This self-produced EP was the first of two releases Richard recorded with engineer Nick DiFabbio in Nick's living room at his apartment on New York City's upper west side. It was only released on vinyl.
The EP features "Hoosier" which was later recorded by Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, but remains unreleased. Richard played all the instruments on each song, except for bass on "Masquerader Man" by Steve Cohen, and keyboards on "Hoosier" by Nancy Leigh.
Actual Size is an angora sweater with one sleeve too long. It's that national holiday you celebrate in August, a gut feeling etched in wax. It's more than a satisfying song session with a modern one-man band. It's the distillate of a man who presents an array of emotions. Heyman isn't an angry young man, or an innocent man, bossman, travelin' man, ramblin' man, or even a macho man. Simply, he's a Heyman. Consistency is a rare thing in any performer, and Heyman maintains a high standard of music integrity. The artist hasn't been around a long time, but his topics have. Sadness, frustration, loneliness, optimism and pessimism, all at once. The art of capturing sound and making the transfer to a disc is no easy task. Heyman does it with enthusiasm and a distinctive flair. We hope that Actual Size will catalyze the breakdown of molecular hardness around us, and spark a rediscovery of the joy found in inspired melodies linked with lyrics that hit home.
The needle touches down on Side One. The frolic of I'm That Kind of Man is the declaration of independence that injects the body with momentary exhilaration, before the hatching of a lost soul. Of this track Heyman says, "It's one of those guitar songs where you just lay two fingers across the neck and twitch." To keep things spontaneous the lyrical images in the chorus were ad-libbed while recording the lead vocal. A press roll on the snare drum ushers in Hoosier, a ballad with layer-cake harmonies and more than a nod of respect for a love gone by. This song was written for a first girlfriend whose nickname happen to be, for reasons unknown, Hoosier. Then Richard digs in his heels with the clear vision of When Giants Fall. "To the wise men of this sphere/Is there one who can truly hear?/Through the madness to the haunted call/Then you'll be standing when the giants fall." Here is a call to arms -- of common sense and intelligent thought.
The drag of a cigarette, the gulp of dark bourbon, the searing hand cramp at four in the morning. All are products of life-consuming additions. Heyman's is songwriting, and like the playwright who uses life experience and the people he knows and loves as his characters, Heyman sees stanzas and notes in the objects and personalities around him. The Gallery was a .dark phantom who visited during the night, the result of swallowing music and regurgitating a melody which drove a tired body out of bed and overcame darkened obstacles to arrive at the black and white oasis known as a keyboard.
We're all kind of like the Masquerader Man, skulking through the days in search of a goal. For love? For acceptance? The search seems fruitless and the Masquerade continues. (We all want to damn the New York Post; Heyman does it.) Ending this set is Special Love which Heyman calls his "upbeat folk ballad of lament." With a distinctly Mediterranean flavor, the tune encircles and envelopes the senses. It is sad, or happy, but the special love is never fleeting.
Actual Size is a gift. A gift box of time, tired in a
red ribbon of music, and wrapped in a cellophane symphony of celebration.
-- John Moore
1. I'm That Kind Of Man
3. When Giants Fall
4. The Gallery
5. Masquerader Man
6. Special Love
Produced by R.X. Heyman, Nancy Leigh, and Nick DiFabbio
Recorded September, 1985 at DiFab Studios and New Breed Studios, N.Y.C.
R.X. Heyman - acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, and vocals (except where noted)
Engineer - Nick DiFabbio
Engineers at New Breed - Stewart Lerman and David Kumin
Mastered at the Master Cutting Room by Joe Brescio
Photography - Nancy Leigh
Wire Sculptures - Bob Springer
All Songs by Richard X. Heyman, ©1985
Jacket made in Canada
Thanks Mike L., Mike C., Sue and Andy