are concerts galore, pre-release versions of Nirvana's "Bleach", Soundgarden's "Loud Love" (wrapped in duct tape) and everything Sub Pop showing up at the offices for consideration.

Emily is designing, in her amazing way, everything for everyone who was anyone (press kits for Sub Pop, albums for The Poises...much of her work is now in the permanent collection of the Experience Music Project in Seattle) and Jerry had a new 4-track, chasing local bands around trying to capture some of the excitement.

Inspired by the simple, classic rock and roll music he had always loved, "AIDS and Language" was born, written and and recorded over the summer of 1990 in a little over 2-weeks. The primary sessions were recorded on 4-track in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, with the Jerry on guitars and bass and Grant Cole (Clambake) on the drums. Randy Lee Fader came in to add his touch to "Cure" during a brief, 1-hour session.

Vocals were added and the session was mixed at the famous Triangle Studios (re-named Reciprocal Recording) in Ballard, also during this period.

Mixing was a bit of a debacle, due to the 4-track originals, technical issues in the room and frankly, some inferior engineering (Jerry will take the heat) - but the heart of the sessions is still there.

This was the first release to feature the illustrations of Thom Whalen. His fold-out cover and sticker made this work a standout, and highly collectible to this day.

AIDS and Language cassette

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Credits

Jerry Hammack - guitars, bass, vocals

Grant "King" Cole - Drums

Randy Lee Fader - lead guitar (on "Cure")

Produced and engineered and mixed by Jerry Hammack

Additional engineering by Chris Hanzig and Rich Hinklin

Recorded at Thackery House, Seattle, WA, in July, 1990 with additional recording and mixing at at Reciprocal Recording, Seattle, WA, in July 1990

Artwork by Thom Whalen

Package and graphic design by Emily Morgan

Tracks

AIDS and Language

Inside

Flowers

Close

Cure

All songs written by Jerry Hammack © 1990 Really Real Music, BMI. All rights reserved.

Artwork and other assets

Click here to view artwork and other assets from AIDS and Language.

For the Few (1992)

Throttle Body - For the Few cassette coverThe "For the Few" sessions began in Seattle in the Summer of 1991. "AIDS and Language" had received some good press and with Thom Whalen itching to play some live music, Jerry went about organizing a band. After placing ads locally, Jerry and Thom met Stephen Dorocke and immediately hit things off.

Stephen liked the previous release, but commented that Jerry's playing was "too busy." Stephen subscribed to the AC/DC school of guitar playing, which was spare, to the point and in many ways, unexpectedly underplayed. That being said, when he took his turn at any solo, the results were blistering. Drummers were tried out, and all failed to make the cut, but Stephen, Thom and Jerry decided to book a new session in anticipation of finding the right fit before recording commenced.

The original tracks were cut at Full Voice Audio in Seattle's Rainier Valley. The studio owner and engineer was an acquaintance of Thom's and offered a good rate for the sessions. Unfortunately, he had some "personal issues". The original sessions occurred over two days with little continuity as he ducked out every few takes to "reinspire" himself.

Thom wasn't quite comfortable with performing the songs as the session arrived, so Jerry took over bass chores on all the songs except for "Getaway", which Stephen played bass on. Jerry also tracked the original drum tracks for the session (the song, "For the Few" utilized a drum machine), as no drummer had been located yet.

When the boys got back and listened to the rough tracks (no vocals were cut at the time), they were not satisfied - primarily with the grooves laid down in Jerry's meat and potatoes style. Steve insisted that the songs could really rock, given the right player behind the kit.

Taking this feedback to heart, Jerry remembered seeing an ad in The Rocket magazine about a year earlier that said something about Lenny Kravitz's drummer being in town and offering lessons. With this memory in his head, he began digging through every back issue of the local rag that he could find around the house. There at the bottom of the pile it was: "Zoro, drummer for Lenny Kravitz, Bobby Brown and others, available for lessons and master classes. Call....."

Jerry called and Zoro's mother, Maria answered. Believing Jerry to be an old friend, she gave him Z's phone number in LA. Jerry called and he and Zoro had a meeting of the hearts and minds. Jerry sent Z the "AIDS and Language" release and within a week, Zoro was onboard for the sessions. As fate would have it, he was coming to town with Lenny Kravitz's "Mama Said " tour the following week.

Back to Full Voice the crew returned, giving the owner/engineer one more shot. Zoro, the consummate professional, blew through the session in roughly three hours for the four songs, despite the once again flighty and distracted studio owner.With drum tracks in the can, Jerry had had enough. He collected the master reels and said thank you and goodbye.

