ODD TALES AND WONDERS
STORIES IN SONG CD LINER NOTES


TRAVIS EDWARD PIKE
OTHERWORLD COTTAGE INDUSTRIES
ABOUT THIS CD COVER: In this 1968 Disneyland photo, Adam sits on Travis' knee. Travis’ left ankle was broken in an auto accident in Germany in 1964, and standing or walking without a cane, normally held on his right side could be painful. For this photo, with Adam perched on his good right knee, he’s standing on the weak ankle side, supported by the cane held in his left hand.
     01. “End of Summer” was the first song Travis wrote in Chelsea Naval Hospital while recovering from bone graft surgery on his left ankle. He wrote the two verses in German for his German fans in anticipation of returning one day. Ten years later, filmmaker Gerard Alcan heard Travis sing the song at a party, and declared it “the perfect Zeitgeist for his documentary film, The Second Gun, about the investigation into the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy. Travis allowed Gerard to use the music without the vocal, hoping to release the entire song one day, without conjuring memories of that notorious tragedy. And now he has.
     02. “Land of the Giant Bugs” is a hospital to coffeehouse to Travis Pike’s Tea Party tune, silly, and funny, especially when watching the squirmings and wrigglings of its highly suggestive audiences.
     03. “Ali Baba Ben Jones” was originally composed for the German band's Beduin Shau, but for this recording, Travis "channeled" Slim Pickins and set the action in Rajasthan’s Thar dessert, in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent.
     04. “A Red-backed, Scaly, Black-bellied,Tusked, Bat-winged Dragon.” Travis originally wrote it for the title song of the proposed animated fantasy adventure he was developing when he was still in high school. That property outgrew the song, but Travis Pike’s Tea Party fans loved it, and some attempted to dance a Charleston to it.
     05. “Till the End (The Vampire Song)”. The music is simple, because like many of Pike’s novelty songs, the lyrics must be clear and easy to understand, and the music is subordinate to the storytelling. Travis said the most difficult part was doing the vampire’s evil laugh.
     06. Travis wrote “Oh Mama” for Travis Pike’s Tea Party. When they were at The Posh in Pomona, California, they had to play requests for a Saturday night dance contest. Eight of the ten competing couples asked for Wilson Picket's "Land of a Thousand Dances,"" one couple requested Johnny Taylor's "Who's Makin' Love" and happily, one couple requested "Oh Mama!" It's noteworthy that the following Saturday night "Who's Makin' Love" was requested again, probably by the same dancing couple fron the previous contest. "Oh Mama" was requested by all nine of the other dancing couples competing for the cash prize!
     07. “The Sorcerer’s Waltz” was the first song Travis cut from his proposed animated fantasy. He says, “I loved the song, but my evil sorcerer character would never have sung to his dragon. But we had a lot of fun orchestrating it, and I enjoyed imitating Ron Moody’s vocals in Oliver."
     08. "Screaming Caretaker Blues." Recording novelty songs for this album, and in keeping with his motion picture musical spoofs “Till the End (the Vampire Song)” and “Loup Garou, (the Werewolf song),” he composed this new one, tying it into the “bright-eyed chimp” 2011 Sci-fi thriller Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
     09. For “Loup Garou,” (‘I ain’t no Cajun, me,’) Travis imitated the accent and expressions he’d picked up from his elderly next door neighbor, Mike, who wasn’t Cajun, but grew up in New Orleans, and used to go crabbing with his Cajun friends, among whom werewolf legends were told and discussed on many a moonlit night.
     10. Travis Pike’s Tea Party’s recording of “The Likes of You” was the b-side of their 1968 Alma Records single, with orchestration performed by moonlighting musicans from the Boston Pops. According to Travis, it was never about a living, breathing young lady, but a love song for an imaginary goddess, perfect in every respect. Only recently did he realize it was the love song destined for, perhaps even originally written for Changeling's Return. He also claims that he never really saw her, although he was briefly unconscious after that auto wreck in Germany.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION: Adam and Travis Pike produced this album at Adam’s studio in Pasadena, California. Travis wrote most of these songs between 1964-1974. He and Adam began bringing them into the present in November, 2012. Travis sang them and he and Adam arranged them. In addition to recording, mixing and mastering them all, Adam sang the harmony vocals for “Ali Baba Ben Jones,” “Oh Mama,” and led the bar crowd chorus for “Loup Garou (The Werewolf Song).""
      Colleen Stratton was the victim in “Till the End (The Vampire Song)”. In “Screamin’ Caretaker Blues,” she played Stephanie, Terry Hagerty played Peter, and Judy Pike played Betty, the wildlife shelter owner. Colleen, Terry, Judy, Adam, Kris Snyder and Barbara Jordan sang the crowd chorus (several times over), in “Loup Garou (the werewolf song)," and Karen Callahan sang the obbligato lines for this new version of “The Likes of You.”
     Travis and Adam dedicated this version of “A Red-backed, Scaly, Black-bellied, Tusked, Bat-winged Dragon” to the memory of their mutual friend, David Carr, for his brilliant piano arrangement and performance in this 1984 version for which special thanks are also due to Lonnie Snyder, Mary Moyers, Julie Long and Michael Moores who sang it with Travis and David, and to Philip Moores, whose master recording of that piano demo stood the test of time well enough that Adam could rescue it from the archives, and add the drums, tuba and the fire alarm, that make it part of this never-before-released collection of Odd Tales and Wonders Stories in Song.
© Travis Edward Pike, Otherworld Cottage Industries, All Rights Reserved

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