I previously mentioned the unpublished book DISCIPLES OF OSIRIS. The band invited writer Charles R. Peer into the earliest songwriting sessions for Joy Motel and even lived with the band during that time. But things went sour….fast. I asked Chris about this awhile ago (through email exchanges).
CH: “We just didn’t anticipate that Charles, because he was living with us, would turn into this contentious freaky cat who had a problem.”
Finger: What kind of problem?
CH: “He was a fucking scumbag,” “And under that sub-heading – a liar.”
The book that Peer had been researching remains unpublished as a result of the infamous lawsuit that would come later. DISCIPLES OF OSIRIS, which contained a treasure trove of early facts, is colored by Peer’s necessity to paint House as a tortured genius and Tom Staton the “McCartney of the group.” Also, somewhere along his early time at the Victor House, he too fell for V.
Depositions from the Peer vs. SHB Experiences (the Staton House Band) reveal an interesting fact. “Christopher House wanted his friend Bill Hanson to manage the band, and Staton wanted someone who was ‘a shark.’” Bill Hanson told NJ: “I remember Tom said, ‘I have a friend who went to law school who told me once, if you don’t watch a dollar, there will be somebody obligated to take it… because they can.’ He wanted the toughest guy on the job. I understood, I was too much like them, they wanted someone to control the business who wasn’t at all like them. But I knew it was dangerous. And I worried for the band.”
It was the first truly lethal argument between the titular heads of the SHB. Staton won the argument. Their first manager came as a result of two meetings in Los Angeles. Tom, Christopher and Bill Hanson first interviewed then Red Hot Chili Peppers’ manager Guy Oseary, and Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis. Choosing Oseary, the band was able to swing a month of free session time at The Oracle, the home/recording studio of Paul Allen, located in the quiet high hills above Hollywood. The album was finished in less than 14 days. The band struggled with the sometimes-opulent surroundings.
“We were ready,” recalls keyboard player Kelton Sakai. “We came in blazing… though I remember that Christopher would often reject these amazing home cooked meals that Paul Allen would serve. He’d want to go to Hollywood and eat in some crappy diner food. And we’d go, ‘You missed prime rib.’ And he said, ‘There’s a finite amount of Prime Rib you should eat in your life… and I don’t mean for health reasons.”