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Breakfast With Amy

Alternative Rock
La Habra, California, USA

Breakfast with Amy was an American Christian alternative rock band, formed in 1986 in La Habra, California at the La Habra Four-Square church. At that time, the band consisted of vocalist David Koval, bassist Jeff “Tennessee Beans” Beahn, guitarist Christopher Colbert, and drummer Paul Pellegrin. The pastor of the church was throwing a Saturday night concert. A band had backed out and he needed a replacement. David, Christopher, Paul and Jeff quickly formed “Friends of Amy” to perform.

The band was later joined by Caryn Barker (married the guitarist Christopher Colbert about 1989, divorced about 1996) on guitar and Charlotte Stripland on bass. Charlotte was later permanently replaced in 1989 by Bob “Edwin” Wohler. Brothers Eric and Jeremy Wood filled in on Bass and Drums respectively in the final days of the band.

The band initially released an independent demo tape in 1987. It featured three songs (“Funeral,” “Ferris Wheel,” and “Love Song”) and was recorded at Half Moon Studio by engineer Dan Bush. For the demo, the line-up featured Rich Berger on Drums. In 1988 the band released a professionally recorded demo tape (see side B of the Narrowpath release). In 1989, Breakfast with Amy was approached by Greg Sostrom of Narrowpath Records and subsequently signed with him in 1990. This led to the formal release of their studio album Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt. The album was recorded at Casbah studios in Fullerton, California during two sessions about a year apart. The A side featured new material recorded at the time the band signed with Narrowpath Records of Concord, California. It was produced by Chaz Ramierez, who is known for his work in the Orange County New Wave and Punk scenes. The B side featured their first studio tracks (previously sold at concerts). However, distribution issues made the album being nearly impossible to find - the band joked in concert that even they had trouble finding a copy for themselves.

At some point after Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, the band signed with Vinyl Vox Records, a sub-label of Relativity Records. An entire album called Tuck in Your Love Gift was recorded, but the sub-label folded before the album was released. A few tape of copies of early mixes of the album were handed out to friends of the band.

The band signed with Michael Knott's Blonde Vinyl Records in 1991. With a new label that could better represent the band's progressive music and image, Breakfast with Amy quickly moved to the forefront of the underground Christian rock scene that had been taking shape in Southern California since the early 80's. During the short lifespan of Blonde Vinyl, Breakfast with Amy released two albums. One was 1991's Dad - their last album of original material, ironically also the first album to gain widespread national distribution. Two songs from Tuck in Your Love Gift were re-recorded for Dad: “Tell Mama” and “Bill’s Shoe Shine” (now called “Ad America”). The second album for Blonde Vinyl was an updated version of Tuck in Your Love Gift called product # bvcd 3482 (love gift). Some of the songs had edited or remixed to some degree (with intros changed and things like that). The original version of “Bill’s Shoe Shine” was included as “Ad America (Baby Baby Baby Version)”

After the collapse of Blonde Vinyl Records (largely due to their distribution company Spectra going bankrupt) the band dissolved. In 1995, they released their final album (a live compilation), Live at the Hawleywould Bowl!, through Flying Tart Records. The band never truly found a mainstream audience in or out of Christian circles.

In 1995, Gray Dot Records re-released Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt with completely re-mastered tracks and three bonus demo tracks from their original demo. Two releases announced in 1995 never saw the light of day. One was the Green J*llo With Oatmeal 7-inch single - a lime-scented-sleeved green-vinyl three song 7-inch record with artwork and packaging by Michael Toth announced by Flying Tart Records. The other was The Sound Of One Hand Snacking: The Vicarious Breakfast With Amy Experience (Kinda Charly) VHA. According to the Breakfast with Amy newsletter: “This video will hopefully translate the Dadaist aural psychosis of the Hawleywould Bowl CD into a equally warped visual experience. This 56-minute, moderately experimental VHS treat will be included in a Love Gift Box with misc. BWAmyrobilia. Live and studio material, several with previously unreleased versions, are presented in glorious Hi-Fi VHS stereo sound.”

