Olivia has been taking pictures of me holding guitars, not necessarily my guitars but other people’s guitars. For example, the picture of me with the two sixties Rickenbackers is me holding sessioneer Brian’s guitars and the picture of me with the Coronado bass is me holding Salim’s bass. In a perfect world, I would get to play Brian’s guitars, but he’s such a great guitarist that he doesn’t really need me to do anything apart from get the best out of him and that’s quite easy because everything I say he gets and does and when you produce something, and you know you can get more out of someone because they are so good, and you know they’ve got it in them, and they trust you, then that’s a fantastic feeling for everybody – especially the listener who ultimately benefits from the work we put into the music we make.
In the studio today, Rajan was playing the acoustics on one of the songs, John was straightening out the bass and drums on two songs, and I was next playing electric guitar. I tried Paul’s Strat, and my Gretsch but finally settled on Salim’s 1983 Rickenbacker which sparkled on the top and resonated on the bottom. I had to work out lots of parts for the song, and it took me throughout the evening to do it, figuring out what to do, learn it, play it and make sure it’s what the song was asking for. I changed from the Rickenbacker arpeggios and chords to the Piers Crocker for the lead solos, through the trusty Archer pedal, the Bad Cat and the 1971 Fender Super Reverb.
As Rajan was playing the acoustic and doing a guide vocal, I had one eye on the Champions League final. It looked like a great match, but I only had the picture. Man City won 1-0 over Inter Milan, there’s no second prize in sport, that’s why music is so cool because coming first doesn’t make you the best. Of course, there’s the team that looks the best on paper, like say Paris St. Germain and there are the huge groups like Muse or Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, or Foo Fighters but for me, they’ll never make a record as good as Robert Wyatt’s Rock Bottom and Boydie will always love Plymouth Argyle first.
I’m up too late, I have a sesh in the morning with Abby and Nick in Santa Fe and a long day in the studio with Rajan singing, Rich on keys, and Olivia on violin. Still, it’s the best place to be, and we’re glad of the air conditioning in the Texan heat. Just getting out of Sarah’s car and walking to the studio door is uncomfortable. Everyone tells me, “just wait”.