MY FORMER LIFE: 1980 ~ 1982
by Eddie Ciletti
July 2004
It was Easter Sunday night, 1980, when T.J. Tindall and I drove my 1963 Plymouth Valient (with a slant-six engine) from Philadelphia to New York City.  By June of that year we were cutting demos in the basement of the Sire Records offices, a brownstone located "on the upper part of the Upper West Side."  The artist was Melinda "Hurricane" Jones, wife of John Montgomery, who was then a record promoter for the label. 

That basement studio had a tiny control room, with a small SoundWorkshop mixer and the "original" Otari 5050 half-inch 8-track.  (It used the same stereo recording electronics as their two-tracks from that era, four of them.)  The control room was a challenge to work in and I will post some of the early mixes just to demonstrate the process of getting a handle on that space.

Who and what was Hurricane Jones?  Somewhere between punk and Betty Boop, with Cyndi Lauper paving the way in her group, Blue Angel (1980).  This was the seque era between Punk and New Wave, with stripped-down production.  My Faves from this time period were the Police and Elvis Costello.  The Sony Walkman was the IPOD of the eighties. 

I remember hearing Melinda talk about Blue Angel back then, but I didn't hear Cyndi Lauper until 1984 when I worked at Record Plant and she had just finished the album that made her famous.  Madonna would release her first album on Sire in 1983.

You can "taste" the early eighties in these first five songs recorded at Sire.  All but one made it to the album intact, with perhaps an overdub or two, except "What is You Number," All will be included below.  They range from the punky "School Monitor," the cute "Yi-Yi-Yi," the sexy "Deep Desire"  All are uniquely Melinda.

5 June 1980

  • Deep Desire

3 August 1980

English Single
Don't Leave Me Baby
French B Side
Blouson Noir
The above are from the original acetates.
I hope to get all of the aforementioned players to share their story as I think it will be an interesting bit of time travel. 
  • TJ Tindall on guitar and bkg vox
  • Carlton "Cotton" Kent on keys
  • Earl Scooter Drums and background vocals
  • Chas Leland on Bass.


    Hurricane Jones: Unreleased tracks from the "2nd Album"
    Words of Satisfaction:  Recorded May 1982 at Skyline Studios.  TJ Tindall, guitar;  Cotton Kent, keyboards;  Denny McDermott, drums;  Chas Leland, bass; Melinda "Hurricane" Jones, lead vocal.

    Eddie Ciletti
    July 2004