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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Refreshments *Wheelie* Sales 1994!!!

The release dates for Ghost Notes and Songs from Memory are set. Both have in-store dates of March 4, 2008, just four months from today. You can count on pre-release sales to start at my Web site, www.artedwards.com, a month earlier, on February 4, 2008.

Many promotional events in many different cities are being planned, so don't be surprised if I'm in your neck of the woods in 2008. Stay tuned!

And many thanks to Brian J. Henderson for the new profile picture. Brian has kindly supplied me with many Refreshments-related scans from his collection, and we’re going to talk about some of them over the next couple of blogs.

Also, does everyone understand RSS feeds? (Don’t be embarrassed. Gerke just filled me in yesterday.) It’s an easy way to keep up with what I post here. Just look for the little orange and white icon, click it, and choose your option.

So Wheelie came out on December 4, 2004 (Funny, the 4th seems to play into a lot of the album releases of my life. See above.) There was some uncertainty regarding what weekend it would come out. We promised to premier it at the Yucca, so our staunchest fans would be the first to own it. We kept saying, “the fourth or the eleventh,” to anyone who asked about the CD. We were all listening to it in our cars and at our homes, proud as hell, waiting for the CD manufacturer to get our product done so we could start selling it. Finally, they came in, unassembled, from the manufacturer, and Kel, Rog and I spent one weekend putting 1000 of them together.

One of my best memories of being in the Refreshments was walking into the Yucca on December 4, 1994. It was early, but the place was already pretty full. I’d guess there were about 100 people there. I came in with my big box of 200 CDs, and 100 sets of eyes followed me, hungry lions honing in on some guy carrying a lamb shank, as I walked through the room and sat down at the far booth. A line quickly formed that extended all the way to the other end of the bar. The first guy in line dropped a stack of bills on the table, looked at me with blood-shot eyes and said, “Give me 15.”

That day, we sold 411 copies of Wheelie, and we would never look back. We actually had to run back to my place in between sets to get more boxes.

It was a dream-come-true, and that day will always be the apex of 1994--and in many ways the apex of the Refreshments--to me. The road ahead would lead us to great victories, but also would be fraught with difficult decisions and hard-to-swallow compromises. With Wheelie, it was all pure. We handled everything ourselves, and we succeeded on our own. There was no reason to believe we couldn’t have continued on in that way--making records and selling them out of the back of my pick-up truck--but none of us wanted that. We were destined for something else, and by the end of 1994 we were ready for it.

You’re going to hear many different numbers of how many copies of Wheelie are out there, but most of them are false. Here’s the truth, as remembered by the guy who managed the entire project.

The band ordered Wheelie in batches of 1000, but we usually got somewhere in the area of 1050-1100 in each batch, the extra being printer over-run. We placed a total of five orders, which means there are no more that 5500 copies of Wheelie in existence. We sold most of those, but we gave a lot of them away, too. Still, 5500 copies are floating around out there. It’s not impossible to score one of them, even in 2007.

Next week, random musings over Refreshments-related pictures supplied by Brian Henderson.

Art

11 comments:

Ironheart said...

I'm really looking forward to your new book and CD. You mentioned appearances in many cities, but you have said in the past that the east coast wasn't feasible. That's still true in this case?

The excitement of Wheelie's release must have been a hell of a thing. You guys won over a fanbase pretty quickly and it was well-deserved. I get the impression you feel the Refreshments was something really special, not just a band you were in that obtained some success. (Which most of us here would agree with, of course.) It's very sad that it fell apart.

That's something else I was wondering about. Your posts about the beginning of the band have been a great read, and I look forward to you chronicling the band's success with Fizzy. But, will you ever blog about the band's dissolution? From what I know about it, it sounds like it would be a hard thing to write about. It could be cathartic to write about it, and I will admit that I'm curious to hear the whole tale from someone who lived it.

Art Edwards said...

Kevin, Glad you're looking forward to the book and CD. Man, so am I.

It's not impossible that I make it to the East Coast in 2008. It's early in the process, so I'm very hopeful the project will merit me going lots of places. We'll just have to wait and see. It won't be until the latter half the year, but right now, with the news I'm getting here and there, I wouldn't be surprised if something works out in your area.

I also won't rule out blogging about the things you suggest, but thus far I've kept it positive. I don't have a grand plan. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Art

Anonymous said...

I have a copy of Wheelie but its not the real version I got it form my cousin which got it from Brain Blush's manager

Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)

Scott said...

A friend gave me a copy of Wheelie way back when and I loved it - more than I have loved music before or since. Everyone I ever played it for loved it and wanted it. I loaned to a long lost friend forever ago and I have never seen it since. My friend has since passed and The Refreshments, having always been my favorites anyway, remind me of him because he turned me on to them. I would love to find another copy. Any ideas? scott 71 at tampa bay dot r r dot com.

Art Edwards said...

Scott,

I loved Wheelie, too.

Where to get one? Search me. They do pop up here and there. I'd put out a Google Alert for the terms "Refreshments" and "Wheelie", and see what happens. Eventually, you'll find someone who wants to sell.

http://www.google.com/alerts?hl=en&gl=us&source=alertsmail&cd=L2wUMuGz0KQ

Good luck,

Art

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Anonymous said...

I have an original copy. Considering how many places I've lived and how crazy my life has been, it's a miracle that I still have it.

I used to LOVE going to Chuy's (or Gibson's, whichever they were calling it then) on Friday nights when Los ReFrescos were hot. Talk about fun times, tons of smoking hot chicks, everyone was LOADED, and every freaking person in the crowd knew every single lyric of every song and sang it just as loud as Roger did. Plus we were doing quite a fair amount of E at the time, which just enhanced an already great time.

I've lived in cool places and seen killer bands emerge. Tempe/Phx in the late 80's to mid-90's with the Meat Puppets, the Gin Blossoms (with Doug), and The Refreshments is totally under-rated. Some of the best times of my life were Tuesday nights at Long Wongs when the Gin Blossoms played covers under the name of The Del Montes. Probably half of that crowd ended up in rehab or worse, but at that specific time and place, there wasn't a cooler, more fun place to be!

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