When the sessions re-commenced, it was at Michael Lord Productions in a quiet north Seattle neighborhood. Michael and Jerry had been recording together since the mid 80's and Michael was the right man to pick up the balance of the sessions. Michael's credits included Mudhoney, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Laura Love, Radio Van Gogh, Annika and many other impressive artists and tracks.

With the backing tracks secured, Jerry and Emily went in for vocals and keyboard overdubs and finally, the band had one more marathon day of mixing.

This was the second and final release to feature the illustrations of Thom Whalen. His cruciform fold-out cover and sticker made this work a standout, and highly collectible to this day. In addition, Emily's package design included a small hand-made lyric booklet, with typography by gothic art genius Ashley Rafflour.

"For the Few" gathered positive international critical attention, especially from the 'zine community, but airplay and sales were less than marginal. They were in fact - dismal! That 's the nature of self-releases sometimes, though...

Throttle Body - For the Few back cover

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Credits

Jerry Hammack - Bass, Keys, Vocals

Stephen Dorocke - Guitars, Bass

Zoro - Drums

Emily Morgan - backing vocals

Recorded at Full Voice Audio, Seattle, WA and Michael Lord Productions, Seattle, WA

Engineered by Michael Lord

Produced by Jerry Hammack

Artwork by Thom Whalen

Package design by Emily Morgan

Typography by Ashley Rafflour

Tracks

If It's Love

Need It Bad

Getaway

For the Few

All songs written by Jerry Hammack © 1992 Really Real Music, BMI. All rights reserved.

Click here to view artwork and other assets from For the Few.

Marley's Chain (1994)

Throttle Body - Marley's Chain cassette cover by Emily MorganAbout the release

"Marley's Chain" (referring to Dickens and the chain Jacob Marley created in life and bore in death) was born out of the simple desire to get back into the studio a couple years after the "For The Few" sessions had been completed.

The band had pretty much gone it's separate ways, with Zoro in Europe with Vanessa Paradis, Stephen back in Chicago, Thom in Illinois, etc. Still, Jerry had some songs to get out of his system, so he got on the phone.

Stephen was available, so Jerry arranged to fly him out for a couple weeks to play. The question was, when would be the best time. More phone calls reached Zoro, who had just completed the Paradis tour and was coming up to Seattle to visit family. "Do you happen to need a bass player for the session?" Zoro asked during the call, "A good friend of mine is also coming to the area the same week, we just played the Vanessa tour together so we're real tight."

That friend was none other than Osama Afifi. Talk about your funk monsters! It was like inviting Bootsy to sit in. Jerry's answer was an immediate, 'Yes!" and the arrangements for all three players were made.

Jerry sent rough demos to everyone a few weeks before the sessions that included click tracks and reference vocals, but gave the same overall instrcutions that he usually gave accomplished musicians and members of the Club - "Play whatever you think is cool and we'll take it from there."

Stephen flew out a couple weeks later and he and Jerry rehearsed his parts at Jerry's small south Seattle digs. As usual, Stephen took the overly complicated parts that were the foundation of the tunes and stripped them to their bare essentials.

The sessions commenced once again at Michael Lord Productions in north Seattle, with Michael engineering behind his Soundtracs CM4400 and the 2" rolling and the smell of fresh audio tape and coffee (one teaspoon per cup, please) permeating the room.

Jerry and Stephen went in and laid the guitar work down in a day's session. A week later, Zoro and Osama arrived in town and joined them. "We have a few variations on each of the tunes, " Zoro announced as they set up.

"Just make it funky and have fun." Jerry said. And oh, did they ever!

Less than three hours later, the backing tracks were all in the can. Jerry and Emily returned the following week after everyone had left for home and finished their vocal work.

Emily was amazing, building track after vocal track in single takes with pitch-perfect soul. Everyone in the room was simply blown away.

Finally, a few weeks later, Jerry and Michael spent a day on the mix and the session was history.

"Marley's Chain" was never released, despite being probably the best work the Club had produced to date. Primarily a matter of cash, but also due to the state of the industry, which had moved on from Seattle and was actually in the process of dumping and ignoring bands with that particular zipcode.

Still and all - some great and funky music was laid down in 1994!

Throttle Body - Marley's Chain cassette

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Credits

Jerry Hammack - Vocals

Stephen Dorocke - Guitars

Osama Afifi - Bass

Zoro - Drums

Emily Morgan - backing vocals

Recorded at Michael Lord Productions, Seattle, WA

Engineered by Michael Lord

Produced by Jerry Hammack

Artwork and Package design by Emily Morgan

Tracks

Love Comes Down

Marley's Chain

Red Light

Blue Baby

All songs written by Jerry Hammack © 1994 Really Real Music, BMI. All rights reserved.

