When I was first approached to write the definitive biography of Davey Dreamnation—an invitation I was, obviously, more than happy to accept—I was given to understand that I would have unfettered access to Dreamnation’s personal archives, including his astonishing collection of unreleased songs; his musings in writing on the parlous state of the music industry; and his unparalleled collection of Cats memorabilia.
All of these priceless items were indeed supplied to me the day after I signed the publishing contract. The unreleased songs were furnished on a huge number of 30-minute cassette tapes without labels; the various attempts at memoir arrived in the mail printed on a pile of Post-It notes; and the wigs, costumes and beer coasters from the set of Cats had been bundled into a large van which was, conveniently, parked outside my Tribesco home.
In short: all well and good.
However, I was not told that a fourth set of objects—if, indeed, we can call them that—would be provided for my perusal: namely, a grand total of 101 audio recordings (including 7-inch singles, extended-play and long-play albums, and picture discs) released and then deleted by Dreamnation’s fabled record label, which he pompously, if also ridiculously, christened Davey’s New Record Company Records (or DNRC Records for short).
Indeed, even had I been told that these records, which turned up unannounced on my front doorstep, were products of a long-term yet secret endeavour to revolutionise the music business, I would have responded with disbelief.
To say that the existence of DNRC Records is a rumour that has flitted through the music industry like a curious butterfly in the months and years since Dreamnation’s disappearance would be an overstatement. Not many of Dreamnation’s fans were even aware of its existence during the all-too-brief period between his astonishing rise and inevitable fall—a fact that perhaps says more about Dreamnation’s popularity than these fans’ actual knowledge of his life and works.
Nevertheless, there had been whisperings. As one of the most passionate defenders of Dreamnation’s musical ouevre on the public stage, I had of course heard most of them. There were rumours that there was one complete DNRC Records catalogue still in existence; that the recordings themselves had been launched into space and were freely available on the International Space Station; and that the incidental music in Cats, when played backwards, was in fact a medley of some of the more brilliant DNRC Records tracks.
Being a seasoned music journalist, I took a non-committal stance on such idle gossip while secretly hoping that, one day, the mystery of the recordings themselves would be solved.
Now, I am happy to state that, after months of laborious investigations, many hours wasted listening to and repairing cassette tapes, and comprehensive interviews with some of the key players in Davey Dreamnation’s life—including Christy Burr, Clint Bo Dean, Mead, Moss, Pixel Mouse, Scaramouche and Stung—I have finally managed to piece together a definitive catalogue of all extant DNRC Records releases. This despite the fact that all said releases were supposedly deleted the instant they were first issued, and despite the supposed non-existence of both the label and its roster of artists.
Cynics might presume that what follows is a barely-factual account of my own fantasy DNRC Records, to which I reply: not so. Those who know me well will vouch for my extreme professionalism, good taste and mental aptitude. I am no charlatan, no pretender. Let Dreamnation’s enemies seethe in anger at the collective brilliance of DNRC Records that shall soon be unleashed on the listening public in the form of a blistering volume of raw power entitled The Rise and Fall of DNRC Records.
In short: let the jitches begin.