What person has been most "SPECIAL" in your (musical) life? - Gearspace.com
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What person has been most "SPECIAL" in your (musical) life?
Old 16th September 2002
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
chessparov's Avatar
🎧 15 years
What person has been most "SPECIAL" in your (musical) life?

Meaning other engineers and/or musicians who have (or had) a profound
influence on the way you think about music.

As for myself, it would have to be Ted Hawkins.
In the United States, up until he was signed by Geffen Records shortly
before he died of a stroke, he was mostly thought of as a "streetcorner"
singer/guitarist at Venice Beach, CA. Unknown to most everyone here,
he was very popular overseas mainly due to a UK disc jockey who started
playing his albums. Anyway...

We both shared a love for all the classic soul/R&B songs written by the
great singer/songwriters like Sam Cooke/Otis Redding/Curtis Mayfield,
along with great country songs like "There Stands A Glass".
He was truly a terrific singer, not only with a fine gritty baritone, he had
a real sincerity and humility that shone through.

Ted helped me become more confident about my own abilities, partly
through having me sing along with him to instruct me on improving
song interpretation, and not worrying so much about being "perfect".
At the time I didn't fully realize how valuable the time we spent together
chatting about the "great" songs and how to sing them would be,
although we always had fun. Guess that's the way with most such times
in our lives. The big lesson he taught was that the song is everything,
and the singer's objective is to breath life into it to make it an emotional
experience for the audience. And that a classic song is timeless.

Old 16th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar
🎧 15 years
im really diggin the CD ted hawkins put out [next hundred years? or something]. my two favorite songs on it are the first two.

the person who shot me in this direction more than anyone [even though i have never met him and most likely never will] is Brian Eno. after getting into his stuff, thats when i really decided that this is what i wanted to do with my life.... not even just music. but EVERYTHING. he deals with the ART of everything, a philisophical approach to life and creation. sadly i dont know much more about him other than through the music he has done and a couple interviews. and the first time i heard his music i was on about 20 hits of liquid and thought it was the most evil music i had ever heard in my life. not evil like satanic/controversy kinda stuff but the notes, moods, etc... that he chose. i cant remember what album it was. my favorite album at the end of those "trips" well into the night eventually became 'No Pussyfooting' with robert fripp. i finally found it on vinyl and have it on the essential fripp/eno CD.

lately however its been dave friddman. someone who puts out albums that make be want to quit doing this as much as they make me want to get better and better. i have never met him either nor do i know anything about him other than the albums he does... but those speak loudly.
Old 16th September 2002
Lives for gear
Fibes's Avatar
🎧 15 years
The main person who got me into this was the absence of someone. I had to start engineering because noone was doing it in my town. I was scratched by the rabbit and haven't looked back...

Eno and Fridmann... I've hung with Dave and must say he is a very cool unassuming cat with a great grasp of music, first, engineering second. The funny thing is he insists that he hates doing records with people who don't know what they want to accomplish. I find this odd given the (widebodied) stamp that his records tend to have. It's a diverse sound but I find itr odd that he doesn't have much input, except for the Rev stuff...

I love Tarbox and would love to work there. It really is out of the way in a beautiful part of the country.
Old 16th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar
🎧 15 years
well that absence was what made me do it on a practical level. i had always been the guy who actually did it with whatever scene i was involved with. i really know no other way.
Old 16th September 2002
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I used to be a drummer in a band and the keyboard player was also a part time engineer in a low budget recording studio project set up by the local community to promote music blah blah ...

I liked hanging out there and one day he had to go out and said to me ... you know ... why don't you try to mix this song while I'm gone ... I was 17 back then ...... that day was definately a major turning point because when he came back he laughed and said something like "damn Chris, that mix sucks ....." and at that point in my life I could not accept defeat or failure .... it was not in my dictionary ... so my reaction was like .... "oh, so you think I don't know how to mix a song" ....

