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January 18, 2024 94 mins

He played with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He co-wrote and produced "Freeway of Love" for Aretha Franklin and "How Will I Know" for Whitney Houston. And he tells a great story. Even if you're unfamiliar with Narada, you know his work, and you'll love listening to him.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:08):
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome back to the Bob left Such Podcast.
My guess is NARDA. Michael Walder, musician, producer extraordinaire. You
have a new album. Why now it feels good?

Speaker 2 (00:23):
Man? I still up my jesues, my vitality, I still
feel sexy. I still feel young, like nineteen vibe coming down.
And I love to sing and play. So it's just
my offering to the world to always keep music in
the world. It's my job, it's my passion, it's my
lift for so it makes me feel good.

Speaker 1 (00:41):
Yeah. Yeah, but the game has changed since you started,
and it's much harder to get recognized. How does that
feel in terms of recording it, you know, and getting
the music heard?

Speaker 2 (00:54):
Well, the recording is the same, the process. I enjoy
making the songs, producing records, do what I do. You're
right about the actual game how to get heard. So
I just pimped YouTube, Spotify's whatever there are out there,
and whatever radios are kind to me to play me.

Speaker 1 (01:10):
I want it all. But you're right.

Speaker 2 (01:12):
I don't have a big major, you know, pumping it
down on the hour hour.

Speaker 1 (01:17):
I missed that tremendously. I really do. Okay, you have
a track on the album That's Got Superstars, Sting, Stevie Wonder,
Carlos Santana. How did that come together?

Speaker 2 (01:31):
Oh God, bless you, thank you so much. Yeah, this
song I kind of started working on years years back.
It's a process. Carlos Santana inspired me with this African music,
and I took one of those ideas I heard and
then made a new jam called the More I Love
My Life, and I asked Carlos come play on it,
and he did. And when playing with Carlos, I got

the inspiration to have Stevie Wonder do harmonica work with me.
So I made spaces for Stevie and get Stevie right away.
I then went to New York to do a rainforest
show with Sting, one of the I do like thirteen shows.
One of those shows, he came early. I said, come in,
come in early. It's like, have you record a vocal
on this song I've got for you.

Speaker 1 (02:12):
He was very kind.

Speaker 2 (02:13):
He came in the studio Jamanndricks's studio, Let's Letric lady
Land Studios, and just sang it quickly, beautiful harmonized little thing,
and we were so happy with a good sound. I
then went to Los Angeles where you are, I think,
and got Capitol Studios Stevie Wonder. He came in with
a box of harmonicas and found the right key for

the song. And then when they started hearing what the
Carlos was playing, what was going on, then he kind
of little the fire started doing these amazing things on harmonica.
So it just kind of came together magically. But now
it's the right time to put it out. I thought,
didn't want to wait it longer, and I found a
partner named Leno nort Nicolosi, who's just a good cat
to kind of bounce my ideas with and keep us

sounding kind of fresh for now, and that's what we did,
put it together for now to come out.

Speaker 1 (03:00):
So I'm happy that. Well, let's go to the route.
The song is inspired by another song, right, yeah, yeah,
tell me about that.

Speaker 2 (03:09):
Oh okay, there's a cat named Ishmaelo with two French
cats that put together the song very similar, and Ishmaelo
inspired me so much. In fact, he's singing something on
this version. I want his voice for that Africa connection.
So yeah, that's all it is. It's just like a
beautiful melody I loved and to put my own lyrics

with a cat name Jeffery Cohen, who helped me compose
Freeway of Love for Rutha. Franklin's a great lyric writer.
We put together a new idea around this idea we'd heard,
and that's the more I love my life exactly as
it is. The more I love my life, the more
I feel your kiss.

Speaker 1 (03:45):
This is the message. So how do you know these people?
How do you know Carlos? Oh?

Speaker 2 (03:50):
Okay, good question. I've met Carlos and I was like
about damn nineteen years old because I came to mah Vishnina.
I wanted to become a disciple of of of Guru
Fishtration Moy with Mahavish and Jah mcglalklin for the spirituality
of the love, so I wouldn't die. My heroes were
like Jimmy Hendrick's Okay, that's my hero and my generation

could could die so easily. So when I heard John
mcglalklin playing his music with Marvish Orchestra in Harvard, Connecticut
with Billy Cobbham, just on fire and so pure. And
when I met John that night, he told me it
was largely due to his prayer life, his meditation life
that was helping him. And I said, yeah, I know.

I see on the back of your album Jackets, these
poems by your Guru. He said, I'm going to see
the Guru at six in the morning in Queens, New York,
and I'll tell him I met you. And from that
moment I got a phone call back, like maybe like
a week later, he said, come meet the Guru. He'll
be in Norwak, Connecticut. Go meet him. I was very

surprised at Marvis dud this great man would call me. Anyway,
I lived way up in the woods in Canaan, Connecticut
with another band called the New Maguire Sisters, which was
Ralph armstrong On based with some bad cats. But anyway,
when he called me, I was so surprised. Look Abraham
Lincoln calling me. He called me the phones that come
come to meditation. I wanted to meet meet, to meet
the Guru. I became a disciple that night. It really

inspired my life to kind of feel like I had
been found by the Mavish new his teacher to inspire
me and kind of keep me going. And not long
after Johnson's come from visit me in Queens, I went
to Queens and when I went to Queen's to go
visit him. Out of his house walks Carlos Santana, and

of course we all know Carlo Santana, so it's a
big to do to meet him. And he was also
a disciple and we've been friends ever since seventy three.

Speaker 1 (05:51):
Actually, okay, how were you with the gig? And how
did you meet John McLaughlin?

Speaker 2 (05:58):
Very sweet, thank you. I walked in the gig. I
had a limousine driver named Greg Fell, our manager had
an old limousine drove me down from Canaan, Connecticut to.

Speaker 1 (06:09):
Heart for Connecticut.

Speaker 2 (06:10):
And when I got there, as God would have it,
there was a bright shining light on the stage and
Mab Schnu with a double a guitar was going at
it hardcore with Billy cobbmon on drums in some odd
meter of nineteen whatever.

Speaker 1 (06:23):
It was.

Speaker 2 (06:26):
So incredible to this day it stained my soul, the
power and the magisty of what they were doing, just
the two of them. And then they would stop on
a diam if they wanted to, and go back at it.

Speaker 1 (06:38):
And I was so meserzed.

Speaker 2 (06:40):
I went right down to the lip of the stage
to look up in his eyes and see what's going on,
you know, is it memorize what's he doing? And I
see his eyes back in his head, and then I
realized it's just like he's in a trance and these
notes are like bullets flung out a guitar, just channeling
his higher being and that's what he was doing.

Speaker 1 (07:02):
That so turned me on.

Speaker 2 (07:03):
I said, this is what I want to do. I
want to be able to do what I see him
do tonight. Just channel my higher being what he's doing.
No drugs, you know, no no LSD, no more, no
more stuff, just pure, pure soul, pure God.

Speaker 1 (07:16):
And uh.

Speaker 2 (07:17):
That night in the audience, I met a disciple I
could tell his all white, had shorty air.

Speaker 1 (07:22):
His name was a paik Shah. He recently just passed away.

Speaker 2 (07:25):
But in the audience theory was and I said, hey,
I have to meet meet my Vishnu. I met Anna Carmel.
I did another disciple in Florida when I was living
down there. Hook me up so I can just go
backstage and meet him. He said, okay, wait and I
waited and he came back and got me and I
went back in the back stage area and there was
like two little rooms back there and on one other

room which is locked off. I could hear Cobbin Janhamer.
Those cats just talking high energy talk like coal trane talk,
you know, McCoy tyner talk, just you know, really high.
And then poked his hat out and said, wait in
that small room right there for me. So I waited
in a little small room and then when he came in,

it was life changing. His face was so beautiful and
his speak was so English slash black mixture. I never
heard anything like it. How are you, brother, I said,
I'm really great man. My name is Michael Walden. I
played drums. I want to be like you, and I
just told him, you know, so that's how I was

able to meet him.

Speaker 1 (08:37):
Are you still a disciple today?

