"It like filled up that whole room. Crazy thing was, that equipment's all so expensive and very sensitive to moisture, and it was all wet. We just kind of set it all in front of fans for about three weeks. "We let 'em dry out, turned 'em all on and ... they worked. Computer, tape deck, preamps, amplifiers, everything, they (expletive deleted) worked, except for this one real crappy Morley wah pedal that I always hated. It broke and I almost laughed. Aw, I couldn't believe it. It was really like a miracle.” Recording could resume. Completion of the new Neva Dinova album seemed within their grasp. Then came that night of the drunken disaster. "I was at the bar, which I'm no stranger to, you know, and I was walkin' out at closin' time and this dude, some kind of beefcake, was like, ‘Hey, there's cops outside, why don't you hurry out there and drive so he doesn't give me a DUI.' "I said, ‘All right, pal, that's exactly what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go out there, I'm gonna hurry up and I'm gonna drive so he doesn't give you a DUI. How's that sound?' "And then I turn to walk out the door and he just blindsides me, just cracks me in the ear. Just happens to catch me just so and blew my drum. My hearing was gone out of my left ear.” The happy ending is that the eardrum eventually healed, Bellows' hearing came back, and "You May Already Be Dreaming” was finished and finally released in April. The album has made Saddle Creek, a lot of rock critics, many fans and — most importantly — Bellows very happy. "Making music in general is like a game of telephone,” he said. "When it comes to an engineer, a studio and all these things that you have to typically go through to get the music to the point where you can vote on a CD, you end up kind of, like, having your vision changed. "With this deal, we were able to get as close to what we had imagined as possible, so that was different.” Now Neva Dinova is sharing its vision on tour, and coming to the Conservatory on Thursday — barring any more manmade or natural disasters.
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Neva Dinova• With: Ladyhawk and The Condition. • When: 8 p.m. Thursday. • Where: The Conservatory, 8911 N Western. • Information: 607-4805.