This Bird Has Flown…Record Production 101…

My pet seagulls, Wednesday June 16, 2021 around 6:04 pm ….I bought some dreadful potato chips that sounded delightful, but they weren’t as advertised; they were for the birds…so my pet seagulls had a party.

The Esoteric Diary of Joe Viglione 1:48 am June 18, 2021…

So I invested in a rock band, a four piece group who came up with an amazing song. First, I promoted the music which got airplay from Spain to Australia, Los Angeles to parts across the known universe. The band had no direction, and when I set up an interview the 29 year old lead singer wanted to say the most incredibly obnoxious things. Calmly this writer explained to him that a bad tattoo is something you may regret ten years later and need to have scrubbed off. The band leader forgot to give the websites so the interviewer was kind enough to let him send an update and actually promote the music.

The level of serious that they presented was absent.

I get a phone call and the band leader explained that he had a blowout with two of the band members. Not good. The leader/bassist/singer said that the two gentlemen were “egotistical.” He also called them lazy. Some lawyer friend of a relative was working out a deal where they would pay off the guitarist and a drummer and come back as a trio. The trio were going for a Leslie West sound – but the big problem is, the exquisite sound that I was promoting was replaced with a 23 year old amateur with bad drumming habits.

A prescription for disaster. Since I funded the project and the trio started deciding how the session would go. They wanted to record at 8 AM. What do I know? I’ve only been doing this for fifty years, half a century. My outline is simple: don’t have a session go over five hours, no pot smoking, no alcohol, we are there to work not to party. The band got too close to the engineer, the son-in-law of my pals who own the studio. Incredibly, the engineer was telling me that he could record the band without me, and that he would. What am I after producing Grammy winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and such? Some kid who can’t even stay awake during the ten hour session, looking like he’s losing the digital information that I’m paying for (the late Jimmy Miller called erasing any part of a session akin to murder,) and now I’m getting a lecture on the law from the upstart. Sheesh.

I get an apology:

Tue, Jun 1 at 5:27 PM

Hey Joe,
I wanted to apologize for my unprofessionalism and crossing any boundaries I might have crossed with you. I have never worked with a real producer before so I was not aware of the proper workflow or procedures during a session like this. I did not mean to step on your toes or overstep my position as the engineer. It was never my intention to undermine you, I only wanted to make sure the music coming into the system was good and usable for what you and the band want to do with it. My ambition got the best of me this weekend, but please know that I have your best interest in mind. 
In regards to the files, all track sessions are on your hard drive already. I still need to condense them down to just the stems of each track. Those will be on a separate folder on your hard drive once that’s been done. 
Once again, I apologize for my behavior for this past weekend as I really do feel terrible about it all. I hope that I have not tarnished my relationship with you. I look forward to keep on building this relationship with you, and moving onward and upward!
Best regards,

Feels terrible about it all? I gave two examples of bands in 1978 and 1979 that the lad’s father-in-law worked on with me. How great it was to work with the bands Unnatural Axe and Phobia. Indeed, Kurt from Phobia also played in Tall Paul with a member of the Axe, Frank, and they hired me to promote their single years after I launched Unnatural Axe and their classic e.p. They Saved Hitler’s Brain.

Well, after praising Phobia and our reunion, which I thought was a couple of years ago but the lead singer, a dear friend, wrote to tell me our Phobia Reunion was five years ago, August of 2016…how time flies. While I’m praising the band in comparison to the trio that caused a ruckus and thought partying was how you make records, we get word that guitarist Kurt passed away on Monday, June 14, 2021. Five years younger than me, it puts a stamp on the fact that life is too short to argue.

Gary and I were making GREAT classic punk / new wave before the bands of today were even born. Classic recordings that go for big dollars, and some punks calling their ex bandmates “egotistical” put ego on display rather than talent.

Now the group who took ten hours to record six basic tracks…what a waste of time…I could have written and recorded two albums at the piano in that time, blowing each one of their compositions out of the water and off the map. Insult upon insult, investing in them, they abused my time, my consideration for their emerging songwriting, and now they want to steal the tapes without compensating me for my time, energy and efforts on their behalf. It is truly stunning their own self-sabotage of their career.
The studio e mails me that the band who didn’t pay a nickel, who started drinking a bottle of liquor at the studio that didn’t even belong to them, how they – with no cause – want to sue the studio

Wow, how to make friends and contacts in the record industry. Of course all three are either married or getting married…as soon as they start having offspring, well, you know the routine …the women in their lives will start that immortal chant “Isn’t it time you grew up? You tried it, you failed, now be responsible.” They go off to their day jobs, chained to life outside of rock and roll…maybe reuniting with the two members they screwed over because the 23 year old drummer going on five years of age still has his bad drumming habits- can’t remember the full songs, can’t keep time, and his drum rolls sounding like a seagull burping. Music not BY the Byrds, but music FOR THE BIRDS.

Imagine someone offering to put up the money for studio time, give his production ear, and an engineer and band ignoring a man with half a century of production experience.

They know better than everyone with an amateur drummer when I got have brought in any number of Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummers to make a real record that would entertain the world.

But it wasn’t about entertainment. It’s about their enormous, bloated idea of self-worth, their self-indulgence, their partying and ransacking the serious art of recording that I set up, and that I paid for.

And now, with no cause, they want to sue the recording studio where they created chaos and acted unprofessionally, foolishly, and didn’t burn bridges…they blew them up.

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