Speaker 2 (08:40):
Yes, the Guru has passed on, but in my heart
of hearts, the messages I've learned are with me every day,
which is very simple. Just to have more love, more
love and compassion.

Speaker 1 (08:53):
You okay, the Guru gave you a new name. Tell
us about that.

Speaker 2 (08:58):
Well, that didn't come to like later on by I
would have long time to get a name. I became
a disciple, you know when I was like, you know,
seven seventy three, and then I didn't get a name.
Like seventy six, just before my first solo album, Garden
Love Light, I already made wired all the Mafish orchestras
I had no I was Michael. He said, at the
time is now for you to receive your name. I

never wanted to spoil you, but the time is now.
And he said it's called God's hour. This is God's
hour for you to receive your name. And when he
gave him my name, I was kind of like, like
very prayerful, and he started chanting like.

Speaker 1 (09:32):
No row.

Speaker 2 (09:37):
Dum this when on round and round and round and around.

Speaker 1 (09:41):
I didn't know if my name was my name is.

Speaker 2 (09:43):
Nah Rah or dah until he said Narada Narda, your
soul is sweet. Your soul brings from heaven to Earth light,
delight and compassion and takes back to Heaven from earth
earth sufferings. Throw yourself into your music. Throw yourself into
your music. And then he said the name Narda was

a name from a sage to a sage who lived
in India who had three different Indian incarnations. You want
to hear about those, yeah, he said, Narda's soul first
was a young boy. He lived in the woods, with
his mother, who served the hermits. She served the hermits

their food as they would meditate and pray, and Narda
would help serve the food. And Guru said, one day
the mother died of a snake bite, and the hermits
took Narda in and they taught him how to pray
and meditate. And Guru said, the first time that he
learned to pray and meditate, he had a vision of

God in his heart. He said, it never happened again
in that lifetime, just that one time he had a
vision of God in his heart. Then in the second
lifetime he came back to the planet as Narda again.
And then Guru said, temptation really caught him. In this lifetime,
he had fifty wives and they drove him crazy. Then

he went back to heaven. After that lifetime, he said,
I don't want to go back to Earth anymore. But
then God said, no, you're going back to the third incarnation,
and this incarnation you'll be Narda. But I will give
you spiritual music to play on the vina. I'll teach
you spiritual songs to sing. And then Guru said, in
this lifetime is the lifetime that became more known for

Narada as far as the blacka ba Ghita come. You
know stories how it could appear and disappear. And then
he said, I want to tell you one story about
Narda in this lifetime, as far as the third incarnation
of Narada and waiting for God's hour, so he said,
one day, Narda was walking along the road and he

saw a very austere man meditating in preys by a tree.
And the austere man recognized Narda, and he said, Narda,
on your way back to heaven, would you ask God
about my realization? And Narda said yes, I will. And
then Nada walked further along that road and he saw

kind of a crazy fellow, a lunatic fellow, and the
crazy fellow kind of jokingly asked Narda, Oh, Narda, on
your way back to heaven, would you ask God about
my realization? And Nada said yes, I will. So then
when Nada went back to heaven, God said, tell the

first austere gentleman, very good news for him. It is
only a matter of thirty short years and he would
realize me in this lifetime. But tell the lunatic the
crazy fellow, tell him that as many leaves as are
on the Tamarin tree where he's standing. That is how

many lifetimes you will have to take to come back
to earth before he will realize me. So Narda goes
back to Earth. He's walking along that road again. There
he sees the austere gentleman. He says to the austere gentleman,
I have very good news for you. The good Lord
has said it is only a matter of thirty short

years and you will realize me in this lifetime. And
the man said, you mean it will take me thirty
more years of meditation. That seems to be such a
long time. Then Narda tried to explain to him that
he could easily do this, that thirty years would go
by quickly, he would have a good time meditation and

see God in this life.

Speaker 1 (13:48):
But the man wasn't happy with this news. The austere
gentleman was not happy with this news.

Speaker 2 (13:55):
Narda kept walking down that road further and then he
sees the crazy lunatic, the crazy fellow, and the lunatic
again jokingly says, so, Narda, did you ask God about
my realization? And Narda said, yes, I did. Do you
see all these leaves on this tree, on this on
this on this tamarin tree. And the gentleman said, yes,

I do. I see all the leaves. And Narda said,
as many leaves as are on this tamarin tree. That
is how many lifetimes you must come back to the
earth before you ever realize God. And Lunsik said, you mean.

Speaker 1 (14:33):
I will realize God. He started dancing.

Speaker 2 (14:36):
He started singing very soulfully that Narda told him one
day he realized God. This so pleased God watching this
whole thing unfold, that God granted him instant realization at
that moment. Then gru said, this is the story of
waiting for God's hour. God's hour is now here for
you to receive your name, Narda. So this is how

I received my name Narada, which means supreme musician.

Speaker 1 (15:07):
Okay, what is Shri shin Moy's basic philosophy basic religious philosophy?

Speaker 2 (15:14):
Schrechin MOI comes from ponditary India in the Shri Rabindo Ashram,
raised in the Ashram. And it's love, It's bakhdi, it's
bacta yoga, it's love. He breaks it down into love, devotions,
surrender to God, the three steps to love God, to
have devotion to God, have surrender. So it's looking at

life in that regard of love, which is the most
important of all devotion. To have devotion, and then surrender
is really for me being happy, being happy with my life.
I feel like when I'm happy, my sail is up.
I can catch God's grace. I can feel the love
and work with the love and be inspired to talk

to you. Now, Bobby, be inspired talk to you. I'm
looking forward to talking to you.

Speaker 1 (16:02):
Is this the same God that other people pray to
in other Western religions or Eastern religions. Is it all
the same God or a different God?

Speaker 2 (16:13):
Well, God is God. But you know we look at
God in different ways and that's all good. So you know,
in fact, Groom, I say, God could appear to him
as a child. God can appear to him as a
old man. God can appear in different different forms. But
the creator, the energy of God is one one source.
And I look at like spirituality and religion. Look a tree.

A tree has many many branches, you know, Buddhist and
Protestant and Catholic and all these different ways of looking
at God, Muslims. But then guruus say, aspire to be
one with the roots of the tree. So no matter
what the branches are, you still have love and see God.
So this is where I'm coming from. My life is
spirituality to love God in all forms. But the Creator

that I love in.

Speaker 1 (17:00):
My personal heart inspires my music, inspires my life, inspires
everything I do. Okay, if you go back to this era,
you were a follower of the Guru. So was John McLauchlan,
Carlos c and Tiana Pete Townshend. Are they all still
followers now?

Speaker 2 (17:22):
Mavish Knew is very much in touch with the same
spirit of Guru. He'll ask me, am I talking to
the different disciples or you know how I'm doing in
my spiritual life. So he's still very conc connected, and
so is Carlos. Carlos will put out aphorisms of Guru
with some music going on, and he's very much talking
to me about the things he learned on the spiritual
life in the Spurgi of path that was life changing

for him. Pete Townsend, you mentioned he was never a
disciple that I knew of. I went and saw Pete
Townsend with who at Madis Square Garden. John took me
to go and see him and I met him. Now
in my life, but he wasn't a disciple, but Mavish
knew was clearly there, very voted and Carlos Santana's well.

Speaker 1 (18:03):
Okay, So that gig where you go to see the
mahel Vishnu Orchestra, you're in a band at that time, Yes,
I am.

Speaker 2 (18:12):
The band at that time was called the New McGuire
Sisters with Santa Churan on guitar, a brilliant guitar player.
We'd flown Ralph Armstrong in from Detroit who was about
sixteen seventeen years old. He was brilliant on piano. Another
Captain Detroit and Billy McCoy and we had a little
manager and we'd rock out every day in our barn
and this barn was incredible. We could just like take

an inspiration from Mavis Schnorkers, taken inspision with things, be
loved whether whatever they were, and just you know, hone
our crafts and get strong, build our muscles. Playing in seven,
nine eleven different times of signatures with the funk and
I can develop myself as a drummer. So it's really
important to have that that time in my life.

