So now, almost exactly seven years after their TV appearance, Klaatu will be performing "live" on stage before an audience and naturally the anticipation on both sides of the footlights is mounting. According to Klaatu member, John Woloschuk, the final decision to "go live" at this particular time is simply the result of "preparation meeting with opportunity" but the desire to appear on stage has been with the group for some time albeit latent. "We have wanted to establish a direct one-to-one contact with our audience as early as 1979," says Woloschuk. "but for various reasons, most of which were beyond our own control, the opportunity did not present itself until now. We presently have the full support of our record company behind us and we have the collective desire to go out and do it... but only if we can do it well. That has always been our primary concern."
On October 13, 1981, Klaatu went into a fourth floor rehearsal hall overlooking the noisy streets of downtown Toronto for the first of several in series of closed rehearsal sessions for the upcoming November tour. In addition to Klaatu regulars, John Woloschuk, Dee Long and Terry Draper, the services for three other noted musicians have been enlisted to complete the six-piece Klaatu touring ensemble. These auxiliary musicians were hand-picked especially for this tour and are all well-known and respected within the Canadian rock music scene. They include drummer Gary McCracken and bassist Mike Gingrich, both formerly of "Max Webster", and keyboardiste extraordinaire Gerald O'Brien, a former member of "Surrender", a Toronto based band. When asked about the choice of backup players, Woloschuk responded as follows: "In order to put on the best possible concert, we knew that we would have to get the best possible people available and we spent the whole summer making enquiries. Working with professionals makes working a real pleasure and we were fortunate to land some very good people. Let's face it, if it weren't for these guys we couldn't put on the kind of quality show we've been hoping to do."
By the time you read this little preview, the first ever Klaatu concert tour will probably be well under way but don't worry, I'm sure there will be many more to come judging by the excitement this one has already generated even weeks before it is scheduled to being. A detailed tour itinerary has been reproduced below showing all the "known" 1981 Canadian concert dates at this time. Further details may be available in the next issue of "The Morning Sun."
Date City Venue Also Appearing Nov. 10 Lethbridge, Alberta Sportsplex Prism / Straight Lines Nov. 12 Medicine Hat, Alberta Medicine Hat Arena Prism / Straight Lines Nov. 13 & 14 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Centennial Auditorium Prism / Straight Lines Nov. 15 Regina, Saskatchewan Centre for the Arts Prism / Straight Lines Nov. 16 Calgary, Alberta Max Bell Arena Prism / Straight Lines Nov. 18 Winnipeg, Manitoba Convention Centre Prism / Straight Lines Nov. 20 Thunder Bay, Ontario Lakehead University Prism / Straight Lines Nov. 23 & 24 Toronto, Ontario The Music Hall Prism Dec. 31 Edmonton, Alberta Northlands Coliseum Toronto / Martha & the Muffins
Q. "Was Silly Boys actually the backwards recording of Anus of Uranus?" - Marcos Guerrero, Tucson, Arizona
A. Yes, the main rhythm guitar in Silly Boys is actually the same recorded guitar that appears in Anus of Uranus only it is played through the tape machine backwards. Onto this basic track other guitars, a set of drums, bass guitar and assorted effects were added later but these were recorded conventionally. The only other backwards elements in Silly Boys are some of the vocal lines which again were taken from Anus of Uranus by reversing the tape direction. Although Silly Boys, which appeared on the Sir Army Suit album, was recorded in the spring of 1978, the original idea for the tune and the lyrical content was conceived back in early 1973 during the recording of Hanus of Uranus, a previously released single version of Anus of Uranus. Apparently while listening to an early monitor mix of "Hanus", Klaatu member John Woloschuk got the idea of making a completely new song by turning the tape over and playing it through in the opposite direction. In fact, the actual lyric of Silly Boys, including the title itself, was merely "copied" as it were directly from the backwards words (or backwords) of Hanus of Uranus. Although the idea was immediately received with enthusiasm by the other members of the band, it wasn't until late fall of 1977 that the decision was made to record it and use it on a Klaatu album.
Q. "How long did it take to write and make the album, Hope?" - Henry Ocampo, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A. Hope, Klaatu's second record album, was written and recorded over a period of about twelve months. It was not, however, the longest album to record as 3:47 EST was written and recorded in intermittent stages over a period spanning almost three years. Actual work began on Hope in early June 1976 with recording commencing some two of three months later. The symphonic orchestral arrangements were recorded in London, England during January of 1977 and the album was mixed and completed (for the first time) back in Toronto in late February. However, being unsatisfied with that "initial" version of the album, the group convinced their record company to allow them to continue working on the album through to the end of May 1977. In fact, it was almost one year to the day from when work first began that the "new improved" version of the album was delivered to the record company in June of 1977. According to bandmember, Dee Long, it was by far the most demanding album Klaatu has yet recorded but in retrospect it may have been worth the effort.
Q. "Why are 3:47 EST and Sir Army Suit called their respective titles?" - Michael Barwick, Kemptville, Ontario
A. The title of Klaatu's debut album, 3:47 EST, was taken directly from the screenplay of the 1951 science-fiction motion picture entitled, "The Day the Earth Stood Still." In the film, the central character, Klaatu, was a peace missionary from somewhere in outer space who landed his spacecraft in Washington, D.C. one sunny spring afternoon at precisely 3:47 Eastern Standard Time. By coincidence, while working on the first Klaatu album which at that time was yet untitled, one of the band's member viewed a screening of the film and was immediately impressed by the appropriateness of the character Klaatu's arrival time on earth as the title of the band Klaatu's debut record album. Apparently the rest of the band agreed.
The story behind the title of Klaatu's third album, "Sir Army Suit" is not quite as interesting but deserves mention. It is taken from the lyric of the song, Silly Boys, which appears on that album. For those who have lyric sheets from that album you no doubt have noticed that the lyrics themselves are just reversals of the lyric in Anus of Uranus (played backwards on a tape recorder). Apparently the group was in a playful mood when it came time to title their third album and they deny any further significance exists in their choice.
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