In January of 1992, the band formerly known as the Flyboys booked themselves at The Village Gate on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village NYC as the Bossa Nova Beatniks. The band was Eddie ORourke on guitar, brother Rob ORourke on bass, George Vahamonde on Drums, and me, Tom Gould, on vocals.
It was an evening fitting of the launching of this band. There was a television show that was on the air around that time called Twin Peaks. The show was the bizarre and often funny creation of movie director David Lynch. Throughout the series there were often dream sequences where a giant and a little person would appear. Well. the actor who played the little person in those dream sequences followed us on stage with a piano player singing show tunes. The theater we performed in was used earlier in the evening as the stage for the off Broadway production of The Brady Bunch. Yes, for a while a theater group would perform episodes of the Brady Bunch on stage. In the midst of all that the Bossa Nova Beatniks were born.
I felt so strongly about this band that I wanted to make a CD with them. We approached Chris Pati, who had a studio where I had recorded demo tapes. We began the process of recording tunes for an album. Eddie, Rob, and I all wrote songs. The following January, with one more song to record to finish the album, we got into an argument about which one of Bobs songs to use as the last song. I wanted to record a song of his called "Talk Talk" that we had been using as our set closer and was my favorite song Rob had written. Rob wanted to do a new song called "Only One Girl".
Then one night after playing the Nightingale Bar on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan, Eddie told me that he and Robert were leaving the band. Oddly enough, the next day was the one-year anniversary of the Village Gate gig.
By this time I was bent on finishing the album regardless of having a band. Since half the songs were ORourke songs, I had to come up with other tunes to finish the album. I checked my tape archives and found a recording I had done of the old Nat King Cole/Rolling Stones tune "Route 66". Bobby Troupe, who wrote the song, had written to me that he enjoyed my version. The song featured the great piano playing of Jim Beard, who was playing with Wayne Shorter at the time, and the hot sax of Danny Wilensky, who has played with Ray Charles, Stevie Winwood, David Bowie, and Santana. I also found a recording of my song "Let Me Out" done by the Flyboys featuring Jono Manson on guitar and Lonesome Alex Quinlan on the bass. Jono is the singer seen in the Kevin Costner film, The Postman.
I then enlisted the aid of George on drums and Roy Lechich on guitar to record four new songs; "Behave Yourself"," Broke Up Thinking"(inspired by lyrics written by Amy Powers, who was working with Andrew Lloyd Webber), "Remember The World", and "Melancholy Day". The newer tunes began to lean toward the acoustic/percussive approach that would become the uniquely Bossa Nova Beatnik sound.
Chris Patis studio was at the end of a long winding road nestled in the woods by a bluff that overlooked the Long Island Sound. One night after completing a mix down we came out to hear the wind rushing through the trees. It made a howling sound. I had never heard the wind howl before. It was unmistakable. I was so impressed with how cool that was, I decided to call the album, "The Night of the Howling Wind". When I told my wife about this title she said it was way to pretentious. Lately, I had been finding my self looking at the clock often to see that it was 11:11 or when going through tapes of the band always finding "Jack Jack" on both real time and digital counters landing at 11 11. It happened so often that I commented to my wife, "Hey, theres 11 11 again." So when she didnt like the other title, she said, "Why dont you call the album, 11 11."
After the CD released, I was driving along when I see a bumper sticker on a car in front of me that read, "11:11 If you seek to be one of the chosen simply choose yourself".
Then later when I was on the radio in Maine on WERU, the shows host Emma Finn explained to me that the eleven eleven was a native American belief that the ancestors would be returning to the earth to guide us as the earth brings us closer to her. The eleven eleven indicates this just as 666 signifies the apocalypse. The eleven eleven belief is that a utopian existence will follow. This is certainly a great philosophy and if having faith is the key, it is a good one on which to base faith.