Speaker 1 (18:52):
Yeah, okay, And what was the status of the band.
How successful were they?

Speaker 2 (18:58):
It was trying to become successful with a cat named
TiO Massaro, who was the producer for Miles Davis. But
then that never really worked out, and that was part
of my frustration. I kind of felt like, how am
I ever going to make it? Am I ever going
to make it? That was always my prayer, how will
I make it? Because I really want it to be,
you know, able to make a living with music and

not just struggle.

Speaker 1 (19:27):
Okay, so you're originally from the Midwest. I am from
Klamua Zuo, Michigan, Kalamazoom, Michigan. And what kind of circumstances
did you grow up in? Uh, circumstances. I'm born in
nineteen fifty two April twenty third, and we're not raised
with like a lot a lot of money, but there's
a lot of love.

Speaker 2 (19:46):
My mom was aldost a six. In her family, they're
very music driven. They love music. My mom aunt Mary,
the twins Vicka and Valerie, Edgar and Travis, they love
the music and they're always playing the music. And that's
where I got, uh the inspiration to hear the music
so early in my life, hearing Nina Simon when I'm
four years old, cannibell Adelie, you know, Dave brew Beck,

Jimmy Smith. Everything played in the house, even Everly Brothers,
Patty Page, Okay Cod Johnny Mathis. Everything is being played
all the time. That was so important for my life.
Then my dad was eighteen years old when he had me.
My mom was nineteen, and he wanted to be a drummer.
But he was a drummer. But he wanted to be
a drummer. So he'd bring him an album of Max
Roach versus Buddy Rich so I could hear that kind

of thing going on. So we weren't raised over like
a lot a lot of money. In fact, they were custodians.
They would clean buildings. My grandfather would clean all the
buildings in downtown Kalamba Zoo. But I learned something from
that watching them and working with them, how to be efficient.
Boom boom, boom boom, get things done quickly, make things
clean quickly, do things quickly, which has served me to

this day as a producer. But that's how I was
raised up in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Speaker 1 (20:57):
And how many kids in the family. I'm the oldest
of six.

Speaker 2 (21:01):
There's me, there's Ron, who's passed away in Heaven, Cavin
whos passed away in Caaven, Chris has passed away in heaven.
And then my two sisters, Yolanda and Edie. Yolanda flies
for the Alaska Airlines, and he is a doctor out
here for children.

Speaker 1 (21:15):
And what did the rest of them do in their lives?

Speaker 2 (21:18):
Oh Ron was like a carpenter for a long time,
then became a bartender, had.

Speaker 1 (21:22):
Some issues with alcohol, and the Good Lord took him
out of here.

Speaker 2 (21:27):
Kevin, my brother, Kevin, was a manager for me for
a long time, worked at worked worked with me very beautifully.
When I was doing my Wooden Houston stuff, you know,
Shanny Schwolson stuff, havivn Campbell stuff. We went to Japan
together with a lot of a lot of great things.
My mom kind of passed away, which he looked after
my mom. I kind of felt he kind of lost
some business inspiration and he went to heaven.

Speaker 1 (21:49):
Okay, so you're going to school, Yeah, what's that like.
You're a good student, you're a popular kid, you're isolated?
What kind of kid are you? In school?

Speaker 2 (21:59):
It was all hard. Studies were hard. We went from Kalamazoo, Michigan.
I moved. See, I did my kindergarten first half a
first grade in Kalamazoo, then moved to a place called Plainwell
the second half of first grade. And that was a
very strange kind of period of the way out in
the country, you know, realizing I was in the same

color as everybody else. That was first when I heard
the N word out there, It's like, wow, what is
all this going on? But I fell in love with
some of the kids in the school. A little girl
in particular, was so beautiful. So I went to the
public school from in Plainwell second half of first grade.
In all second grade, I fell in love with my teacher,
Missus Prowdy. She was so beautiful. Then from third grade

to eighth grade, we had to take a second bus
to go to a place called Otzigo, Michigan for Saint Margaret's.
That was a Catholic school. We had massive morning you
pray every morning, and I prayed for drum sets. I'd
bring my drum magazine, prayed for the drum sets, you know,
greens or red, sparkle whatever. So that's how I was
kind of like, you know, making it in my life.
Then my grandfather was really kind to me for the

one hundred dollars bill in sixty one sixty two bought
my first drum set, a bass drum, a snare drum, cymbol,
cow bell and woodblock, and that really freed me. I
really had. I was so looking forward to to the
drums I could just play. And then for Christmas they
got a high hat, so that was also very very important.

Speaker 1 (23:26):
Okay, so how did you know you wanted to play
the drums? Oh man?

Speaker 2 (23:29):
Born and born to play music. You don't understand me.
When I'm little, I watched record spin and just be
hypnotized watching the record spin, or stare at an album jacket,
you know, a woman dancing to the mambo or whatever.
Or here Peggy Lee and you're sharing, you know, the
beauty in the in the beat. Or just tap along,
get a pie, ten, get a box, play the Nimon's

Laba town all play along with horse silvers, six pieces
of silver. There was a cat out of Detroit we
all heard about named Lewis Hay. He'd be eighteen years
old when I'm four or five. He was, and they
would say he's he's a hot new cat. So I
just try and play.

Speaker 1 (24:05):
Along with him.

Speaker 2 (24:07):
So that's how it always was just music all the time.
My family loved it, loved it. You understand when you're
hearing the radio even twisted and shot by Oisley Brothers.
He'd be like life changing the sound of the record.
Small things are big things, and don't forget in Michigan,
the snow, the cold. You know you're indoors, so you

find things to do indoors. So playing on, playing music
and playing the piano very important. And then I have
to also say to you, like different sides of me,
one side by be hearing like the who I can
see for Miles and Miles get a little guitar player
over the basement and bash with him. Then I'd have

another friend and kalamazoo. My little black friend, nam Joel Brooks.
We put together a little group called the Ambassadors. He
played like Oregan. I played drums. We'd do like our
little Jimmy Smith stuff. And his uncle would own a
night club call the Ambassador Lounge where I can go
in there and kind of play for the people before
Jim McGriff would come in or whoever's gonna come into
town to play. So early exposure in my life that

was really important, really important. Little talent shows. Yeah, okay,
are you self taught her?

Speaker 1 (25:17):
Did you take lessons? I'm I have a god gift
of it, of it a natural thing.

Speaker 2 (25:22):
But then I learned snare drum from a cat named
Tom Carey downtown Kalamazoo at Bobby Davidson's music store. Tom
carry be downstairs and he would teach me the rudiments,
you know, five stroke, seven stroke, you know, paradittals, and
how to strengthen my left hand.

Speaker 1 (25:40):
So that was important.

Speaker 2 (25:41):
And then I found another teacher on the north side
kalama Zoo named Harold Mason. He then became the druman
for Stevie Wonder and he would teach me independency. He
would say, there's a book by a cantnamed Jim Chapin
called the Blue Book of Independency, and I need you
to break your mind up so you can do change
jan and changeing with your right hand. And then when

your left hand play against it whatever it is written
out different things against it, so you're playing two different things.
Then you incorporate your feet into it, you know, you
bring your basetrum into it, you bring your high end
to it, and now your brain's thinking four different ways.
So he was hero Mason was instrumental in breaking up
my It's called independency. So I could be free on
four different things, and if you sing, it's five. So

I have to have to give a lot of love
to that time of my life, which is hard to
kind of master, like riding a bike. But then once
you kind of get it, it feels good to you. In fact,
if I'm honest with you, it's just now my life
that I'm kind of free with it.

Speaker 1 (26:37):
I could take all those lessons in me and be
free with it. Yeah, okay, so you're playing When do
you start playing out with other people? How old are
you with the Ambassadors of the eleven got eleven? Yeah, eleven.
Do you finish high school? Yes? I do.

