So Long Ago-Go
Written and performed by

Linda Kadis

Recorded and produced by

Jay Kadis

The Recording
So Long Ago-Go is pretty much the album we intended to make in 1986.  We spent several years in the garage studio perfecting arrangements and consuming mass quantities.  The project began in June of 1981 with the acquisition of a Tascam 80-8 eight track recorder.  We set out to learn how to make rock recordings and what better to work on than Linda’s catchy tunes.  And so began an odyssey that lasted until December 2006.

The first songs to be recorded were “Follow Me” and an early version of “28 Percent.” "Photograph" was the last song recorded. Throughout the project, equipment upgrades are reflected in the sound quality.  Among the improvements were a custom-built set of mic preamps fed directly to the recorder and an AKG C535EB condensor mic that we used for vocals and other things.  The great majority of the album was recorded with Shure SM-57 and SM-54 microphones.  The Ampex 456 tape used might have sounded better when it was new, but over the years it deteriorated and required dehydration treatments before being dubbed to digital tape on a Tascam DA-88.  The conversion was made using a Mackie Digital Eight-Bus console.

The digital copies were loaded into Logic Pro and mixed with the use of Universal Audio plug-in effects.  The use of the Fairchild 670 compressor and Plate 140 reverb on the vocals and the 1176 limiter on the drums creates a solid rock’n roll vibe. Two of the tracks were mixed on the D8B with a Lexicon 224 reverb and it’s hard to pick out those tracks from the rest.

The studio, Jay's Garage, was 10' x 10' and the control booth 5' x 6'. We had rudimentary A/C, but it could get quite "intimate". That undoubtedly figured in the musical creations. It was maybe a little too comfortable, but we did eventually manage to record enough for an album...

The Characters
Jay's Garage
The cast of characters involved in the music changed slowly over time.  Initially, Bill Nelsen and Mark Resare worked with us to develop the arrangements.  There were many attempts before the versions recorded here floated to the top.  Soon George Lucero joined on bass. We have a boxful of rehearsal recordings on cassette.  We played a handful of gigs.

This configuration lasted a couple of years.  Later Joe Montalvo took over on drums and the band became The Synics.  Finally, Dan Brusseau took up the bass and Nelsen left.  This became Urban Renewal and later Edd Cook joined on saxophone.

As Urban Renewal we played the Bay Area originals club scene including the Chi-Chi, Berkeley Square, Full Moon Saloon, the 16th Note and Major Ponds.

The Synics: (from left) George(Miles) Lucero, Bill Nelsen, Joe Montalvo, Linda Kadis, Jay Kadis.
Drummer Mark Resare
George Lucero: Bass
Edd Cook: Saxophone
Joe Montalvo: drums
Dan Brusseau: bass,vocals
Bill Nelsen: guitar, bass, vocals
Early Urban Renewal: (from left) Jay Kadis, Dan Brusseau, Joe Montalvo, Linda Kadis
Urban Renewal at the Chi-Chi Club: (from left) Jay Kadis, Linda Kadis,Dan Brusseau, Edd Cook.
Urban Renewal Memorabilia

Newspaper ads for some of the gigs. Look hard... (squinting may be necessary.)

The card was a "viewer response" card. The response was deafening.

Really. (Do you hear anything?)

Below: Our name in lights!

The Album
This award-winning album captures the spirit and technology of the '80's.

The songs are all written by Linda Kadis with some assistance on lyrics by Jay. The arrangements were hammered out by the participants over several years. There are multiple recordings of many of the songs and those used on the album are the overall best performances. We've mixed these tracks several times over the years but the mixes on the album are the best yet.

The record was produced entirely on the Macintosh G5. It was mixed in Logic Pro 7 using UAD-1 plug-ins for compression, reverb and effects. The disc was premastered to CD-R using Roxio Jam with mastering and replication by Discmakers. It is a vinylCD, a CD that looks like a little LP. It's cute. (It makes a nice gift.) BUY!

Graphics were done in Photoshop and InDesign. Photographs of the Chi-Chi gig are courtesy of Scott Thompson, the cover photograph is by Jay Kadis.

The drum machine used on a couple of songs, the LinnDrum, characterized the electronic drum sound. We originally set out to make a record using the LinnDrum, but the versions with real drums are so much more lively we finally went them instead. Two songs lacked adequate live-drum versions and therefore are the Linn versions. The album was recorded on only eight tracks and the drums were on just one track at mixing time, so plenty of processing was required to get the best possible balance.

Longest production time ever taken on a record. (1981-2006)

©2006 Jay & Linda Kadis / Dexter Records