At times it can be difficult to believe that someone like Giorgio Gomelsky actually exists. For almost fifty years he has been at the center of so many significant cultural events and initiated so many things we take for granted, it seems that he must be a fictional composite of dozens of people. But no, he's for real — a flesh and blood man almost painfully committed to the highest ideals of art and its communication. One could call him a producer — and, indeed he has been — he produced records by John McLaughlin, Julie Driscoll, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (with Derek Bailey), Vangelis, Magma and many others. But he also is/has been a manager, a club owner, an impresario, a raconteur, a facilitator, festival organizer and astute political theorist. However, unlike almost every other person in the music business, he has usually been seen running away from the money rather than towards it. If there is an underlying thread to his life story, it is that whenever things started getting too close to the mainstream, Gomelsky lost interest and moved on to another uncompromising situation. For this article, the focus is on what many people feel is his most important contribution to the world of music — his association with the seminal British rock band, The Yardbirds.

The first album by The Yardbirds [Five Live Yardbirds] was a live recording. What was the decision process that went into this?

Very simple — in England we didn't have the recording business that was so established and dominant as here [the USA], you know. So bands really had to gather an audience by playing live. This was something they could do. Most English bands were very good live bands.

They were all club bands.

In England the club idea was not like here. It wasn't as there was a physical place and that was it. It was evenings run by promoters in the back of pubs who had little rooms where music happened, and people used to go and dance. The English music scene from skiffle onwards — even before that, traditional jazz and stuff — really took place in the back of pubs, and those were "clubs."

You're talking about the young British bands?

The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds. There were a couple of blues bands outside of London. This wasn't rock n' roll — this was the blues. The rock n' roll thing came in afterwards. It's very interesting how the possibility of recording happened. The first time that Sonny Boy Williamson came to England he stayed with me. I took him in my car and we went to all these places where there were blues bands. In the South End there were The Paramounts that [later] became known as the Procol Harum. In Birmingham there was the Spencer Davis [Group] where Steve [Winwood] was like, fourteen and playing the organ. In Newcastle there was a band called the Alan Price Kansas Blues Quintet, later known as The Animals. I ended up there and found a guy, Phillip Wood, who had a portable Ampex machine — mono. He had done demos for The Animals — a kind of straight, innocent character, but he had this equipment. I think it must have been the only Ampex one inch (whatever it was at the time) portable recording device. When I saw this I went, "Wow! Let's drag this into the club." And we recorded Sonny Boy with The Animals the first time that Sonny Boy went up there. I convinced Phillip to come to the next venue. I did a big thing on February 28th (which was my birthday) in 1964, in Birmingham. It was my first edition of a British blues festival — Sonny Boy, Rod Stewart and Long John Baldry — anybody that could play a couple of blues numbers would be on this, and that's how we convinced the Marquee to let us have a go at recording the live stuff.

What do you think caused this seeming explosion of bands at that point?

What creates real phenomenal turn-arounds in civilizational culture is the love of something. The love of the blues became very important. Either it grabbed you or it didn't, but the ones that got grabbed by it soon became musicians because they loved it so much they wanted to play it. Rock n' roll had a period of success in England, but it was based on the kind of commercial rock n' roll you had here. You had the Elvis Presley imitations like Marty Wilde and Billy Fury. A very significant development was the opening of the Marquee Club — owned by jazz musician Chris Barber. At one point it was suggested that [British blues legend] Alexis Korner would get his own night at the club — a blues night. This became the magnet for all the young blues players. The blues and skiffle thing were more [for] student types. The commercial type thing gave way to people like Cliff Richards and The Shadows. It had nothing to do with blues. When The Yardbirds came to the point of making some kind of a statement, making a live album was the answer. We were playing to a thousand people in the Marquee and the atmosphere was unbelievable. That was the thing that I started off doing at the Crawdaddy Club with The [Rolling] Stones — just do forty-five minute sets — they had to stick! They had to have a catharsis of some kind. Fundamentally, all of that was based on the Bo Diddley beat.

Because it could go on forever.

It could go on forever. The last song of the bands would be twenty minutes of a Bo Diddley-type of thing. That's why I called my club Crawdaddy, because it was a reference to "Crawdad" by Bo Diddley.

The first thing that occurs to me when I listen to the live album is what an incredible band they were. How loud was it?

It couldn't have been that loud — they were twenty-five watt amps.

Still, there was such a power to it.

