Mars

LIner notes to 3-cassette box - "Mars Rehearsal Tapes" (Anomia 2012)

Connie Burg and I met Sumner Crane and Nancy Arlen in late 1975, and quickly decided to start a band. Sumner had been playing piano since he was a kid and I trumpet, guitar and more recently bass, but we were for the most part self taught. Connie decided to pick up a guitar and we started jamming in Nancy’s loft on Broadway and Duane St. where Sumner lived downstairs. For the first few months it was just piano, bass and acoustic guitar, with some paper bag percussion from Nancy. Our biggest rock influence at the time was Velvet Underground so we started jamming on some of their songs till we found our own. Tape one begins with Sumner alone playing over a Sweet Jane riff with his own blues styled fills, then goes onto Pale Blue Eyes, the first song Connie would sing. Our first original song with Sumner’s lyrics was Cry, also the only song to make the transition from our acoustic to electric lineup. The set ends with a blues jam with Sumner improvising a story about a leather jacket. Here we’re joined by Jody Harris on guitar, who had been playing with us in the loft for a couple months until Sumner, for practical reasons – given that no clubs had pianos – decided to switch to guitar, at which time Jody gracefully bowed out. Jody: “Yeah, dim memory, being in Sumner's loft for the first time -- maybe hadn't met him yet.

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