A&M Chapter Twenty One Down By Law

So I made fast friends with this guy named Hunter Oswald.  The drummer.  He played drums.  Like a motherfucker.  As soon as I heard him I was happy to work with him.

The experience of making this record was daunting and cardio pulmonary.  It was hard and I complained.  I whined.  Mark Harvey reminded me that if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.  I wonder what he thought that day.  A mere few years earlier he told me I lacked confidence while I stood in front of the same desk and he was absolutely right both times.

He told me to shut up and get on with it.  Both times.

Mark charged us next to not a damn thing for Studio C while we had it locked out.  I think our bill might have been as low as $17k.

Best boss I ever had.

So this prick’s name was Hunter and he was a fucking punk.  He celebrated his 21st birthday during the making of, and I threw him out of the control room for participating in record making while drunk and surly.  It wasn’t really hard to do because I liked him.  He was a cynical, mocking, steps ahead little bastard.  Barely corrigible because he was so smart and so reckless.

Great goddamn drummer.  I don’t know how he plays now but when I recorded him he was Keith Moon meets Phil Rudd.  Really.  A buck twenty five maybe, but he’d chop up cymbals and burn through a snare head in two takes.  He had a way of looking at you and mocking you with a shit eating smug fucking grin that warmed the cockles of my heart.


It was like I saw him and he knew it.  Plate of shrimp.

He told me once that he thought of me as an older brother.  I don’t flatter easily but that blew my skirt up.  I had the privilege of doing another record with him and it was just the most entertaining and somewhat nuclear of experiences.  Do yourself a favor and read it:  http://brainspank.org/wordpress/?p=102

We’d been in rehearsal for a few weeks.  We had no name for the record.  Half the songs didn’t have titles.  I knew what they sounded like and I had some ideas but this was seat of the pants for me.  I was totally winging it.  Alex took the wheel while I swam around and figured out what I needed to do.

We hung some huge poster board at the entrance of the control room for possible album titles.

They had this roadie they were all fond of.  His name was Jimbo.  He contributed “Whiskey Dick Chaos”, “Fuck & Suck Circus” and “Ebola Ain’t Shit” to the conversation.  The album was eventually to be called “Punkrockacademyfightsong”.  He could drink a 16 oz. Guinness in like three seconds.  After four of those, the power of Christ compelled him out of the control room too.

I may have told this story before.  Hunter is on the couch to the left in the very front lobby of A&M.  He knows The Stones are across the hall and he spends his off time making friends out front because he knows that’s where everyone comes and leaves from.  He doesn’t have a lot to do because he’s the drummer and he’s barely post adolescent.   And It happens.  One night Hunter is hanging out and in walks Keith Richards.  I was there.  Hunter was off the couch lickety split and he said, “Keith Richards” while pointing………

and Keith said, “Funny you should say that, that’s my fucking name.”

I eventually figured out what to do with the record.  As soon as I did, it was over and time to mix.

I was seeing Jules Bergman’s daughter.  Beth.  He was the science correspondent for ABC when I was a kid and covered all the cool stuff during the seventies including the Apollo Soyuz link up.  She had a great rack some freckles in her cleavage and rosy nipples, a moon rock, webbed feet, great lips and a beautiful blue eyed Sheppard Husky mix named Girl.  She was a lawyer and played violin and she was interesting.

I showed her the difference between tube and solid state amps.  I made her her a tube girl.

I’d recently stopped seeing an international Penthouse Pet I met in traffic court while bargaining with a judge over my shitbox VW Bug and the boot on it.  She was so hot I was intimidated.  Damn.  Her name was Olivia and she had a trust fund and a condo.  Damn.  My vagina was huge.  She was in AA but kept cognac in the cupboard for me and she made heaping steaming bowls of pasta.  She lived in Brentwood.  I knew she was older but she never let on how much.

I imagine coke was her vice.  She told me George Carlin was her sponsor.

When she wanted sex, she invited me into the bedroom to watch a movie.  She was hotter than Georgia asphalt.  She would remind me the VCR was in the bedroom.  She’d smile and ask me if I wanted to watch a movie.  Olive skin, tan lines, silk bras and lace panties.

I was about to mix the first record I’d ever recorded and tried to produce and my head felt like it was consumed by bees and ants.  We started in D.  Arguably the worst sounding console at A&M.  Beth was with me that night I pushed the faders up and began to listen to what I had.  The working title of the song was ‘Sam Police’ but it became “Minusame”.  We ended up remixing most if not all we did in D, manually in C.

Beth was wearing a Stones T-shirt that night and her tits were a major distraction.  Beth once got me drunk and fooled me into boning her while she was menstruating.  It was dark and she kept telling me not to look down.  One morning I woke up and she’s already been to the store and returned with raisin bread, orange juice and condoms.

She called cognac “wood drinks”.

I did know when I pushed those faders up that we had a record.

Somewhere in there was this adorable young black woman.  Lexi.  I really don’t remember where I met her or how we knew each other but she gave me a pedicure and a blowjob for my birthday.  It was dark and rained hard the next day.  She had small but perfect breasts and had just pierced one with a tiny silver hoop.  She spent the night at my place in Hollywood.  I drove her home past collapsed apartment buildings in the Valley.  She was beautiful and I don’t even know her full name.  We saw each other only a handful of times probably because I was a mess.

Drinks for my friends.

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