This is a great graphic. Thanks, BW/mcj

The year was 1985. It was a time of drought and Civil War in Ethiopia, a nation located in the northeastern part of Africa (or so I'm told). Believe me, it's nothing like the Northeast part of the USA, where we live. No Superhighways, or Supermarkets. No Yankees or Red Sox, or Rangers, or anything like that. And no Burger Palaces, that's for sure.

Drought and Civil War are a bad combination. The problem is, people just don't get enough to eat! It got really bad over there in 1983 and 1984, but nobody seemed to notice. I mean, I didn't hear about it at all till December of 1984, when a bunch of musicians from England came out with that song "Do They Know It's Christmas". Pretty cool song, actually. It had that Christmassy sound to it, and a good arrangement, and the performances were first rate.

That's around when the pictures started showing up on TV. Pretty disgusting, really, with swollen, dying kids, and their distraught moms, and all the flies. It really got to you, if you thought about it.

Well, apparently some American musicians did think about it, because before we knew what hit us, the airways were filled with their famine relief song, "We Are The World", by USA For Africa. You remember, that was the group with Michael Jackson and Dan Ackroyd in it.

One evening in May of '85, the four of us were sitting around thinking, "Why not us?" Nobody could think of a good reason, so out came the guitars, and the beers (Bill W notes that perhaps the beers were already out!), and an hour later "Feed A Hungry Mouth" was written. We recorded the basic tracks a few nights later, then started contacting all the local Garage Band musicians we could think of. The response was overwhelming!

The GBA Chorus was recorded in Bogota, NJ on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Twice - that's how you get 25 people to sound like 50. The 'wo-oh-oh-oh's erupted spontaneously during the take, and so did that incredible gospelly soprano scream starting at 5:11. Check it out! The solo vocals were done in Alpine, NJ the next weekend, then the guitar solos, and by around the 10th of June, it was finished!

Well, we sold a bunch of tapes, and Saturday July 6 was GBA Night, a benefit concert hosted by Netto of the old Uncle Floyd Show. But that's another story.
'Feed A Hungry Mouth' cover artwork Title: Feed a Hungry Mouth 
Artist: Garage Bands for Africa (credits
Authors: Mike Jodry, Bill Kelly, Jeff Wangerin, Bill Willis 
(c) 1985 by the authors. All rights reserved. 

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(Feed_A_Hungry_Mouth.mp3, 5.78MB) 



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  Updated 5/30/99