The Reality of My Surroundings
Producer: Fishbone, Dave Jerden, David Kahne
Released: April 23, 1991
Angelo Moore – saxophone, vocals
Walter A. Kibby II – trumpet, vocals
Kendall Jones – lead guitar, vocals
Chris Dowd – keyboards, trombone, vocals
John Bigham – guitar, keyboard
John Norwood Fisher – bass guitar, vocals
Philip “Fish” Fisher – drums
1. Fight the Youth 4:59
2. If I were a…I’d 0:52
3. So Many Millions 5:48
4. Asswhippin’ 0:37
5. Housework 4:43
6. Deathmarch 0:31
7. Behavior Control Technician 3:06
8. If I were a…I’d 0:27
9. Pressuer 4:46
10. Junkies Prayer 2:59
11. Pray To the Junkiemaker 4:01
12. Everyday Sunshine 4:56
13. If I were a…I’d 0:27
14. Naz-Tee May’en 4:54
15. Babyhead 5:29
16. If I were a…I’d 0:51
17. Those Days Are Gone 5:22
18. Sunless Saturday 4:17
The Reality of My Surroundings is the third full-length album by Fishbone, released on April 23, 1991. It was the first Fishbone album to include former Miles Davis music director John Bigham (guitar, keyboards), who joined in 1989 during the Truth and Soul tour.
Fishbone took the rest of 1989 off before beginning to write songs for the follow-up to Truth and Soul. The project was plagued by production delays until November 1990, when the band entered Ocean Way Recording, booking two months of studio time in which to record the album. Fishbone, David Kahne and Dave Jerden produced the album, which includes the singles, Fight the Youth, Everyday Sunshine and Sunless Saturday.
The album’s title comes from a line in track 3, So Many Millions, which reads “I cannot get over legitimately, the Reality of My Surroundings do not point to the sky”.
The CD cover shows only John Norwood Fisher, with a larger picture of the band sitting in a living room being visible when the CD cover is unfolded. The vinyl version shows the full band’s living-room portrait, spanning both sides of the outer gate-fold cover.
With this album, Fishbone obtained critical and commercial success with a ranking of No. 49 on the Billboard 200 on May 18, 1991. The album is widely considered by fans and critics as the creative peak of the band. Fishbone experienced a large growth in concert tickets and record sales during this period, making two memorable television appearances: performing Sunless Saturday and Everyday Sunshine on Saturday Night Live, and Everyday Sunshine on The Arsenio Hall Show. (The SNL performance of “Sunless Saturday” has been re-edited in reruns. The original television broadcast showed a brief glimpse of Angelo Moore doing a back flip on stage. The re-edited version simply switches the camera angle, making it possible to see the full flip right after signaling “Special K” (Kendall Jones) to do his guitar solo.)
If you get the chance to get a copy of this, go get it.
Rating: ** * two out of three stars
On to the story . . .
Some years back a friend of mine was trying to put together a music festival, out of state. He was going to fly me out and I was going to sign my books and possibly read.
He had problems with the venue, equipment was stolen and ultimately the building, I think, burnt down.
Finally, new location, bands booked, but with all the cash spent it was too expensive to fly me out.
One night, he called and asked if I could help secure an out of town band to headline, I said sure. I messaged or called a bunch of people, most were interested, but needed to line up shows to and from to make sure they had travel money. Makes sense.
One of the bands killed me. I hit one of the members up and asked who booked the band, he said he did. I explained the fest and gave the dates (two days, they were only needed for one). I asked if it was possible for the band to play. He said yes, and then rattled off his demands: First class round-trip airfare for all four members. Five star hotel, at least two rooms required, if possible, four rooms. $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 playing fee. All booze paid for, from landing to taking off.
When I read this I smirked, I wrote something back, like, are you fucking serious? He said, yeah, it’s what we make for out of town shows. I said, something like, you’ve never been further than Oakland. And never made more than $500.00.
He didn’t respond. Doing the punk touring is difficult, I understand, but trying to cash-in on a first time promoter is pretty shady.
Since that incident, I’ve stuck to what I know; talking shit on paper and let bands and promoters do what they do.
Born Frustrated is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb