SECRETS - THE FIAT LUX DIARIES

 
SEPTEMBER 1983

Thur 1
Collect band at 1pm. Head for Sheffield for Radio Hallam interview with Richard Tandy.

Sat 3  
The Leadmill, for a Janice Long Show special. Steve and Ian interviewed. Then meet other participants Glen Gregory, John Foxx and The Lotus Eaters. The band is then interviewed on the premises by Mark Vibrant for BBC Radio Sheffield. We then go back to radio Hallam where the boys have been invited back to take part in Richard Tandy's request show which goes on air at 11.30pm.

Mon 5
Drive to London with band plus session bassist Steve Smith on our way to start London based live rehearsals so that Polydor can assess the use of additional musicians. Unfortunately my car breaks down dramatically on the M1 and I manage to limp it to Crick near Rugby where it is abandoned in favour of a hire car. Resume our journey by on arrival at Chris Carr's office we find that our delay has meant that we have missed all our planned meetings. Instead we meet up with drummer Rick Martinez who takes us for a meal at Porters Pie factory before we check into the Columbia hotel.

Tues 6
The Church Rehearsal Studio Southwark: First day working towards Polydor audition of  the extended live line up. The Church is part owned by Vince Clarke of Yazoo who we meet on our arrival. Worked until 6 pm then return to hotel. David meets up with Chris Carr and Sarah at The Ad Lib Club in Kensington where Chris's business partner Claudine is having a party with her husband Michael Rielly of Steel Pulse. He also meets Jimmy Helms and Peter Powell there.

Wed 7
The Church Rehearsal Studio Southwark: another day working on potential live set. I return in afternoon with news from Polydor that Photography has entered the midweek Charts at 74. Sounds have reviewed it in their singles page. Return to hotel at 6 pm and hear Peter Powell play it on Radio One.

Thur 8
Another day rehearsing at The Church. Mid afternoon Steve Smith leaves for Wakefield to attend a wedding. The rest of us meet Chris Carr and the Polydor A&R team who take us to see a band that Chris is publicising called Zera 1 at The Venue.

Fri 9
The Church rehearsal studios. Today it's just Steve, Ian and David with a TR808 drum machine going through song ideas. David offers a new idea called "Tighter" on which work is begun.

Sat 10
The Church rehearsal Studios. Steve Smith and Rick Martinez back today for more rehearsal.

Sun 11
"Photography" requested and played on Annie After Dark on Radio 1.

Mon 12
Day begins rather dramatically with phone call from Ian to say that he and David are under House Arrest by the C.I.D in the Columbia hotel due to non payment of the bill. A few hasty calls to Polydor's financial department soon sort the matter out.

Next I hear that Rick Martinez has crashed his car and will be delayed from arriving at today's rehearsal. David and Ian get to The Church studio first followed by Steve and Steve Smith. The plan is to perform the results of the recent rehearsals with the session guys to Hugh Jones, Polydor, Chris Carr and friends. While waiting for Rick, the band does an interview with Simon from Blitz magazine in a local pub. The performance in front of the assembled party is disappointingly lack lustre and ends when producer Hugh Jones leaves for a recording session.

Polydor's views on the new arrangement are inconclusive. Drive Steve, David and Ian back to Wakefield. On the journey David expresses doubts about the merit of enhancing the live line up while Ian is still strongly in favour of it.

Janice Long plays Photography on Radio 1 evening show.

Tues 13
Amazon Studios Liverpool: Drive David and gear to the studio. Meet our engineer whom the band enjoyed working with last time we were here, Geoff Higgins. On arrival we get message to say that Hugh Jones will not get here today because his previous project has overrun. Check into Rockland Hotel, Ian and Rick Martinez meet us here.

Wed 14
Amazon studios Liverpool: Drive David, Ian and Rick across. Hugh Jones arrives at 11am. Steve comes over soon after in a hire car. Hugh and David begin working on rhythm parts with a drum machine and this sparks off a big row between them and Rick Martinez. Rick argues that as he's here and rehearsed he should be doing live drums not embellishing drum boxes. Not a good start. Hugh argues in favour of working his way and I marshal the angered parties in the direction of the pool room. Guide parts are then recorded For "Moments" and "Blue Emotion". Meet up with the March Violets who are recording a single across the corridor. They also borrow some of our equipment.

Thur 15
Amazon studios: Day doesn't start well as we see a lousy review of "Photography" in the Record Mirror which proclaims "you should have stuck with Bill lads". Guide track recorded today for "Breaking The Boundaries". Steve sets off for London to deliver some sleeve ideas for the next single (Secrets). David pops next door to do backing vocals on March Violets version of the T. Rex song "Children Of the Revolution".

