In my many years of session work, it’s sometimes amazed me just how many sessions I thought were going to be released on a real recording never really came out. This obviously, can be quite frustrating, especially when you are trying to build up your list of credits and your resume, but in the long run, it’s really the experience that counts.
For example, many years back I got to play on an album with the great English soul singer, Dusty Springfield, who I always had a deep respect for. We did this album at a time and place where I was almost becoming the “house” guitarist for this great recording studio called “914” Studios in upstate New York. The music was going great with Dusty, but she seemed so sad and troubled, and was unfortunately, also drinking heavily. As it turned out, to this day, the record “Longing”, was never released, even though many people have hailed it as some of her best work ever. I certainly hold out hope that one day it shall be released for the world to hear. But for me, the bottom line is that I can still put on my resume that I did record with Dusty Springfield, because after all, I did, didn’t I?!While being the “house guitarist” for that studio, I also played on Janis Ian tracks that were never released, and a great album with a duo called Janey and Dennis, who did this very high-budget album for Capital Records that not only didn’t come out, but it was while we were touring with the Bee Gees to literally promote this record, that we got the devastating news that it was shelved! That was a blow that many of us had a hard time recovering from! Funny too, because we had Max Weinberg on drums for that band, and we let him go, largely at my recommendation, only to have him get his famous Springsteen gig just 5 days later! It seemed that Bruce was also recording his album in that same studio as us at that time, and when the engineer found out that we fired Max Weinberg, he gave Max a listen, and sure enough, hired him, totally changing Max’s life forever!
That is certainly another example of just how much “turns on a dime” when it comes to this quirky business of music. One minute, you can’t buy a gig, and the next minute you’re on top of the world! Or in my case, one minute you’re on a hot album to be released, and the next minute, it was just a dream. Still, all in all, it’s these incomparable experiences that add up to a lifetime’s worth of great memories and one of a kind stories, for sure!