Guess Who This Is-A Tribute to Dom Leone / Various
Liner Notes by Dan Leone I have a bad memory. I don't remember a lot of things, but this one sticks with me like the taste of raw onions: twelve years ago or so, back room of the Rat, Kenmore Square, Boston, with Dom, Carrie and Neno, Ed's Redeeming Qualities in it's original form, doing an interview with someone from some local paper ... I remember talking about luck, how lucky Ed's was, all of our friends and most of our fans being better musicians than we were, we'd never even meant to be a band and here we were with our weekly show, Ed's Basement, hosting the likes of Robyn Hitchcock, River Phoenix, the Breeders ... there we were on the cover of the Boston Phoenix, man, not even a year out of the gate and we were getting radio play on college and even one or two commercial stations in Boston. Without even a record! Lucky lucky lucky, I was saying. Later that week we found out that Dom had cancer, and within nine months he was gone. Since then I've paid a lot more attention to juju, welcomed good luck with wide open and slightly sideways eyes, learned to bite my tongue and spit three times over my left shoulder in addition to knocking on wood. Just a week ago or so in a small, crowded bar here in San Francisco, I stood and watched with tingly reverence as Granfaloon Bus broke into their rocking rendition of 'Bad Memories.' These guys are friends of mine, but they'd never met Dom. And all the smiley strangers bopping all their heads all around me, they'd never met Dom, probably never saw Ed's, certainly not in it's original form, with Dom up front. Still, there he was, in a way, in the vibrations of the bass drum as well as the words ... my favorite songwriter in the world. In about two years he wrote about 25 songs, all or almost all of which are on this album. I have recordings of Dom doing them, and these conjure images of his laugh, what his eyes did when he laughed, and where his eyes went and how his mouth moved when he sang. I taste the great taste of onions. Hearing all these other great bands doing his great songs ... I don't know, it makes me think all over again I guess about how damn lucky we all actually after all are, knock knock spit spit spit. Liner Notes by Guy Capecelatro III The thing about technology is that it's both bad and good. For a freakish archivist like myself the advent of CD burners has been something of a blessing. Deteriorating in my closet is a whole world of tape culture; from my own early, ill-conceived musical ideas to little gems from close friends. When I started transferring my old Ed's Redeeming Qualities tapes to disc last Summer I was struck hard by the power of Dom Leone's songs. A part of it certainly was experiencing, firsthand, his particular take on the world. Leaving his engineering job in Ohio to live in a cabin, write stories, draw cartoons and teach himself the guitar gave Dom an infectious zest for life. Later he moved to New Hampshire to play music with his cousin Dan and the fledgling Ed's Redeeming Qualities. They wrote and played songs at the trailer park where Dan and Neno Perrotta lived and, after working up some songs with Carrie Bradley, eventually began performing around town. It was amazing to watch how people responded to Dom's songs, each a self-contained, funny little story. Just as things started taking off for the band, Dom was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer which finally took his life November 27, 1989. He never let his illness dictate how he lived his life though and wrote, performed and recorded the whole way through. This collection helps to bring Dom Leone's songs to a wider audience with the hope that even if you never had the opportunity to meet him, you will be affected by his life the way so many of us have. The CD will benefit the Dom Leone Writing Competition, started by friends and family in Ohio. Since 1990 it has been helping kids grade 1-12 to find their own voices.