Yes. Often times there were homemade bass amps. It was also at the very beginning of all that stuff. Tom Jennings [Vox] and Jim Marshall used to work for us. We had to go and find engineers. At the time there were no independent studios in London. If you wanted to have anything recorded you had to have a deal with a record company. Then finally a blind BBC engineer [Angus McKenzie], a wonderful guy, took over an old synagogue on Baker Street and started a recording studio there, later to be known as Olympic Sound. They're still going. They had a really cool engineer there, Keith Grant, and he listened to blues and other kinds of iconoclastic things. I convinced him to drag half the studio out of the synagogue and to bring it down to my place in Richmond to record The Yardbirds with Sonny Boy Williamson, and he set up his control room in the kitchen. It was early days for this kind of stuff. I know you heard the album, but I don't know what condition you heard it in — I don't know what generation it is. I was really pleased with the results [at the time].

It sounds really great.

You hear the room. You hear the people in the room. We put mics up in the room as well. It was my idea to get the room into a source for a soundscape type of thing. I always looked at it as something you could reproduce visually somehow in your head, whatever the distance is in the thing and wherever anything stood so it would kind of frame around and be solid. One of the big problems was getting the vocals sufficiently present because Keith [Relf] was not a great singer and we had to do with what we had. We didn't do much overdubbing on the live album — we might've patched a little vocal backing on or something. We only had a day to do this, so we started at one in the afternoon to set up the stuff and we recorded two sets, because the band did two forty-five minute sets. So, that's how we did it and then we took the best things and cut a little bit — just editing and putting it together and that's all.

Interestingly, you're immediately made aware that this is being recorded as a album, because the guy introduces the show as the Five Live Yardbirds album that is being recorded.

Hamish [Grimes] — he was my acolyte and coconspirator. He's the one that does the introduction and took the photographs in the early days.

How did The Yardbirds come into your life?

If you remember, The Rolling Stones were the first band that played in my club. I did the whole thing to promote the blues idea. When they hit the big time and they left the club, I had to figure out what the next band was going to do. By that time the Stones had built up a huge following — I had a thousand people every Sunday night at my club. We had all this dancing going on and it created the attention in the press and everything else. I decided I wanted to look for a band that had improvisational inclinations — that could add to this ritualistic thing that characterized the exchange between the stage and the audience. I wanted somebody who was able to extend the format — the form. I listened to quite a number of bands at the time. I wanted to find something that would allow us to break out a little bit of the blues thing because I'm against purism. I'm for authenticity, but I'm against purism.

You're certainly interested in innovation.

I wanted to find a band that would add some arranging ideas. One day I was walking up the stairs to this rehearsal room and there's a band rehearsing upstairs that my friend Hamish had found. I'm hearing them doing this kind of breaking down — going up and down — and I'm thinking, "This is the band that should follow The Stones at the Crawdaddy." I worked with them and we rehearsed and this is really great, inventive stuff and I'm saying, "Extend that." And then I played them some musique concrète and shit like that and, "If you could do this kind of stuff on the guitar..."

So were you informing The Yardbirds about other kinds of music?

Oh yeah, definitely. I saw the potential immediately and this was the very beginning of the idea that rock n' roll could reach out and not necessarily borrow things, perhaps even in a tribute kind of sense — pay tribute to all this underdog music that nobody was listening to because, [mocking tone] "Oh, that's so strange. That's so weird." Stravinsky was a big hero of mine, always. My father was Russian and he was heavily into music so we had a very good education in Russian and Hungarian avant-garde classical music. I totally encouraged all that noise stuff. [Then] at one stage we had to pay-we had to take our hat off to the business and say, "Okay, fine, we have to go to the studio and we have to make singles. We have to get on the radio."

Was this still '64?

Yeah, that was '64, something like that. The Beatles did it all. They came along and they cleared the way all of sudden and the record business didn't know a fucking thing. They didn't know what hit them. They didn't know what had hit them because all of a sudden there's this genre of music they had no idea how to deal with. That's how independent production was able to have its start, because the record companies didn't know anything.

The sounds The Yardbirds were making on this album, on tracks like "Smokestack Lightning" and "Here 'Tis" — they could've come from a noise band this year. The scratching things Clapton does — the idea that this was the same year that The Beatles were doing, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" — it's kind of mind blowing.

