Friday, March 9, 2012

Uncle Charlie (1988-1990)

John O'Neil - Guitar/Vocals
Steve Nordby - Bass
Adam Glogauer - Drums

The first Uncle Charlie cassette, released in 1988 by Dunghill. This is a Eugene classic with a whole bunch of should-have-been-hits. After Johnson Unit split up, John and Steve took some time then recruited youngster Adam to play drums in their new band. This was a really fun time in Eugene with Snakepit, Uncle Charlie, Rawhead Rex and Some Velvet Sidewalk all playing basement shows every month or two if you were paying attention. Enjoy!

Uncle Charlie - Your Friend ('88, Dunghill)
1. Stuck
2. Addiction
3. Just Like a Man
4. Postcard
5. Sense
6. Gently
7. Everything
8. Curtains
9. Kenneth
10. Closed Circuit
11. Direct Action
12. Decency
13. Secondary Importance (bonus track from "Positively 13th" cassette comp.)


John O'Neil - Guitar/Vocals
Steve Nordby - Bass
Adam Glogauer - Drums
Mike Stinett - Sax

The second and final cassette by Uncle Charlie was released by Dunghill in '89 shortly after the band had split up. Mike had joined the band on sax by the time these recordings were made. I think by this point John was pretty sick of Eugene and he moved to Boise not too long after this came out. Having moved out of Eugene myself some 16 years ago I get it but I still missed the yearly release by some band fronted by John. The last band I knew about that he was in was El Dopamine, not sure if they're still playing or not. John?

"Not Any More" was a rush job because John was getting married and heading to Boise. We had a huge backlog of material. The previous Uncle Charlie release, "Your Friend," was recorded over about six months, but this was done in a couple of weeks. It's a fine set of songs.

I told John he needed to redo the "Poison Mountain" vocals right after he finished, but Mike told me I was wrong. He was right.

When I started mixing, I noticed problems in my engineering (distortion in the cymbals is the biggest thing that bugs me) and would have re-recorded if John was still in town.

I outsourced tape duplication and they did a terrible job. It bugged me to have to explain the reason for reference tones. The second time, the levels were OK but their machines were off-speed, so original cassettes play about 1/2 step sharp on a machine running at the correct speed.

My fav track is Skydiver. There is a video of this edited from stolen clips in the middle of the night at a local TV station...

"March Ninth" was a musical exploration that I was unsure of when coming up with the bass part. While mixing, John mailed me (pre email) to make the mix as expansive as possible.

"Stupid Town" is about Sutherlin, Oregon. A fav JPO song.

"Nostalgia" is an outtake from the "Your Friend" sessions (note how the drums sound so much better). We just were goofing around and liked it.

"Wedding Train" - the fantastic Snakepit song redone by us. I did the guitar solo. Damn I couldn't get it right. Sorry Al.

"Capital Gains" - I loved playing this.

"Facing Up" - A Johnson Unit song with too much behind it to explain here. An acoustic version to make sure we got it out.

Uncle Charlie - Not Anymore ('89, Dunghill)
1. Skydiver
2. Strong White Male
3. Poison Mountain
4. People Believe
5. Meat Prices
6. March Ninth
7. Stupid Town
8. Hired Hand
9. Rearranged
10. Martyr Returns
11. Nostalgia
12. Secret Society
13. Wedding Train
14. Capital Gains
15. Facing Up


  1. Great stuff ya got here! Any chance of re-upping the E-13 'Quest For Gilligan' 7"? I've been looking for that forever! Thanks!

  2. I remember seeing Uncle Charlie w/ Snakepit + Rawheadrex playing in the parking lot of Harpo's Blue Note in the middle of the afternoon...

    I have a recording of John O'Neil playing "Everything" on the radio (KRVM) somewhere, if you fancy..

  3. @ Dr. Drunk - The E-13 link is active again

    @ Isosceles - Can you email me an mp3 of Everything? Would love to post it as an additional track.

  4. John's song writing was at a peak and we put a lot of effort into recording. Some technical things make me cringe, but not the songs. Adam was very new to working with us at this time, but his playing is fantastic.

    John made it clear when starting Uncle Charlie that he was in charge - his band. Worked out fine. We did one live show (an outdoor UofO battle of the bands) before I left for a summer in Europe. But we had been recording for months. John and I mixed "Your Friend" just before I left. Came back to find we were in demand.