As many of us have found out over the years, the first time we ever get “the call” to play on a record, or make a record for the first time, it’s truly a milestone in a musician’s life! My first time was certainly no exception, but it certainly contained the kinds of difficulties that seemed to act as a “precursor” to events and other crazy sessions to come!
On that day, I happened to playing some schoolyard basketball in Queens, NY, where I had been rehearsing with a band that was getting ready to go out on the road with The Bee Gees, on their Canadian tour. Needless to say, I came down hard on the side of my ankle, not only spraining it badly, but actually tearing the muscle! I went to the doctor, and he said I had to keep it elevated at all times at 180 degrees, and that I must not let it dangle, because the pain was excrutiating!
And, of course, what happens next? I get a call from producer John Simon, who had apparently heard me play in Woodstock one night, and was blown away by what he heard. He wants me to come down to RCA studios, that same day, in Manhattan, and to record on some tracks with a full band, as well as overdub some tracks over what Cornell Dupree had played. This was for an album, “Refugees”, by a new singer named Rachel Faro, and people like Harvey Brooks, the bass player, and other renowned players were also going to be on the date. Needless to say, the was NO WAY I was ever going to miss this session! This was a bona fide chance to really “break in” to the New York recording scene, and I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.
So, they assured me I would be well-taken care of at the session, and me and my Dad, who drove me, went down to RCA studios on 6th Ave. What a great and warm feeling it was when I realized that all the musicians were so kind to me, helping me get around, keeping that foot up, etc.! It really was well-worth all I went through, even though they really didn’t know how to get a good guitar sound yet in NY it seemed, because even after giving them the best tone I could muster, it always sounding like a thin, little trebly “nothing” when I listened to the playback! Still, all in all, it just shows, don’t miss those dates when they come up, because they always lead to something more after that, and you never know who will be “tuning in” and listening to you, whether it be at a live gig, or in the studio!