Fri 16
Amazon Studios: Ian and David get interested in the nearby Frigoscandia factory and wander round looking for potential photo shoot locations for an expected Melody Maker interview next week. Back in the studio David records bass guitar for "Boundaries", "Blue Emotion" and "Embers" and a Minimoog bass part for "The Moment". Steve returns to Liverpool.

Sat 17
Amazon studios: Rick's girl friend Rosie arrives for the weekend. David records mini moog bass for "Embers", and electric and acoustic guitars on "Boundaries" Ian comes up with the middle eight keyboard part on the Memorymoog. A huge flight case arrives from London containing a Mellotron. This is immediately put to good use on "Embers".

Sun 18
Amazon studios: Hugh decides that they need to do a new version of "Blue Emotion". Rick Martinez adds drum parts to this which are put through an AMS delay box. Then the session finishes with guide guitar and vocals from Steve and David.

Mon 19
Amazon studios: David does bass guitar for "Blue Emotion" Version 2.  Steve Smith arrives followed by The Melody Maker people - Helen Fitzgerald and Tom Sheenan the photographer. I arrange for one of the studio sofas to be taken to the location Ian and David found the other day and this is used for some shots of  Ian , Steve and David which we'd asked Tom to do with a view to using them on the "Secrets" cover. We also got him to take shots of the furniture without the band! Some other shots are also taken in the open air with Steve Smith and Rick Martinez included in the line up. I can see that this troubles David.

Back in the studio Ian works on a triggered Minimoog part for "Blue Emotion V2". Helen Fitzgerald takes the opportunity to interview the band in the quieter moments. After the interview Helen stays to see more of the recording.

Tues 20
Amazon studios: David records strings for Blue Emotion V2, then Ian does the "2001" part on Memorymoog. David then has a conference call with Chris and I in which he states that he is unhappy about the state of affairs with the session men and that he believes that Ian has given them the impression that they are to become part of the band. This was compounded in David's view by Bassist Steve Smith arriving unexpectedly with a bass and a guitar. Chris agrees that the sound of the band would be compromised by this turn of events and suggest that we think of a way forward that suits all. Chris says he will talk to Hugh Jones.

David records piano parts and Jupiter 8 Chorus chords for "Boundaries".

Wed 21
Amazon studios: Hugh Jones pulls a very clever stunt. He calls for a live take of "Splurge" involving Steve Smith on bass and Rick on drums with Steve, Ian and David all playing together in the studio. After a little arguing from David and bemusement from Steve this is done. As he had planned,  Hugh uses the result to demonstrate that an extended line up of this sort does not end up sounding anything like Fiat Lux. I arrive in time for the playback and call an immediate band meeting. All three members are now suddenly in agreement that they should remain a threesome. David and Ian get back to work on the instrumental and middle part of "Boundaries" and the crisis seems to be over. The night is concluded with a good vocal by Steve on Blue Emotion V2. Morale certainly seems to be restored.

Thur 22
Amazon studios: Steve works on more vocal parts. David's girlfriend Dannette arrives at the studio. Hugh works on drum parts for "Embers" with Rick adding live drums according to Hugh's instruction. Steve uses a piece of wood found during the other day's photo shoot to create an ambient percussion part in the studio live room.

Fri 23
Amazon studios: David working on piano part and guitars for "Embers" and devises a middle eight part with Hugh while at the piano. At midnight Dannette produces a cake and presents for David's birthday and all join in the celebrations.

Sat 24
Amazon studios: Visit from the London crew to see how things are going - Chris Carr, Sarah, Billy Keane from Polydor and also Ian's wife Mary in attendance. Hugh plays back the work in progress. David then works on piano parts for "The Moment".

Sun 25
Amazon studios: I arrive at the studio and have a meeting with Chris Carr. It seems that there is still a bit of an atmosphere and we have a bit of a pep talk with each band member. Meanwhile Hugh continues to work on bouncing and treating tracks. The visitors return to London and I take Steve Smith back to Wakefield.

Mon 26
Amazon studios: Hugh works on drum pattern for "No More Proud" David adds two Minimoog bass parts and guitar.

Tues 27
Amazon studios: Steve and Ian return to Wakefield. Hugh records various drum parts with Rick Martinez with David in attendance.

Wed 28
Amazon studios: More replacement of drum machine with Rick on real drums on all tracks thus far.

Thur 29
Amazon studios: Rick goes off to Monmouth. Work begins on "Splurge" version two. David records guitar, bass and bass Minimoog to a defiantly drum machine-led new version. Later Mellotron voices are added.

Fri 30
Amazon studios: Day of track bouncing, mixing and mending. Geoff Higgins hands over to Gil Norton in the engineering department.

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