Rich La Bonte – Mayan Canals LP
OUT JULY 1ST
Bright Yellow Star
Show Me Pictures
Night Train To Albany
Drums Along The Maple Wood
Rich La Bonte is a musician, writer and editor from upstate New York born in 1946. At age 11 he figured out how to record a piano backwards with his first tape deck and discovered Monk, Mingus and Art Blakey. In 1965 Rich moved to Ithaca, bought an electric guitar and started singing in garage rock band the huns. After the band dissolved, he moved to NYC and played bass and sang in the original cast production of the musical Godspell. In the late 70s La Bonte moved to Hollywood with Shari Famous, released a a few 7” singles as Dada2, and started fLAtDiSk Records, a vinyl subsidiary of Dave Gibson’s Moxie Record Company.
Rich released his debut solo album ‘Mayan Canals’ in 1981. The seven songs were recorded between 1973 and 1980 while living in New York, Pennsylvania and Hollywood. Influenced by everything from Apple Records to Zappa, the album veers from oozy psychedelia to synthesized breezy folk. Vocally Rich sounds like a cross between Tom Verlaine and Lou Reed. Some tracks feature an EMS Synthi A synthesizer, known to generate the sci-fi sounds from Dr. Who. Other songs utilize feedback from a Maestro Fuzztone box into a TEAC 4-track SimulSync tape recorder. Lyrically La Bonte tackles themes of dying celestial bodies, the birth of his daughter, and a critique of Bowie’s character in The Man Who Fell To Earth. Included on this reissue are two bonus tracks originally released on the double A side 7” single Chance Circumstance/Drums Along The Maple Wood, a tribute to Irwin Chusid, the eminent WFMU DJ, with vocals by Shari Famous.
All songs have been remastered from original tapes by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The jacket features a replica of the original jacket with a Mayan figure screen printed using the original rubber stamps from Rich’s archives. Each copy includes a 6-page xeroxed booklet with lyrics, never before seen photos, and liner notes by Rich La Bonte.