Effect's Earliest Days, 1979 to 1980
gather in the suburban town of Dobbs Ferry, NY to spend a wasted summer
in the basement bedroom hangout at Kol's house. Armed with only a Rhodes
piano, a violin, a Panasonic portable tape recorder, and 3 grams of Hashish,
Bob began recording music which can only be described as "inspired" and
to be known as "Sheesh Recorded Live August 14, 1980". First they picked
of Kol's collection, consisting mostly of science fiction and electronics
little or no preconceived plan or arrangement, they pressed record on the
cassette recorder, and began spontaneously generating songs. Kol held down
trademark left handed octave bass parts and simple chords above, as Bob
melodies on his violin. Nick, using words from the assorted books and magazines,
and moaned the lyrics. In between the songs Kol acted as "disk jockey"
each song a title and fictitious band name credit. That infamous afternoon
to 11 songs, many of which became "Doppler Effect Classics". The only
recordings which precede this historic
event are some of the "Splurge" recordings made by
Bob, Kol and his girlfriend Angela
beginning in 1979. These too were spontaneous works,
free flowing and completely improvised,
usually consisting of just keyboards and violin.
Anderson tells the story of how
Effect got it's name:
something like late 1981, but it could have been early 1982.
and I were in his bottom floor apartment on West 10th street, that was
2 gay bars and down the street from a nursing college. Hot summer nights
difficult in that apartment, as the roaches would be steamed up out of
by the hundreds. After tripping and seeing Eraserhead one night at the
Cinema (some of the dudes there would dress up like Eraserhead), I
crashing out at Kol's place and going to the bathroom: there were
on the walls, roaches on the ceiling, roaches in the bathtub...I
counting 5 roaches on a beer can alone...
night Kol and I were jamming on a totally distorted Kol-ified bass,
some sounds we called "Metallic Fluids" in those days, probably
as a form of Splurge by future Dopplerites. These deep, reverberant,
sounds must have been flowing upwards through the roach cracks
Kinky Friedman's apartment who lived upstairs (and who used to inform us
time with a few solid pounds on the floor with his boot), as one day
was a knock on the door.
the door, there was a couple of dudes, one of whom British or something.
British guy spoke: "That's the most amazing thing ah've evah huudh" he
both by music and whatever metallics were flowing through HIS fluids at
moment. This was a friend of Kinky Friedman who was visiting him when he
by the Doppler Sounds.
moments later they were inside. The British dude looked around and mumbled
do you LIVE here..." and asked us to "do it again", but we were kind of
and never got around to it. "No, of course you can't repeat that..." I
were hangin' and Kol had a copy of the Village Voice on the table,
other non-British dude started leafing through the gigs section. I noticed
Cale was playing soon, and mentioned it. "Oh, this is John Cale" says the
him talking about Eno, Tom Verlaine, and being excited about Glenn
who was really becoming known at the time. He eventually got around to
us to play with him at an upcoming gig. We had been talking about band
and i had mentioned that "Doppler Effect" was interesting (it came from
the pitch from an ambulance change as it passed by), "so you'd be
Effect, then?" he asked us, and somehow we responded in the affirmative.
gig was cool, and I remember playing classic Cale Tunes such as Fear, and
Hotel (!). It was at the club Stillwende, and I happened to notice a
of weeks ago (in December 1999) that the building has half of a Statue
head on top of it now.
funny thing was, none of us had ever really listened to much Cale, or even
of the Velvets. As always, Doppler Effect existed and still exists in its
space time continuum: some influences manage to seep in through the roach
but it has always been its own, original thing. Amen.
Kol moved East to east 10th Street, right by third avenue, perhaps in
1982. For a while he ran the "psycho phone", and at one point got laid
some job. Seeing a Fender Telecaster in a pawn shop window, he bought
himself how to play electric guitar, getting better than your average
band guitarist in a matter of weeks.
the apartment was a stone's throw from St. Marks place, which at that
was still kind of edgy (it's kind of a tourist dump now, but there are
a lot of interesting CD joints there). I remember grabbin' a couple of
at St. Marks pizza at about 3:00AM on a Saturday night. It was still
busy, but now the interesting types were out and about. Standing next
me was a conservatively dressed....uh..lady, who ordered a slice in what
a hell of a lot like male falsetto. Looking up into her face (I'm 6'1'')
became clear that this was a man, but in very convincing drag. The look
face as he realized I realized he was male was something like panic mixed
fear, which really creeped me out. In the other direction (towards 2nd
was a hinged sculpture laying out in the middle of nowhere. Smoking,
and the drinking of $5 bottles of wine occurred, and we would go and
the urban toy/sculpture-thing into different shapes, as appeared to be
artist's intention. Ecstacy was still legal at this time, and Cindy X-tacy
shuttle up to MIT (I think) and occasionally distribute a new batch.
