While preparing to interview Ken Caillat for this issue, and reading his book, Making Rumours (about his time engineering and producing Fleetwood Mac's Rumours), I decided to ask him if he felt there was any sort of "doctor/patient" confidentiality code while working closely with artists. In Ken's case, the resulting fame of the band, three decades gone by, and the desire to tell his own story made the decision easy.
It got me thinking; are there any rules regarding spilling the beans about an artist's working methods, insecurities or lifestyle choices that one picks up while recording them? While I've heard some engineers blatantly shit talk their clients by name, I'm uncomfortable doing so. I do have a few humorous, odd, and anonymous studio tales I share with clients on occasion for fun; but I'm more likely to keep mum, especially when the end result is a recording I'm proud of.
But my recording history only goes back a few decades, and I've certainly never worked on anything with the success and impact that an album like Rumours has had. We all want to know the drama, heartbreak, and hard work that went into a record of that caliber. I know I do. By reading these tales I learn more about the art of recording music, and I make use of these lessons. Thanks to Ken Caillat for sharing that with us, and for sitting down with me to talk about the art of making records.