Oh definitely — and Eric [Clapton] left it, which I could never understand. I think he got scared. I remember him sometimes walking off the stage at the end of these sets completely shaken. I remember him saying, "I can't do this anymore." Because you were really taken over by this kind of incredible stuff, which I loved and wanted to encourage. I'd tell him, "Don't be scared. This is fine. This is great." But you know how it is when you're touching certain things like the Devil's chords and whatever — you get to a point where you're in unknown territory and it can scare you. I think Eric never went back to this. Not even in Cream, which I could never understand. I always wanted to ask him, "Hey what the fuck?" because now he's so sort of traditional, conventional and conservative — he turned into a kind of a really nice, elegant, but not really heavy guitar player. [Jeff] Beck took over completely, but not exactly completely either.

Speaking of Jeff Beck, on "Mister, You're a Better Man Than I" [Having a Rave Up], there is a point during his solo when he clearly steps on his distortion pedal. You can hear the first note of his solo is still clean. Was the whole band recorded live?


So, he had to do his solos during the rhythm track?

Yes. We did that with Sam Phillips in Memphis. The one big difference from recording in England and recording here was the drum sound. We all wanted that drum sound. The Stones had already done that [recorded in the USA]. All the [UK] blues bands wanted to go to Chess when they got to America. This kind of sustained stuff on Jeff's thing, we did about three weeks after we did "Shapes of Things" — which we did at Chess Records Studio in Chicago. If you listen to that song you'll hear a guitar — a sustained kind of guitar thing very similar to this. We wrote "Shapes of Things" in the Holiday Inn in Chicago the day before we recorded it and it was based on a Dave Brubeck riff which we had heard when we were traveling from Little Rock to somewhere at night. You travel and you try to listen to the stations as you go along and you lose them after twenty miles. Anyway, Sam [bassist Paul Samwell-Smith] was in the back and I was driving and I said, "Oh look, that's a real good stand up bass line." Then we threw it all together in the bar of the Holiday Inn at two o'clock in the morning and recorded it the next day. And there, Jeff was kind of a bit lost. We needed to have a guitar solo and we didn't have time and again, I was always worried about not finishing. So I did something that was perhaps a little bit dishonest to save the situation. Jeff was playing this solo — we couldn't get a solo together that would accommodate the space. Either it was too much sustain and not enough phrasing or there was too much phrasing and not enough sustain, so I kept the two and mixed them together.

So there was some overdubbing going on at this point?

Yes. I always kept the overdubbing possibility for the vocals because it's not easy for a singer who hasn't got a big voice to get the acoustic space you needed. When the 4-track recording thing happened we would do the backing tracks first. Then we would do the vocal.

The backing tracks would be the rhythm guitar, bass and drums?


So, Beck at that point — was he part of the rhythm tracks?

Yeah, he would play everything. Then we would add the vocal and the vocal backing at the same time and then we would add solos or anything like that. We started recording in mono, and if you wanted to do any overdubs you had to go from 1-track to another 1-track by adding things to it. In England, before you went from 1-track to 4-track you went to 3-track. We also didn't record in stereo in those days because it didn't exist to anyone. It was, "What's stereo?" All that stuff was done in mono.

How did the hook-up with Sam Phillips take place?

We drove out of Little Rock, Arkansas after we got beaten up by rednecks. It was night, sneaking out like thieves to get to Memphis. We got there at six in the morning and we tried to find Sam — who had gone off fishing. I had called CBS when we got here from England, "Whatever you do, you have to arrange a recording session at Sun Studios. We have two days. You have got to get Sam Phillips." We worshipped him. The sound in the studio!

Were all these people, like the Chess people and Sam Phillips, were they just completely confused about all this attention or did they understand?

Oh, not at all! They were delighted.

I'm sure they must have been, but all of the sudden all these Brits are worshipping them and the average American citizen had no idea who they were.

Sam Phillips was so taken by us. We didn't find him until midnight that night — we spent eighteen hours trying to find him. At midnight he comes back totally drunk out of his mind with a fishing rod. He didn't even know that CBS [was trying to contact him] and he didn't really want to do this. He said, "I'm not an engineer any more. I don't want to engineer no Limey bands!" It was only because I had six hundred dollars cash in my pocket that he decided to open up the studio at midnight. But when he heard The Yardbirds tune up, he couldn't believe it — his ears propped up. He got some coffee and sobered up. He wouldn't let us out of the studio — we were in there until seven in the morning or eight. He'd say, "Let's do another one." He had a penthouse in the Holiday Inn and we ended up there at ten o'clock in the morning drinking Wild Turkey! It was one of the loveliest, loveliest experiences ever — a transforming experience. He couldn't believe it. He engineered the whole thing — I was his assistant. "Move the mic over there." "Okay." He put so much concentration into trying to really get a good sound for us. The Yardbirds were principally "trained" as a live band, so when entering a studio they were ready — there were no hesitations about the material. This did impress the engineers — including Sam Philips who praised us for it — and no time was ever wasted.

