September 15

True to my word I went to bed, slept well in fact and first thing this morning I was working on converting midi to audio for Glasses. This song was not in the original list because I started thinking I would leave it out. After working with it this morning though its back in. Its a very basic Buddy Holly kind of song with a not fade away beat variation and a variation on the chord changes; 1-2, 1-4, 1-5, 1. The most interesting part of the process was connecting my keyboard controller to the Mac and using it to trigger sounds from Reason 2.5 this allows me to provide the kinds of tracks of textured sound that I believe Healy wanted to have available when he mixes. In this process I am still the apprentice learning from the Master.

Way back in 1977 or thereabouts my friend Jim came to me with an idea. He had been on a ship cruising around Boston Harbor with music and dancing. He flashed on how much fun it would be to hear the Grateful Dead coming out of the speakers instead and as soon as I heard the idea I knew that I wanted to be there too. The problem was that we did not have very much in the way of live recordings to work with. We knew that there were people who went to shows and recorded but you couldn't get copies from people unless you had something to trade. It seemed like a catch 22. The clear solution was to buy recording equipment and make our own tapes. Since I had the time I took on the responsibility of doing the recording. I felt a little conflicted in that I held a great reverence for the music and the band and family of dead heads that followed the band. At that time I had only travelled as far as upper state New York to see shows but I had been to enough shows that I knew there was more to this scene than meets the eye at any one time. the point was that I didn't want to have to hide what I was doing. if the band didn't want me to have the music i didn't want to take it. So it was that when my first attempts to record the music had too much crowd noise for the tapes to be usable I knew I had to find a way to get my Microphones in the air above the crowd and so I combined a couple of boom stands together and was able to put the mics several feet above the heads of the crowd. The first time that I used this configuration was an indoor show, Billerica Ma. I looked for a place to set up my gear and noticed that there was space around the sound board area. This seemed like a good way to test the waters and make my statement. the one thing I was careful to do was to not b=get in front of the board or block anyone's vies of the stage. Perhaps it was instinct or just common sense. After all, the last thing I would want to have to deal with if i was working was a microphone in my face. I carefully aimed my microphones at each set of speakers since I was not centered they were not evenly separated. I waited for the show to start and raised the mics up into the air and waited to be shut down. During the show no one stopped me or shut me down. I noticed this one guy came over and looked over my setup for what seemed to be a long time. I thought at any minute I was finished but no, he just wandered back off and I went back to dancing. A little later another guy was looking me over but didn't say anything. Then during the second set, it might have been during the drum solos, Robby(sp?) Taylor came over and handed me a piece of paper with an address and asked me to send him a tape. the show ended and I went home to review the recordings which came out better than I ever hoped they would. I couldn't believe that it had all worked out. To make the rest of the story brief, Jimmy and I had been approached by a guy named Freddy who heard about our cruise and wanted to help us out with better tapes and the like. When he heard about the note from Mr. Taylor he encouraged me to travel to the shows in New York the following week and bring a copy of the tape with me. One thing led to another and eventually I met Healy. I didn't really get to talk with him too much at first, but one day I realized that I really enjoyed working with sound equipment, I did all the tape editing and ran the sound on the cruises, and that I'd really like to learn about how you do the real thing like Healy was doing. So one day I was able to get his attention at the board and I asked him if he ever took on apprentices. And so it came to pass that he agreed to take me on the long strange trip. He laid down some ground rules and I have done my best ever since to follow them and record more than I erase. Today I have the opportunity to use all that I have learned over the years from him in order to provide the basis on which I will learn what comes next.

I was also able to redo the arrangements for Wayside Motel and Rodioville and export them into Digital Performer. I converted midi to audio for Wayside Motel, Sleep Here Every Night and for Crime of No Passion, Crime is a song that Healy gave me the title for and said "go write the song now" and I did. Soon it will be time to do the vocal tracks and then make a mix of each song to send up to Healy for further review. All in all, it feels like the project is on schedule. Progress not perfection.