Monthly Archives: June 2017

Singing is Believing

Been in recording sessions where the producer (or the engineer) seems ambivalent towards the singer and inattentive to listening for the emotional content (isn’t that the singer’s job description?). With printed lyrics they’re ready to correct the singer about a forgotten word or ensure the verses are in the right order otherwise they act like their watching tv – worse a rerun.
Even singers sometimes act blasé or perhaps sidetracked by criticism about their pitch or phrasing – maybe they got a parking ticket, whatever – they’re not in the best mood. Woe be the singer who’s attention wanders from what the song is about.
My favourite part about producing is the part where it’s just the singer, the person representing the ideas of the song. Sometimes asking where they were/ what happened when they wrote the song leads to best takes.
When I listen to Sister Rosetta Tharpe singing This Train or I Want You (She’s So Heavy) or Ballad Of a Thin Man or The Revolution Will Not Be Televised or Mississippi Goddam I believe every vowel.

memories of vienna

I worked on a film and they required me to sign a clause that stipulated I could not say anything negative about them – ever. This became weirder by the time I grasped they were absolute assholes. I needed the money, I needed the job but I also need my dignity and it took the fall.

Two lawyers later, I decided I won’t do that again and addressed it in subsequent jobs. If you have a clause like that get someone else, I’m the wrong guy and the weirdest part is it’s not a problem. The issue has absolutely nothing to do with whether someone is the right composer for  the movie it has everything to do with out of control power and insecurity.



Moment with Cleave 30 years ago

Cleave: Why do you play the solo from our big hit song different every night?

Bob: Because I like the challenge, I like not knowing what I’m going to do. I like trying to make it different.

Cleave: I prefer seeing someone play the solo exactly like the record.

Bob: I never thought of that.