Did you have a particular studio in the UK that you worked out of?

Mostly Olympic Sound. We brought a lot of business there. The sound engineers were my good mates. We used to go out drinking and I never wanted to be one, but I wanted to know everything they knew so I could talk to them and they could understand what I was after.

At this point what was Olympic Sound? What was their basic set up?

They were using a lot of BBC equipment. The control room was up on the floor in the synagogue and the main studio was on the platform of the synagogue thing, and you had to go upstairs to go to the control room. There were Ampex machines and all kinds of little outboard stuff that Angus built. We fell upon feedback by accident at Olympic Studio during a recording session with The Yardbirds.

You mean guitar feedback?

Yeah, totally by accident — I had no idea. This is how it happened — we had a three-hour recording session to do some kind of a demo and at one session Eric says, "I gotta go to the loo." So, he put his guitar next to his amp and he went to the loo. We're up there in the control room and all of a sudden we hear [makes feedback sound] and then the needle started going into the red and [Keith] Grant is panicking and, "Fuck, he's blowing out my speaker!" Nobody had a clue. I'm sitting there, "This is fantastic." The main concern of all guitarists at the time was sustain. "There's your sustain and you don't have to make any effort!" Then we called Angus and we said, "We gotta record this. We gotta be able to record this without blowing your speakers and your amplifiers out." So, we put limiters on. That same day! We had twenty minutes left of the session. When Eric came back we said, "Eric, stand back and play a note and then put the guitar against the amp!" So the next session we set out to try and incorporate that. I always wanted more colors. Towards the end of my association with the band I wanted to gradually start introducing other instruments, particularly a keyboard player. The time was the beginning of the synthesizers — so I had my eyes on this little guy who was seventeen years old playing Brubeck-like piano in a pub in Brighton. That piano player was Keith Emerson.

You also introduced another well known British keyboardist — Brian Auger — whom I only recently found out was the harpsichord player on "For Your Love".

Yes, we did that with him, Keith [Relf], Chris Dreja played rhythm guitar and Sam played the bass and that's it.

Clapton's not even on that?

No, he was lying on his back in the studio waiting to be employed and there was nothing for him to do. That was where the problem kind of started with Eric in a sense. He also was a very dedicated blues fellow and he wasn't in agreement with the fact that we had to go and make singles. The harpsichord was my idea because when I heard the demo that ["For your Love" composer] Graham Gouldman made up in Manchester, for some reason I heard the "brum, brum," and I was a big Wanda Landowska freak [famed classical harpsichordist]. She had an incredible percussive thing. I said. "Let's find a harpsichord somewhere." We took more time tuning the harpsichord than actually recording the song. I was managing Brian and I wanted him to come out of this very narrow, defined jazz scene and have a go with whatever we did. It was also a way of getting him some money. You have to remember these sessions were always a bit hectic, because you always had to watch the clock. I was paying for all the sessions and by that time Olympic Studio was very busy, so if you didn't finish you would have to wait two weeks or more to get back into the studio. The Brits are very respectful of arrangements you make. If the session was three to six, and at six somebody else came up — at ten to six you had to stop so the engineer could have a cup of tea. So you were always under pressure. It's not like now where you can rent a studio out for a day, two days, a week, a month or a year. That was your window of opportunity and you had to get it out.

So you had to really go in pretty much knowing what you were going to do.

You couldn't be too respectful of individual sensibilities. If I were to do it now we'd figure out a part for Eric to do — but there wasn't any time to do it.

Yet, the legend has it that he also wanted to do something more purist.

We tried that — "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl". None of the blues bands succeeded with the idea of turning blues songs into pop singles.

Even The Rolling Stones had to become more pop before that.

