In the Land of Nod

1987 was a productive year for Bachelors Anonymous. The Christmas vinyl “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” b/w “Mr. Wenceslas” was in the can (see that story here) and the Bachelors had added six more songs for the band’s many live gigs at venues from Club Lingerie and Studio One’s Backlot to art galleries to drag bars and street fairs.

The guys also were getting involved in AIDS activism, and their sets could include as many as three songs that spoke to the pandemic: the cover of Hair’s “The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)” (released last fall), “Play Safely” (a play on the safe-sex slogan), and “The Bells of La Brea” (a lament with a twist), both released commercially for the first time today. Four songs with lighter themes rounded out the fresh half dozen (also released today): “Victor the Beefcake,” “Land of Nod,” “The Price of Love,” and “Looking for You,” for which a music video would be crafted in 1990.

The album is available via
HearNow and Bandcamp

The Bachelors worked with several fine musicians on these six new songs. Tony Ramos played harmonica on the opener, “The Price of Love”; he’d eventually relocate to Germany and build acclaimed custom “harps” when he wasn’t performing. Clive Wright, who contributed guitar to “God Rest You,” once again blazed on the closer, “The Bells of La Brea” as well as providing recording studio time. Carrah Wright (née Macy) lent the dulcet tones of her soprano to “Play Safely,” “Land of Nod (Men’s Dept),” and “Victor the Beefcake.” Doug Lyons blew his horn—twice (story forthcoming)—on “Looking for You” before creating his own chamber group. And Del Mar Richardson, who would join the band, played drums on “Play Safely,” “Victor the Beefcake,” “The Price of Love,” and “Land of Nod.” He did the same on “Looking for You” as well as acting in the video, a pursuit he’d continue in audio, screen, and print. We’ll let Del Mar reminisce in our forthcoming song-by-song series on the BachelorBlogSubscribe to stay in the loop.

But speaking of acting, one of this album’s bonus cuts, “Salt Doll,” was composed by the Bachelors for a production of Home or Future Soap by playwright Megan Terry, directed by Zack at UCLA Theater Arts in February of ’87. As for the Men’s Dept, that was the name of the Bachelors Anonymous home studio in which many of the instrumental tracks were recorded.

For these releases B.A. enlisted mixing engineer Adrian Alvarado. It was a classic Covid-collab, with email and WeTransfer the means of communication. By the time of mastering, by Scott Jennings, Bachelor Rob Berg—vaxcard in hand—was in the studio, with Bachelor David Hughes patched in via HQ audio stream. The album is released on le 14 juillet, Bastille Day.

Track List

Forthcoming links will lead to “the story behind the song” items

  1. Play Safely
  2. Victor the Beefcake
  3. Land of Nod
  4. Looking for You
  5. The Price of Love
  6. The Bells of La Brea
  7. Land of Nod (Men’s Dept)
  8. Salt Doll

Credits

BACHELORS ANONYMOUS is
Rob Berg: Synth, Vocals
David Hughes: Drum Box, Vocals

All songs written and arranged by
Rob Berg & David Hughes

Produced by
Bachelors Anonymous

Instruments recorded at
The Men’s Dept (¼” 4-track), Pasadena, 1985–1987

Instruments and vocals recorded at
Control Center (½” 8-track), Hollywood, Rick Novak, 1985 (“The Price of Love”)
Paramount Recording Studio (¼” 4-track), Hollywood, Ralph M. Miller, 1987 (“Land of Nod”)
Clive Wright (¼” 8-track), South Pasadena, 1987 (“The Bells of La Brea,” “Victor the Beefcake,” “Play Safely,” “Land of Nod”)
David Hughes, drums on “The Bells of La Brea,” “Land of Nod (Men’s Dept),” “Salt Doll”
Tony Ramos, harmonica on “The Price of Love”
Del Mar Richardson, drums on “Play Safely,” “Victor the Beefcake,” “The Price of Love,” “Land of Nod”
Clive Wright, guitar on “The Bells of La Brea”
Carrah (Macy) Wright, backing vocals on “Play Safely,” “Land of Nod (Men’s Dept),” “Victor the Beefcake”

