From the Archives: A Great Old Photo of Gale Hess and Cafe Noir, Along With a Soundtrack

Of all the many Cafe Noir photos in our still-very-physical photo archives, this is the one most worth sharing -- a very, very early-days look at the band with Gale Hess
Many have asked since yesterday if there will be a memorial of some kind for Gale Hess. Today I was told: No, not yet. There will be a small service for family and close friends, and there may be something else down the road. But, I was told, it will be at least a month away. Said a family member, the Cafe Noir violinist and composer did not want to be mourned; instead, she requested a celebration, but, for now, it will have to wait.

Until then, I would like to honor some other requests: Several Friends of Unfair Park, and old friends, have asked for some of the rare and unreleased Cafe Noir tracks mentioned in yesterday's post. Those I can provide you. The first features the band with another special someone whose loss (has it really been 15 years?) is still profoundly felt: Ed Hagen, whose visage graced the cover of Cafe Noir's The Waltz King. It was produced for KERA 90.1 Sound Sessions by Josh Alan.

"Flight of the Lark" is something recorded on a UCLA stage in 1998 but never released, something heard only as a snippet in the sampler posted yesterday. And it's the song that morphs into "Kashmir," the result of Gale's stint with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at Reunion Arena in the spring of 1995. As Norbert Gerl told me yesterday, "Gale and I came to rock and roll late," but when they fell, they fell hard.

And, finally, there is something from our first Observer compilation. I asked Gerl way back in '96 if he had something unreleased he could offer. He said there was but one song sitting in the vaults, something he didn't know what to do with: a cover of Tioga, Texas's own Gene Autry's "Back in the Saddle Again," with the great Randy Erwin on vocals. Feel free to download the latter; I want you to keep it. .

"Tempus Fugit" with Ed Hagen, from the KERA 90.1 Sound Sessions CD

"Flight of the Lark," taken from a 1998 demo-sampler recorded at UCLA (unreleased)

"Back in the Saddle Again," from Scene Heard: Rare & Unreleased Tracks Compiled By Dallas Observer Vol. 1

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I'm just diggin' her Texas Big Hair! :)

Shannon Smith Monk
Shannon Smith Monk

Robert, Thank you so much for keeping us all posted.  I will be paying close attention for any news of a memorial.  Gale touched so many lives in such a profound way, it is only natural that we would want to celebrate her and share our memories. 

 Oh Gale, if only it were that easy -  to simply celebrate your life, but alas, the loss is deeply felt and the grief that we will not meet you again on this earth is undeniable, but we will smile and share happy memories and laugh through our tears and thank God for the music you left us.

Dave Moynihan
Dave Moynihan

That is one of my photos.  I believe it was taken in 1988.   This is probably  the sessions when the back cover album picture was also taken.  I had more fun listening to the band perform and now it brings back fond memories.  Gale was a beautiful soul.  

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Thanks, Dave. I had no idea whose photo it was -- it was uncredited, amongst many clearly taken during the same day. There's also one taken in front of Hall of State. It's now perched above my desk.

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