WALTER VERDIN - COLD TURKEY / INSTANT KARMA!
Format: luminous vinyl 7"
Catalogue No.: PDD2101
Release Date: 11th June 2021
Genre: Pop, Rock
7" on photoluminescent vinyl. In 1981 Walter Verdin recorded the demos for two songs of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band before he formed the group Pas De Deux, the Belgian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 1983.The artwork of this 7" is inspired by the artwork of the original record sleeves.
A1. Walter Verdin - Cold Turkey
B1. Walter Verdin - Instant Karma!
Walter Verdin is the Belgian chameleon changing constantly between different musical styles and audiovisual art. At the end of the seventies, he released 'Storingen', a Flemish reggae single with some musical friends under the name of Specimen & The Rizikoos. In 1980 he had a number one hit in Flanders with 'Er is iets', taken from the album 'Cinema'. In the same year he started to work as a video director in the studios of the Audiovisual Services at the KULeuven. At night he experimented with video and sound. For the next 20 years, the studios became the cradle for his video art and musical experiments.
In 1981, before he formed the group Pas De Deux (the Belgian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 1983), he recorded the demos for two songs of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. These songs ended on the B side of their mini-LP 'Des Tailles'.
On this 7" vinyl: the demo versions of 'Cold Turkey' and 'Instant Karma!'. They are recorded ping-ponging between two stereo tape recorders. All the instruments
were programmed and played by Walter Verdin without the possibility of mixing or 'picking in'. Adding an instrument or a voice meant another copy from beginning to end. The roughness and the spontaneity of these recordings are remarkable, especially when you compare the tracks with the professional recordings that were made later at the famous ICP studios in Brussels with Pas De Deux, where the cheap Boss rhythm box was replaced by a Linn Drum and other instruments were added.
Walter Verdin is a big fan of Lennon's music and social engagement. These demos were made only a couple of months after his passing in December 1980. The choice for the specific songs is not accidental: they are the songs with which John Lennon started a new musical adventure. Also, for Walter Verdin it was the start for a new way of music making, after a very short career as a 'Flemish singer songwriter'. The text -the message- of both songs is more topical in 2021 than it was at the beginning of the eighties, when they were recorded.
John Lennon: «'Cold Turkey' is self-explanatory. It was the result of experiencing cold turkey withdrawals from heroin. Everybody goes through a bit of agony some time or another in their lives, whatever it is. 'Cold Turkey' is just an expression that is suitable to explain the other side of life. I'm always thinking about love and peace, and now I'm thinking about agony - to remind people that I'm human and that we suffer like everybody else.»
"Instant Karma!" conveys the need to recognize and act upon a shared responsibility for the wellbeing of humankind; the karmic rewards of this mindset are available to all, as implied in Lennon's exhortation to "Come and get your share". According to Lennon biographer John Blaney, the song is an appeal "for mankind to take responsibility for its fate" and represents "Lennon developing his own brand of egalitarianism".
Used gear: Boss Dr.Rhythm DR-55, Yamaha CS-40m, Pearl Syncussion SY1 Recorded on two Studer B67 reel-to-reel tape recorders.
Special note about video and artwork:
the original video clip of 'Cold Turkey' by Plastic Ono Band was a film of the avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas, made for the song 'Give peace a chance', but John and Yoko decided to use the film for 'Cold Turkey'. "It just went 'bam bam!', it just fitted so well. The timing and the length and everything was so extraordinary that we said "that's it!" This story is in line with Walter Verdin's theory as a video maker: you can add any videou to a musical track, it always fits in a certain way, there is always a dialogue between the eyes and the ears. Walter Verdin is preparing two new videos for his versions of the songs. The idea is to use documentary images of recent activist actions and demonstrations about gender, race, equality, climate change... Check the social media!
PLAY LOUD !
The artwork of this 7" is inspired by the artwork of the original record sleeves.