Today, Breakfast with Amy is remembered by fans of the fledgling alternative Christian rock scene as one of the staples of Blonde Vinyl Records, being present on nearly all of their compilation CDs (as well as other alternative Christian rock compilations) and being one of only a few artists on the label to make a music video. For the few that saw them live, the band may be best remembered for their outlandish stage shows. A typical performance featured costumes, Go-Go dancing, flaming taxidermy, and movie projectors used as stage lighting. Shows often ended with instrument destruction and a 5 minute wall of feedback. Due to these factors, the band was rarely invited back to a venue be it a club or a church.

Stylistically, the band is best described as Post-punk, mixing elements of Psychedelic Rock, Art Rock, and Punk Rock into an odd amalgam. Some of the songs have decidedly Pop music melodies, while others feature layer after layer of guitar dissonance and feedback. Musical influences include U2, Echo & the Bunnymen, Sonic Youth, The Who, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls.

Discography

1987 First Demo
1988 Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt (demo) Doll Light Records
1990 Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt Narrowpath Records
199? Tuck in Your Love Gift Relativity/Vinyl Vox Records
1991 Dad Blonde Vinyl Records
1992 product # bvcd 3482 (love gift) Blonde Vinyl Records
1995 Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt (reissue) Gray Dot Records
1995 Live at the Hawleywood Bowl! Flying Tart Records

First Demo

1987 Independent

David Koval – Vocals, guitar
Caryn Colbert – Guitar
Christopher Colbert – Guitar
Tennessee Beans – Electric bass guitar
Rich Berger – Drums

  1. Ferris Wheel (9:07)
  2. Love Song (4:43)
  3. Funeral (5:32)

Re-issue later on the Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt 1995 re-issue.


Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

1988 Doll Light Records (0001dlt)

David Koval – Vocals, guitar
Caryn Colbert – Guitar
Christopher Colbert – Guitar
Tennessee Beans – Electric bass guitar
Paul Pelligrin – Drums

  1. Funeral (3:40)
  2. Everything (4:15)
  3. Ferris Wheel (3:34)
  4. Abandoned Houses (3:35)
  5. Social Studies (4:09)

This release was sold at early concerts. These five songs were later added as side two of Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt. ACM Journal #1 listed this album as More Cows Than People, but other source have referred to it as the original Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt.


Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

1990 Narrowpath Records (SPCN7900602550)
1995 Gray Dot Records (GDR 9503CD)

David Koval – Vocals, electric sitar, acoustic guitar
Caryn Colbert – Guitar
Christopher Colbert – Guitar
Edwin Wohler – Electric bass guitar
Paul Pelligrin – Drums

Tennesee Beans – electric bass guitar (tracks 6 – 10)

  1. Icky (4:31)
  2. Power (4:11)
  3. Cavewoman (5:56)
  4. This Train (4:21)
  5. Mr. Ed (2:48)
  6. Funeral (3:40)
  7. Everything (4:15)
  8. Ferris Wheel (3:34)
  9. Abandoned Houses (3:35)
  10. Social Studies (4:09)
Re-issue bonus songs:
  1. Ferris Wheel (demo) (9:07)
  2. Love Song (demo) (4:43)
  3. Funeral (demo) (5:32)

This album disappeared almost as fast as it was released. Even the band claimed they had a hard time finding it. The last five songs on this album actually started out as a cassette ep that was distributed at concerts. The first five songs were added and this album was released.


