MP3 The 5 O'Clocks - Matter of Time
Eclectic 1980''s Band Evolves over 9 years from a New Wave band to a Funk band and finally to a Rock group.
18 MP3 Songs in this album (79:15) !
Related styles: POP: New Wave, ROCK: 80''s Rock
People who are interested in Steely Dan Elvis Costello Bonnie Raitt should consider this download.
25 Years from 5 O’Clock
Jon Saxon and I founded “The Clocks” (later “The 5 O’Clocks) in 1983 and were in the band throughout its 9-year history. 2008 marks our 25th anniversary. I thought it might be a good time to look back.
It was a band that never lost sight of its goal to play original music. We never resorted to being just another cover band, even though we played a lot of bars that had nothing but cover bands. We always would sneak in the originals. It’s one thing that made the band really cool.
I started moving some old band material to digital format and I realized that there was lots of it – more than enough material for a CD. And a lot of it still sounded fresh after all these years. So I decided to do it.
In 1983, I worked out a deal to have Rory Young produce and engineer my songs. Only we had to record when his studio wasn’t being used by the full-price clients. And Rory was a perfectionist and worked very, very slowly – with no concept of a deadline. It took almost two years to finish four songs. But those four songs are
recorded perfectly. I released them in 1984 as the EP Cassette Matter of Time. In retrospect, it was a giant accomplishment.
Rory’s patience when recording really rubbed off on me. I take a lot of time recording too although recently I have been picking up the pace.
The four songs that came out of those sessions, Premonition, Can’t Stand Living at Home, Back of my Hand and Matter of Time open this CD. The original band played on them with Jon Saxon (Jonny Sax), Eric Massimino, Mark Hermann, and Eric Saxon.
That first version of The Clocks was all about recording originals and pushing them. We played at least twice on public access cable – which was just starting in 1983 and was new and cool. One performance was on “Janet’s Planet,” a cable show in New Haven. Way of the City, That Way and the live version of Can’t Stand Living at Home are from that performance. The video of that still exists.
By the time the Matter of Time cassette came out, we were The 5 O’Clocks, Eric and Hermann had left the band, and Sean Smith (bass) and Tod Schneider (guitar) had joined. That’s the band on the cover.
In June,1984 that group played a set at the legendary CBGB’s in New York City. Peter Tork of the Monkees and his band – the Sic Fucs – were also on the bill. We were in those tomb-like cellar rooms they called dressing rooms where The Ramones and Blondie were hanging out at that time - maybe even later that night. Didn’t think much of it then. Seems pretty cool now.
At some point Mark Conese stepped in on drums and Sean Sheridan took over on guitar. That group played original gigs at Backstage in Westport, The Beat and in Port Chester, and a killer Halloween party at Norwalk Community College. Just Lost My Lover was part of a live to 2-track recording this group made at River Street Studio in New Haven.
Owen Yost played bass after Sean Smith. I remember some dates in with him in 1985. He later became our regular sub in 1988 and met his wife at one of our gigs. The band affected lives.
The 5 Oclocks were the headliner at Toad’s Place for a gig in 1985 after Bryan Flowers (guitar) joined and Massimino rejoined the band. That gig featured the “Jonny Sax Section,” adding two more sax players. On our recordings of I Got the News, Naked Eyes and others, Jonny Sax would overdub several saxophones so some songs had more horn parts. We played at least one other gig with the horns.
The band took a one year hiatus when I blew off to California, then we reformed in 1987 with vocalist Melissa Lynch and Jamie Lebish on guitar. We recorded I don’t want to lose you for the lead song on “Waiting in the Wings,” a compilation LP with other local bands on Wahoo Records – a label started by me, Jonny Sax and Dean Morgans. That was recorded at River Street with Brian Jones (drums) and Jim Resnick (bass). Drive was done at Dave Kean’s studio in Georgetown with Brian and Jamie who played bass and guitar.
The biggest gig in the “Melissa” era was opening for Eddie Money at Lake Compounce. Eddie was huge than. His stuff shows up on a tractor-trailer – then we pull in with a couple of stationwagons. Anyway, he has a chef cooking for his band and crew – and we get to eat and hang out with them all day. Eddie stopped by our dressing room
after our set to say he liked it.
Kirk Snedeker joined the band on drums. Then Melissa moved and Mary Salerno (DuBois) replaced her. After Joel Rosendahl joined on bass we set up a live video shoot and 16-track live recording at Shenanigans in South Norwalk. We have Can’t Do Anything, Some People, True Blue and Another Time from that night. Brooks DuBois engineered the recording at the venue. The good news is that the audio came out pretty good. The bad news is that the guys who did the video never finished the editing so we have no video of it.
Finally we have The Sound which was originally released under my alter ego, Michael Might, on the “Waiting in the Wings” album. The players on it were all in the band so it made sense to include it.
I tried to take some music from each era for the CD. Some songs were excluded because the recording was lousy or had a dropout. And the original version of Don’t Ask Me is lost so I used the dance mix with the great percussion by Mark Conese.
So here it is for the band with the funny name and crazy numbers (are you guys the 5-Hundreds?). After all these years – finally – a CD. It was always just a matter of time.
John J. Lamb, December, 2008