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Tracking 10 am September 5…

So, I had sort of a pounding headache when I got up Thursday morning. I was up late the night before doing vocal tracks, and as foolish as it may be, I like it pretty cranked in the cans to motivate me to push out these lyrics. Quite a few hours of it ripping my head off, and I felt it the next morning. I place my vocal track relatively low in the mix in the headphones, cause if it’s too clean, I tend to hold back. And that just don’t work in Rock & Roll, for me anyway. I had asked Virgil Frey (he was in the Mad Ants in the 90’s playing a chopped B3 and Piano) if he would give us some of that B3 in these last few songs that are being considered for “international anthem” …he said he would love to! I didn’t prepare for him the night before, thinking I had time in the morning to set up some mixes and whathaveyous. I knew I needed to yank as much out of him as I could, and figured I had plenty of time in the morning for our 11:30 session. Of course he calls me at 7:30am telling me he needs to come earlier, is on his way, and has just one stop to make then he’ll be here. Damn. I just got time to boil my tea water, take my vitamins, and set up a place for him. Again, I remind you of that pounding headache, and in a daze I need to morph into a producer and receive an old friend. And it was a great day. I’ll remember it forever. The headache vanished the minute he walked in the door. A fabulous reunion of friends who totally respect one another. Right before he got here, I was setting up his headphone mix for the three songs I hoped he could quickly write a part to, and at the last minute, I grabbed the song “One Lover” which I had no intention of showing him. Something must have triggered that reaction but I have no idea what it was. We listened to these very basic tracks the band recorded, and he said he liked it a lot. He seemed inspired. He went to his keys which were in another room where I couldn’t see him, put on the cans and started tinkering and feeling for the chords while I gave him the playback. “One Lover” is a pretty high energy song with a Latin feel; one of those simple songs that has minimal chords, but it turns around several times, which can make it hard to remember. I recorded his first pass finding his way around the structure. It had some very good idea’s and counter-melodies. I must have given him a good headphone mix because he never said a word once he sat down to play. I recorded every pass of him trying the song on for size. But on just the second pass, he knew what he was doing and nearly nailed it. We both knew he was on to something. At the end of each pass I just repeated how proud I was of him. I think he thought I was stroking him, but it was totally sincere. There is no greater feeling or reason for making music than to witness someone’s pure and innocent inspiration at work. Virgil Frey, you play a mean B3 Organ. He also killed on “Let It Roll” which he said was the perfect GMC commercial song. He also said he could see Brett Michaels riding his Harley down the road singing this song. Not sure how I feel about that, but after what he laid down, he could of pooped on my floor and I’d still praise him. As all of us players get older, some have to give it up because of rightful responsibilities or other business ventures taking all of their time, and selfishly I was thinking Virg one day may be one of these friends. But I am at ease. This talent, this gift will never leave him. Not for a single day. Besides, I won’t let him ever stop playing. Again Virg, I am so damn proud of you. JJ