I've been spending the last 20 years trying to prove that he was wrong .... madd
Old 17th September 2002
mwagener's Avatar
🎧 15 years
For my career as a producer it was my boss, in a small equipment in Germany. He taught me how to deal with people on an everyday level, which came in very handy when I had to start dealing with musicians on an everyday level heh

On a professional/engineering level it was Roy Thomas Baker who taught me how to see the big picture and that there are only a few rules in recording, and how great it is to break even those. Besides that he is an endless source of information about engineering and producing.
Old 17th September 2002
Lives for gear
Knox's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I realize this is not exactly the kind of answer you are seeking but . . . . . for me it is ALWAYS Hendrix . . . . I had been playing guitar as a kid. Then his first record came out and that was it.

I remember thinking "that's it! I HAVE to do this for the rest of my life" . . . . when I get down, I put Hendrix on to bring me up . . . and when I need a lift to remind me why I got in this business during screwed up sessions . . . I put on Machine Gun or Little Wing and it all comes back to me. Plus the old soul greats.

There have been some special moments that I was LUCKY enough to have been a part . . sitting on a piano stool next to Robert Flack as she was working on a tune. Working in a studio with Chaka and Arif Mardin (I have to say that Arif was a powerful figure, from a respectful point of view, to me as I love some of that work more then anything (Donnie Hathaway / Aretha / etc)

In the Record Plant hearing a familiar voice . . . looking next to me and there was Lennon. (we used to see Lennon a lot in NYC). A live gig with David Gilmour blew my mind. Mixing Aretha at Radio City. Luther Vandross during rehearsals . . . . plus being fortunate to do Broadway (something special about those old places).
Old 17th September 2002
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by alphajerk
Brian Eno. after getting into his stuff, thats when i really decided that this is what i wanted to do with my life.... not even just music. but EVERYTHING. he deals with the ART of everything, a philisophical approach to life and creation. sadly i dont know much more about him other than through the music he has done and a couple interviews.
If you haven't seen Brian Eno's diary "A Year In The Life Of (with swollen appendices)" get it. I'm no fan but after reading this I was definately inspired on all the levels you mention. It gets read a couple of times a year and I love it more each time.

See here for excerpt.

Stay well,

Old 17th September 2002
Jules's Avatar
This guy was my recording mentor, he would always ask for me as an assistant at the studio I interned and spent 6 years at.

Bob Potter:

Charlie Ainley_ Too Much Is Not Enough (1978) Engineer_
Charlie Ainley_ Bang Your Door (1978) Engineer_
Bell + Arc_ Bell + Arc Engineer_
Eric Clapton_ Crossroads 2: Live in the... (1996) Engineer_
Leonard Cohen_ Live Songs (1973) Engineer_
The Coupe de Villes_ Burning Blues (1992) Producer, Mixing Assistant_
John Ellison_ Welcome Back (1993) Engineer_
Marianne Faithfull_ Broken English/Strange Weather (1995) Engineer_
Marianne Faithfull_ Perfect Stranger: The Island... (1998) Engineer_
Marianne Faithfull_ Faithless [2001 Reissue] (2001) Producer_
Marianne Faithfull_ Broken English/Faithfull (2002) Engineer_
Free_ Molten Gold: The Anthology (1993) Producer_
The Grease Band_ Chronicles (1997) Producer_
Hawkwind_ Spirit of the Age (1988) Producer_
Paul Kossoff_ Back Street Crawler (1973) Producer, Engineer_
Paul Kossoff_ Koss (1977) Producer_
Paul Kossoff_ Blue Blue Soul (1997) Producer_
Ronnie Lane & Slim Chance_ See Me (1979) Recorder_
Michael Murphey_ Geronimo's Cadillac (1972) Engineer_
Willis Alan Ramsey_ Willis Alan Ramsey (1972) Engineer_
The Smiths_ The Smiths (1983) Engineer
Snafu_ All Funked Up (1975) Producer, Engineer_
Steeleye Span_ Please to See the King (1971) Engineer_
Steeleye Span_ Original Masters (1977) Engineer_
Alan White_ Ramshackled (1976) Producer, Engineer_
The Who with the London..._ Tommy - As Performed by the London (1972) Assistant Engineer_

He assisted on the mixdown sessions of the Rolling Stones - 'Get Your Ya Ya's Out' album

Like any allmusic.com discography this is probably WAY incomplete.

I learned how to run sessions from him, ask A&R to be quiet, when to get the band stoned, generally how to run a happpy ship.

