With the exception of production, if I’m asked to work on something in any capacity, I’ll give my all, and if that means adding or redoing parts then that’s what I’ll do. And generally I won’t mention what I’ve done to the client.
I should also add that I’m just as comfortable running a project as I am being part of a team. I find having the freedom of no responsibility just as stimulating as being the final decision maker. In fact one feeds the other; not having responsibility allows me to think boldly, and having responsibility stops me from being reckless.
I was asked by my then close friend, the late Hugh Murphy, to engineer a Gerry Rafferty album, Snakes and Ladders, at Air Montserrat. It was a pretty odd session from the start. I got the feeling that people were more interested in sitting by the pool and drinking pina coladas than they were in making the record. One day, while listening back to a take of a song that wasn’t sounding particularly good, the guitar player, Richard Brunton, asked me what I thought might improve things. I suggested that he play a couple of inversions higher so as to get out of the way of the piano. He agreed and said he’d try it on the next run through. Gerry, pretty drunk at this point, saw us talking and asked him what I’d said. Richard explained and Gerry looked at me and, in a really unpleasant way, told me to mind my own business and to just stick to the engineering. This was a turning point for me, not only for the rest of the time in Montserrat, but for ever. Everyone has an opinion. You don’t have to agree but if they’re willing to express one, at least give them the common courtesy of listening. All the same, Gerry was a truly really amazing artist…..