Monday, April 21, 2008

Car Vs. Driver - The Latest Hit Sensation From Seattle Demo - November 20, 1993

From L to R: James Joyce (Scout shirt), Steve Wishart (Phleg Camp shirt), Matt Mauldin (Motherload Railroad shirt) and Jon Rothman (Winnie The Pooh shirt I think) at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC - July 1994.

Here is the first recording of Car Vs. Driver that I have, which predates the first studio session by a little bit:
Car Vs. Driver Demo - November 20, 1993

There are no new songs here, but it is interesting how the songs got tighter and more refined as we recorded them later, especially on the last WREK show, which was almost a year after. I believe we were 4-tracking the songs as demo versions of what we would later record in the studio, but only 2 of these songs were properly recorded in a studio. The tape that this demo came from was labeled "Car Vs.
Driver - The Latest Hit Sensation From Seattle", so I kept the title. Jon was playing the SG and a Crate amp or a Fender Twin with a Marshall distortion pedal, I was playing the old Royce drumset and Steve was playing the same Washburn, etc. bass setup that he had during the entire history of the band (and still plays now!).

Jon Rothman with the Walrus at the Smithsonian - this was the day after he punched Steve in the face while we were trying to park the van, and the same day he wandered off in Baltimore and we found him in an alley eating chocolate frosting from a can. This was also the same day Matt saw a cat piss on a car - he still says it was funniest thing he has ever seen.

Matt Mauldin at our last show - another one from the photo album.
Me and Jon Rothman in Birmingham, AL at the record store where Hal later played with Lungfish (I can't remember the name). We played an all day show there, and Jon had to have a bowel movement before we went on, so he walked all the way down to the hospital about 1/2 mile away to use a clean bathroom. He was gone for about an hour, and we thought he had left the band or was distracted by a shiny bauble. He was known for doing that (especially while driving).


  1. the cvd story began in the spring of 1993 at the spiney norman house. one night i was hanging there and got to talking to steve w. we talked about the idea of starting a band.

    i was real surprised and impressed that steve would be interested in playing with me due to my more metallic leanings of the past. i wanted to start a melodic underground hardcore so aligning myself with steve was a major coup for me. i knew he would shape the music of the band in the direction that i wanted to do based on his early work in bands like such as.

    from there, chad wiener recommended that i contact jon rothman for guitar. jon was game and although he was just learning to play, his will to do it and his enthusiasm drove him to make himself into a real guitarist so the band would work.

    our first practice was at the wishart household with scott w. filling in on drums. soon thereafter james just kind of fell into place as our drummer. i didn't realize james was such a force on drums until he joined. midget farmers were a great band but the drumming was totally different.

    the rest of the story is history.

  2. To continue Matt's story.....I give credit to Greg (drummer) from Spiney Norman for helping car vs. driver happen. He, Matt, and myself were talking and I remember Greg saying you guys should really start a band. He was really adamant about it. Matt and I started talking about it. There was some other guy that someone had recommended to us to play guitar. I talked to him on the phone a couple of times but he flaked. Matt called me one day and Chad Wiener knew this guy (Jon Rothman)so why don't we try him. Jon and Matt made the journey to my house and our first practice was with my brother (Scott from Scout) on drums. We wrote two songs at that practice - Engine and My Pulse - two songs that will never see the light of day. Although I still remember how to play My Pulse. theory has always been that since I lived on NW side of Atlanta and Matt lived on the NE side (a good 40 minutes apart) that he schemed to find a drummer near him so he would not have to drive the 40 minute across Hwy 92 for practice all the time (Jonathan may have schemed with him on this as well). So for our next practice Matt suggested James, who conveniently lived close to Matt and Jonathan. Well James was perfect and I can't imagine the band without him. Besides his mom always had chips ahoy soft batch cookies and plenty of coke for our breaks. I would spend the next year and half though making the trek from Woodstock to Alphareta and back burning a lot of gas.

  3. For the record...I do still have the same Gallien-Krueger 400 RB head, KMD cabinet, and Peavy cabinet. When I started playing with To The Mean I finally broke down and bought a Music Man Stingray. I still have the Washburn, though - too many memories (and blood stains) to let go of. -Steve

  4. James- thanks for posting the demo songs. I still have my tape but haven't listened to in years. Funny how these songs transformed over time. I still wish we had recorded The Blinds and Tremble in the studio. One regret I have. I still really like those songs.

    I kept a list of every song we wrote. Here are all the ones that we never recorded in any fashion:

    My Pulse
    Conversion Table
    Reason No Reason
    Our Lord Ceasar

    Passion Fullfillment (aka Fork Pry)and What I Need are two others that we never did in studio but did get recorded on air at WREK and Clemson.

    41 songs in total we wrote over the 2 plus years.

  5. If I remember correctly, My Pulse was our first song. I would really like to get a copy of that one. It's great to have a list of these unrecorded "lost" CVD songs. I remember Our Lord Caesar as being an instrumental like Song 17, but more moody and not as good. Freakshow was unfortunately not the Didjits song - I have no recollection of that one. Luckily we have Passion Fulfillment (aka Fork Pry) and What I Need on the discography 2XCD, so we are only missing 7 songs out of 41 in total written.

  6. Let's clarify a couple things: First, I don't remember punching Steve in the face, but if I did, I'm sure he had it coming. Second, you bet I went the distance to find a clean bathroom. Who wouldn't? What would you have me do? Pull a Mauldin whilst emo-ing out on stage?