Tuck in Your Love Gift

199? Relativity/Vinyl Vox Records

  1. Ralph’s Garage (2:47)
  2. Tell Mama (3:05)
  3. Voices (2:25)
  4. Jello Wiggle (3:18)
  5. Edwin Loves TX! (0:23)
  6. Videos and Food (5:05)
  7. Bill’s Shoe Shine (2:52)
  8. Little Maxine’s Epiphany (5:10)
  9. Jonas’ Russian Accordion (1:41)
  10. Toll House Waltz (4:02)
  11. Happy Song (short) (0:20)
  12. The Uniform Tree (4:09)
  13. Song of the Humpback Whales (1:07)
  14. Fashion Gal (3:15)
  15. The Happy Song (Featuring Sol and Hank) (3:30)

This album was recorded for a mainstream label, but never released. “Tell Mama” was re-recorded for Dad, and “Bill’s Shoe Shine” was re-recorded as “Ad America” for Dad. The rest of the songs were released by Blonde Vinyl under the name product#bvcd3482 (love gift) – with a few songs edited or remixed to some degree (with intros changed and things like that). “Bill’s Shoe Shine” was also on product#bvcd3482 (love gift) as “Ad America (Baby Baby Baby Version)”.


Dad

1991 Blonde Vinyl Records (BVCD5556)

David Koval – Vocals, electric sitar, acoustic guitar
Caryn Colbert – Guitar
Christopher Colbert – Guitar
Edwin Wohler – Electric bass guitar
Paul Pelligrin – Drums

Debbie Devore, Mr. Rhumba, Jeremy Woods – Additional vocals
Michael J. Pritzl – Additional guitars

  1. Me (3:41)
  2. Tell Mama (2:58)
  3. You (2:53)
  4. So It Goes (4:53)
  5. Mermelstein and the Disappearing Sink (4:18)
  6. Ad America (3:59)
  7. The Short, Happy Life of Henrietta (5:04)
  8. Your Name (4:29)
  9. You’re Soaking in It (2:46)
  10. Sea Shanty of an Icelandic Midwife (2:23)
  11. Come On, Joan (2:45)

product # bvcd 3482 (love gift)

1992 Blonde Vinyl Records (BVCD3482)

David Koval – Vocals, electric sitar, acoustic guitar
Caryn Colbert – Guitar
Christopher Colbert – Guitar
Edwin Wohler – Electric bass guitar
Paul Pellegrin – Drums
Chuck Cummings – Drums
Jonas Aras – Accordian

  1. [Sample – Listening Advice] (0:25)
  2. Ralph’s Garage (2:39)
  3. [Sample Loop] (0:07)
  4. Jello Wiggle (2:57)
  5. Song of the Humpback Whale (0:41)
  6. [Sample – Audio Balance Established] (0:05)
  7. Uniform Tree (5:04)
  8. Paul Calls Mr. Rhumba From a Plane (0:40)
  9. Velvety Dave at the Naugahyde Lounge (0:42)
  10. Voices (1:42)
  11. Little Maxine’s Epiphany (4:47)
  12. Edwin Loves TX! (1:07)
  13. Fashion Gal (2:51)
  14. Toth Calls Rumby (0:14)
  15. [Accordian Warm-Up] (0:30)
  16. Jonas’ Russian Accordian (1:24)
  17. The Tollhouse Waltz (4:00)
  18. Ad America (Baby Baby Baby Version) (3:07)
  19. Videos And Food (4:47)
  20. Mrs. Rhumba Calls Mr. Rhumba (0:16)
  21. Happy Song (Featuring Sol and Hank, the Metro Twins) (2:30)
  22. You (live) (4:04)
  23. Social Studies (live) (5:08)
  24. Mum Calls Dave (0:29)

Live at the Hawleywood Bowl!

1995 Flying Tart Records (TARTCD1005)

  1. Dynamic Bowling
  2. Fan Dialogue
  3. Icky Muzak (Muzak Version)
  4. Concert Intro
  5. Mr. Ed
  6. Funeral
  7. Come on Get Happy
  8. Stalin for Time
  9. Icky
  10. Killing Time (Improv)
  11. Somebody to Love
  12. Jesus Christ is Coming to Town
  13. I Will Follow
  14. Hit Me With Your Best Shot
  15. In a Gadda Da Vida
  16. Me
  17. Snacks And Cable: Part 1
  18. Snacks And Cable: Part 2
  19. J*ll-O Wiggle
  20. Abandoned Houses
  21. Ferris Wheel
  22. Social Studies
  23. Audience/Band Chatter
  24. Social Studies (Abrupt Ending)