1993, Fall - How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation
by John Flansburgh
TMBG Info Club
Fall 1993

Greetings from the Catskills! John Flansburgh here, in a friend of a friend's haunted "fixer-upper" summer house on a cool night in August. The window is covered with dozens of moths who are swarming around what is probably the single lit bulb in a mile. In this beautiful natural setting, it is surprisingly creepy. I spent today driving around to junk stores with my girlfriend, buying records for a recently acquired $10 record player. Along with cards and reading, listening to the record player is our primary activity. So far I have picked up two very strong Sammy Davis Jr. records from the late sixties, a Burl Ives record called "Women," a Yma Sumac 78 album set with a beautiful cover, a souvenir record from a bombastic '64 Worlds Fair exhibit, a Paul Harvey religious record, another record of organ "meditations" with a guy doing bird calls (really interesting), and a fake "live" album by a New York trip with matching mutton-chops from 1966 called "The Soul Set." Some friends and I got our courage together and went to the ultimate shrine of Catskills class, the Nevele Resort. Kind of a Caesar's Palace of the east, without the gambling of course, but with all the wild '50's styling in tact. Evidently the resort was built right before the Catskills went into a serious and sudden decline in the late fifties. Because it has been relatively unburdened by customers, the original decor has been well maintained and now stands as a monument to high 1950's styling. Performing in front of a packed house of 1500 in the Stardust Room at the Nevele was Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge. He's the guy who sang "16 Candles" with the Crests, and you've probably seen Johnny in the Hair Club for Men ad on TV. (He is unidentified, but still sitting in front of a recording console.) Well, Johnny's show was very tight and his voice was amazing. The crowd seemed a bit dazed by rock and roll music, but the band was pretty spirited under the circumstances. Real Info About They Might Be Giants: By the time this newsletter gets out, we'll have finished up a tour around the midwest and south. Pere Ubu was in the opening slot. We'll be doing another round of demos in the fall before we go in to record big album #5 in January. We'll be working with producer Paul Fox (XTC, Sugarcubes, 10,000 Maniacs) and probably recording the basic tracks with our full band in upstate New York. Guess it's time to wax up those cross country skis.

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