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F#ck Recording, Let's Ball

When I was writing for Terry Rose Music, RJ introduced me to a very successful engineer who had recently purchased one of the bigger studios on Music Row. Waylon, Cash, and Dylan had all recorded there, and it was a great opportunity for a teenage kid from Ohio. I didn't have a budget for a recording studio, but this engineer was willing to record and mix for nothing. We just had to work around Englebert Humperdinck's horn section.

I was told to bring any session players that I wanted, so I did what any kid would do, and I invited my friends to come play in this historic studio. Linstrum, Williams, and I had just played a flatbed in the middle of a cornfield near White House, TN, with this great Blues electric guitarist named JTB. That gig ended with the cops showing up and shutting us down. I seriously think we were playing "Born to Be Wild" when the red and blues went on. So it was a no-brainer. Those boys were great players and a hell of a lot of fun. They were doing this session. And we'd get my brother to drive down to Nashville to handle the drums. God bless this engineer - he had no idea what he'd just invited into his place.

I remember lurking in the back parking lot while Humperdinck's boys were tracking. They were paying to be there, so the longer it took them to get their takes, the better (for the studio). We were just some weird kids, chain-smoking in a shitty van, and chomping at the bit to record some mediocre songs. When they finally cleared out and we brought our gear into the main room, we were all blown away by the basketball court in the middle of the place. JTB hollered "F#ck recording, man! Let's play some basketball" and I made my way upstairs to the coffeemaker. Our priorities were never our greatest strength. ;) To be honest, I don't remember which tunes we even tracked that night. I do remember taking that very successful engineer out back to share an herbal Jazz cigarette, and coming back in to record a solo acoustic version of a song called "Morning's Breaking". So I was probably 18 or 19 when this story was happening. We spent at least six hours recording, and I'm not sure that I ever heard a mix of it. But the boys and I got to track within some hallowed walls. Nobody else knew it, but we did. And as I slowly played a piano that Billy Preston had used a few years earlier, JTB dribbled a Wilson basketball. That's the good stuff, man.

We concluded that weekend by promptly cramming five men (and a bunch of gear) into a beat up Ford Probe, and driving eight hours to play a roadside Ohio bar gig for two dozen locals. Priorities. And stories...

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