Doppler Effect was kind of meandering at this point...we generated a
of Tabla and Marimba multitracked polyrythmic stuff that i would be
still existed on tape somewhere. But it was Brooklyn where Doppler
started to turn into a real band...
Kol, Angela, and (I believe) Margie moved in over on the edge of Park
(Brooklyn), on the top floor of a 4 story brownstone (it seemed
we were moving Kol's furniture every few weeks!). Not technically a loft,
what in NYC we call a floor-thru. This was within walking distance of my
so nights i would march past the housing projects to go over and
This is where some of the first real Doppler Effect songs were
and where the band started to take on a character of its own. Most
this was where Nick really turned into a songwriter/lead singer: Heart
a Chain...Andropov Drop-off (which got some college radio
wrote lyrics to Bent out of Shape, Arrival Before Image,
Rollercoaster, and parts of Cowboy Ronnie...Kol as usual was the musical
also wrote such tunes as "The Doppler Effect Equation", and some
counterpoint guitar licks. Musically Doppler Effect had no pre-set
agenda...it could be hard, soft, funny, naive, and angry as living hell.
we had a set that told the odd story of a loser who wanted to go to war
kill stuff in order to make something of his life...kind of a prototypical
type but real angry and on crack or something, and maybe a tiny
schizophrenic. Massive parties were held in that space, the aftermath of
a baby doll tossed into the hardening green Jell-O filling the bathtub,
neighbors complaining that they couldn't hear their own TV above
set, and soon-to-be real drummer Sasha grabbing my ass as some kind of
goof and certain I was gay (Note to the ladies: I'm not.)
this time Nick, Kol, and I kind of moved in different directions with
to the music: Sideways, Up, and Down, respectively. As for me, I had to
between getting serious about music or finishing my physics degree. As
oldest son of pro musicians, I knew enough to choose physics, and eventually
to China for a while, to sit out the last of the Reagan years. Kol was
who really knew how to play a variety of instruments. I think he never
make a choice. Nick found a way to keep a fairly sane lifestyle but still
manning the Doppler wheel and eventually manning the manor, the defacto
of the Doppler wheel, which he does to this day.
this is basically where I get off. Someone else will have to tell the
from here on out if they want. As for the future? Who can tell...but it
one hell of a manic, euphoric, psychedelic, hilarious ride...arguably the
way we knew how to survive the 80s.
Further Expansion of Doppler Effect:
Doppler Effect's line up in the grew to include drummer
Henegan and saxophone player Jonathan Gotleib.
Effect performed at clubs in Manhattan, including CBGB, The Five's,
and The Dive.
For a while we performed as a trio, and we also
with Jonathan. This group recorded several Doppler Effect "standards" and
original songs by the drummer, Kevin Baetz.
the members of Doppler Effect began to branch out into other projects.
began working with the band See No Evil which was signed to
Records in 1989 and that band released two albums with
this time I was also making new recordings with Nick Kane. In 1986
Kane and I
a live jam with Bob Barleen (of Critical Mass/See No Evil) which we titled
Space" and in 1987 we produced the legendary "11:11" sound collage. In
1988 we began
on "Metaloplastika" with Bob Barleen, after being exposed to The Beastie
of these recordings are available through our Discography.
No Evil & The Return of John Cale:
by Kol Marshall
I joined forces with a band then known as Critical Mass.
band was signed to CBS/Epic Records and re-named See No Evil,
producer Richard Robinson. Robinson had been friends with John
had played for him some rough mixes of See No Evil's self titled debut
was intrigued by one song, called "At Night", and offered to play viola
track. After recording his track I approached Mr. Cale to give thanks and
for both his viola track and for being such a great early influence on
asked what specifically was referring to and I said "Does the name
Effect ring a bell?". Remembering those days of "metallic fluids" Cale
with a sigh and the words "Oh no." We briefly reminisced about our
first meeting and the gig we played at Stillwend in SoHo, then he went
his merry way. Taking into consideration the expansion of the universe,
and time, and the divine truth of Chaos, perhaps one day
Cale will return to bless the ever expanding realm of Doppler Effect once