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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some Of The Beatles And Me - Part One

Since the remastered Beatles catalog and the Beatles Rock Band game are being released on Tuesday, September 9th, I thought now would be a good time for some brief stories about my brush with Beatles Ringo and George. These really are ever so brief experiences with the famous ones, but for a kid who grew up in the sticks of Minersville, PA, a brush with anyone that famous was way beyond my dreams as a kid.

My first encounter with a Beatle came in the early 80's when I was mixing a project (can't even remember who) at the famed but unfortunately now closed Cherokee Studios in Hollywood. Cherokee was highly regarded for its sound and the frequent home to a variety of star artists like Rod Stewart, John Mellancamp (he was "John Couger" at the time he used the studio), Devo, Steely Dan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, the Blues Brothers and loads more.

Cherokee was a 3 studio complex at the time, and the nice part about a facility of that size is that people get to mingle, usually in the lounge. Cherokee was a little different in that people were unafraid to frequently duck into each others rooms to have a quick listen, unless a sign on the door indicated the session was private.

So there I was mixing unremembered rock artist in Studio Two when I felt the air from the door opening behind me. I knew that someone had come in to listen, but since I was deep into my work, never turned around to see who it was. After about 5 minutes, I got up from my chair behind the console to get a drink and finally glanced at the back of the room to see who had come in. There was Ringo, giving me a big smile and a big thumbs up just as he was leaving out the studio door!

Being shy, I was afraid to take a look in on his session and hoped he'd pop back in to mine so that we could formally meet, but it never happened.

I'm happy that he seemed to approve, and even if he didn't, he made me think he did and gave me a great memory to treasure as a result. For many of my better-connected-than-I friends in Hollywood, a story like this is hardly worth mentioning. But to me, it was and still is a big deal.

Next post - Is that really George?

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