Friday, March 07, 2008

Muzak Maestro Please

In bass playing circles Jerry Scheff is considered one of the greats. He credits range from Elvis to Dylan and from the Doors to Elvis – Costello in the latter case. He also lives just done the hill from us, in Duns.

“I started doing sessions for producer Gary Paxton We recorded in his house; the control room was in an upstairs bedroom, and we played down stairs in the living room. There was no "talk back" so we had to communicate through the drum microphones. He had a four-track tape machine so the bass and drums shared a track. As I was setting up a group of the oddest people I had ever seen came into the room. They were the Association and we cut their first album, which included the hits, 'Along Comes Mary' and 'Cherish'.

'Along Comes Mary' was the first hit record I played on. It had a big, fat, bass mistake in the middle of it, but they liked the take and because the bass and drums were on the same track, I had to live with the mistake. When Los Angeles radio started playing the song all day long, the thrill of hearing myself on the radio was dampened every time that note would come up. Two years later I was in a store where a "muzak" version of "Along Comes Mary" was playing, and wouldn’t you know it, the bass player played my exact part, bad note and all.”

1 comment:

r morris said...

Interesting tale, Richard.
It made me listen to the song a few times to find the blooper bass chord.