Tanya Donelly, the frontwoman for 1990’s alternative rock band Belly, will be giving away a series of ten demos that helped shape the group’s debut album Star, which came out in 1993. This release is done in memory of the group’s dear friend, Joe Harvard who produced and engineered this first series of demo’s for the group.
Harvard passed away last Sunday in Asbury Park, New Jersey. As a prominent figure in Boston’s music scene Harvard co-founded Fort Apache Studios with three friends in 1986, opening the recording studio in an industrial space in the city’s burgeoning Roxbury neighborhood.
Donnely in her statement called Harvard a loved member of the group’s Boston music family, and beloved friend in her statement regarding his passing. “His part in the birth of Belly is a major one, as he was one of the first supporters of these songs (originally “Breeders-bound”) in their fledgling state,” Donelly explained.
“He used to call me Bogie Gwang, after the quirky guitar intro of a Muses song I wrote (The River), because he greatly enjoyed making fun of me (and vice versa),” Donelly further elaborated. “This nickname stuck for while at the Fort, and felt like an initiation. I loved it, because it came from him, and I loved him.”
Star helped bring Belly as one of the forerunners of the alternative rock and jangle pop music of the 1990s mixing in quirky dark rock with Donelly’s often mythical imagery. This would be the precursor for their album King, which is highly considered the band’s best album praised for its tighter focus and more consistent sound. Despite these accolades the album was overlooked by many contemporary music reviewers of the decade.
Last year the group performed at the Teragram Ballroom, as one of many show’s celebrating the reuturn of the group after their break-up in 2016. According to mxdwn’s Haley Bosselman, the event “was a testament to the everlasting Belly and celebration of their revival.”
Their latest album Dove, was released last year. According to mxdwn’s Adrianna Fuji, the band’s “time apart allowed the members to perfect their craft and meld their sounds and experiences together on Dove.”
Check out the full statement below:
These demos were produced and engineered by Joe Harvard, who we lost yesterday. Joe was a founder of Fort Apache studios, a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, a much loved member of the Boston music family, a brilliant and hilarious friend. His part in the birth of Belly is a major one, as he was one of the first supporters of these songs (originally Breeders-bound) in their fledgling state. He used to call me Bogie Gwang, after the quirky guitar intro of a Muses song I wrote (The River), because he greatly enjoyed making fun of me (and vice versa). This nickname stuck for while at the Fort, and felt like an initiation. I loved it, because it came from him, and I loved him.
Travel on, Joe.
Love you always,