Kevin Avery (kevin_avery) wrote in musicmatters,
Kevin Avery
kevin_avery
musicmatters

Revenge Will Come

One of my all-time favorite records is 1982's Revenge Will Come, the debut album by a poet/songwriter named Greg Copeland. Produced by his good friend (since high school) Jackson Browne and released on the Geffen label, the album was at once critically embraced (along with Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, David Johansen's Live It Up, and Lou Reed's The Blue Mask, it landed on Time magazine's best-of-the-year list) and commercially forgotten. It has never been released on CD.

A few years ago, preparing for my move two-thirds of the way across the country and looking for ways to lighten my load, I sold off most of my vinyl collection, saving only those records that either had some sort of sentimental value or which were yet unavailable on CD. Revenge Will Come came to New York City with me.

Imagine my surprise, then, in January of last year when I discovered, among the hundreds of cassettes Paul Nelson had left behind in his apartment, two tapes in particular: a promo copy of Revenge Will Come and an interview that he had conducted with Greg Copeland. Surprise tinged with a little bit of confusion because, to the best of my knowledge, Paul had never written about the album.

Recorded over the telephone in late August of 1982, Paul began by telling Copeland how much he admired the album—that it was thus far his favorite of the year. He also divulged to the young songwriter that, though he indeed intended to write about the album for Rolling Stone (where he'd been record reviews editor since 1978), he had just resigned from the magazine.

When I spoke with Greg Copeland earlier this year, he told me: "I remember the room I was sitting in when it happened. I remember talking to him, but I don't remember anything about what he said or what I said. Until you reminded me, I'd forgotten about it." 

Unfortunately, Paul never wrote about Revenge Will Come—nor would he write much of anything else for the next seven years. His departure from Rolling Stone, combined with the upheaval that was his personal life, signaled the beginning of what his friend Michael Seidenberg calls "Paul's missing years."

The good news is that, twenty-six years later, Greg Copeland has recorded his sophomore album. "Now I'm back full circle," he says. "I work as a lawyer about half-time and write the rest of the time." The album is slated for release on Jackson Browne's label later this year. 

Copyright 2008 by Kevin Avery. All rights reserved.

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments