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A Head Full of Wishes

A Head Full of Wishes is a site for Galaxie 500, Luna, Damon & Naomi, Dean & Britta and Dean Wareham. With news, articles and lists of releases and past and future shows.

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#100: Galaxie 500 - The extended demo tape

This is a copy (not an original sadly) of an extended version of Galaxie 500’s demo tape which had, as well as the three songs listed on the sleeve that eventually made it onto the box set, four songs that never made it further than this cassette.

Galaxie 500 - extended demo cassette
Galaxie 500 - extended demo cassette

I’m going to hand the description of this over to an email from Michael, who tracked this down and did the research on it - this was from an email in March 2002.

When I received and listened to the tape, I knew it was something pretty unusual but didn’t know who to ask. So I wrote to Dean directly. Dean told me that I had come across a tape of all the songs they recorded on their first day in the studio – August 11, 1987 at 6/8 studios. He said about five copies had been made of the tape I had in my possession and another 30 or so of the three song variety made for sending out to labels and stations. He wasn’t even sure if he still had a copy of all seven songs, so I made a copy and sent it to him. He basically said that the band had decided beyond the first three songs the others just weren’t good enough even to put on the demo cassette. That’s also the reason they’re not on the box set.

So my copy is the cassette that Michael sent me, with a photocopied sleeve… not original but I suspect that photocopied sleeves and home-duped cassettes was probably the way this went out so, bar being one generation down it’s probably fairly close (although I think the originals were photocopied onto green paper), I can pretend.

Naomi lifted the typeface used on this (and on quite a few early flyers and posters) from a wedding invitation - but, the invitation didn’t have an X so the X in GALAXIE is actually a wrangled N. You can’t not see that once you know it.

Flyer for show at Green Street Station in November 1987
Flyer for show at Green Street Station in November 1987

In the Temperature’s Rising book there’s a covering letter that was sent out with the demo cassette. Interestingly it opens:

Dear :

I’m writing on behalf of GALAXIE 500. We’re a three-piece (Naomi Yang on bass and vocals, Damon Krukowski on drums, and Dean Wareham on guitar) currently playing in Boston…

Now, assuming this was sent with the three track demo on which Naomi sang only one of the three songs, and subsequently sang on very few Galaxie 500 songs, why is she the only credited vocalist here? Here are a couple of my guesses…

  • The intention was that Naomi would sing more.
  • They felt that the promise of a female vocal had more chance of getting someone to listen to the tape.

I’ve shared all four of the extra tracks on this site over the years - and collected them all in this post from 2011.