Speaker 2 (26:58):
I left home though I left home my second, my
junior and senior years of high school. I left home
because I needed to kind of just branch out more now,
and I worked at a place called the sanitarium where
I could make my living. You know, you take care
of the kids who ran away or burn the house down.
You play music for them, you know, like Calm Leaven

on a jet play. You put those kind of songs
for those kids, kind of calm them, and then you
go to what's called seclusion wards from seven thir to
nine nine o'clock, there's four seclusion rooms. You clean them,
wash the chain, the bedding, you know, wash them, you know,
unstrap them, all those things, put them back because they
had metal issues.

Speaker 1 (27:38):
So I learned that early in my life, different sides
of people's. And then at the same time, I have
my little bands.

Speaker 2 (27:45):
At that time, i'd have a band called this is
this is in the far where I played keyboards, left hand, bass,
right hand organ whatever, sing it, get the smells, play drums,
and then have bands like that. So and then you
learn the most current song pongs like Junior Walker's uh
what does it take? Because he's from Battle Creek, Michigan

not far away. Chris Motown music is so close. Chicago's
so close. It's all right there. So yeah, I understand,
you know. And then you're you're playing out for people,
You're you're you're always around the experience. And then even
like high school, Okay, your prom, I didn't go to
the problem.

Speaker 1 (28:22):
I played the prom. You know, and you know who
you are. You're playing expressway to your heart town. You know,
you're you're rocking. So it's all that kind of thing happening. Yeah, yeah,
So how'd you learn how to play the organ? Uh?

Speaker 2 (28:37):
I love the bass lines of Jimmy Smith, and I
have my friend Joe Brooks teaching me the base lines
because the baselines themselves are just like genius.

Speaker 1 (28:44):

Speaker 2 (28:46):
That he could play that and play the comp and
the lead on top and his feet is mind blowing.
People don't understand what a genius Jimmy Smith is and
those organ players players of that time.

Speaker 1 (28:57):
So I had Joel Joel teach me how to play
the baselines, you know. Yeah, okay, you talk about top
forty hits like Expressway to your Heart, you talk about jazz,
you talk about I can see for miles. Oh yeah,
there's a corner kopy of music. Where are you and
where do you think you want to go?

Speaker 2 (29:15):
At that point, I didn't know. I didn't know everything. Obviously,
I'm very tender at that time in my life. You know,
my dad would say, well, you know, you can sing
the Beatles stuff of you know, Hugh say hello, I
say goodbye. You can take that kind of thing. Maybe
we should do a family group. I said, no, we
shouldn't do a family group. Dad, don't let's not do

a family group, you know. But you know, I just
always loved just doing it. So I didn't know where
was it really go as far as my life. I
just knew that was what I did.

Speaker 1 (29:46):
Every day.

Speaker 2 (29:46):
I'd rush home from school to hear Soul Serenac in Choris.
I'd rush home from school to hear April and Paris,
you know count Basie, you know the drums. I'd rush
home from school to hear maybe the beginning of Johnny
mathis boo doo do ya boo, do do ya boo
do do boo doo de yabooy deeta doody boo, you know,

so a certain smile. I would always be like infatuated
with that. But I didn't know to tell you what
was gonna actually come up come of it. All I
ever knew was as I got a little bit older,
you know, my grandpa would always say, you know, can
you make a living playing this music?

Speaker 1 (30:28):
So that would be all my mind.

Speaker 2 (30:31):
And then I went to college about three semesters and
I realized that wasn't gonna work for me because I
wasn't able to play drums enough in this college. So
on my last day of semesters. This band came through
town called Decon Williams and Sole Revival, these white cats
from Fresno out in Kalamazoo in a school bus. They said,
we heard about you and we want you to join
us and come play some some clubs with us, iputed

by drums. And then in that in that bus we
head off to Flint, Flint, Michigan and played some like
Little I Hado type clubs and some other little clubs
around the area. Came back even through Kalamazoo, played them there.
The band was funky. There were some funky white boys
and we were hitting it. And then we took off
to go out to California and that was my first

experience doing purple Haze, LSD and all that, which was incredible.
When we finally got to La you know, out in
Malibu and seeing the ocean and my brother and I
on the beach down there, you know, they're passing around
whatever little LSD and that then the water, the ocean
would come in. My brother took a big staff and
look at the water go red, you know, the ocean

wand comeing to red, orange or purple, and the water
coming to all those colors, and my mind got so
open on the LSD. But then after a while we
play some some shows in California, in La and all
that Hollywood, you know, and then that band broke up.
I decided had stay in La. I'd stay in La.

And it was so hard to make it man, so hard, uh,
because La was kind of heartless. You could just down
the road and wouldn't have nobody even care. So again,
how am I gonna make it? This this eternal thing?
And then we had a cousin, a few cousins. One
cousin said, come and live with me for a while,
named Philip, Philip Hackley, my mom's family.

Speaker 1 (32:19):
He took us in.

Speaker 2 (32:20):
I had to brought my little drum set in the
little bedroom there so I could still play a little bit.
I got a job working downtown in LA at the
shipping receiving type place. You wrap clothing. You wrap clothing
as I'm wrapping clothing here in music all the time.
You wrap the clothing. Then I got smart one day
I said, you know, I have another cousin. He's a doctor.
Maybe he can help me get a little further down
the road with this thing. So I called him.

Speaker 1 (32:42):
His name is R. Hackley and I go to visit R. Hackley.
He had a he had a.

Speaker 2 (32:48):
A doctor jointed out near Watts and I go out
and visit him, and he says, well, you know, you
can stay out out here in Watts area. And then
he sees my drum set. He says, wait a minute, No,
you can't stay here. They'll steal you. They'll steal your stuff.
You got to come with me out to Pasadena where
I live. Oh okay, So I got to Pasadena, up

in the hills of Altadina, beautiful place, I mean, swimming
pool everything. And he says, you take this bedroom and
you can practice in the back room. So all you
got to do is keep up place clean, maybe me
some food and take care of the house and then
you can practice here. Oh my god, that changed my life.

Now I got to play in practice and really go
at it. And I said, would work out. Man in Pasadena, California,
downtown the Mobbish Orchestra in the Mounting Flameboulm had just
come out. I had just nobody to buy that album,
and it was transformative, transformative. Anyone who can tell you
about that period of life will tell you that we'd
never heard anything like it. We know about funk from
James Brown, Cole Sweat, we know about jazz, we know

about even some in Indian music. You know Alice coaching
gott An Indian, the Indian music. But we've never heard
colblem with a vision new and with the Marshals playing
the funk in seven nine eleven, what like James Brown
would do on steroids and Fishud's screaming on the guitar,
such precise messages.

Speaker 1 (34:11):
It was just like mind blowing. I was like, who
is this? What is this?

Speaker 2 (34:14):
So I brought it home and then I was able
to study that and kind of shed on it. That
helped me a lot. Shed and I have different different bands,
like I have a cat named Eddie Hazel. He was
a guitar player from part of a Funkadelic and a
band called an album called Maggot Brains, and he was
a mean guitar player and he passed around was called

angel dust. You take one a hit of it and
be like in a different world. But the funk would
be so fast and so clean it prepared me.

Speaker 1 (34:42):
He'd be.

Speaker 2 (34:45):
Check like that you're playing man, oh my god, and
the music just flying around the room. I missed some
other cats up there too. A cat named Gregg on
bass just happened to knock on the door with dead
He says, hey, man, I hear you're playing drum from
ro down there.

Speaker 1 (35:00):
Can I bring my base up here and play with you?

Speaker 2 (35:02):
I said sure, And he brings this big old SVT
and big amplifier and he's playing. He is incredible.

Speaker 1 (35:08):
I kept meeting these incredible cats. It just changed my life.

Speaker 2 (35:13):
Helped me so much in La because I couldn't find
a gig, but at least I'm playing with these guys. Also,
I want to say I did another thing. I joined
this registry on Hollywood on sunset. Will you pay a
sort of amount of money to find musicians to play with?
You put your name in a drum book, then they'll
call you if they look for somebody. But that was

so hard too.

