still here, just overextended.

The day after New Years’, I broke my leg.  I talked about it here, briefly, but it absolutely sucked.  I knew it was broken when it happened, and when the doctor confirmed it, he wrapped me up in a splint so that I couldn’t move my leg for four days.  After the fourth day I was able to go to an orthopedic doctor who looked at my X-rays and said “Yep; it’s broke,” put me in an air boot and told me not to put any weight on it whatsoever, for 4-6 weeks.

That 4-6 weeks happened right in conjunction with the re-launch of Dromedary.  Since the re-launch was already in the works and records had release dates, I couldn’t really put it off, so we went ahead with our plans while I hobbled around like an ass for a month.

You see people on crutches all the time.  They move around like they were born with them.  The crutches did not come that easy for me – it probably took a week before I felt comfortable walking with them, but even then I couldn’t go anywhere fast.  Getting up and down stairs meant sitting in a chair, transferring myself from the chair to the floor, scooting up or down the stairs on my ass – then hoisting myself back to my feet at the top or bottom.   Getting into the car was a production.  And sleeping?

Sleeping was a nightmare.  I don’t think I slept for the first three weeks, and neither did Sandy.  It was January, so it was cold, and the boot would get wrapped up under the covers within minutes of my lying down.  If I rolled over, my leg would hurt and wake me up, simultaneously ripping the covers off Sandy and me.  It got to the point where I slept under one blanket and Sandy under another, so I wouldn’t keep ripping the blankets off her.

Gradually it hurt less (and smelled more), and finally I got the boot removed in late February.  Physical therapy, which was supposed to be six weeks long and last until the beginning of April, just seemed to keep going and going.  Finally it got to the point where I could walk with only a mild limp, and after about 8 weeks I could finally balance on my right foot for 30 seconds or more.  So in mid-April, the doctor cleared me to resume whatever physical activities I’d like.

Meanwhile I’ve been a lump of shit for 3 months, barely moving, just sitting and gaining weight – an indie rock Jabba the Hutt.  Last week I began cycling again, in anticipation of tomorrow’s Bike NY 5 Borough Bike Tour, a 42-mile cycling tour of New York City.  This year I’m doing it with Sandy and a couple of our buddies, and I’ll be pissed if I can’t make it the whole way.  And hopefully by the start of summer I’ll be back in shape, realizing my goal of cycling 100 miles a week and playing basketball every Monday night.

On the Dromedary front, something interesting happened two weeks ago.  I had told the story in a prior entry that we messed up the Flying Suit art back in 1994 – and never even realized it.  It was during the writing of this blog that we stumbled onto the website of the artist Mike Wolstat, and saw that the colors should have been reversed.

When we agreed with the Mommyheads to reissue Flying Suit this year, it only made sense for us to present the artwork as it was initially intended.  So Michael from the Mommyheads got in touch with Mike the artist, and asked him to scan the original artwork and send it to me.

Except for one thing: Mike didn’t have the original artwork.  He sent it to me back in 1994.

Now, I had no clue what happened to that art.  Initially, the record art was supposed to be a two-color silkscreen, and Mike sent us artwork that we were supposed to use to make transparencies for the screens.  When we realized that silkscreening CDs was absolute insanity, we changed our minds and gave the art to Rich so that he could combine the art for each color into a single set of films to send to the printer.

After that, I had no idea what happened to the art.  It was 1994.

Finally, I made a high-resolution scan of the CD art and began the painstaking process of working with each piece in Photoshop, using my limited (read: useless) Photoshop skills to try and remake the art.  Something that should have taken a half a day turned into a weekend, then a week, then two weeks.

Back in February I had managed to do a halfway decent job on the cover art for digital – got the band’s approval on the art I would send IODA for them to send to the e-tailers.  It was passable, but not perfect.  Actually, not even close to perfect.  But it was going to have to do, what with my limited skills and all.

And in early April, I simply gave up.  I decided I was going to produce the CDs with one panel art, remake the back panel and tray card, and simply make do with the best I could do.  I sent off a master CD and had a test CD manufactured, found it to be acceptable, and then began procrastinating.

Something just didn’t feel right about it.  I wanted to put out Flying Suit, not something like Flying Suit.

So I started slowly working on re-creating the artwork.

Then one day it hit me, just like this.  This popped into my mind:

In a manila folder with the Mommyheads press, in the white file box of Dromedary stuff.

And so I went downstairs and found a white file box of Dromedary stuff, began sifting through it, until I found a manilia folder that said, in Sandy’s writing, “Mommyheads Press.”  And I opened it up, and right inside was a bunch of pieces of the original art for Flying Suit.

Just like that.

So I scanned everything and began to start from scratch.  Slowly.  Sloppily.  But I had the stuff I knew I would need, and I knew that if I kept working at it, it would get done.

Then, in a chance email discussion with Steve Spatucci from Cuppa Joe, he did the impossible.  He volunteered to do it.

I didn’t need much convincing.  I told him that I could only pay him in beer, which he readily accepted, and then I emailed him the files.

One day later, they were done.  Perfectly.

I sent them to the Mommyheads guys, got their OK (with a few minor changes), and now I have Mommyheads art.  So I’ll be sending it out to have a short run of CD-Rs manufactured for those where download is just not enough.

Catbird Seat suggested that I Kickstart a Flying Suit vinyl LP, raising funds via preorder and buying a short run once I’ve made enough.  After my Record Store Day vinyl kick, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

What do you think?

~ by Al on May 1, 2010.

3 Responses to “still here, just overextended.”

  1. I want one. Do you take PayPal?

  2. We do. Hopefully, the CDs will go on sale on our website the same day as the download – May 18.

  3. If you’re referring to the vinyl, well, we’re still working on that one. 🙂

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