He used just 3 mic's sometimes on the drums.

We co-produced a project once, me on the desk, him as Co-Producer.

I didn't work on any of those records except the Smiths (and some 3rd album demos we did with M.Faithfull). I just wanted to show folks his depth of experience.

Thanks Bob!

Old 17th September 2002
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
chessparov's Avatar
🎧 15 years
AJ, glad to hear you're familiar with Ted's stuff.
Very interesting responses from all of you-thanks!

Old 23rd September 2002
Gear Addict
muddy's Avatar
🎧 15 years
1st & foremost would have to be my dad. although he didn't play, he was a music lover in the purest sense. his approach to this magical world was that akin to a child's; that tastes good, what else do you have? his 1st love was jazz, in all it's manifestations. he was a child of swing and big band, but he was a faithful child to it's family, past, present & future. he was personal friends of duke ellington, louis armstrong, erroll garner (whom i spent one magical eve/morn smoking pot and talking music in a hotel room with in la), chico hamilton. he even made love to billie holiday, before i was born.
and he loved music. he also had an uncanny knack for discovering new artists before the world at large did (at least in the u.s.). time & again, he'd come home with 20-30 albums in a shopping bag, at least 2/3's of which'd be of people he'd never heard of. 1st time i heard cream was when my dad sat me down at the bar in his apt., looking out over the east river, and said you have to hear these guys! and proceeded to play (and sing) me "i'm so glad", from the newly released "fresh cream." "absolutely free?" another one of his shopping excursions. he took me to see the incredible string band at the fillmore east. twice! mahavishnu orchestra at the taping of the 1st don kirshner's rock concert tv show (with johnny winter & poco). pretty good start in life for a muso, wouldn't you say?

assuming we're talkin' about musical milestones/revelations involving those we've met and/or known,(because, if we're not, let me interject here, BEATLES, BEATLES, did i mention THE BEATLE'S?), next would have to be robert fripp. i was not really a king crimson fan at the time, and still in the throws of learning technique (as opposed to composition, which revelations were just around the corner), mr. flatted 5th, jan akkerman, having just replaced my previous idol, jeff beck, when my girfriend at the time's ex-boyfriend rang the doorbell. meet robert. that 1st evening, he sat me down, with a guitar in my lap, & told me my left (fretting) hand was very accomplished, & that my right hand needed to go to the cleaners. he then proceeded to give me the 1st lesson that changed me from a hammering player into a double picking one. simple stuff; had a profound influence on where i was able to go in the future.

5 years (and a discovery of all things canterburian, i.e., egg, hatfield, henry cow, which led me to europe's past, stravinsky, berg, messiaen, back to america, and eric dolphy, art ensemble of chicago, cecil taylor, julius hemphill, harry partch...rock had become tedious for me) later, i got the chance to play for daevid allen, as part of u.s./new york gong, with bill laswell & michael beinhorn. this was a giorgio gomelski fandango (u-g-g-h-h!), but it gave me the opportunity to work with fred frith , and more importantly, one chris cutler (the drummer for my then idols, henry cow & art bears). & so, anxious as i was i to impress & make a connection with him, i brought a tape of my music to one of the rehearsals, and sat down with him for the purpose of playing it. 5 minutes into the tape, he reached over & stopped the machine. what ensued was a discourse on the importance of history and music; and singularly the most profound turning point, for me, as a writer & player of music. the effect was both instantaneous and far reaching. and i don't remember a word of it!

not long after gong, i had the extreme honour to have as house guests, two beautiful guys; phil miller and allen gowen, who were both in america touring with national health. they were the instigators (with the ok's from john greaves & pip pyle) of my playing their live shows with them. but what i learned from these two had little (on the outside, anyway) to do with music. and that was heart. and it was their hearts that prompted them to ask me to join them onstage. unbeknownst to me at the time, allen was dying of cancer; he died not long after returning to the u.k.

and lastly, but not leastly, was a drummer named dougie bowne whom, when i first met & played with, was iggy pop's drummer, soon to become the drummer of the lounge lizards. dougie was the guy who said to me "we should start a rock band, it'll be fun!" we both loved the beatles. and cream. and jimi hendrix & stevie wonder. he was right! god bless the little guy.


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