Chunky, Novi & Ernie

From Zappa Wiki Jawaka
Jump to: navigation, search

AGITTARIUS [16-18 / (-30º)-30º], one of the constellations in the "One Size Fits All" (1975) "universe", has (amongst others) stars named "Chunky", "Novi", and "Ernie".

Once upon a time (early '70s), they formed a band called "Chunky, Novi & Ernie". "Chunky" provided vocals and piano, "Novi" played viola and keyboards, and "Ernie played bass.

FZ supplied backing vocals on the "Rosalie" track on their first (self-titled) album and Cal Schenkel did the album cover.

Track list for "Chunky, Novi & Ernie" (1973, Reprise, MS 2146): "Underground", "Rosalie", "Chicago Fog Lift", "Antique", "Fruits & Vegetables", "Lola And The Boys", "Italian Sea", "Atlantic Liner" (included on the "Hard Goods" (sampler), "Renaissance", "America/Chicago". Produced by Ted Templeman & John Cale. All selections written by Chunky, except classical interlude "Chicago / America": music by Chunky, Novi & Ernie; lyrics by Chunky. Engineered by Don Landee & Phil Shier at Warner Bros. Studios, N Hollywood, Sunwest Studio, Hollywood, Whitney Sound, Giendale. Musicians: Chunky (Acoustic Piano, Keyboards, Lead Vocals), Novi (Viola, Keyboards, Background Vocals), Ernie (Bass, Background Vocals); Additional Musicains: Tim Barr (Standup Bass), Hal Blaine (Drums), Richard Hayward (Drums), Addie (Guitars, Slide), Bob Zinner (Guitar).

Track list for "Chunky, Novi & Ernie" (1977, Warner Bros., BS 3030): "Can't Get Away From You", "Makes You Wonder", "Lonesome Trail", "Ragin' River", "It's Over", "See What You Done", "Didn't Wanna Hurt Cha For Another Guy", "Island", "Been Gone Too Long", "Lovelight", "Fade Away". All selections written by Chunky. Produced by David Campbell (except "See What You Done": Ted Templeman & Renny Waronker). Engineered by Greg Ladanyi & Dennis Kirk ("See What You Done": Don Landee) at The Sound Factory, Hollywood. Musicians: Chunky (Lead & Background Vocals, Piano), Novi (Viola, Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Background Vocals), Ernie (Bass, Background Vocals). Additional musicians: Russ Kunkel (Drums), John Guerin (Drums), Michael Hossack (Drums), Steve Forman (Percussion), Bobby Hall (Percussion), Milt Holland (Percussion), Jim Cowger (Saxes, Flutes), Ian Underwood (Saxes, Flutes), Doug Livingston (Pedal Steel, Banjo), Bill Payne (Piano), Lee Ritenour (Electric Guitars), Jay Graydon (Electric Guitars). Background Vocals: Michael McDonald, Tiran Porter, Ki-Ki Koury, Gail Davies, Sherlie Matthews, Becky Louis, Denise Trammell. All strings played by Novi (with David Campbell and Nick DeCaro on two tracks).

Chunky, Novi & Ernie as a group, evolved from Rebecca & The Sunnybrook Farmers. Bassist Ernie Eremita, guitarist Mickey Kapner, vocalist Ki-Ki, drummer Clifford Mandell, viola player Novi Novog and multi-instrumentalist Ilene Rappaport, supposedly met and became friends while attending high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Signed by the New York based Musicor label, the group's debut ("Rebirth", 1969, Musicor MS 3176) teamed them with producers Bob Schwartz and Stu Kuby. Reportedly recorded in a week. Largely penned by Kapner, Novog and Rappaport, material such as "Two Blind Sisters", "Endless Trip" and "David & Sally" is quite eclectic, effortlessly mixing classical, folk, pop and psych influences into an extremely likeable stew. The band has a clubby, almost garagey sound which adds to the crashpad feel, and there's unexpected and quite good use of violin throughout. Songs with eclectic folk and jazz moves, plus a couple of acid freakouts. The band actually toured, opening for the likes of The Lemon Pipers. They even played Woodstock, though their performance came a year before the historic rock festival. Kapner went on to play with Country Joe McDonald and the Fish. A couple of years later Rappaport, Novog and Eremita recorded two LPs as Chunky, Novi & Ernie.