Please take a look at the sleeve notes of the revolving paint dreams lp "off to heaven"creation lp a great record by the way.

The last story I heard that Alan Mc Gee (boss label) had tried to organise a come back concert. After hearing about the plans, however, the band had gone to the studio and burned all the tapes they had ever recorded, then demolished everything in the studio. By the time Mc Gee got there, the studio was a smouldering ruin. After that .....silence

Silence, that is until late last year.

Are "burned" and "demolished" past perfect or are they past simple? Note "had" is not written, but I think it might be left out to avoid repetition.

So if they are past perfect: is it because the destruction happened before McGee arrived (the time reference)?

And if they are not past perfect but past simple, I dont see the necessity of the first past perfect "had gone over."

Is it be possible to write

the band went to the studio, burned all the tapes they had ever recorded and then demolished everything in the studio.

So, again, if it is past perfect to emphasize their intention to destroy what they did. Or maybe is it because the time reference is "burned." As the arrival in the studio was before the destruction I would understand the use of past perfect "had gone over."

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    Are you sure you typed in the material from the sleeve notes exactly as it is, including all the commas, spaces, and capital words, and that you double-checked it? Because McGee usually doesn't have a space in it. And there may or may not be a missing comma in the notes. Also, double-check your first sentence for these same issues.
    – user6951
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 15:13
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    So do you want sloppy or careful answers?
    – user6951
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 15:27
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    I mean that I already took 5-10 minutes to edit your post to make it clearer, so that people can provide better answers. And that I was asking for your help, regarding the sleeve notes and your first sentence. So, if you are not willing to put in a few minutes to correct a few known errors, why should anyone care to give you a carefully worded answer?
    – user6951
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 15:52
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    @δοῦλος I think it came out a little too strong, though your point is clear and valid. To the OP, it might be true that your spellings may have nothing to do with the grammar, but then again it might as well be. Frankly, the first time I saw your question (there was still no comment), I wondered if it might be possible that you dropped a had somewhere, and Mc Gee should've been McGee, or maybe come back should've been comeback, why there are many dots in the ellipses? (it should be 3), how they wrote silence, and so on. And I can't crosscheck the sleeve notes. Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 16:35
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    In addition, now that you have double-checked the sleeve notes and found you made some errors, you should edit your original question and correct the quotation. That is, the corrections should not appear in a comment (only) but be included in your question post.
    – user6951
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 17:55

2 Answers 2


No sooner had I sat down and unwrapped my sandwich, when three squirrels arrived on the scene, hoping for handouts.

One can understand this to mean "had sat down...(had) unwrapped".

So I'd say the verbs in question (burned, demolished) are understood to be in the past-perfect.


Technically, as written, it's ambiguous. The conjunctions and and then can be understood to each either work on the phrase had gone to the studio, or simply gone to the studio, which changes whether the verbs are attached to had. However, typically in English, the simple and perfect past tenses aren't mixed like this, so the author probably intended for "burned" and "demolished" to be in the perfect as well.

To answer your other question, the sentence the band went to the studio, burned all the tapes they had ever recorded and then demolished everything in the studio. is perfectly valid sentence--but that's not what was written!

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