Thursday, October 08, 2015

Brian Peet

Back in 2011 I visited Houston on business and had a chance to see my friend Brian Peet.  I was amazed...once we did the math it appears that we had not seen each other for around 13 years.  A lot of ground has been covered in 13 or so years, but Brian and I clicked in as if no time had passed.  That's what happens when you have good friends - you just pick up where you left off.

I was immensely saddened to learn the news today that the world lost Brian on October 1st, 2015.  I had often thought about inviting Brian out to the Bay Area - spring for his plane ticket and have him stay at my place where we could work on music and hang out.
I met Brian Peet sometime in the early 90's while working at the good guys! Van Ness store.  He was selling computers and I was the night manager.  Not only was Brian a cool guy, but a fantastic musician.  We instantly hit it off.  Brian helped me get set up with my recording rig, recorded drums tracks for some of the songs on Rain Station's "Fancy Fancy" disc as well as vocals on some other tracks.  Rain Station's only "live" line-up featured Brian Peet (drums), Tony Iuppa (bass), Jay Moores (vocals - acoustic guitar) and me (vocals - guitars). Brian and I produced some tracks here and there and had lots of fun doing it.  Brian is one of those musicians that comes along only once every so often - great ideas, great ears, great talent.  He continued to work on music with the same passion he had years ago. I received a couple CDs from Brian a few years ago and true to form the music is fantastic. I always felt that he should be a world famous musician - that everyone should hear the music he was creating.

Have a listen to some of the tracks I was fortunate to work on with Brian  - his credits listed (beware - this list is long):

"Summer Home" - drums

"It's A Good Day" - drums, percussion, backing vocals, production

"Slice A Piece Of Heaven" - vocals

"The Place I Once Came From" - vocals

"Quiet Morning" - drums

"Widdershins" - drums

"Pimp Rock Superstar" - vocals

"International Monkey" - vocals

"Feelin' Sci-Fi"  - keyboards, production

"Phate" - backing voals

It was great knowing Brian Peet.  The world lost a truly amazing guy!

Mark Harvey

October 8th...

Good evening friends and fiends,

Want to support Mark Harvey's World, Nobody Records and Pumpkinland Studios?

Check our our auctions on eBay!

For sale now...

Rain Station's DARK RIDE CD (here)

Fleshrot: Songs From The Dead CD (here)

Pumpkinland Home Haunt CD (here)

Thank you for your support!

Mark Harvey

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

October 7th...

You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when:

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.
9. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.
8. You ask for high fiber candy only.
7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.
6. People say: "Great Boris Karloff Mask" and you're not wearing a mask.
5. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or " . And can't remember the rest.
4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.
3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.
2. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

And the number one reason seniors should not go Trick or Treating...

1. You keep having to go home to pee.

Mark Harvey
(Never too old to Trick - or - Treat!)

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

October 6th...

Good evening friends and fiends,

Here's a repost of a very old blog interview written about me back in 2002.

Daily Review
San Leandro man hums an eerie tune
By Tasha Bartholomew STAFF WRITER

Thursday, October 31, 2002 - FOR MOST FOLKS, Halloween is the one time of year for tricks and treats, ghosts and goblins, and witches and warlocks. But for Mark Harvey, it's his life's work year-round.
Harvey, owner of San Leandro's independent label Nobody Records and Pumpkinland Studios, wants to make sure that future generations will grow up knowing the same Halloween music he heard as a kid during his favorite holiday.
Harvey, 33, has archived any and all Halloween-related music, sound effects and ghost stories since he was 3 years old, when he received his first copy of Disney's Haunted Mansion album. He then made them available to the world for free from his online radio station at
"This is the only site that offers free Halloween music 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," Harvey said. "It's a fun way to share my Halloween collection with the world."
Harvey said Internet radio is different from the sites violating copyright laws because the music is streaming. No one can download the music.
The Web site features Halloween music from different eras and categories including Classics Halloween Radio, a broadcast of fun ghoulish songs from 1930 to 1969; Modern Halloween Radio, a broadcast of creepy songs from 1970 to present day; Instrumental Halloween Radio, a broadcast of eerie soundtracks taken from movies; and a children's broadcast featuring "Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin" and "Fat Albert's Halloween."
Formative experiences

Harvey's fascination with the holiday began with his own great Halloween experiences as a child, and a visit to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion every year when he was a kid.

"Halloween is a great time of fantasy and frivolity," he said. "How many other times a year can you dress up and be whatever you want to be without anyone looking at you crazy?"
A collector of old vinyl, he is also a musician who decided to record his own Halloween CD three years ago when he moved to San Leandro.
Every year since then -- excluding this Halloween -- Harvey has had a child friendly haunt at his home.

Opportunity discovered

While he was putting things together for the first season, Harvey found that he didn't have any good CDs he could use for the haunt, and was disappointed by the various CDs on the market.
"I wanted creepy music and certain sound effects, but somehow I kept getting screaming and torture and other things that just wouldn't work for a children's event," he said.
That's when he decided to record his own soundtrack. Harvey has recorded a series of CDs called "Pumpkinland" that have been used nationally at theme parks and haunted attractions, including Fremont's own "Pirates of Emerson" haunt. His Halloween music has also been used on Radio Disney during the holiday season.
Leading authority

Harvey has been called the No. 1 authority on Halloween music. He has written for several Halloween magazines, and recently gave a lecture on it at the Global Halloween Convergence in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. That's where he met David Rogers, a prop master for ScreamWorks, a theatrical production company in Cupertino. ScreamWorks uses Harvey's Pumpkinland CDs in its "swamp scene" and "scarecrow alley" at the Conover Mystery Ranch in Hollister.

