Back in 1998, while struggling through one of many bouts of writer’s block – “oh, everything I write is so cliched!” – I suddenly thought: yeah. Go with it. The first Drowsy Drivers disc – never really called anything other than the “demo disc” or “The Drowsy Drivers” – contained a bunch of songs I’d recorded at home (house-sharing with Justin Ludowyk) just near the building from which 3RRR now broadcasts. Yeah, now it’s all high-tech and panelling, but back in those days in Brunswick East it was my sister Lisa’s old ghetto blaster’s microphones and a Sound Blaster 16… and it sounded like it.
Still, some of the songs survived to make their way into later projects like Northcote Country Soul, and others were quite rightly put out to pasture. (Some songs are like milk – drink ’em now, they won’t be any good in a month’s time. This is especially true of silly songs about popular culture obsessions.)
On December 3rd, 1999, a large group of automatically-inducted Drowsy Drivers gathered in a warehouse in North Melbourne – attaching themselves to the surrounds and accoutrements of the beginnings of Kevin McFerran’s Barnyard Studios – and made their way through the songs. Yea, verily, the air was thick with the sound of many voices raised in song – not often the same song, but there you go – and also thick with smoke and the sound of increasingly drunken whoopee being made. The recording made was subsequently accidentally shredded, melted, stomped on and thrown off a cliff into Bass Strait, never to be heard again.
But the demo recordings floated around for a bit longer, and here they all are now! Please keep the previous details in mind; in fact, I would specifically underline “old ghetto blaster’s microphones”, “Sound Blaster 16” and “silly”… don’t say you weren’t warned!