Kelley/Cones 1986

Editor's note: Rods and Cones will be performing their first full-length show in 23 years on Saturday, May 14, 2011, at the Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston, Mass., 02134. For information and tickets, please go here.

"Education in Love," written by Rods and Cones, 1985, from the self-titled EP, produced by Alec Murphy and Rods and Cones. To hear "Education in Love," please go to the Music page on this website, and scroll down.

For the moment, let me talk about the music track of "Education in Love," as opposed to the video. (For info on the video, please go here, and to see the video, please go here.)

In 1984 and 1985, Rods and Cones went into the studio to record our first EP. Those were still the days when vinyl records were the norm, not a boutique item, and the barriers to entry were higher. We went to Polymedia Studio, which was Alec Murphy's (RIP) 16-track studio on Newbury Street in Boston. Over the course of several weeks, we recorded most of the tracks that appeared on the self-titled EP.

Then we tried to get fancy, and we spent days and days -- and too much money -- at the even higher-tech studio SynchroSound, which was owned and operated by the Cars. Synchro was 24-track, and the technology got on top of our heads. We'd spend hours and hours trying to get a sound on the snare drum, and it sounded like a tin can. Occasionally Ric Ocasek would poke his head into the studio and see what was happening.

We were a bit discouraged, but in the midst of it all, we were gigging like crazy, and we had a new tune, "Education in Love," that Alec felt would be a good kick off to the album. So we loaded our gear back into the comfort of Polymedia and banged out "Education in Love" in just one or two takes, and as I recall, Chris Kelley did the vocal track in one take.

It's a very simple song -- the whole thing is in one chord, and the vocals are on three notes. But it has a good beat, don't you think? We put it as track No. 1 on the self-titled EP, and it got a good response at WFNX in Lynn, Mass. Then, a week or two later, WBCN started spinning it. Meanwhile, a couple of Emerson College students, Kris Hockemeyer and Peter Martinez, produced an amusing video for the song (the video positively screams "1985," and I mean that in a good way).

All in all, a nice experience. Of course, we became saddled with this song and had to play it at every gig. Though a year or two later, we played at Jack's in Cambridge and went the whole night without playing "Education," and I thought that was rather daring.

Anyway, to hear "Education in Love," please go to the Music page on this site, and scroll down. As I now say in my best Don Kirschner voice, here is Rods and Cones' greatest hit, "Education in Love."


P.S., Chris Kelley sent me some MP3s of a live radio broadcast the Cones did on WERS-FM in the spring of 1985. Holy moly, I had not heard this in 25 years, and it's stirring up all kinds of feelings. I'm sure I'll have something to say about it, so please come back...


Kristen Westhoven May 03, 2011 @10:18 pm

Hahaha! I actually prefer the version you recorded quickly on that first EP, compared to the version on "New Breed". See you on the 14th!

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