Valley of Rain was Giant Sand's debut album recorded in 1983, and released in 1985. It included Howe Gelb on vocals, guitar and Winston Watson on drums for most of it, Tommy Larkins on drums for some of it and Scott Garber on fretless bass for all of it. At the time of the recording, Howe was unacquainted with the possibilities of tube (valve) amps and had recorded most of the album with a Roland JC120 at the miraculous 8 track facilities of The Control Center in Korea Town, Los Angeles by Ricky 'Mix' Novak. This impromptu recording had occurred because the band refused to cancel their first Los Angeles live gig, at Madame Wong's, when the band (Giant Sandworms) had broken up days before in Tucson. Instead, Howe headed out anyway with Scott, the newest member who'd only been in the band for about a year, after band mainstays Billy Sed and Dave Seger reasonably decided 'enough was enough' following a rough and tenuous year spent in the lower east side of NYC attempting to further the band circa 1981/82. Tucsonan Winston Watson was already living in Los Angeles and was brave/kind enough to jump in for the live date with no rehearsal. The result was so sparked with adrenalin, that the trio set up an impromptu studio session the next day to attempt to capture the sonic thrust on tape. The total cost of the day and a half recording was $400 including one 1' reel of 30 minute tape. When Enigma Records offered to release the album they requested another 15 minutes of music to make it a full LP. Ron Goudie was then called in to oversee the extra recordings. It was then when Howe borrowed an amp that had been stored at the studio did he discover the bolster of a tube amp and his world changed. The amp was a slightly modified Fender Twin Reverb owned by Robbie Krieger of The Doors. 30 some years later, now that the band had been put to sleep indefinitely, those very first songs had begun creeping into the last Giant Sand tours.
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