“Looking for You” recorded at
Wildcat Studios, Los Angeles, Josh Schneider
recorded and mixed at
Red Zone Studios, Burbank, Duncan Aldrich
Del Mar Richardson, drums
Douglas Lyons, French horn

Digital transfers by
Tal Miller
Next Generation Audio, 2020

Mixed by
Adrian Alvarado
Alpha Sound, 2021

Mastered by
Scott A. Jennings
Artistry in Sound, 2021

Album cover
Photographed by Braun
Styling by Adrian
Makeup by Tamale
Layout by Eric Handel
Artwork by David Hughes
from an original idea by Rob Berg

© ℗ 1987, 2021 Berg & Hughes
Celibataire Music (ASCAP)

Lyrics

Play Safely

Look me in the eye and say that again
I bet you say that to all the men
You had too much to drink last night
Don’t remember a thing
I had too much to think last night
And I guess it’s just the beginning

Play safely… Play safely…

Men like you are a dime a dozen
A younger brother, an older cousin
You had too much to drink last night
“Can’t remember a thing”?
You said it all in a wink last night
You said everything
But it’s nothing that’s real

Chorus
Play safely or you’re gonna get hurt
Play safely, nothing too overt
Play safely, you’re getting in deep
Play safely, you’re playing for keeps

Men like me, they say we’ve been marked
Now I have a right to be afraid of the dark
I had too much to drink last night
And you “can’t remember a thing”
I was pushed to the brink, alright
I can’t get used to the sting
But it’s something to feel

Chorus           

Men like me, they say we’re so sensitive
What we can’t get we can always give and give and give and give
We had too much to drink tonight
You hoped there wouldn’t be strings
But it’s all out of sync tonight
You’ll do anything
Well, that’s no way to steal

It’s not a question of love, it’s not a question of hate
It’s just a question of la-la-la-la
It’s not a question of luck, it’s not a question of fate
It’s just a question of la-la-la-la-la

Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

Victor the Beefcake

Give me a pigfoot and a cuticle pusher
Emery boards and a Princess phone
And a Princess phone, and a Princess phone
To call Victor the Beefcake
Victor the Beefcake

Check the oil? Under the hood
Trick or treat? Mmm, wish he would
Like Pavlov’s dog, I been cursed
I want seconds when I ain’t had firsts
Want Victor the Beefcake
Victor the Beefcake

I want a pigfoot and the World Weekly News
I read about Bigfoot, but I still got the blues
There’s a rumble in my tummy that won’t go away
Soup’s on! Let’s call it a day
Victor the Beefcake
Victor the Beefcake

Gimme a clubfoot and a social disease
It’ll take more ’n that t’ stop me doin’ as I please
Pass the pickled knuckles and a slab of head cheese
Gotta build up my strength to get down on my knees
For Victor the Beefcake
Victor the Beefcake

Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

Land of Nod

Draw a bath and draw the curtain
Draw the line, but draw me to you
Let me hear you let it out
But let me in and let me near you
Feel the dread…
See some red… (nothing said, nothing said)
Lose your head… (lose your head, lose your head)
Tears are shed, and when they’re shed

Chorus
Close your eyes and let me take you to the Land of Nod
Close your eyes, let me protect you in the Land of Nod
We will be alone together in the Land of Nod
You will be my love forever in the Land of Nod

Out of breath and out of time
And out of patience out in public
Just hold still and hold it in
And hold it in and hold it in!