"His knowledge of the music is incredible," Rogers said. "He's very well respected in the Halloween industry."

For more information on Mark Harvey's online radio station, check out the Web site at or contact Harvey via email at

Tasha Bartholomew covers the city of San Leandro and Ashland.

Happy Haunting,

Mark Harvey

Monday, October 05, 2015

October 5th...

Greetings friends and fiends,

I tend to hold back early in October on purchases since I already have so much stuff and I like to wait until the end of the month and get what's leftover on sale.

Recently I found these two "props" at Walmart and decided due to the price to just pick them up now.  In years past these haven't been leftover on November 1st and since I have the "worst Halloween house ever" - in terms of decorating - I wanted to grab these since they're perfect for what I can decorate.

I bought two, but think I should consider buying a few more as I want to "plant" these all over the hillside in front of my home.  I always get a little worried about putting props out front (theft, weather), but having a bunch of Halloween stuff just sitting in my garage is silly.

When my wife decorates for Christmas we have it up from early December until mid to late January.  I didn't get anything put up this past weekend, but I believe I will work in earnest to get the place set up next weekend so we can enjoy my favorite holiday for a few weeks (at least).

How do you decorate your house?  Do you leave your props up and outside the whole month?

Happy Haunting,

Mark Harvey

Sunday, October 04, 2015

October 4th....Halloween History

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of the summer, the harvest, and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

As European immigrants came to America, they brought their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of the rigid Protestant belief systems that characterized early New England, celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited there. It was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend $2.5 billion annually on Halloween, making it the Country's second largest commercial holiday.

Information courtesy of the History Channel.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

October 3rd...

Greetings fellow fiends,

Yesterday when I was running errands I picked up some Betty Crocker Halloween fruit snacks to put in my kids' lunches.  I enjoy seeing all the Halloween themed items in stores, but wonder why they stop at outer packaging.  If I want to buy a "monster pack" of chips at least put monsters on the individual bags of chips, you know?

That's why I dig these fruit snacks so much.  Not only is the outer packaging great (pumpkin), but the snacks come is cool Halloween shapes!

My kids like fruit snacks and I like the fact that they are festive.  My daughter had a pack while I was taking pictures of them and she said she likes the flavors, the colors, the shapes and she'll like taking them to school since she likes to celebrate Halloween all month long (wonder where she gets that from).

Betty Crocker makes these fun fruit snacks and has a website with fun ideas for spooky Halloween fruit snacks here.
If you find any other snacks or foods that are as cool as these, please comment.  I'd like to fill their lunches with as many cool Halloween things as possible.

Happy haunting...

Mark Harvey

Friday, October 02, 2015

October 2nd...

Greetings readers and lurkers,

So...with Halloween approaching if you're like me you've already bought (and eaten) Halloween candy.  It is that love/hate existence - love candy - hate the fact that after eating a few dozen "fun size" bars I am thinking about the not-so-fun-size I may become.  Good thing I only indulge like this once a year..well...

So what's your favorite kind of candy (Halloween or not)?  My personal favorite is Snickers.  I like to put the "fun size" bars in the freezer.  Man! I love that candy. 
So I was surfing around the internet and found this cool site - - and I read about how much Halloween candy you can get in a pillowcase. It is a fun read (here) and according to their study a full pillowcase weighed in at 47.75 lbs (21.8kg) and contained approximately 1690 pieces of candy. That's A LOT of candy!

From my research is looks like Snickers and single Reese's Cups are the most popular Halloween candies. Americans will spend an average of $66.28 on Halloween, including $23.37 a costume, $20.29 on candy and $18.66 on decorations.

This from Candy USA (here)

Trick-or-Treat Tidbits

Four-in-ten (41%) adults admit that they sneak sweets from their own candy bowl.

On Halloween night, the majority (52%) of those providing treats to costumed kiddies will be passing out chocolate, while three‐in‐ten will drop hard candy or lollipops into the sacks.

62% of adults will be handing out candy because "it's a personal favorite" or it's a household tradition (55%)

43% of grown-up celebrants cite costumes as one of the most indispensable parts of the holiday.

About 26% of households will include full-size candy (chocolate and non-chocolate) in their Halloween activities.

90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids' Halloween trick-or-treat bags.

Parents favorite treats to sneak from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags are snack-size chocolate bars (70 percent sneak these), candy-coated chocolate pieces (40 percent), caramels (37 percent) and gum (26 percent).

Parents least favorite goodie to take from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags is licorice (18 percent).


30% of kids report that they SORT their candy first when returning home with trick-or-treat loot, others:
Savor it (20%)
Share it (16%)
Stash it (14%)
Swap it (7%)

Kids say they prefer homes that give: anything made with chocolate (68%) followed by lollipops (9%), gummy candy (7%) and bubble gum or chewing gum (7%)

More than 93% of children go trick-or-treating each year.

Kids tell us that their favorite treats to receive when trick-or-treating are candy and gum. Eighty-four percent of kids said candy and gum are their favorites over other options like baked goods or small toys.

According to Farley's & Sathers Candy Company, "Halloween is the sweetest holiday of the year, beating out Easter, Valentine's Day, and Christmas in sales of candy, including Brach's Sweet Honey Candy Corn and Caramel Apple Candy Corn."

Candy, Candy, Candy...oh...I feel a song coming on...

Git yerself some CANDY!!!

Mark Harvey

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Thank you for visiting - Mark Harvey