Pre-Order the Debut Album by Café Society

"After 40 years, I'm ready to record the

album I've waited a lifetime to make"

—Richard Morris
Founder & Frontman, Café Society
€00.00​0 EUR
0 BACKERS
0% OF €12.000​ EUR
OVERVIEW

After making music for the past 40 years, I am finally going record my first full-length studio album with my band Café Society.

 

I am launching this PRE-ORDER campaign to secure the funds to record, mix, master, promote and distribute the album. If you would like to be a part of this exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experience, now is your chance. You can contribute to making this album happen by supporting this campaign. In return for your generous pledge, you'll be able to choose from a variety of pre-order options.

 

Café Society performing live at The Troubador in Los Angeles, 1984
SELECT AN OPTION
FIRST LISTEN, FIRST LOOK

 

19,82 EUR / $22 USD

 

You will receive early releases of the the first Digital Single, Digital Album and music video along with a special shout out on our official website and social pages.

CURRENT STATUS: 0 / 50
CD BUNDLE +

36 EUR / $40 USD

 

You will receive 1982 as a high-quality CD, signed by the band and with hand-printed cover art + early release of the first Digital Single and complete Digital Album + a special shout out on our official website and social pages.

TOP
CHOICE
THIS OPTION REQUIRES 30 PRE-ORDERS
CURRENT STATUS: 0 / 30
A Debut Album 40 Years in the Making!

The idea of recording 1982 is not a new one, but in fact a lifelong dream. This has only now blossomed into reality thanks to the unwavering loyalty of everyone who has supported me artistically over the years; friends, fans and family members whose love, support and encouragement continue to be my inspiration and guiding light. 

Why D.I.Y.?

Just like I've depended on your support in the past, I am reaching out to you again through this campaign. Having taken the decision to work outside of the commercial, consumerist (and confusing) world of record labels, it is only natural that I resort to a crowdfunding campaign to record this album. The decision to crowdfund also stems from my firm belief that artists have the right to present their work freely, without being restricted or tied down by a commercial entity.

 

I also feel now is the right time to take this final musical journey; to give my songs one last chance to have a life and a legacy of their own. 

 

Over the past 30 years I played these songs time and time again, never giving up on the dream I had in my youth to someday record them and share them with the world. 

The Next Step

1982 will be recorded in July 0f 2020 with the latest iteration of the band I started in Los Angeles in 1982. Together with bassist Andrey Zakharov, keyboardist Sarah Zheng and drummer Christian Palmieri, the album will be recorded at the legendary Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum (Netherlands), where dozens of well-known recording artists have recorded scores of gold and platinum-selling albums since 1979. The album will be co-produced by myself and British musician, singer, songwriter and producer Ian Brusby and will include a number of guest artists, including some of my former Café Society band mates. 

The Zenyatta Mondatta Connection, Wisseloord, and the Rest of the Story

In the autumn of 1980, as I began my sophomore year at Stephen T. Mather High School in Chicago's West Rogers Park neighborhood, The Police released their multi-platinum-selling album Zenyatta Mondatta, featuring hits such as "Don't Stand So Close to Me," "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" and "Driven to Tears."

Zenyatta Mondatta—the third studio album—was recorded in June and July of 1980 at the newly opened Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, in the Netherlands, a studio that would become one of Europe's most well-respected recording studios where artists such as Elton John, Elvis Costello, Foo Fighters, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Sade, The Cranberries and U2 have recorded.

Hearing Zenyatta Mondatta for the first time was life-altering and inspired me to start my first band, Strange Magic, with a childhood friend. It also inspired me to begin writing my own songs. But the greatest inspiration of all would prove to set into motion one of the most important decisions I would ever make.

After graduating from high school in June of 1981, I informed my parents that I had decided not to go to college and that I was planning on moving to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams of fame and fortune in the music business. 

With the support of my family and friends, I set out west in October of 1981, spending the next eight months in Scottsdale, Arizona where, with a friend who had moved there a year earlier, started a three-piece punk rock band, The Convertibles. It was during those eight months that I wrote and recorded what would become the first Café Society songs. It was also during that time that I played my first club gigs, opening up for upcoming local bands such as Meat Puppets and The Jetzons

By the time I arrived in Los Angeles in June of 1982, punk rock had all but died off and was being quickly replaced by the synthesizer-driven new wave music that would dominate the early 1980s.

 

After settling down in L.A.—finding an apartment in Studio City, a job at a local new wave clothing store in a mall in Sherman Oaks and joining a gym in Encino—I was ready for the next step: to find some like-minded musicians and start a band.

And I only had to look as far as the free-weight room at the gym I had just joined...

Walking into the free-weight room one day after work, I noticed two guys working out together at the bench press. One of them—with formidable biceps and beach-permed hair—was sitting on the bench listening to music on a portable cassette player and air drumming.

I approached the two and asked if they were musicians.

To my delight, they were. Even more delightful, they played in a band together with a synthesizer player and just happened to be looking for a new frontman, someone who could play guitar and sing.

