- Tom Dyer Talks TWENTYFIVE
The facts on: Twentyfive by Jeff Kelly, 1991. A long time ago Jeff used to record his music onto cassettes. Tons of them. Some were fun. Some were sad. Some were noisy. Some rocked. Some were Lover’s Rock. Five years before this very private release, Jeff got married. To Susanne. I was there. Some of the songs he wrote were now about Susanne. Sometimes they were recorded with Susanne, like their unreleased L7 project, or Coffee In Nepal, which I released on cassette and which has been release on CD and vinyl. They laid the ground for their 2014 beautiful By Reckless Moonlight album back then.
This is a little different. Twentyfive is twenty-two songs written and recorded about/for Susanne (plus 3 poems) in the ensuing five years of nuptial bliss, all assembled onto one cassette and given to her on her twenty-fifth birthday. Some had been released on other releases, some not. “Oh How I Love You” from Coffee In Nepal is one of Jeff's best songs of any period. Jeff made a few copies and gave them to a few people. I was one of them.
Original fold-out cassette cover
Jeff was not doing a lot musically at that point, it was a bit of a fallow period in his otherwise prolific career. I listed Twentyfive out on some Jeff Kelly Discography to make it look like Jeff was still keeping his hand in, true, if a little fluffy. Like the Green Pajamas’ Happy Halloween (which had about 10 copies made when it was originally released), its legend grew over time.
At some point around 2003/4 I was living out in Rhode Island, had acquired some digital audio tools and digitized my copy for no particular reason I can remember other than I could. I was able to get rid of some of the cassette's tape hiss (so thrilling) and burnt it to CDR. Scanned the cassette cover and made it into a CD cover. Made two copies. Sent one to Jeff. Still have my copy.
So there you have it. A nice snapshot of the beginning of true love.
Can’t wait until Susanne turns 50!
Tom Dyer, Seattle, June 2015