The Beatles gave them their first hit ["I Wanna Be Your Man"]. It was like a political thing too. It was a shame to miss the opportunity of putting a foot in there. So you did a pop song and you appear in a couple of pop magazines with hairdos and things, but when you went to your live show you did your blues — it was a way of multiplying the audience. The reason Eric left in the end was not just because of that. It was also that I had to organize the band in a more constructive way because I couldn't supervise everything that was going on. I made Samwell-Smith the musical director, which he wanted to be — he wanted to learn about producing. It's like the first violin player in a symphony orchestra, and Eric and he didn't get on too well. I think Eric, in the end, sort of decided that his influence was waning somehow. I sat with him in my office in Soho Square in London and we started a discussion at two o'clock in the afternoon. We didn't even see the day die and at ten o'clock at night we were still talking. It was a big decision because I had a real problem, you know? I had to find someone to replace him in the band. It wasn't going to be easy.

It just seems to me that The Yardbirds were always about the music. It never seemed to come down to individual personality cults, as with so many other bands.

Well, except for Eric. That was Hamish's idea — he started writing all over London, "Clapton is God." But it's true — the elements that informed The Yardbirds were never reproduced in any other band. They were reproduced in bits and pieces in other bands, but it never had that totally organic, integrated thing that we were able to have for those three years that it lasted — when I was around.

I read somewhere about a sitar version of "Heart Full of Soul".

Yeah, there was. I'd have to find it but there is one. To me that phrase immediately suggested sitar. You have to remember nobody knew about this stuff. In fact, Jimmy Page came visiting and at the end of the sessions, the tabla player and the sitar player whom I had heard in an Indian restaurant in London were walking out with the sitar wrapped up in a little carpet thing and Jimmy came when we were trying to do the opening things. We didn't use it in the end because they couldn't count the way western musicians count — they kept on going over. Then Jeff Beck went to the bathroom with his amplifier and said, "I can do this" and kind of imitated sitar — within an hour he found a way of doing it. We said goodbye to the sitar player.

Was this around the same time as "Norwegian Wood"?

No. It was before that because Jimmy Page bought the sitar off these guys who were on the way out of the studio. For twenty-five pounds he bought the sitar. The next day he took it with him to the studio and to Big Jim Sullivan [legendary session guitarist] who then played it to George Harrison.

Obviously by now, some planning — whether it worked out or not — was going on before you went into the studio, and some experimenting once you started rolling.

Oh, yeah definitely. But that's why I thought it was really good to go into the studio well prepared. For me well prepared meant to do the song really well — learn the song well, to play it live a number of times.

But was something like "Still I'm Sad" performed live?

Yes, it was. This "Still I'm Sad" story is very interesting. It was during a gig at the Aylesbury Town Hall on a Friday night. Before going on we had gone to the pub and we were all in the bathroom taking a leak and in bathrooms you know, you have some interesting acoustics. I listened to Gregorian chants and shit like this. So, I'm in there leaking away with Keith and I started doing this thing and Samwell came and joined us taking a leak and he added his voice to mine and I said, "You know, this is kind of interesting. You could make a song or something out of it." I think Sam then took it on that he would work a melody out or something. It was a joke for us. We never gave it all that much importance but we thought we should do it because it sounded great in the loo.

And that is you singing the lowest part on the recording, right?

Sure. And again we only had an hour and a half to do that.

So you were probably all just around one mic?

We were just around one mic and again and again till we got it right. It was also done on stage, at clubs and various places and on a number of occasions I joined them, but I wasn't too sure about my pitching so I said, "Don't count on me too much for this." I also played the triangle on it.

It seems that for all the experimental aspects of The Yardbirds' music, you still had to just go in there and do it.

The basic thing is know your song — go in there knowing that you learned your song and your notes. Then we have time to add whatever we want and see how the inspiration flows and see what we can do. Also rely on accidents, because you never know. In those days engineers were pretty creative and encouraged to be so. They knew that when we arrived they could show us tricks that they had found out during the week doing the other sessions, but the other people didn't want to use them. So perhaps they'd say, "Listen to this. If you use a particular type of equalizer and you really push it in certain frequencies you get a sustain and if you do it below that you get a pulse going" — things like this. We were always on the receiving side of that from the engineers because they knew that they could use them with us — that we would go for it. It was collaboration. Sometimes we came and said, "Hey listen, in rehearsal we found that if you did this and this, this weird shit comes out. Can you try and do it?" So they would try patching, "Is this what you mean?" "Not quite, a little bit more." Okay, bop, bop — there it is. This was also the beginning of the boxes...

Do you mean distortion pedals?

Fuzz boxes — distortion pedals.

