Some members of the early ’80s pop band The Hooters (“And We Danced,” “All You Zombies”) are getting back together to record the essential songs
of Philadelphia. But those songs may not be familiar to many Philadelphians.
Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen called a handful of friends to record an obscure song by a local psychedelic band from the late ’60s called the Nazz, called “Open My Eyes”. it was Todd Rundgren’s first band.
Uosikkinen recently moved back to Philadelphia from Southern California, and got in touch with friends including guitarist Rick Difonzo, bassist Bill Witman, and Hooters guitarist Eric Bazilian to join him at Rob Hyman’s place. Hyman, the Hooters keyboard player, has built a recording studio in Conshohocken. It’s a mixture of state-of-the-art digital technology and old tube amps in wooden cases. Hyman says he prefers to record rock old-school: live to tape.
“Today records are made differently – a kid with a computer in his bedroom can make an awesome piece of work – but it’s not the same as four or five guys in a room – especially rock. We’ve been kicked out of every garage and warehouse, by every cop because we played as a unit,” he said.
The list (ever-growing) of essential songs is a personal project of Uosikkinen’s. It ranges from The Sound Of Philadelphia tracks such as “Back Stabbers” by the O’Jays to the little-known punk act he used to play in called Youth Camp. Uosikkinen is also considering songs by obscure Philadelphia rock bands such as the A’s and Robert Hazard. Every two months, one song is recorded and released over the Internet.
Releasing music as albums is quickly becoming obsolete. Uosikkinen says online multimedia lets him reinvent one of his favorites parts of an album – the liner notes.
“I could stare at those pictures forever. I remember certain records – I would look at Keith Richards laying on the floor playing guitar. Now we can do it with video taping it.”
Uosikkinen’s project, called In The Pocket, has already released one song called “All My Mondays” by Youth Camp. The next song, “Open My Eyes”‘, should be available in mid-December at www.songsinthepocket.org.