So, when I told them that I had recently moved to L.A., was a guitarist and vocalist with my own original songs, they invited to come over to the drummer's house the next day and jam.

And the rest, as they say, is history. And Café Society was born.

Well, almost. 

We quickly got down to the business of rehearsals with the intention of making a studio demo to present to club bookers. But by the time we had finished our first, six-song demo and had sat for our first photo shoot, we still hadn't agreed on a name. And when the first calls came in with gig confirmations, I decided to call the band The N.O.T.S.—Name Open To Suggestion!—until we came up with a permanent name.

We played our first L.A. gigs—at Madame Wong's in Chinatown, F.M. Station in North Hollywood, and The Music Machine in West L.A.—as The N.O.T.S. until one day while clothes shopping on the famed Melrose Avenue, I stumbled upon the band's new name.

 



 

While the first two studio albums The Police released—Outlandos d'Amour and Reggatta de Blanc were influential in their own right as two post-punk classics released in 1978 and 1979 respectively, it was Zenyatta Mondatta that was a game changer for me as a budding musician and songwriter.

While browsing in a secondhand shop, I saw a vintage art deco poster like this one and knew at once I had found the perfect name for the band. 

Later that evening at rehearsal, I proposed the new name to my band mates and everyone agreed.

We finally had a name!

Café Society played together from 1982 until 1987, when I decided to return to Chicago to consider going back to school to begin my university studies.

 

After earning both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts degree at DePaul University in Chicago, getting married and starting my career as a teacher, my wife and I moved to Valencia, Spain in June of 1996 to begin a new phase of our life.

So, after two marriages, five children and a 25-year teaching career, I decided it was time to dust off my old Café Society repertoire and give it one last try.

In April of 2019, I found Russian bassist Andrey Zakharov on a Dutch musicians website and we immediately clicked. A few months later, after unsuccessfully looking for a keyboard player, we recruited a friend of mine, Sarah Zheng, a classically trained pianist (and neuroscientist!) who had never played a synthesizer let alone played in a band. 

My first (second and third!) choice for a drummer had always been Paraguayan drummer Christian Palmieri, who I had met back in 2014 while briefly managing Dutch indy band Tim Dawn

However, during those first few months, Chris had a number of scheduling issues and, in the summer of 2019 just as we were about to record our first demo, he required ear surgery that would leave him out of commission for the next few months. So, we went back to the drawing board and started auditioning drummers.

Finally, fully recovered from his ear surgery and back after touring with his other musical projects, Chris signed on to join us for our future recording and performance plans. 

Today, 40 years after hearing Zenyatta Mondatta by The Police—and 34 years since recording with Café Society for the last time—I am finally going to record a full-length album and fulfill one of my life's longest unfulfilled dreams. 

And the idea that I find myself—after all those years—actually living in the Netherlands where Zenyatta Mondatta was recorded, I knew that I was destined to record my debut album at the same studio where the very album that, all those years ago, was the catalyst that first drove me to pursue a life as a musician.

Finally, after our recent visit to Wisseloord Studios and ongoing discussions with studio manager Malik Berrebah, we have an "in-principle" agreement to record, mix and master the album there over the week of 21-28 July and release the album on October 3rd 2020, 40 years to the day that Zenyatta Mondatta was released!

1982 by the Numbers

Here's how the numbers add up...

Wisseloord Sessions  (6 days)........... 3000

CD, Vinyl & Cassette Production........ 2200

Photography/Videography................. 1500

Support Musicians............................  900

Sound Engineer................................  900 

Co-Producer Fees.............................  500 

Mastering........................................  500 

Travel & Meals.................................  500

Merchandise....................................  500

Shipping..........................................  500

Design & Promotion.........................  500

Contingency....................................  500

Total............................................... 12,000 EUR

 

VINYL BUNDLE +

50 EUR / $55 USD

 

You will receive 1982 as a high-quality vinyl long-playing record, signed by the band and with hand-printed cover art + early release of the first Digital Single and complete Digital Album + a special shout out on our official website and social pages.

THIS OPTION REQUIRES 30 PRE-ORDERS
CURRENT STATUS: 0 / 30
RETRO CASSETTE BUNDLE +

75 EUR / $85 USD

 

You will receive 1982 as a limited edition cassette tape + a retro "Walkman-style" cassette player + 

early release of the first Digital Single and complete Digital Album + a special shout out on our official website and social pages.

THIS OPTION REQUIRES 30 PRE-ORDERS
CURRENT STATUS: 0 / 30
THIS OPTION REQUIRES 30 PRE-ORDERS
CURRENT STATUS: 0 / 15
THE WHOLE SHABANG MEGA BUNDLE

100 EUR / $115 USD

 

You will receive 1982 as a limited edition cassette tape + a retro "Walkman-style" cassette player + CD + Vinyl +  early release of the first Digital Single and complete Digital Album + a special shout out on our official website and social pages.