Someone nods and someone smiles
And someone knows and someone chuckles
No more lies…
Someone’s wise… (someone’s eyes, someone’s eyes)
Come inside… (realize you can’t hide)
Turn the tide / Close your eyes and close your eyes and

Chorus           

I will never dream without you…

Draw a breath and draw the curtain
Draw the blood, draw slow and certain
Seal the cut and seal the letter
Seal the wound whence flows the water
Lay me down and lie sweet nothings
Lay me down and lie me something
Lose your head…
Arms are spread… (the groom is wed on the bed)
Sleep instead… (lose your head, lose your head)
Limbs like lead / Close your eyes and close your eyes and

Chorus

Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

Looking for You

Ear to the door, hoping that love won’t ignore me
Lips against glass, watching as strangers walk past me
Looking for you…

My hands turn to fists, resigned to the power that twists them
Tears burn my eyes; these sudden emotions surprise them
Looking for you…

I move in the night, a sheet of white heat and white lightning
Turn and toss, in silhouette trees burn like crosses

Chorus
Looking for you is becoming an obsession
Looking for you—a solitary passion
Looking for you in many different faces
Looking for you—so many different places
Are you looking for me
Like I’m looking for you?
Looking for me…  looking for you…  looking for me…

Circling the globe, a barricade road that I go by
Lights flash ahead, your dust trail explodes in a red sky

Chorus

Round
Looking for me, looking for you, looking for me, looking for you…
Looking for me, looking for you, looking for me, looking for you…
Looking for me, looking for you, looking for me, looking for you…
Looking for me, looking for you, looking for me, looking for you…

Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

The Price of Love

I once had a friend who depended on romance
Beginning and end, he’d wait for the slow dance
He’d pray, “Amour, come my way
“Eros, don’t stray…”
But he’d never pay the price of love
The price, the price of love

His wife combs her hair, she wears black for no reason
She mourns her last affair, she’s labeled it treason
She mutters a prayer and lights a red candle
She brushes her hair and hopes for a scandal

“Today, I’ll have my way
“Surely he’ll pay…
“He’ll surely pay the price of love
“The price, the price of love”

Counting out the dulling years
Keeping track of every tear
Hoping for a miracle
When the price of love is paid in full

From mother to daughter, turn laughter to slaughter
The sins of the son are the whims of the father
When all’s said and done, we couldn’t be bothered
To say, “You can go your own way
“(But why don’t you stay?)
“Go on, go away!”
We think we can’t afford to pay the price of love
The price, the price of love

Every day someone has to pay for love to come his way
Every day someone else must pay for giving it away
Every day you can feel it sway your life in subtle ways
It makes you fall down stairs, it makes you lose your hair
It makes you feel so crazy deep down there
You’ve gotta pay the price when you feel so nice
There’s no free lunch here in Paradise
Come on and lose some sleep, take a lover’s leap
Come on and pick yourself up off the heap

Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

The Bells of La Brea

I come to recall the black bells of La Brea,
The first time I heard their sullen peal
Of amorous chimes—
A resonation of lead, a tintinnabulation
I would come to dread

It was in ’68. I was fresh from the Rockies
To find myself in a foreign land
Of poppies and sand.
The bells tolled my need for the foreign touch
Of a foreign man.

In a summer of love I gave myself freely;
Old ideals of love were left to chance,
Romancing to romance.
You whispered your name, the bells did ring,
We did the dance.

In a winter of lust we took to the back streets
To lay with lions of leather on beds of down.
The black bells rang to drown.
Ring around the rosy, pockets full of posies,
All fall down!

In a season since past, in an autumn forgotten
They did judge our affection to be a crime;
Now with cruel irony
He stands here before you, your lover, your killer: me!

In a springtime to come, how the black bells will beckon,
But you will not take comfort there
In a scientist’s arms—
In a scientist’s words, in his lies,
In a scientist’s charms.

You can open your eyes now.  Just open your eyes.
Open your eyes now.  You can open your eyes.
Open your eyes.  If you just open your eyes.
You can open your eyes now.
Why won’t you open your eyes?
If you’d only open your eyes.
Just open your eyes.
You can open your eyes now…

Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

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