My Studio Boom

While I was touring with The Captain & Tennille, I was paid a weekly salary even if we stayed in L.A. and did nothing. This gave me the chance to hang out at studios, do some recording, experiment recording myself, and to do a good deal of session playing.

Walt Barr, guitarist in my earlier bands, was offerred the chance to record an original jazz-rock album. As I understand it ... our managers, Kessler-Grass, had a deal to deliver a certain number of songs to a music publisher. Short nine songs, Danny Kessler's son Jay thought to record an inexpensive album with Walt if he would give them his publishing. Walt was thrilled, and asked me to play keyboards and handle much of the engineering. I helped arrange the songs, and co-wrote one of them with Walt. He later did a second album which I also co-produced. Both albums were released on Muse Records ... and were quite well received. Click the link below to hear samples from Walt Barr's Albums.

In my early days at Westworld Recorders, I hit it off with a band called Failsafe. I would hang out at their sessions, sometimes record them. The drummer was Mark Williams ... son of composer-conductor legend John Williams. One day, Failsafe brought in Marks younger brother, Joe ... who was about 17 ... to do a guest vocal. The second he began singing, Westworld owner Bob Schreiner and I were stunned! A seriously amazing talent. Later I came to admire Joe's keyboard and songwriting talents as well. I later engineered many of Joe's demo sessions. Click the link below to hear some Joe Williams songs.

Joe wound up recording with producer Barry Fasman ... who had asked me to fly in from Vegas for a keyboard session (see 'One Phone Call Changes Everything'). When Joe was ready to do a showcase, Foz convinced Joe to plug me in at keyboards. This showcase, for about 300 of the biggest people in show biz, scared me more than any other show I've ever done. I met John Williams backstage. Gene Simmons (of Kiss) came up to me at valet parking and said how great I played. Wow. Joe later joined Toto. You may have heard of them.

I soon found myself working with Foz on another project ... a band called Pieces, featuring Kenny Lewis (with whom I had done session work) and another monster talent: Jeff Paris (see more about them both by clicking on the 'Associates' link below). The band was great, and their album had some success. I'm happy to say I have a vinyl copy! I assisted them when they recorded at Westworld Recorders, and they took me along to Redwing Sound in Tarzana. Redwing owner Tom Seufert hired me to work there as a second engineer (assisting guest engineers). While there, I got to work for and observe great talents like Al Kooper, Jimmy Webb, David Pomerantz, Roy Halee (famed Simon & Garfunkle engineer), Bill Schnee, Tom Knox, Steve Porcaro, David Paitch ... the list goes on and on.

Jeff Paris would play a key role in my career. Jeff's girlfriend at the time, Molly Hansen, was managing Salty Dog Studios in Van Nuys. They needed a new second engineer ... she asked Jeff, he recommended me ... Molly hired me at Salty Dog. I worked with many more major talents there. One night, as I sat in the front office staring in amazement at the first Mac computer I'd ever seen ... the door bell rang. I buzzed it open, and in walked George Harrison and Jeff Lynne! Cool. I remember thinking that I'd never have met them if I had become a doctor. Funny thing is ... I met Jeff Lynne again at my doctor's office. That's too funny.

Well ... I worked at Westworld, Redwing and Salty Dog for quite a few years. Sometimes I simply assisted. I often engineered too. I had lots of time to record myself and my own music (mostly at Westworld, a little at Salty Dog). I had a great time learning how to record, and how to produce. And I learned from all the pros whenever I had the chance. Bob Schreiner, owner and chief engineer of Westworld Recorders, was a mentor for me in the field of recording. He taught me a lot ... and I trusted him to record and mix much of my music, when I was playing. Bob passed away in 2004. I miss him and his contribution to my music. Click on the link below for more about Bob.

Eventually this link will play Walt Barr music

Eventually this link will play Joe Williams music.

Eventually this will link to a Bob Schreiner page.

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