Jeff Breeze was a friend of ours. When he took over @wmbrPipeline, he was an ardent supporter. He always made sure to debut Black Helicopter’s music and have us play live sets for the purposes of helping promote the record release gig and ensuring the WMBR copy got in to the new release bin. He just loved discovering new local music and being the guy who got it to your ears. He did this for every band any of us were in without exception, it was just how he was wired and had the search and discovery down to a science. Thanks to technology, it became ninja-like.
In 2007, we brought him along on our diagonal trip to Austin for SXSW when we were on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label. He documented the trip for the now defunct Boston Phoenix. Touring life creates bonds that cannot be broken and memories that will live forever. I’ll never forget the sheer volume of his snoring, which to this day is unmatched and probably will never be.
More recently, he had us record a “Pipeline At Home” session. Even during the pandemic, he made sure local bands got an opportunity to get on the air and create music when there were no other outlets. In a mutually beneficial concept, he had bands choose from a list of covers of non-obvious songs which he happened to want to hear bands cover. In that, we needed to work through the challenges of pandemic bandsmanship. He (perhaps inadvertently) made us leave our comfort zone and learn something about ourselves in the process. The final product surprised us, and we are proud as hell that it was played on Pipeline! Who knew Black Helicopter could pull off a Bee Gees cover? We offer it here as a tribute to Jeff, and as a thank you to him for all he did for all the artists in the Boston area. Love you brother.
Breeze liner notes (from Bandcamp): The first time I saw Black Helicopter was at TT the Bears, and they were a sonic steamroller, but lyrically I was lost at what was going on. My first attempt at an interview was scrapped and instead I got called to their practice space to chat and came to understand that all of the lyrics for what became their first album were transcriptions of a lunatic who would nightly harass Tim and Matt at work at a convenience store.
Somehow I quickly turned from suspicious journalist to a guy who was helping turn knobs during recordings while the band was in the other room creating a din. A din I got to contribute some percussion and backing vocals to along the way. Heck, I even spent two weeks in a van driving to Texas and back with them and found a place for some keyboards in the mix for those shows.
Now we’re all a bit grayer, but they jumped at the chance to contribute to Pipeline! @ Home, the biggest problem was waiting for significant others to allow them to gather and actually record this. Technology helped them demo some ideas and the results are magic. When we can’t all get together to rock, it’s so nice to at least help give a band a reason to get together so that the whole world can relish in that din.
Black Helicopter, “World (Bee Gees),” as originally broadcast on Pipeline!, WMBR/88.1, Sept. 1, 2020:
Black Helicopter, “And I,” with typewriter accompaniment by Jeff, on Pipeline!, March 28, 2017: