Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Short Wave Mystery - Pilots 12"

Well, I figured that since a copy of this 12" recently fetched $910 on eBay, why not share the record so everyone could hear what the hype is all about? Some people are trying to sell bootleg copies of this for hundreds of dollars as well...
I have managed to track down two of the original members of the group, including Greg, the songwriter/singer.
Here is what he had to say about the group:

"We never again pressed anything else under the moniker Short-Wave Mystery but there are more songs that I have on tape, from that era.
Most of the tracks on that record were written and recorded by myself when I was attending Santa Barbara City College down in Isla Vista, CA around the 1985-1986 time frame. They were recorded in a bedroom using a 4 track Tascam 38 and some small Electro-Harmonix 2 second samplers and a Memorymoog Plus running a sequencer driving a Moog Source. I took some of the tracks into a bigger facility for mastering before releasing the record.
All of the memebers were essentially friends. Two of the members were brothers who I grew up with in Modesto, CA (Tom and Jason) while the tall, blonde fellow, Dave, was a roomate of ours from college in Santa Barbara, who played sax. The other guys in the band played instruments, but none actually played anything on the record, save for Jason, who laid a few percussive licks down. It was all written and sequenced by me. When we played live, I essentially hit the tape play button ala Depeche Mode and let it roll. Not much going on save for a lot of posing and gesturing..
We pressed about 1000 copies of the record and never and never went into repressing. I think we had a hard time getting the record to sell at all, and took a loss. None of us had much marketing or business savvy when it came to getting our product peddled. We just could not create a demand and spent most of our cash just trying to get the record made. I believe it was available through Rough Trade Distribtuion in SF when it was down on 6th street. After that, we grew up and went our separate ways. Tom still lives in the Bay area, Dave I haven't heard from in years, and Jason sells his art in Michigan...
...Anyway, I have all those tracks and many many more from that era still on 2" and 4" real to real tapes. I am going to take them into the studio and remaster them then post them and perhaps re-release them as an album if anyone might be interested. This will occur in the first quarter of 2009.
Jason and I did some stuff after that under the moniker Chapel Bell Chimes, which perhaps I should release as well. More digital sounding of course since I was using a lot of antiqated samplers at that particular time."

I consulted the other member, Jason, who once had over 500 copies of the record in his parents' barn.(!) They have unfortunately all been trashed... No more copies are available from either member. Boohoo.

So, as he mentioned, Greg still has all the original tapes, including many unreleased songs. Jason also has some old tapes, which may contain even more unreleased material! Greg is in the process of remastering them with modern equipment and is interested in eventually shopping the tracks around to various labels and rereleasing them. I've suggested a few labels to him, and helped pass along a message from one of them, so perhaps a reissue of this incredibly sought-after record can finally come about?!? Keep your fingers crossed...

PS. I am not selling this record. Please do not ask!

Short Wave Mystery - Pilots 12" EP
1985 Good Records
1. Pilots
2. Nice Girl
3. Ecaterina Szabo
4. Szabo (Version)

Link removed by request... reissue coming soon!


Anonymous said...

first, thanks for posting this gem! definitely lived up the hype in my opinion, it's easily one of the most unique 80s records i've ever heard.

I really hope they release all their material soon, it would be great if they include a brief history of the band or some extras. :)

Anonymous said...

I'd say that paying $910 for a record is nuts, but since you couldn't hear me if I said it I'm writing it instead - paying $910 for a record is nuts.


Anonymous said...

I'd say that paying $910 for a record is nuts, but since you couldn't hear me if I said it I'm writing it instead - paying $910 for a record is nuts.


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for sharing this in great quality. Indeed a very nice record. And why not let pay collectors thousands of dollars for records? If only part of the money would go the musicians ...

Anonymous said...

I have the Short Wave Mystery demo tape. There are 12 additional songs on it. Most of them are nothing short of sensational. Among them is a remix of "Pilots" and a 10 1/2 minute song of pure synth madness. I promise these will not just live up to the SWM hype, but exceed everyone's expectation. A real treat waiting for all the synth pop fans out there...I hope these get re-mastered and published soon!

