Van Go Gan
This album was named as one of the Top Ten Music CDs of the year in Japan in 1995.
The four bonus tracks on the U.S. release were taken from the original recording sessions. The first bonus track is "Till The Sun Comes Up Again" played backwards. Listen carefully and you'll see that this was the inspiration for "Now Sue". The second bonus track is a vocals only version of "Now Sue" which lets you appreciate the pure harmonies of that song. The third bonus track is an acoustic version of "Kiss Of Life". One can begin to imagine how Gerry weaves his songs into the finished version by listening to this acoustic version. The final bonus track comes from "Playing God". It features Phil Hartman as the televangelist and includes a concluding section that isn't found in "Playing God".
The title of Gerry's first solo work is a very clever play on the names of two impressionist painters. The first is, of course, Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch painter who painted in the south of France. He was a very troubled, but colorful, individual who at one stage of his life cut off part of one of his ears as an act of self torture. His painting style was to use heavy brush strokes with thick paint and he used predominantly, primary colors, creating a style not used before his time.
The "Gan" part of the title originates from the French painter Paul Gauguin. He left France and moved to Polynesia to paint Polynesian women. His name is pronounced "Go Gan" with the accent on the second syllable. So, Van Gogh + Gauguin (Gogan) = Van Go Gan -- pretty clever!
Gerry says he thinks of them as quite tourtured, each in their own way, and that's what he was keying off of in the title. He states that he would never pretend to have "one millionth" of the talent of either man, but says he can sometimes relate to the nightmare of trying to get one's ideas down on canvas; in Gerry's case, tape. Both Van Gogh and Gauguin led somewhat isolated and askew lifestyles that Gerry says he hopes to avoid.
Van Go Gan was produced and recorded in Gerry's studio at his home and includes an array of the music industry's most talented and recognizable musicians and associates. They include: Fritz Lewak, Jeff Foskett, Timothy B. Schmit, Richie Cannata, Robert Lamm, Carl Wilson, Matthew McCauley, Willie Leacox, Phil Hartman, Mark Isham, Jason Scheff, Henry Diltz, and longtime friend and partner, Dewey Bunnell. Even Gerry's two sons, Matthew and Joe, were included in the work. All the songs were written by Gerry except for International.
Van Go Gan is Gerry's first solo work apart from "America" and is considered by some his best work. He touches on everyday emotions in regards to love, life, death, and God and seems to view the world as a giant canvas in which we are but strokes from "The Great Artist's" brush.
As is Gerry's style, the work is kept simple and uncluttered, pure and clean, even while using a vast assortment of sound effects to accomplish and enhance certain ideas throughout the work, especially in the cut International.
Last Revised: 15 February 2020