Mitch Friedman (New York, USA)

I got to know Mitch Friedman in the 1990s via the ‘Chalkhills’ XTC mailing list. I was travelling a lot at the time and was able to revisit my old stomping ground in New York city and got to meet up with him. Mitch has been a good friend of Andy and Dave from XTC so his musical pedigree is not in doubt. On one visit to New York we travelled out to New Jersey to see R Stevie Moore play live. It was my introduction to RSM and stands out as one of my favourite American memories.

Mitch has released a number of his own recordings which have delighted, surprised, confused, excited and alarmed me at various times. So naturally I was delighted when he offered a submission to the blog.

I’ll let Mitch take over from here:

In 1992 I was in an improv/sketch comedy performing company as part of Gotham City Improv in New York City.
One of the reasons why I decided to sign up for improv classes was to force myself to have to write something
other than rhyming song lyrics. I was hopelessly stuck in that mode since 1985, when I made my first batch of
ridiculously silly, musically odd little pop songs.

In our performing troupe was an incredibly stunning asian woman who I was very friendly with, but not quite as friendly
as I wanted to be, wink wink, nudge nudge. We had written some comedy sketches together, a few of which included
amusing songs I had whipped up for the occasion.

During a rehearsal she mentioned that she was thinking of starting a punk band in which she would be the singer, and
wondered if I could write her a song. She wanted something really cynical, negative, and kind of depressing with
chunky chords. Being a life long fan of The Kinks, I knew I could relate to the chunky chords request — but the rest was
going to be a challenge as I was much more at home creating upbeat, goofy, playful material. Nonetheless, I persevered
and quickly wrote/demoed a solo electric recording of, by far, the least happy song I had ever put my name on up to that point.
A very ugly song for a very beautiful woman. It was called “I Hate Love”.

She hated it, and I didn’t love it either. Needless to say, the spirit and gist of the song pretty much came true.
Served me right!

This demo was made on my once trusty Tascam Porta One 4-track cassette portastudio. To this day, the only other person
ever to hear this song was my best friend. And I even regret that decision, as it instantly became a running joke. Until I
heard about this blog for long lost demo tapes, its existence had completely, mercifully skipped my mind. Now you can
join in on the festivities and see why!

Wink wink…nudge nudge… say no more !

Here’s “I Hate Love”

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