"One of the finest American progressive rock groups of the 70s"

"an exercise in mad genius and rare dexterity"

--Mike McLatchey


"sick pushmen standing over there, to move a tinky tiny bluegoon down across the yard"

General Info/FAQS

Where in the world did we come up with the band name?

The name Yezda Urfa comes from Yazd, Iran and Urfa, Turkey. We came across them while flipping through a dictionary while looking for a name for the band. Yazd was changed to Yezda to aid in pronunciation.

Many years later we even went so far as to change Urfa to Erfa because so many people were having trouble pronouncing Urfa. They always seemed to want to make the "u" long, as in "you-ref-a" or something like that!

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What is Yezda Urfa?

Yezda Urfa is a progressive rock band that formed in the fall of 1973 and existed until the spring of 1981.We took the progressive form nearly to its limit in terms of instrumentation and composition. Rather than just doing what others were doing, we did it to extreme.We have been compared to Gentle Giant in terms of vocal arrangements and instrumentation, and Yes in terms of the rythm section and vocalist, but our sound was no doubt original.

Unfortunately, we were unable to secure a recording deal during our existance. However, some eight years after the demise of the band, we were discovered by Greg Walker of Syn-Phonic, and our second self-produced but unreleased album, Sacred Baboon, was released on LP. A few years later, the album was re-released on CD. Several more releases have followed. Please see the discography section for release information.

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Why is there a cough in Cancer of the Band on Sacred Baboon?

Well, it ain't something deep like being related to cancer...actually, when the guitar solo section was being recorded, Mark goofed at one point but kept going, thinking that he might be able to patch the mistake. But since we were working on such a tight budget (we were paying for the whole darn thing ourselves), one of us suggested that a cough be recorded over the mistake to cover it up. The recording engineer immediately grabbed a microphone, and we all coughed at precisely the correct moment! Hence, we all get a 'cough' credit.

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What exactly is Table Percussion?

On a lark, which is something we took advantage of as often as possible, we discovered that a small wooden table covered with kitchen utensils makes a very interesting percussive sound when hit. So, we put on our album. Listen carefully to (My Doc Told Me I Had) Doggie Head. At precisely 4:00 (that is, on the CD) for six beats you can hear it. We actually brought our table and utensils to the recording studio. However, the effect was not quite as good as the original sound, which was produced on a wooden floor above a basement. The floor would amplify the sound, making quite a noise. How did we make the sound? We simply hit the table with a fist.

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Song Names

You may have noticed some strange sounding song titles. The lyrics are strange, so why not strange titles. Well, the two have nothing in common, as you might have guessed. Many of our titles came from Brad. He would often suggest something that simply sounded good to him, sometimes before the music was even conceived! For example, we were at a restaurant eating dinner and during a conversation, Marc said something like '3, almost 4, 6, yea!' in reference to how much time was left on a reel of tape and Brad says, "hey, that sounds like a good song title" So, eventually we found a piece of music worthy of the title. Another example is Tota in the Moya, which was Brad's nieces' way of saying "Two (o'clock) in the morning" and once again Brad filed this phrase away for future use. Brad can be credited also with "Give 'Em Some Rawhide Chewies", a reference to the dog toys that a friends' dog liked, as well as "Flow Guides Aren't My Bag", which was a reference to some sort of equipment Brad used as a millwright. There is also "The Basis of Dubenglazy While Dirk Does the Dance", apparently conceived while Brad watched a cooking show!

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Is it really Rick?

Nope! Those are pictures of Chuck in the Sacred Baboon CD booklet. A one-time member of YU. Needless to say, Rick wasn't too happy about the mistake. Here's what happened: Marc was asked to supply any color pictures he had of the band for the Sacred Baboon CD. He had a few pictures from when Chuck was our singer. He assumed (never assume anything) that the pictures would be used along with others as a montage. He wasn't asked if the pictures were current as of the time of the recording or anything else, just "send what you have" so he did. Then the CD is released. "I get my copies, and I almost died laughing as I see my pictures and only my pictures in the CD, incorrectly labeled. If only someone had asked a question. Again, I assumed the pictures would be correctly labeled. How was I to know without asking." Oh well, now the truth is out. Sorry Rick, please forgive us.

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The Dharma Debacle

We were in the process of recording Sacred Baboon. Before the album was finished, somehow Dharma Records, Libertyville, IL. became aware of us and they were interested. We were invited to their office for a meeting. This was very exciting for us. This was the closest we had come to this sort of thing and what we had been hoping for for some time.

We met with the two guys that were the head of the company (I think they were brothers). In the meeting, we explained how we had financed the recording up to now and were about 75% through.

They informed us they were interested in our music and would distribute the album (yes!) if WE finish funding the recording and also advertising (no!). This turned out to be a raw deal, where we would take all the risk and they could reap all the benefits if we succeeded. This was not the record deal we had always dreamed about. We were dumbfounded by the offer. It was incredibly ridiculous. But it was an opportunity and we needed to give it some thought.

We were given time to think over the offer, but before we had returned home, we unanimously agreed to decline the offer. But we kept the t-shirts they gave us.

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The band broke up sometime in 1981, after Brad's, then Marc's departure, and the realization by Mark and Phil that it was too difficult to continue as a duo (plus the fact that the music scene had shifted so far from progressive). We all pretty much put it behind us and went on with our lives, in most cases in directions away from music. Then some seven years later, a fellow by the name of Peter Stoller stumbles onto a copy of our demo album Boris. It had been sold (traded in?) to a record store where he worked and he came across it and thought it looked interesting, so he bought it. He enjoyed it and brought it to the attention of Greg Walker of Syn-Phonic, whom then attempted to contact Phil, since his name and telephone number had been scrawled on the cover. After some effort (Phil had since moved and his number changed), Greg contacted Phil and the rest is history...

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Where can I get a CD?

Yezda Urfa CD's are available from several sources. Our main source is Syn-Phonic Music (Boris and Sacred Baboon CD's, the Anazitisi release of Boris on vinyl, and the live album). CD Baby carries the live album. Several other retailers also carry titles including Amazon.com. You can search or visit your favorite music retailer. Digital downloads are available from iTunes, Dig Station and Amazon (the live album).

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Where can I get a CD?


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