Monsieur mystère oscillateur said...

Thanks for enjoying our music.
I don't ever think any of us ever thought that in the future, people would be willing to pay that much money for one copy when the entire production costs, at the time, were about $1000.00.
I remember putting up B/W promo flyers on the bulletin board at the SF 6th St. Rough Trade. When going back to the store about two weeks later, someone wrote "Valley Crap" with an ink marker over the top of it. Ha!
Yes, we will try to remix and reissue the old material, if enough people are interested in hearing or buying it. Vinyl and Itunes will be available.
Cheers and keep the faith!
-Gregory Windrum Scoggin

Anonymous said...

Link seems to be down ???

Anonymous said...

Link is 'kaputt' ... maybe a reload would be nice otherwise senseless as lots of people have no idea about the tunes. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Link is dead !!!!

Short-Wave Mystery said...

Rumor has it that certain individuals are making bootleg, illegal copies of the Pilots 12" and selling them at exorbitant prices to unsuspecting buyers.
If so, help us locate them so we can cut their balls off and anyone that leads us to a square thief will share 50 percent of the court settlement or get free copies of the soon to be released Shortwave Mystery full length 'Down and Out in a Town of Yard Sales' 12" vinyl, with remastered original, unreleased songs dating back to 1984-1986 off the original reel to reel tapes the songs were recorded to.
We hate liars, cheats and thieves as much as we do child molesters, especially when they try to profit off others hard work, intellectual property and insult you, the listening public's intelligence, by denying you the right to hear products the way the artists intended.
Not everyone can afford records, these days of hard times so to us, giving away the mp3's of released material, is fine.
But, it is when some lowlife wants to actually defraud people by printing up 12" records, sleeves and all, and selling them as though they are legitimate copies of the original (lying to the buying public) and defrauding we the artists and owners of the original copyright material (we see no profit from our outlay in order that we can make more records, whatsoever) then no one but the thief gets anything out of this and in the end, we are one step less at providing listeners a legitimate copy of original, mastered 'as it was intended' music on vinyl, at an affordable price for anyone. We appreciate any names and locations of such individuals, in strict confidence.
We appreciate after all these years, that people actually enjoy our music but find it ridiculous that you should pay in excess of 700 dollars for a copy of it, or perhaps buy a 'fake' in order to hear our music. That is simply unnecessary.

HOW TO DETERMINE THE GENUINE ARTICLE: to ensure you have a legitimate copy of the record, you will find an imprint on the trailing edge leading to the center label of the Pilots 12" record. If you own a copy and want to know IF IT IS LEGITIMATE, provide us with the inscription via the myspace page above, and we will tell you if you have a legitimate copy, or not.

Please contact us at
the Shortwave Mystery crew

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right ! But link ist really dead so how can we hear this master piece? Is Goutroy gone or is he too busy to re-upload 'em?


goutroy said...

I'm still here, but I've been busy and have a pretty bad internet connection on account of the fact I just leech from neighbors... I'll try to re-up broken links at work. And thanks, Greg, for that message. I can tell you that the main (and only?) bootlegger is a French "collector" who sells on ebay under the name sky..82. Beware!

Monsieur mystère oscillateur said...

We are uploading the original Shortwave songs as well as Chapel Bell Chimes material here:
They are available for download, free with a few snippets from the unreleased stuff.
Windrum|Scoggin Collectiv

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have the 12" and the demo tape as well, I think I got my 12" from Record Factory in Modesto. I'm from Modesto originally. I remember going to Greg's house while he was away, I vaguely knew his sister and seeing his Memory Moog on the floor, and drooling a bit :)

I saw SWM play at the YMCA in Modesto it must have been around 1985 and was a good friend of Emily Nelson, the Emily "Nice Girl" is about, last time I saw her she was attending her Freshman year at SF State (or was it SFU).

