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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Copenhagen listening party - 27th August 2020

On the 27th January 2020 for the Record Store Day vinyl release of Galaxie 500’s Copenhagen Newbury Comics hosted a Twitter listening party where Damon tweeted about the album while we all listened (and chimed in). I’ve grabbed all of Damon’s tweets below - but lots of other folk chipped in so you might want to search the #Galaxie500xNewbury hashtag for more (if you can bear Twitter’s awfulness).

Welcome everyone to @newburycomics listening party for Galaxie 500’s live album, Copenhagen. Tag your tweets . To start us off: photos Naomi took of our touring party on the train in Europe, 1990. From top that’s me, Kramer (our producer/soundman), and Dean

Galaxie 500 - Europe 1990 (photos: Naomi)
Galaxie 500 - Europe 1990 (photos: Naomi)

So this was the last show of our last European tour

Decomposing Trees

We were VERY tired from being on the road, etc. But we were playing as well as we ever could, I think

Our producer Kramer was with us on the road, doing sound. We always sounded our best with him there. But we traveled without anyone else - no crew. No tour manager. It was just us, like those pictures Naomi took on the train

Anyway so we got to the end of the road - Copenhagen - and Danish National Radio asked to record the show. Of course we said yes. We arrived and the club was very small - no stage, we just set up on the floor. The radio brought a mobile recording studio

They were on the street outside. Kramer was in the room with us. It was hot and sweaty, as I recall - although winter outside, it was Dec 1, 1990. Danish fans were very warm to us, but quite drunk quite quickly!

We were in a groove with one another on stage, I still hear that although I have to admit I listened to this recently for the test pressing, but other than that not for years!

Fourth of July

This song (4th of July) was always weird in our catalogue, and our set - it was different than a lot of our music. Where to put in the set? But it was also our single at the time

It always threatened to fall apart at the end!


I think I feel us more relaxed in the slower material - I was anyway! - like here on Summertime. Was that someone whistling an intro from the crowd?

Something I really liked about our live show was no rhythm guitar - a very spare sound - like here on Summertime, you hear Dean goes to the lead and Naomi and I carry the rhythm part on our own

Kramer did a lot to fill it out for us with reverb, but otherwise it’s just the three instruments. I like how you can follow each on their own - they each make sense

Some more photos - these were just spotted recently online, it’s from the Paris show about two weeks before

Galaxie 500 - Naomi - Paris 1990 (photo:?)
Galaxie 500 - Naomi - Paris 1990 (photo:?)
Galaxie 500 - Dean - Paris 1990 (photo:?)
Galaxie 500 - Dean - Paris 1990 (photo:?)

And press photo from same day in Paris

Galaxie 500 press photo - Paris 1990
Galaxie 500 press photo - Paris 1990


Dean’s stalling here cause they told us we had to break for changing the tapes in the mobile van - multitrack tape that only held about 15min

Dean was always funny and obnoxious on the mic! Made me laugh - most of the time

Crossed the line there!

Ooh hoo high notes in this melody! I think we weren’t afraid to stretch ourselves - another reason things sometimes threatened to fall apart

That’s me singing backing vocals from the drumkit, to try and fill out arrangement

But on the records the backing vox were often Kramer as well as me - sometimes all of us - Kramer taught us about harmony, we really had no ideas like that for ourselves before we started working with him

Here’s an example of a backing vox I think I had brought as an idea in the studio - cause it was the third album, we had picked up a lot of Kramer’s tricks and started anticipating them

Fancy end! Practically orch-pop, for us!

When Will You Come Home

Ah ok this song When Will You Come Home dates from an earlier time for us, and was a live staple throughout

While we groove along here (Naomi’s bass always so easy for me to play against!), I’ll try and answer some of your questions outside this thread

Oh I always liked this quiet section! Trying to sound like VU live 69

Dean! Nice solo! Last show cutting loose

Oops I think we all went a little far there… maybe we always did that in this tune? Don’t remember but here we are threatening to fall apart again at the end!


So here we are stretching again to land a delicate song and arrangement - Spook

I don’t know if Dean tells this story, but his lyric was originally titled “Spock” - it’s about Star Trek - and Naomi was disappointed cause the tune was so mysterious. She suggested changing

There were many many theories of its meaning in reviews at the time!

Enjoying the crazy tom tom sound here. I used to detune the drums alot then

Bass solo!

We really had gotten a bit fancy by this point. Would we have continued that way? Or stripped back?

Oh man I think I heard my china cymbal on last hit. I used to carry so many cymbals!

Listen, The Snow is Falling

Oh Naomi stepping up to the mic - it wasn’t her favorite place to be but she held the stage with so little happening behind her

She sounds so young and not a little scared! Perfect for this Yoko song

OK so this rave up is one of my favorite things we did as a band

By this point, Naomi and I were listening to Can and Soft Machine constantly - we had left a lot of our earlier influences behind, in our record time at least

I’m not sure how much our newer influences were gelling with Dean’s, to tell the truth. I was never sure if he was doing this solo straight or a bit tongue in cheek?

Live he would do a double hand tap thing somewhere in here that made me laugh - cause it was so out of our style - oh but this part is lovely. Was it ebow? I can’t remember

Again I love when we take it down

So I have a “live” record story for you all, I don’t know if this has been said anywhere actually?

Which is that in this song somewhere is a splice that we had to make in the mastering of this album. See, that mobile truck in the parking lot…? It turned out they hadn’t recorded the whole show!

Oh listen to those drunken Danes! Thank you! Please don’t spill anything on the pedals!

OK so I’m in the mastering studio with the reel-to-reel tape that we got from the radio people, transferring to digital for the first release of this, on CD for Rykodisc in 199…7?

And it’s sounding like you hear - we were very happy, I was there with Andrea Troolin from Ryko (now Andrew Bird’s manager) and Toby Mountain, the engineer. And we’re in the middle of Listen the Snow and… the tape runs out. Flap flap flap

That’s when I learned the radio hadn’t taped the whole show!

Andrea and Toby looked at me. Where’s the rest? I had no idea what had gone wrong. Because the cassette they had given us that night - for reference of how the show had sounded as it went down to tape - had more. All of Listen the Snow, and these encores

Here She Comes Now

Well, it seems they only recorded those to cassette! I guess they didn’t want to use any more expensive tape on us, once they had what they wanted for broadcast

And so - you see what’s coming - from somewhere in Listen the Snow on, this is not from a 24-track mobile studio mastertape, it’s from a cassette that I threw in my stick bag!

A good lesson in the psychology of hi-fi, I think. You don’t notice a difference. Until, maybe now that I’ve told you….?

Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste

Anyway this part always sounded good on cassette - Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste, our primitive take on a primitive hero’s music, Jonathan Richman

I’ll duck out of the thread and try and answer questions again - I can stay afterwards too for that - virtual merch table

We sound like we are enjoying this

Also we know the end is in sight, and I think we were tired! Last show of a long tour. Some personal drama ahead. But sweaty exhausted and enjoying the music together fully here I think

Andrea Troolin and I kept as much of this crowd outro as we could, you can hear a bottle smash if you listen carefully! And that’s a good place to end I think. Thank you @newburycomics and all of you! I’ll answer more questions at the virtual merch table

Out on vinyl for the first time this Saturday, #RecordStoreDay #RSD2020 #RSD20. It’s limited to 2000, but don’t go insane if you can’t get one! The music is there for all, it’s available for download (in CD quality) @Bandcamp and of course streaming wherever you do that thing

Galaxie 500 - Copenhagen LP sleeve (RSD 2020)
Galaxie 500 - Copenhagen LP sleeve (RSD 2020)