 

Tears in Rain (2000)

Throttle Body - Tears in Rain CD coverase

It's the year 2000 and the boom-boom 90's are at an end. The neuvo-riche are going neuvo-broke. Sorrow, dissapointment and unemployment are in the air. It's a lonley time and the Club has been completely scattered to the winds by now.

Jerry sits alone in his West Seattle home, listening to unfinished sessions he and Zoro started and longing for a past that will never return - probably one that didn't even exist in the first place, except in his imagination. In his head is a vision of The Band, with Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson, just doing it pure and simple and telling their stories and sharing their lives.

From this inspiration the "Tears in Rain" session was born.

Rod Moody (ex-Swallow, Spike and a thousand other amazing bands), a longtime friend, had an 8-track Fostex digital system gathering a little dust in the attic and Jerry offered to record Rod's current band, The Fuzz, in exchange for use of the system to do the new sessions. Rod agreed, gear was delivered, and Jerry set up at Thistle street with a handful of old guitars, a Hammond organ and various bits and pieces of a Slingerland drum kit.

The songs (aside from "Confusion", which mated drum and guitar tracks Zoro and Jerry had laid down a couple years earlier with new additions from Rod and Jerry) were somber and sparse and full of longing. The 8-track limitations were perfect to keep the mood in line and achieve the rawness Jerry loved about The Band's work.

Rod came in for a couple days and laid down solos for the tunes before the sessions concluded. He totally understood the vibe of the work and completed the sessions with beautiful touches.

The sessions were mixed in about three passes over the next couple of weeks, then, like the past itself, they were wiped from the machine's memory in order to make room for The Fuzz sessions.

Thus passed some of the most personal work the Club ever produced. "Tears in Rain" was never intended for release - more like therapy than anything else...

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Credits

Jerry Hammack - Guitars, Bass, Keys, Drums, Vocals

Rod Moody - Guitars

Zoro - Drums on "Confusion"

Recorded at Thistle Street, Seattle, WA and The Blue Room, Seattle, WA

Engineered and Produced by Jerry Hammack

Package design by Jerry Hammack

Tracks

Confusion

What She Don't Know

Psalm

Once in Awhile

Love Hurts

All songs written by Jerry Hammack © 2000 Really Real Music, BMI, except "Love Hurts" by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant © House of Bryant Publications, Bughouse, ASCAP. All rights reserved.

Click here to view artwork and other assets from Tears In Rain.

Air Canada (2005)

Throttle Body - Air Canada CD coverAbout the release

Almost as soon as the cloudy day that was "Tears In Rain" had blown through, sorrow and introspection were replaced by hope and happiness in that great arch of life. And they came from an unexpected place - Toronto, Canada.

Jerry spent a lot of time at Sea Tac Airport's Gate N1 and in the cabin of Air Canada's Airbus 319s flying back and forth from Seattle to Toronto as love and a new life developed. New experiences, new faces, new music all entered his life and left him inspired to create again. This was to be the most ambitious Throttle Body session to date.

Home in Seattle was now the beautiful Graham Street residence of Rod Moody and Tina Anderson, who were living in Rhode Island at the time and had asked Jerry to house sit, which turned into renting after finances turned around. With few posessions, Jerry moved in, set up a ProTools 32-track studio and went to work.

Recorded over the course of almost a year, each song on the session was built pretty much one at a time, with Jerry playing almost every instrument, save lead guitars (best left to the experts). Occasionally the songs would be in such a state that Jerry would spend one session picking up, say acoustic guitars on three of four songs, or piano tracks, etc., but in general, they were built in a more intuitive, head-to-toe fashion.

Typically, the drums were left until last, as they required hours of set up (and practice) to get the sounds and the parts just right.

The session was particularly cover-heavy, as Jerry played with some songs he had always loved (in particular, Elton John's "Blues For Baby And Me") and Merideth Wilson's "Goodnight My Someone" from "The Music Man".

Andy Hogarth joined the Club for the new sessions and proved to be both a joy to work with and a solid session man. Andy had played in Rod Moody's The Fuzz and Jerry liked his rock and roll ethic. His classic chops fit in well as he added solos to "So Sure" and mandolin-like flourishes to "Too Far From The Shore".

Also joining the Club was the amazing Aaron Taylor, who contributed rythmn and lead guitar work many tracks. Jerry met Aaron at a Slobberbone show at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood when Aaron's band, the Radio Nationals opened the show. Jerry went on to engineer Aaron's own band, Survey Cez' for their 2006 CD, "Down".