Speaker 1 (35:35):

Speaker 2 (35:36):
Oh god, I did meet one guy who put me
in a band. Uh. That was all right for a minute,
but then I did a bad thing. We were gonna
we're gonna play for this The Stones manager out in
La at this house which is really exotic house, and

an elite singer like like like a like a like
a doors type lead singer and this other count guitar
named Greg greg Beck was his name Greg Beck. He
was phenomenal organ cat bassing myself and my cousins of
all things said you want a little hit of a
of a spliff before you go on the stage. I said, sure,
take a little head of the spliff and I go
on and I'm playing this music. Uh billy billy prestons,

boun't get them?

Speaker 1 (36:20):
She get calm, get coling.

Speaker 2 (36:23):
You're playing this jam. And now the effects of this
spliff are hitting me because now I hit a symbol.
It's like sh drum do everything. He's like due delayed.
I'm so frightened. This has never happened in my life.

Speaker 1 (36:38):
What what what? What's going on with my inside me?

Speaker 2 (36:42):
And now on the singers starting to sing to his song,
and he's looking back at me like like a like
like a devil, like I'm ruining his career because I
really can't focus on the on the time, and I
feel terrible and I kind of stand up and I'm
barely able to kind of walk and I stumble off
the stage and this beautiful blonde haired angel taking care

of me. But the singer is like, I'm gonna kill
that nigga. I'm gonna kill him, and my cousins had
to rush me out of there. We'll come to find
out what I smoked was was this bad angel lost
put me out there, man. So that's why I realized
I really can't mess around with that stuff too much.

Speaker 1 (37:17):
Man. I'm very sensitive and I've blown some some some
things in my life with this that kind of thing.
But then what happened.

Speaker 2 (37:24):
Also, I had to get a job while I live
in Pastena at another nursing home, just to make make
some money. I'm working in the nursing home, and then
I got a phone call from Santa Torano out in
Florida of all places, because saying I'm gonna I'm playing
I'm not gonna play with that Edgar Winner right now.
Put together new band, and I'm hearing about you fly

down to Florida and do an audition with me. I
never been on a plane before. I'm now just just
turning nineteen. So I fly from Pasadena down to Florida
to go meet this cat Santa Torana. When I get there,
it's like a paradise. They've got their own warehouse where
they can they can rock out there's a cat who

can be my own drum tech named Greg Gregor Jovin.
They have their own little manager. He was a paraplegic,
got blown up in the army. They have they have
a little bit of money. They're smoking their little grass
with the where they want. But they're playing a lot
of hand intense music, man, And that's where I can
really take what I learned from Florida, I mean from
La the Oceans of s s, you know, with my

symbol words and play the funk hard and then experiment
odd meters and bring it all together. That's where I
can really kind of find myself with the new MacGuire sisters.
And then in that setting I met Stan Simoley who
worked at the school, the Miami School. In the school
was intense bro over there they got Pat Mactheeney, Hiram Bullock,

Cliff Carter, Patti scalf who's then married Bruce Springsteen. Is
chuck a block with people who are like gonna be
the stars. And then down the road Stan would say,
you gotta go down the road and meet this base player.
So who's is a joco pastorist? Okay, but I go
on meet jocola we'll watch him play. He's dancing, funking,
carrying on like you know, Jocopastoris.

Speaker 1 (39:16):
There he was.

Speaker 2 (39:17):
And then Jacka says, once you come over to my house,
let's jam. So I go to his out and now
we're gonna jam together. You know, he wants playing seven.
I'm a Plan four, and then we switch it. I'm
a plan seven, He'll playing four. He was kind of
crazy like that. We had all these chops. So I
was like, okay, we became friends. We became friends Pat Mactheeni.
Also I rocked out with him. You know, just a

lot of that kind of time in Florida and very
hippie love, you know, Petuli Oil. People really trying to
further themselves. And that's also where I saw the picture
of Guru with Aina Carmel and that whole thing going on.
So I Miami opened my eyes to so many things beautiful.

Then that band then moved to Connecticut, like I was
Sonia Canaan, Connecticut, up up on a barn, you know,
late seventy two going into seventy three.

Speaker 1 (40:12):
It was so cold up there.

Speaker 2 (40:14):
But you know that's where I shut it more and
got myself together more and enough not long after I
was when I went that concert, met mavish New and
then he took me in. And then when I became
a disciple further on, I then moved from there to
not Queens quiet Rick quite yet but yeah down down
closer to New York where I could woods shehd more

and joined a band of disciples called Jotra. Grew said,
play with play with some disciples called Jottra, So I did.
That would be Omar Mesa who had a band called Mandrel,
and Gail Moran on keyboards and a few other people
like that. So I had a chance to work with them,

and that was wonderful. And then not long after, oh
I want to say this, I worked as a bus
boy at Mario's place, picking up slighetty dishes and all.
That's how I made my living. And not long after
I got a phone call around Christmas time but that
year that from mar Vishnu and he would say, I'm
going to visit Guru in Puerto Rico and I'm gonna

call you from Puerto Rico. I said, okay, and he
called me around Christmas time he said, I met with
a Guru. I'm going to change the Mavis Orchestra. I
wonder know what you like to join the band. Now
you understand, Bobby, that's big, that's big talk, because that
band bloom bloom my mind be like joining the Beatles.

Speaker 1 (41:40):
So I was just completely just you know, just an
awe and star struck.

Speaker 2 (41:45):
And he said, when I come back from Puerto Rico,
I'm gonna come to you the house you're in now,
for the place you play with Gaelong people.

Speaker 1 (41:51):
I'll go downstairs and I'll teach you how to play
with me. And he meant it.

Speaker 2 (41:57):
When he came back home in jad January, he came
down on that basement and be just he and I
and we'd rock out, and he would say, okay, now
we're going to play in seven, and don't play the
down beats.

Speaker 1 (42:06):
I'm not gonna play nine. Don't play down beats. Now.

Speaker 2 (42:09):
This was his big thing, this whole cat's mouse thing.
That's when I realized how deep he is.

Speaker 1 (42:14):
This whole Indian.

Speaker 2 (42:17):
Wisdom was so heavy in him that he could play
for like bars and bars and measures and measures without
ever getting a downbeat. So you really had to kind
of learn what he would call the shape of the
rhythm feel this shape of the rhythm, work with his
shape of the rhythm. And that's how I started really
feeling that because it's one thing for me. It's very

easy when I played with a bass player, he's playing
the Meley line to hook up to the odd meter,
but there's no bass now, it realized just upon me
to play with him. So he was really a wonderful
teacher for me and very patient and very beautiful. But
we didn't do too much of that. Then then he
wrote a piece called Him to Him. He said, bring
your bass player, Ralph Armstrong, bring Gail Moran. And then

we learned a piece called Him to Him.

Speaker 1 (43:02):
But I want to say one more thing about that,
but if you don't before I go too far it
because there's one more thing happened just just to that
that was really really pivotal.

Speaker 2 (43:09):
Just before he had asked me to join that band,
one thing happened that I really want you to know
about that was really pivotal in my life.

Speaker 1 (43:15):
He came to let me see how how it happened.

Speaker 2 (43:19):
He played a content with the Fish Orchestra the second
time I ever saw him, at the place called would
Tango would Preserve Outdoors, and I went to that show
and again I'm floored. It's outside by how genius and
the majesty of this band with Yan playing. Now Yan
is kicking serious behind back at Vishnu, incredible everything John plays,

He's playing right back on. Cobbin's on fire, the band's
on fire, Jerry Goodman's on fire. Who I saw with
a band called Flock in Chicago. Okay, Man, there it
is again, just in my face, in my face. This
time I go back to the with a house where
they're staying, and I meet Billy Cobbin for the first time.
He extends his hand to me. Cobblem's hand is like

a baby. The skin is like a baby, so tender.
It's mind blowing how he can play with all that
fire and intensity and have the skin of a baby.
I'm like, how you doing that? And you say, when
I play with my fingers. So that was the first
I really heard about playing with your fingers. It's Cobb
I'm telling me this. So the Vicius says to me,

you lived out too far from here, right, I said, well,
I live in Canaan. He said, well, can you take
me there so I can play with you up there?
Said okay, So he wants me to drive his drive
his station wagon with his brand new Rex Bowl guitar
in the back of the station wagon to my house.

