I started my professional career at a pivotal point in modern music history: The Beatles had just turned the entire industry on its head, and Pub Rock had just begun. A&R men were scouring the pubs & clubs for the “next Beatles.” Multitrack recording was really starting to develop, and there were literally hundreds of studios in London: some (mostly small 4 or 8 track) simply for demoing songs and others (16 or 24 track) for mastering songs for existing artists. Many were affiliated with either labels or publishers. The business couldn’t have been healthier.
I started playing in clubs & pubs, and “cut my teeth” playing all manner of venues. I also did a stint in Germany, playing the US bases (5 hours a night 6 nights a week). That was a sobering experience! But (maybe) more details of that later.
My first studio experience was in late 1973. Renegade Jones was a band I joined around that time, and our manager (the late, great Laurie Jay) managed to secure us some tracking time at Joe Brown’s studio. I remember it being 16 track at the time. This was the start of a 5 decade relationship with the art of recording. From there, I progressed to being a regular demo-session player. In the mid 1970’s, the only way a songwriter could get a decent copy of their latest creations was for them to use one of the many demo studios. A band would be booked and they would bring rough charts for maybe 4-5 songs for us to record (or they would play them to us on either guitar of piano, and we would jot down a chart). As I grew more experienced in the techniques involved, and word spread, I started to get booked on master sessions.
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