Tim Burgess - The Doors of Then
Tim Burgess's 2012 single, "The Doors of Then", is one of those songs we loved after just one listen. This unassuming-yet-beautiful trans-Atlantic gem has a beauty that speaks for itself, but we at WMF were always curious how it came to feature none other than the Nashville-based Godfather of Home Recording, R. Stevie Moore. Understandably, we're delighted to share here some of the background to this collaboration we've received directly from Tim Burgess and R. Stevie Moore.
Why it's worth revisiting: Tim Burgess is known the world over as the lead singer/frontman of English indie-mainstay The Charlatans (a.k.a. The Charlatans U.K. in the U.S.). He's a true Renaissance man, however, with a sustained successful career as solo artist, record label owner (OGenesis Recordings), and author. Along the way, he's crossed paths with many of our favorite artists, including Jason Falkner, Ariel Pink, and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. The "Doors of Then" single is a rare document of one of these unexpected and wonderful intersections.
In 2016, we asked R. Steve Moore for his memory of how the collaboration was sparked, and he generously recounted:
"Tim Burgess was a long-time fan of mine, without me knowing it. And I wasn’t really that big on the Charlatans or any of that stuff at that time. I was aware of it, and I liked it, but ....I was surprised....I love it; I’m glad you brought it up. Ironically, he was recording in Nashville, and tracked me down. He wanted me to be on this song."
We'd been curious for some time how R. Stevie Moore appeared on Tim Burgess's proverbial radar in the first place, and found the answer in Burgess's excellent 2016 book, Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco. Not surprisingly, the trail leads back to another of of our favorite artists here at WMF, Jason Falkner. Burgess writes:
"I was at a party at Jason Falkner's house and he said he had an album that he thought I'd love....He brought in Everything You Wanted to Know about R. Stevie Moore But Were Afraid to Ask. He was right. I loved it."
Tim Burgess himself was recently kind enough to share with us his own memories of the timeline, personnel, and circumstances that led to the joint recording session for "The Doors of Then":
"I recorded an album with Mark Nevers in Nashville, co-writing with Kurt from Lambchop. [The] sessions were great, but we finished at 4 in the afternoon. In the evenings I'd hook up with RSM. He lived 40 miles away, but obviously I loved his company.
'The Doors of Then' wasn't happening -- we cut it twice with the band I was recording with. [They were] all genius musicians, but that song just didn't have what I wanted. I invited RSM over towards end of week 2 and he tracked acoustic [guitar], electric [guitar], and bass, with me on vocals, and that was pretty much it. Chris Scruggs added drums and there were backing vocals by Nik Void from Factory Floor."
The RSM/Tim Burgess intersections don't end here, and we're looking forward to sharing more of what these two artists have created together. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy "The Doors of Then" as much as we do.