So here I'm driving him the genius with a double neck,
and he's sleeping over two to three hour drive to
my house. And what am I nineteen twenty years old?
I think this is incredible. But when they get to
my house, I run the house. I say, you're not
gonna believe he's in the car. Get it together, Ralph,

Greg Sandy Vicious in the car and in he walked,
and their mouths went bam to the floor.

Speaker 1 (45:22):
And he's so beautiful and humble, you know, and we
just can't believe he's there. So then we want to,
you know, feed him. We used to.

Speaker 2 (45:32):
We either brought the cast role. You know, I know
you're vegetarian. We make them some food. So then yeah, okay.
Then the next morning we have our little cabins. These
are the things I want to make sure I tell you,
cause you're a deep cat. You want to hear the truth.
The next morning, Vicious says, I want to meditate with you.
I said, okay, come into my cabin. I'm like in

my cabin, I set up a little shrine because now
I'm a new disciple. I got a picture, Guru, I
got it. I got flowers, I got some candles, you know,
like a three tiered thing I made out of cement blocks,
a wooden floor, my bed. And he comes in and
he sits on the floor, on the wooden floor, and
I sit next to him, and he goes into this

long meditation. And as a meditation is going on, I'm
so weird. I hear this like a sound of like
a a falcet dripping, like yeah, I think, damn faucet on,
just gonna disturb him, you know. Now I'm pretty gombaut

with the damn fawcet. Then after a long time goes by,
he kind of bows down the floor, but he goes
down to the floor.

Speaker 1 (46:42):
I do the same thing.

Speaker 2 (46:44):
I go down to the floor, and when I come up,
you know, you know, I look at him to bow
to him about, you know, to acknowledge that we're in
the same room, and then a history of what's happened.
His face is completely full with tears, and on the
wooden floor are his tear drops.

Speaker 1 (47:08):
A pool. That was the sound I was hearing. That
frightened me. It made me think maybe I'm not ready
for this. You know.

Speaker 2 (47:21):
It's one thing to say you're ready for something, but
when you see a man who you love so much
in the tears next to you, like that, maybe I'm
not really ready for this. So I had to, you know,
ask myself, you know. But then he was like, let's
go play. So we went across the street to the
barn and hooked it up and went to go play.

And what I want to tell you is this man,
this is the last part of the story. He comes
upstairs in the barn, and this is a mighty, a
mighty gathering of Sandy on guitar, who's great, Billy McCoy, piano,
Rob Armstrong who you now know, but he was like
sixteen seventeen years old, and myself on drums and shamaclauchlan.
And he wants everyone to solo first. And we're playing

the fast funk like like we know he likes, and
we're just and we're rocking it. But then it's his
time to solo. John Macglaukin's turned to solo. My vision.
He sits in a high chair. He's kind of off
to my right. He turns to face me and as
Hugh begins to solo.

Speaker 1 (48:25):
You hear the sound.

Speaker 2 (48:27):
So clear, so precise, so him, it is just daunting,
the precision. But his face, Bobby was a stone. There
was no expression all on his face. You know, I'm

used to cats. You look watch handricks, you watch the cats.
It's all this agony, this pain on the face or boxing.
There was nothing, but the sound was enormous. I said,
you ain't gonna fool me. I'm gonna close my eyes.

I'm not gonna watch you. I closed my eyes then
I could get out there with him, and that's when
we just took a flight. Then my eyes closed, but
if my eyes were open, it was the freakest thing
in the world. I dare any musician to play with
him like that. It's so freaky. So after we played,

then he said, you know, I really love the situation.
He was like, wow, I might want to get a
barn so beautiful. He was all lovey and dovey about everything.
And then that's how Then later on if it became
that yes about joining the band, Okay, let's stop here
for a second.

Speaker 1 (49:45):
Go ahead. He had records, I think on Douglas Records
before he signed with Columbia had my Vshna Orchestra had
Inner Mountain Flame. The second album was actually more financially successful,
Birds of Fire. I think it was. Yes, I bought
the first album. I saw the band. I don't think,

including myself, I'm not sure the audience could understand the music.
You're right, we were all in shock. We had never
heard any say anything like it. Nobody had.

Speaker 2 (50:14):
There had never been a concoction of that sort where
the funk was so strong, the rock was silence, and
the Indian influence was so powerful. Damn, It's like fifty
to sixty percent Indian music coming through on the funk,
on the blues, on the American thing. So we had
never heard that kind of blender a gumbo.

Speaker 1 (50:31):
It was rare. No one. No one was doing that,
no one. So you're right.

Speaker 2 (50:37):
We were all stunned. Even in the audience that night
when I saw him and Harper, we're all stunned and tangling.

Speaker 1 (50:41):
We were all stunned. So you're right. We had never
heard anything like it. We still had ain't nothing never
been like that, and that since since now he had
his commercial peak at that point in time, to what
degree have you played with him or have a you
point on his music since the seventies.

Speaker 2 (51:03):
Well, I saw him recently with Shocked, he celebrating their
fiftieth year anniversary here in town at the Lewis and
Davis Hall.

Speaker 1 (51:10):
That was beautiful.

Speaker 2 (51:11):
Zak here who sank killing on the toablers in his
band and the singer just beautiful, so beautiful, and he's
so free and he's happy. That's what he wants was
more acoustics so it's not so loud and he can
just do his thing and they're all just getting on.

Speaker 1 (51:26):

Speaker 2 (51:27):
So I have so much love and respect for him,
very very very very proud of him, and I'm also
very happy he took me on his wing.

Speaker 1 (51:35):
A lot of other people you mentioned you played with
Yako Pastorius of course, did great things with Joni Mitchell.
A million other people died before his time. Yes, how
good was Giaco pingusorious? He is the Ali on the base.
You know we all love Ali, Muhammad Ali. I'm the greatest.
I am the greatest. That's how Jocko was. I am

the greatest. No one can touch me. Shoot, I got funk.
You want pretty? I got pretty? You want this? You
want that? What you want? I can do it. That's
how he was for real, Capricorn, tough, sensitive too.

Speaker 2 (52:13):
So then dig I'm on a session with weather Report,
Joe zou On weather Report, Wayne Shorter, weather Report, Alexa
cunea percussion with Alfonso Johnson weather Report.

Speaker 1 (52:25):
They called me in.

Speaker 2 (52:26):
I did the album with Alfonso and they loved me,
so he said come in the Weatherport. So I came
over to play with him, and I cut a song
called black Market and the ending went into this long
jam like Kalamazoo Michigan jam, like the funk jam, Like
here's Wayne Shord of playing like Judy Walker, all that

stuff going on and funk for real, And I'm like, damn,
these guys are like more street wise than I realized.
I mean, I know Mercy Mercy Me and all the
Joe's I don't know, compositions you know, and the side
of waiting all that you know, and out there music.

Speaker 1 (53:02):
But they could also be grounded. So I was like damn.

Speaker 2 (53:07):
So then Joe says, why don't you join the band
and bring a bass player, because I know a fase
is going to go on and do something else. Now,
I said, well, Joe, I don't know if I can
join the band because I may want to go join
Tommy Bon's band. He asked me about playing with him,
and I'm like, I want to go more of the
rock and roll away now and get some panties on
the stage and all that kind of that kind of world.
But I have a bass player I think could be
good for you. I said, you know Jocopas Stories, that

crazy guy in Florida. He said, I think I've heard
about him. I said, let's fly him out here.

Speaker 1 (53:35):
So we did. We flew out of Jocopas Stories.

Speaker 2 (53:37):
For the next day, in comes Jacko, and Joe's written
a song called Cannonball, which he thinks he wants to
either going to call Cannonball Ford, Julian.

Speaker 1 (53:47):
Adelete, Canniball, or empty chair.

Speaker 2 (53:49):
He's not sure what he's gonna call yet, but he
starts teaching us the song if he first runs it
through with me, so I can record on casette on
a tape. That's how I always learned tongue, I said,
play through three once on a cassette, so I can
just walk around and study it, you know, and just
get it in my soul, not like looking at the
peace of paper. I could never just read that stuff.
Got to study it in your heart. So then now
it's time for Jocko to learn the piece. It's his audition.