Good to see Greg is still around and doing well. Last time we ran into each other he barged into my rehearsal studio with Greg Jones in the old Modesto Music building circa 1988, I played part of "Pilots" for him on my OB-8 and he kinda freaked, he seemed genuinely surprised that someone knew his music. I think he had been partying all night. We did a quick run through of "Cars" by Gary Numan and he kept yelling in my Mic putting serious stress on my PA system.

"Pilots" always reminded me of "Fade to Grey" by Visage, but hearing "Nice Girl" was pretty unique for a local act, the use of samplers was fairly unheard of by any of us doing synthpop in the Central Valley, after all only bands like Depeche Mode had that kinda money.

The Demo tape I have is pretty long and has several sections that seem like they are repeats, or perhaps slightly different takes. the vinyl has some mastering issues and was fairly muddy especially in the bass end. I'd love to hear a crisper mix.

Anonymous said...

hi good friend. emilie here. who are you? write me at :)

Anonymous said...

Shortwave Mystery and Chapel Bell Chimes Unreleased demos can be found here:

Anonymous said...

this is such a wonderful experience finding this conversation + the music

you cannot believe how thankful i am right now.

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Greg Scoggin said...

Being the Copyright owner BUT most importantly, artist and creator of The Shortwave Mystery music, I would greatly appreciate that people not post illegal downloads of our EP's and Vinyl on the internet. Doing so does NOTHING to help me or my lable recoup the vast amounts of money spent on producing and pressing this music to vinyl. We are NOT getting rich from doing this, in case you are wondering. We are NOT depeche mode.

Anyone (aside from me or my label) simply 'giving it away' is basically saying to me and the people that support my music " Hey Greg and World Service Records-we the fans/consumers of your music say "Screw You'! We don't care if it takes you many hours of work, thousdands of dollars in synths and studio time nor vast amounts of money and resources for you or your record label to make and press your music to vinyl... contrary to what is the 'right' and moral thing to do, we are just gonna give your music away!"

My response to anyone carrying this attitude is "what have we done to you personally that you would want to hurt us in the same way?" We are NOT a major label, corporate entity making so much money a few thousdand illegal dowloads won't make a difference. Every illegal download hurts me and the label.
Everytime you give something away that we are trying to sellYou HURT me and the people that support my music by investing in its pressing, -it is disheartening and defeating to have people download everything for free when our label, who trusted in us enough to invest money in pressing our music, in turn, cannot sell the few hard copies they have pressed; Hence, in turn this leaves us with a label that may not be willing to press more of our newer SWM music, to vinyl for you, the vinyl afficianados and in this, everyone loses.


Thanks for your patience in listening to my rant.

P.S.-I WOULD GREATLY appreciate that the annymous person posing with 'The shortwave Mystery' posting concerns of "bootlegging and the cutting off balls/child molestors" please remove the post is they can (or moderator)
Neither I nor anyone from our label posted those comments.
Thank You.
Greg Scoggin

goutroy said...

Link removed, I didn't realize it was still active.

Greg Scoggin said...

Thank You Goutroy.
I have been authorized by
James at our label
to make a public
May 2013 will
see the remastered
reissue of the
original 'Pilots'
EP on 180 gram vinyl.
It is being pressed by the same
plant that manufactured the original.
It will be cut from
the original master
tapes and there will be
no discerbable difference
between it and the original
songs, save that the
pressings will assuredly more be more pristine since modern
mastering processes will bring
out clarity and detail in sections
of the songs that heretofore, were
unheard in the origianl pressing.
The Mastering will be performed by
Michael Romanowskit in SF while the lacquers cut by Paul Stubblebine (US lathe man for such singles as New Order's Blue Monday, etc)
The pressing will be of limited quantity so check our website around May to order a copy, if you wish. The cost of the repressing will be 19.95 each (yes nineteen dollars and ninety-fove cents), NOT $1995,with NO decimal
(ha ha)
Keep your ears attuned for NEW Shortwave Mystery material within the next year.
Everyone, Take Care and thanks for keeping the sound from the higher frequency realms alive for so long
Greg Scoggin

Jonathan Palmer said...

To purchase Shorwave Mystery Vinyl and CD's go to:
for bulk inquiries contact:
subject line: Orders