The Air Canada sessions were mixed over the course of three months towards the end of 2004 and start of 2005. Some of the larger recordings took days to get just right.

Released worldwide through Tunecore, the sessions have had a great international reaction and have been included on numerous podcasts and playlists.

Buy "Air Canada" at our CDBaby Store

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Credits

Jerry Hammack - Guitars, Bass, Keys, Drums, Vocals

Andy Hoggarth - Guitars

Aaron Taylor - Guitars

Recorded and mixed at Graham Street, Seattle, WA

Engineered and Produced by Jerry Hammack

Package design by Jerry Hammack

Tracks

So Sure

Room For Me

Inside

Slumberland

Heartache

She Doesn't Seem To Be That Nice Of Girl

Too Far From The Shore

All That Matters

Everytime

Blues For Baby And Me

Lady In Red

Sympathy

I'm Through With Love

Air Canada

Goodnight My Someone

All songs written by Jerry Hammack © 2005 Really Real Music, BMI, except: "Too Far from the Shore" (traditional), "Blues For Baby And Me" written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, © Universal Polygram, BMI, "Lady In Red" written by Christopher John Davidson © Alamo Music, ASCAP and "Goodnight My Someone" written by Merideth Wilson © FRANK MUSIC CORP., ASCAP. All rights reserved.

Click here to view artwork and other assets from Air Canada .

A Typical Wednesday (2009)

A Typical Wednesday front coverAbout the release

The archive project that populated the Throttle Body-ology blog was a bit of an eye opener. As I listened to to tape after tape of demos (over 30 cassettes full of songs), I was struck a number of times with the thought, "That's a good tune - I should record that one!"

At the same time, I had been working on some new Dry Bones tracks with Rod Moody that we really didn't know what to do with. Dry Bones was always more of an acoustic, hoe-downy kind of project and the tracks we were working on we much more involved. I thought maybe some of those could have a home on the new session.

As I began plans to record, I decided I didn't want to take 15-months to record the new work, which was the amount of time I'd spent on "Air Canada". I thought having songs written and ready to track from the start, as well as having a few of the old Dry Bones tracks pretty close to in the can already would make this goal achieveable.

When it came down to it, however, life gets in the way of the best laid plans. "A Typical Wednesday" took about 10-months to track and mix. While there were great days of progress (one in particular where I got five bass parts recorded in five hours), my "instant karma" dreams of bringing the session to life quickly simply didn't materialuze.

Aaron Taylor came over for a day of guitar parts and really helped bring some of the songs to life. Dan Ruiter joined the club for the first time and rocked the drums across the entire session. It was a blast to work with Dan. He also contributed a fantastic coronet part to "Mother's Eyes" which really made the song (the only track written during the session).

The album has had some respectable sales across the globe through iTunes and other download services, as well as achieved a number of streamed requestes through Rhapsody, Spotify and other streamers.

Buy "A Typical Wednesday" at our CDBaby Store

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Credits

Jerry Hammack - Guitars, Bass, Keys, Vocals

Dan Ruiter - Drums nd percussion

Rod Moody- Guitars

Aaron Taylor - Guitars

Recorded and mixed at White Center Sound, Seattle, WA

Engineered and Produced by Jerry Hammack

Package design by Jerry Hammack

Tracks

A Typical Wednesday

Safe

Long TIme Coming

While I Was Gone

Girl

Love Is A Heavy Load

Woe Is Me

Hole In My Heart

Reminders Of You

Raindrops Falling Down

Falling Apart At The Seams

Mother's Eyes

Butterfly

All songs written by Jerry Hammack © 2009 Really Real Music, BMI. All rights reserved.

Click here to view artwork and other assets from A Typical Wednesday.

Nine (2011)

Nine front coverAbout the release

In 2010, I was bored of making rock music, but not bored of making music. At dinner parties and whenever I had a chance to talk with friends and other musicians and artists like my dear friends Tina Anderson and Rod Moody, I began to formulate the idea of codifying chord progressions as a new way to compose. The idea was to take a word or a phrase or a name and then convert it into a series of chords by some regular formula and viola! a song is born.

The foundation of this idea came from my fine art days at PLU, back in the 1980's. Bea Geller, a photography professor at the time when I was working with and showing a series of Lucas Samaras inspired polaroid photo distortions, encouraged me to develop a unique symbolic vocabulary - my own visual language - so that the distortions I introduced to the pictures had meaning. I never did what she suggested, but never forgot the advice to create my own language. I just applied it to music instead.