Speaker 1 (54:13):
And he starts playing this stuff that he would.

Speaker 2 (54:15):
Get into later with johny Mitchell, all the harmonic stuff,
harmonic bl bloom bloom bloom, and Joe stopped right in
the middle and said, don't play that ship on my song.
And like a knife in Jacko's heart, a good knife,

a knife that meant, just play what you need to
play now because you can. And it made Jocko Jocko.
He put those little things where it was supposed to go,
with the polls just all over the place. Joe put
his ass in the fire and melted him down. And
that's when I really knew the power Joe Zalo. You

don't mess around with Joe's zalon. He's a fighter. He'll
you're out.

Speaker 1 (55:01):
And that's me. It the Jocko bro.

Speaker 2 (55:03):
And then I went on to work a time bowling
and jack to stay with that band and then made
Heavy Weather. You know, I remark you made Team Town Birdland,
that serious stuff. Man made it stuff a star. Okay,
you played with a lot of guitarists. You mentioned Pat Methen,
You played with Jeff Beck, Alan Holdsworth. Yes, you know

these are people considered those three people argue whether the
best of all time?

Speaker 1 (55:28):
What do you think.

Speaker 2 (55:31):
I don't look at things as the best of all time,
necessarily because I don't know the best of all time.
All I know is that everyone's got a different like capacity,
like like fruits, like an orange, banana, an apple, a peach.

Speaker 1 (55:41):
They're all great fruits. That's how I look at life.

Speaker 2 (55:44):
You need, we need, we need them all Allen Holdsworth
fluid fluid. But on the session I did for him
on this album, he was unhappy. He was doing a
thing for CTI Records, Cree Taylor Studio, Rudvan Gelder, and
he was running through the songs and they were recording

the run through and they were they want to they
want to keep that. But he's like, wait a minute,
that was just a run through. No, that was good enough,
they would say to him. So he's kind of happy.
He's kind of happy with that record we made him.
But I loved him.

Speaker 1 (56:17):
He was great.

Speaker 2 (56:18):
Then you mentioned who else you mentioned? You said, Jeff
Beck Yep, Jeff Beck. I came to know really will
because of the second tour we did the MA Fish Orchestra.
After Vision of the Animal Beyond in seventy five, Jeff
joined for a damn tour. He had his band Bernard
Perdi on drums, h Max Mills on a keyboard, the

mean bass player who put on wired.

Speaker 1 (56:43):
What was his damn name? I'm bounce based not on
the name, and he remembers the vocalist Bobby Tench. But
but that was earlier.

Speaker 2 (56:50):
That was Bobby ten Yeah, yeah, but nevertheless that that
you're right, that was a hot band. Butin this time
with Jeff, it was just him doing blow by blow
music right, and he was he hush, Now, you gotta
understand he wasn't just a jazz ars on a little
He crossed over to everybody.

Speaker 1 (57:04):
It was packed theaters to see Jeff Beck.

Speaker 2 (57:08):
So I had a chance to really study him and
know what is it The people loving about what he's doing,
and they love the funk on the bottom with these
sweet melodies and then the way he kind of mixing
all together, but it'd be sweetness for the girls and
also kind of funky. So I learned his sound. We
became really close. That was that was a really also
we jammed jam together every night. Movish New and Jeff,

me and Bernard both bands would play together. That was incredible.
So I love Jeff Beck and I learned playing with
him as more like high school vibe of me, Like
he's brilliant, but he'd played things I could latch onto,
like with Vishnu. With Professor Oriole, you had to re listen, listen, listen,

listen what he's gonna do. Where Jeff I could kind
of anticipate it. That's the difference, you see what I'm saying.
I kind of anticipate it.

Speaker 1 (58:01):
Very brilliant. Who was the cat you mentioned? The three?
You said? You said, well, I don't work at PAT
that much. I don't work at PAT. And he was
in college.

Speaker 2 (58:13):
I said, have you were like bashed out in rock?
I know you played great jazz, but can you rock?
Can you play loud? Can you come over my house?
I bubble bash at you?

Speaker 1 (58:21):
See what you do? He said, okay, So I did.
I just bashed in him hardcore and he was.

Speaker 2 (58:26):
Just like phenomenal. But it wasn't as hard. It wasn't
what he wanted to do. He wanted to play on
a quiet you know, he was happy playing quiet and
and like you know, patmtheene to be, so I didn't
take him that serious to go.

Speaker 1 (58:38):
Further with him.

Speaker 2 (58:39):
How about Alan Holdsworth, Yeah, I mentioned Alan at the beginning.
I was saying, Alan Holdsworth, we did the album for
ct I called Velvet Darkness, right, and that was the
album he wasn't happy making because they kept there, they
were keeping.

Speaker 1 (58:51):
The takes, I know.

Speaker 2 (58:52):
But after that, oh well, you know from me, okay,
Alan Holdworth in heaven looking down at me right now,
you are. We love you because you're like a violent
on guitar. You're the violinist of the guitar. How he
does what he does, no one even understands it. This
is his own technique. I mean, might have a dear

friend Crowder Richard, you another genius and guitar. He's tried
to emulate it. No one can really eminent what he does.
Alan's under his his own self. He's an orange. He's
the orange. So I have great respect for him, but honestly,
to play with him wasn't as much fun. Always say
it was vish because Visu the definition is there, or
Jeff Beck, the definition is there. With Alan so fluid

that you have a hard time catching it what it's
going to be you know what I mean? Like my
whole thing is kind of mirror catch your frase, throw
back at you so you can keep going with Alan's
hard because.

Speaker 1 (59:44):
He'll played these long phrases. See it's hard to mirror.

Speaker 2 (59:47):
The long phrase. But he's genius. So I learned a
different gear with him, just to learn the list. Let
him go, Just let him go and see.

Speaker 1 (59:55):
What it is. Okay, how about drummers, How do you
consider yourself to be stacked up? From everybody from Billy
Cobbam to Neil Pert to everybody.

Speaker 2 (01:00:14):
Billy Cobbam to me is something that is just rarefied air.
He is the astronaut that showed me the highest height.
I had never seen anyone go as high as him.
To this day, I love Mitch Mitchell when I saw
him do with Jimmy Hendricks. I'm a real fan of
so many drummers, you know, and I wasn't a big

fan of a kid, necessarily of Keith Moon.

Speaker 1 (01:00:36):
Here I am learning.

Speaker 2 (01:00:37):
I can see for miles and miles a miles, but
I realized that was Keith Moon. Then later on in
my life I realized how strong he was. Then I
had more.

Speaker 1 (01:00:43):
Respect for him. How strong he was. But I loved
all drummers, and we don't compete. That's one thing Grew
taught me.

Speaker 2 (01:00:51):
He said, when you join my Vision Orchestra, don't compete
with Billy Cobb because you will lose. They just compete
with yourself. And that freedom me so and talking you
asking about other drummers. I have just just pure love
for all drummers, I really do, and I try to
learn from all of them. Learned from Bernard Perry how
to shuffle. Learned from my favorite of all. A lot

of people won't even know him, named Sandy McGee with
a band called Cold Blood, siss Fust with Lydia pens
on vocal now that cat.

Speaker 1 (01:01:20):
Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait, how do
you even know that band? That band was from San Francisco,
never really you know, broke through? How do you how
do you even find cold Blood?

Speaker 2 (01:01:30):
I'm in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and my best friend played trumpet
with the band we had called Avatar named Bobby Knapp.
Bob actually later joined the mob structure, but Bobby w
be my god, turned me on this stuff. Bobby said,
you gotta hear this thing. He played me cold blood,
sissyphus think of shop talk Boa, digging, do, digging tan,
don't don't dig it, don't do and.

Speaker 1 (01:01:48):
The drug so clean, so pure, So like, who's that?
That's Sandy McGee And then he could.

Speaker 2 (01:01:54):
Sing too, there's been never a funk your cat beside
a cobbin, and the dad looked a little.

Speaker 1 (01:02:00):
We love.

