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Mal Thursday and the Cheetahs | It's All Going By Too Fast

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Rock: Garage Rock Metal/Punk: Garage Punk Moods: Featuring Drums
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It's All Going By Too Fast

by Mal Thursday and the Cheetahs

Mal Thursday and the Cheetahs' unreleased 1992 album, featuring selections from 'C.J. Sorrow' A Garage Rock Opera.
Genre: Rock: Garage Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Get Outta Dallas!
3:02 $0.99
2. Torn Up
4:24 $0.99
3. That's Your Problem
2:43 $0.99
4. Won't Follow
4:03 $0.99
5. Try It My Way
6:42 $0.99
6. Sky Wild /'C.J. Sorrow' (Medley)
12:43 $0.99
7. Flying Buttress
4:56 $0.99
8. Ring of Fire
4:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
MAL THURSDAY vocals, organ, harmonica
EZRA GALE guitar, vocals
NELSON BRAGG drums, vocals
JEFF CONOLLY tambourine, vocals
JOHNNY TOMORROW rhythm guitar on "Torn Up"

Produced by Sean Slade and Mal Thursday.

Engineered by Paul McNamara and Dave Kirkpatrick. Recorded at Slaughterhouse, Amherst, Mass.; The Lanes, Boston, and with the Malarians Mobile Unit, Winter-Spring 1992. Mixed at Fort Apache, Boston, Summer 1992.


After the break-up of the Malarians, I made a point of not starting another band, reasoning that the rock 'n roll lifestyle was just so much wanking into the wind. However, one of the dudes on the Hampshire College baseball team (the mighty Visitors!), Ezra Gale, played guitar, as did my roommate, Chris Soucy, and we threw together a band to play at a fundraiser for the team. We called it the Mal Thursday Experience. Having gotten another taste of the joy of kicking out the jams on stage, I was hooked, and decided to turn up the knobs to 11.

Ex-Malarian John Lebhar (a/k/a Johnny Tomorrow) had started a band called Farmhouse, which was sort of an uneven blend of R.E.M. and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Although I didn't care much for the music they made (I tended to dislike all of my ex-bandmates' new projects), I did admire their live version of the James Gang's "Stop" and especially their rhythm section, which I stole to transform the Mal Thursday Experience into the rock powerhouse that would become the Cheetahs. Bassist Brent Nielsen was a jazz player, but was capable of John Entwistle-type lead runs, while drummer Nelson Bragg, who now plays with Brian Wilson's backing band the Wondermints, was not only a great drummer, but also sang like an angel. I stole them from a band that was a CSNY/REM hybrid to form a band that was an unholy marriage of the Music Machine and Guns 'N Roses.

We worked up a killer set, many of the tunes ("Try It My Way," "Spundalina," "It's All Going By Too Fast," etc.) coming from "C.J. Sorrow," a garage rock opera I was writing with Chris, loosely based on a guy named C.J., the first drug casualty I ever met, back when I was 10 years old, and also more specifically on my old friend and bandmate Kent Garver (a/k/a Slater Awn) and his losing battle with heroin addiction (and other codependent realtionships). We went into Slaughterhouse Recording in the Summer of '92 to lay down our best stuff. Among the resulting 11 tracks was a profane rewrite of the Malarians' "Get Outta Dallas" called "A Message to Santa Claus":

"Fuck you, Santa Claus / You never done nothing for me / Said there weren't no toys / When I looked under my Christmas Tree / Fuck off, Fatso You whacked-out, sad, sick clown / Get outta Brooklyn / Turn them reindeer around!"

In October, Chunk released "A Message to Santa Claus" with a naked Bettie Page on the cover and a cover of the Outsiders' "That's Your Problem" on the B-side, in a limited edition of 300 copies on festive red vinyl. It quickly sold out (and would sell out a second pressing on green wax the following year), and Chunk Records was back on the map.

When I heard that Kent had committed suicide in March of '94, I was deeply saddened, and more than a little conflicted about having composed a "Tommy"-like tale partially based on my now-deceased friend and bandmate.

When I listened to the Cheetahs recordings again, and the opera songs in particular, nearly two decades later, I no longer have any misgivings about releasing them. I loved that guy, and wrote the rock opera out of love. The songs tell part of his tale, and a larger story about life, death, sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.



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