I seem to remember Wally not around for a week, which was odd for “Mr. Hands On”. This was in ’69
or so. Turned out he heard about some tube mics for sale, in France! I think they were U-67s or 47s.
As I was researching my history about the times with Wally, I was deeply saddened to know of the
passing of Nicky Hopkins and John Cipollina; two of the best musicians ( and most fun to be around)
I ever worked with.
I left Wally after a “difference of opinion” over the CSNY dates. Wally somehow got a hold of me and
back to 245 I went to do “Nilsson Sings Nueuman”. Barncard had been hired after I left and was on
that session. Allen Zentz was the lead, Pat was tape op, great guy. That album turned out to be one
of the most challenging anyone of us had done: 50 or so multiple overdubs, echo pans, vocal pans in
30 ips delay echo. Turned out it was above Allen’s head, but thanks to Barncard, the four engineers pulled that great record off. Wally fired me after that date; as Wally was tit for tat for me quitting.
I went on to RCA in Hollywood with Harry and did “The Point”, how great to meet with Wally in the
morning after my all night sessions with Harry. We remained friends, but I knew I could never be a
staff engineer and continued my career as a free-lancer.
Me and Russ did some bookings for them, and waited and waited; I can’t remember if we cut any tracks?
Maybe some of you remember; a new black Lincoln Continental, two-door, all leather. He let me and mygirlfriend use it when he went to LA for the weekend; what a great slide and what a typical Wally
gesture ( which insured showing up and paying attention, which was also a Wally trait).
I must have been to 245 earlier, only Russ and Ginger would remember. I do know in 1969, I worked on Quicksilver Messenger service “Shady Grove” with Dan Healey, and “Baby’s House” with Steve Miller band with the great Glyn Johns. I did some work with Russ; he taught me the basics, and it helped me become a real engineer. I’d known about “slap back” echo and “re-injection”, but Russ made it a signature with Creedence Clearwater.
Now that I’m logged in, I’ll start gathering my thoughts, It was quite some time ago: I was one of the first employees at 245 Hyde, a young rookie from Seattle. I knew about Wally from his LA operation, but 245 as new to me. I applied at every studio in SF, turned down at all of them. Wally’s studio had a stack of applications a mile high, I pretty much gave up on my career change and was getting ready to head back to Seattle, tail between my legs.
The next day the phone where I was staying rang, it was Mel Tanner; a engineer (I think his name was George Hernandiz (sp?) had hurt his back at a Jefferson Airplane date the night before, Wally took my application from the top of the stack and I was hired, knowing nothing about the big time, but my foot was in the door! More later, M
I’m thinking I joined around November of 1969, Al Schmidt was doing the Airplane, with Pat Ieraci as second.
Studio “C” was the only one open, the rest were being completed. What a exciting time! The staff was me,
Russ Gary, George Herdandiz, Ginger Mews, Mel Tanner.