Records with Sonobeat in 1975
No commercial releases on Sonobeat Records
It's August 1975, and by now it's hot and humid in Cental Texas, where Sonobeat producer Bill Josey Sr. begins working with Nasty Habit. The band is formed by Stanley Gilbert, Gary Dry, and Jesse Sublett, classmates at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. San Marcos is about 70 miles south of Liberty Hill, the idyllic Hill Country setting where in 1973 Bill Sr. sets up Sonobeat's Blue Hole Sounds studios and where he records Nasty Habit's tracks. Bill Sr. plans to release a stereo 45 RPM single by the group – Does Your Mother Know (written by Stanley) backed with Listen (written by Stanley and Gary) – but the single is never released for reasons not documented in the Sonobeat archives. Stanley recalls that several other songs, including a couple of Nils Lofgren covers, also are recorded during the same sessions in August and September, but we haven't found those tracks in the Sonobeat archives. In 2014, we catch up with Gary at the Lavender Hill Express reunion performance at Gueros in South Austin and find that, indeed, Nasty Habit has recorded more than a handful of songs with Bill Sr. at Blue Hole Sounds during 1975. In fact, Gary hands us a limited edition CD the band releases in 2013 that contains four additional songs recorded at Blue Hole Sounds: bandmember Alan Lee Lisenheimer's Playin' The Easy Way and Texas Boogie and Lofgren's Beggars Day and What About Me. Oh, and the Nasty Habit that records with Sonobeat in 1975 is not the same as the present-day Nasty Habit based in central New York.
Jesse, who is about to become a seminal influence in Austin's punk rock era, plays with Nasty Habit for only a short time, although he performs on the August sessions. Craig Toungate joins the group as lead singer and records some of the vocal tracks in the September sessions at Blue Hole Sounds. The sound bites we present here feature Gary's lead vocals and Stanley's harmonies.
Jesse goes on to become a founding member of the rock/blues band Jellyroll and the punk bands the Violators and the Skunks. More recently, Jesse becomes a best-selling author of novels and non-fiction works. Soon after the final Sonobeat sessions, Stanley and band manager Bill Brinkley recast Nasty Habit as a hard rock trio, renaming the band "Truck" and performing throughout Texas. Truck plays its last gigs at Austin's iconic Armadillo World Headquarters in 1980.
The Nasty Habit work tape box mentions that Apple Tree is at the head of the tape. Apple Tree not only isn't a Nasty Habit song but it's mislabelled on the tape box: in fact, it's a take of Tom Penick's This Old Cowboy. In 1975 and '76, Tom assists Sonobeat producer Bill Sr. around Blue Hole Sounds, helping set up and run recording sessions; Tom probably assists on the Nasty Habit sessions.
Gary Dry: drums and vocals
Stanley Gilbert: lead guitar
Alan Lee Lisenheimer: lead guitar and vocals
Eric Schwartz: bass
Jesse Sublett: bass
Craig Toungate: vocals
Does Your Mother Know (in the Sonobeat archives)
Listen (in the Sonobeat archives)
Beggars Day (not in the Sonobeat archives)
Playin' The Easy Way (not in the Sonobeat archives)
Texas Boogie (not in the Sonobeat archives)
What About Me (not in the Sonobeat archives)
Produced and engineered by Bill Josey Sr.
Recorded at Sonobeat's Blue Hole Sounds studios in Liberty Hill, Texas, during August and September 1975
Recording equipment: ElectroVoice 665 microphones, ElectroVoice Slimair 636 microphones, Sony ECM22 electret condenser microphones, Dokorder 7140 quarter-inch 4-track tape deck, custom 16-channel 4-bus mixing console, Fairchild Lumiten 663ST optical compressor, Blonder-Tongue Audio Baton 9-band stereo graphic equalizer, custom steel plate stereo reverb, Sony Superscope tape stock