Was Beck was using a commercial item at that point or was it something that was built for him?

I'm not sure when these things became commercial, but all the guitar players at the time in '62 to '65 — they were all kind of after this kind of stuff. It's nothing like now when I see bands playing, and the guitar player has seventeen boxes. How the fuck do you know where you are with all those boxes? We used to do it with one box and the fingers and perhaps a little arm. I didn't encourage arms! I thought even that was kind of cheating. Use the fingers!

You mean the whammy bar?

Yeah, fuck that. Use the fingers. Then you can reproduce it and you save time in the end that way. Then people — the engineers and people like this at Jennings' Vox and Jim Marshall and those people — got into this kind of stuff. We were trying to involve all of those electronic people in doing this. Without us — the musicians and bands going to them and saying, "This is what we'd like you to help us with" — they didn't know what to do. Other people knew and they came up with stuff. Obviously we were addressed as some of the first when these people invented something — "Oh, The Yardbirds. They'll use that. Let me give them a prototype."

How would you describe the role of Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty in all of this?

Chris was the weak link in a sense, but he was a pretty solid rhythm guitar player. I liked Jim's drumming because it had a color all of it's own. It wasn't showy but it was very effective. It was very musical.

One thing I didn't realize until very recently was "Over, Under, Sideways Down" and "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago", for two — that you weren't involved with those.

I wasn't, but I was involved in lining them up. In the backing tracks for the album that I was going to produce, the stuff was there. They just finished them up because they couldn't use those tracks. They redid them and then they added, but the ideas were there.

So those were still under the umbrella of your era.

Yeah, because I was the one bringing in all this information that they didn't have — they didn't know about the harpsichord; they didn't know about African music; they didn't know about Arabic music, Stockhausen, Xenakis. In England, they didn't know about this kind of stuff. Coming from continental Europe, we had this in our school. We were exposed to this stuff. England was very sheltered. They had a bit of Scottish music and Irish music and things like this. In Europe we had a better education so we heard all this stuff when we were twelve, thirteen years old. I was a big, big, big African music fan. In other words, this "outside of the rock n' roll/blues type thing" mostly came from my source. Like it was so clear to me that time to use sitar. It was so clear and so obvious.

What was the thinking behind the doubled vocal on "Train Kept a Rollin'"? Did Keith Relf do two different vocals and you just said, "Let's just use them both."?

This was done during our second tour of America and this time I wanted to record in New York with an engineer who had done some interesting things with the Blues Project at CBS — the stuff that came out of there was really good and I liked the engineer [Roy Halee]. We were not legally allowed to record in the US — we had to do it on the sly! At the time it was at the beginning of multitracking and I'm not sure that they didn't have an 8-track, so it gave you a nice liberty because you could do a take and then not have to wipe it out to do another take and listen to it all. If it all worked together — just leave it in there. I don't like spending too much time in the studio. It's depressing. You could be doing something else while people try and make up their minds. Let's say you have four people in the band and the drummer has six or seven tracks. You work at getting him a really great sound and it's fine. Here comes the bass player. You work with him at having a great sound and it's fine and the guitar player — it's wonderful, but all together it sounds like shit. There are a number of things that overlap in terms of frequencies and colors. I was interested in recording live rhythm tracks — because that's the only way that you can really build something. If you've got a really good sounding rhythm track with everybody clearly audible and positioned in the right place and in the picture, then you can work. If you do this the other way — by making every instrument sound perfect — then you put it all together and it sounds like shit. Once I spent a month making an album and I swore to myself I would never, never go through an experience like that. It was hopeless because of all the egos, and if you misjudge the single for the whole then you really don't know what it is you're doing in the studio. Something happens that destroys the link that there was between the musicians when they were playing. It's cheating. You can't make music like that in my opinion — unless you are the only composer and you play all the instruments and it's electronic stuff. Fine, that's great. It's something else. But a band that has distinguished musicians — you can't just put it together.

There has to be a magic.

And it's difficult to describe when that happens. But you know when you hear it. It doesn't matter what music it is, you hear when that magic is there. And this is what we must pass on to present and future generations. This is work that has to be done. I often go and speak at various things and people ask me all these questions and I'm always trying to articulate what has been my experience. I'm getting to be an old fart, you know? At seventy-two years of age you start thinking, "Have I really done my homework and articulated all this to understandable, palpable, measurable sentences that others can take advantage of?" Doing this helps me articulate my thoughts.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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