At a dinner with family friend Janet Chung in Seattle the plan was hatched to use city names that Janet and I had spent time in as the basis of the songs. Initially, I was going to work on the tunes with Janet by laying down a track, sending it to her to add to; back and forth until a song was formed. Unfortunately, Janet's schedule ultimately didn't permit her to participate. Still - the form was cast.

Nine city names were chosen and I converted the names to chords in both an automated and traditionally musical way. First the 26 letters of the alphabet were made the basis of the chords: A-G were obvious, with the pattern repeated over the course of the alphabet (H=A; I=B; J=C, etc.). The key of the tune was primarily derived from the first chord of the song (though this was a loose rule). If the first chord was F, then the key was F too.

The next filter was whether the chords were then dictated by the key to be major, minor, augmented, etc. I let my ear guide me on that decision. Finally, the number of times the progression would repeat itself was based on the number of letters in the name of the city ("Paris" was the shortest tune, due to it's tempo, and the fact that the progression only repeated five times. Paris was also an exception in that the progression of chords was reversed for a section of the tune).

The sound of the sessions was to be as far a departure as possible from what I'd been doing to date with Throttle Body m/c. I had loved ambient music from the moment I first heard Brian Eno back in the early 1970's, and equally loved the feel of the more recent downtempo movement. Those models were my guide. No guitar rock here!

As I started the actual tracking, the final rule came into play, one born of taking 15 and 10 months respectively to track the last two albums. I was only going to spend one day on each track. Whatever I figured out in the day - that was it. Of course, finding nine days to work on the recordings, between two other albums I was producing and recording that year was no easy task. Eventually however, I did find the time.

Everything on "Nine" was recorded at my White Center home on ProTools, with a Yamaha S05 keyboard supplying all the sounds. Loops were mined from free online catalogues and then modified in Abelton (mostly tempo and panning changes).

On the most ambient of tracks ("Chicago", "Seattle"), only one audio track was recorded. I then manipulated the sound with time compression/expansion, gating, reversing - you name it. I literally played the one sound out in as many ways as I liked until it had the atmosphere I sought. It was refreshing to break the mold in these recordings.

While "Nine" hasn't pushed a lot of units, I have had comments that it's the most beautiful thing Throttle Body m/c has ever produced, and it stands as one my favourite children.

Buy "Nine" at our CDBaby Store

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Credits

Jerry Hammack - Keys, loops

Recorded and mixed at White Center Sound, Seattle, WA

Engineered and Produced by Jerry Hammack

Package design by Jerry Hammack

Tracks

Chicago

London

Madrid

New York

Paris

San Francisco

Seattle

Toronto

Vienna

All songs written by Jerry Hammack © 2011 Really Real Music, BMI. All rights reserved.

Click here to view artwork and other assets from Nine.

Hits 1992-1994 - The Greatest Band That Never Was (But Still Is) Part I (2012)

Hits front coverAbout the release

Originally released in 1992 and 1994 as the cassette-only EP's, "For the Few" and "Marley's Chain", "Hits 1992-1994: the Greatest Band That Never Was (But Still Is) Part I", the latest digital release from Throttle Body M/C brings two of their biggest sessions together for the first time with brilliantly remastered clarity from the original DAT master tapes. "Hits 1992-1994: the Greatest Band That Never Was (But Still Is) Part I" features the stellar musicianship of Zoro (award winning drummer for Lenny Kravitz, Bobby Brown, New Edition and others), Stephen Dorocke (guitarist for influential bands such as Handsome Family, Freakwater and Stan Ridgway), Osama Afifi (an accomplished bass player who's credits include Yanni, Vanessa Paradis and The Doors) and Jerry Hammack (songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer).

Buy "Hits 1992-1994: the Greatest Band That Never Was (But Still Is) Part I" at our CDBaby Store

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Credits

Jerry Hammack - Bass, Keys, Vocals

Stephen Dorocke - Guitars

Bass Osama Afifi - bass

Zoro - Drums

Emily Morgan - backing vocals

Recorded at Full Voice Audio, Seattle, WA and Michael Lord Productions, Seattle, WA

Engineered by Michael Lord

Produced by Jerry Hammack

Artwork by Thom Whalen

Tracks

If It's Love

Need It Bad

Getaway

For the Few

Love Comes Down

Marley's Chain

Red Light

Blue Baby

All songs written by Jerry Hammack © 1992, 1994, 2012 Really Real Music, BMI. All rights reserved.

Click here to view artwork and other assets from Nine.

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