Speaker 2 (01:02:01):
But at that time in my life it was Sandy
McGee had so much shops and knew how to grab
the symbol.

Speaker 1 (01:02:10):
He became my guru. So I have love for all
these people.

Speaker 2 (01:02:16):
And quite frankly, the Cold Sweat I can't leave on
class Toblefield when I'm a kid, Cole Sweat turned everybody out.
And if you couldn't play Cold Sweat, you couldn't play,
you know. You look about zigg booh and talk about
the Sizzy strip. That was important too. Everything's important in
the in the rhythm world. In the rhythm world, if
you can't or don't know these things, there's something missing

in your vocabulary.

Speaker 1 (01:02:38):
Yeah, so how do you end up getting the solo deal? Oh? God?

Speaker 2 (01:02:43):
But hard. After my vision I was lost. I cried,
you know, and then Lenny White helped me. Cause on
Lenny White's album Venetian Summer whatever it's called, Venetian Something,
Venetian Knights, whatever it's called. He had a cat on
their playing guitar who was mean, named Raymond Gomez, and
I said, wait a minute, this guy caned meal to play.

And I met Raymond Gomez and it made my heart
feel happy, and I had met someone of you know,
the same spirit. Loved Handrick's new mobbish new music. Some
knew the fusion aire world but also understood the rock
blues worlds. And I felt like, may I could work
with this guy. I can develop my sound on me
doing what I want with this guy. And I did

the Garden Love Light album. I wrote Sons Dancing the
White Knight and a few other pieces and it became
my sound for that album. And also something I did
learn from Talmy Tommy bowlan band Delightful, which I'd worked for,
Tommy Bolan. All these kind of came together to helped
me get a deal with Atlantic. Eventually Epic Records pay

for my demo, but then they didn't want it. But
then Atlantic get said Raymond, Raymond Silva and Jim Delahant
and my man over there, I'm an urt again they
had had successful Billy cobbam and they said, why don't
we tick you onto? And they did, and that's how
Mad Garden Lovel. And then they give me my choice
of producers. They said you can choose either Raise Martin

or Tommy Dowd. I said, well, damn, I guess I'll
take Tommy Dowd then, because I want to go more rock.
And I bring my engineering in from London named Dennis
McKay worked on the last Mavis Strokes job, Inner Worlds,
because he had phenomenal drum sounds. So that's how I
made Garden Love Light. And then Tommy Dawe was suggested

on Garden Love Light that sounds we got to bring
in Sissy Houston sings background, so who s.

Speaker 1 (01:04:34):
Yeah this good MISSISSI.

Speaker 2 (01:04:35):
Here's sus Houston comes in with her whole troop and
a little eleven year old girl in the corner that's
the daughter Whitney watching. And these women sound like incredible.
So Tommy dwd really helped me a lot at that
time in my life seventy six. And he also big
on compression. Tell me about compression. Ray Charles will say,
don't use your eyes, use your ears, so.

Speaker 1 (01:04:57):
I hope him.

Speaker 2 (01:04:57):
I'm not just gap babbling here. I'm just telling you
what happened at that time.

Speaker 1 (01:05:02):
Well, how is your experience in Atlantic and how did
you feel about that? I love the fact that I
could have a deal.

Speaker 2 (01:05:10):
You understand, it's hard, brother, to make have half things
happen in this music world, really hard and that.

Speaker 1 (01:05:17):
But I had to make a deal. At the time.

Speaker 2 (01:05:19):
I just say, listen, they said, you will give you
a deal. We want to have your publishing. Okay, see
those kinds of things we have to just do just
to make it. What you gonna do shine shoes, What
you wanna do my floors? You want to clean ash trays? No,
So I'll give you half the publishing and Wired, I'll
give you half pushing whatever it is, just to give
me a shot to start making my own sound. So Garden, lovelight,

I cry and smile Awakening And then that's when the
when the brick hit the fan. They said, listen, if
you don't have a hit on this next album, Awaking,
your third album, we're gonna drop you. I just got married,
and they said, you may want to come to New
York because it's the sound has changed it's now disco
dance music, so I didn't want to get dropped. And

the jazz rock fusion kind of kind of it kind
of ruin its course. And I came to New York
and I want to fit the studio fifty four checked
it out. Walk the streets here, Rick James, you and
I here hear the sound of the day, and go
on my little Hilton Apartment hotel and bust out on
my clabinet four Jams, I don't know Buddy's dance with

you and the side of one of Awakening. And I
was very blessed to have Bobby Clearman and say yes
to working with me at the power station. And they
also said, yeah, you gotta work with this other guy
who's big in the disco woman, Patrick Adams. He does
string arranging for the disco, so you gotta have him
in there for the name that and what he's don't
bring to it. I said, okay, So I going to
put powers and I'm cutting with my cats hiring book

on guitar, you know, Cliff Carter keyboards, and we're cut
my stuff and Bobby makes me sound really good. Patrick
comes around every now and again, and I got the
Brecker Brothers to come play horns with David Sambourne, Michael, Michael,
Randy and David come play on I Don't want to
body else dance with you, And that record saved my life.
I had a little hit and now they're give me

a party at Atlantic. I'm gonna urt again and all
that at the Indian Food restaurant. So I'm just so
happy man to feel like I could save my career.
I didn't want to go down. And then I went
in that same trajectory next album, Dance a Life. I
Should Have Loved You, not I'm all right dance music.

Speaker 1 (01:07:26):
You know. I love Atlantic Records. I love Atlanta Records.
So how did you end up getting into the other
side of the business, on the other side of the glass.

Speaker 2 (01:07:37):
After I had I Should Have Loved You? Now I'm
watching Don't Forget. I watched George Martin produce Apocalypse of
Marvish Orchestra. I watched Kenny Scott Ken Scott do Vision
aw moving on. I watched you know, Tommy Down, I
watched these hot shot cats. You know, just by being
around you, you learn. And then I told Henry Allen,

who was the president of Cotillion records. You know, we
don't talk about Henry, but Henry was a big shot.
He was gonna signed, say Selata's all such a sledge,
you know, helped now Roger Vashik all that stuff.

Speaker 1 (01:08:08):
And I said, you know, Henry, why you let me
produce this girl for four tracks? And I'm four songs now,
I'll make an album if you like it for stats
Aleatta's all I know you want something happened for her,
She's eleven years old. And he said, okay, okay.

Speaker 2 (01:08:22):
I said, if you know you won't lose that much
of it to do four songs, and if you like it,
just you know you would finish it up. So I
got a very small budget and I went back home
to Samay school and I wrote and put together with
my band, you know, Corodo Crodon guitar, Frank Bartiner keyboards,
TM Stevens bass, and myself. I wrote let Me be
Your Angel with Bunny Home, Dynamite Jumped to the Beat

and my Love and those four records. When they heard,
they were like, damn, and you're under budget too, Go
finish the album.

Speaker 1 (01:08:51):
So I finished the album. She had a hit.

Speaker 2 (01:08:53):
Liviy r Angel was a big hit Dynamite did did
really well for her. That made the phone ring. Now
Clive Davis is calling me. He said, well, how do
you learn how to make that kind of record? Said, well,
I'm from Michigan. I love music, you know. He said,
well you want to produce Dean Warick. Damn, Dean Warck
is my my hero back, I'm my heroes.

Speaker 1 (01:09:14):
He'll go and visit with her.

Speaker 2 (01:09:15):
That was Clyde that said it to me. So I
go to LA I bring thirteen songs. But Diane didn't
like my songs at that time.

Speaker 1 (01:09:23):
I come back. Call my call Claude. Is it clid?
She didn't like my songs. He ain't don't work, don't
wory about I about to read Franklin or Wreatha Franklin.
Uh yeah, he said, just give her a call. Just
give her a call. So I called Wreatha Franklin. So
I say, well, what do you do to have fun?
You know?

Speaker 2 (01:09:43):
She goes, well, maybe I'll go out to a night
club at night. I look around the club. I see
a guy in the corner looking good looking at me.
I'm looking at him.

Speaker 1 (01:09:54):
She goes, it's kind of like a whozu Manhu. He
thinks he's got me. But then the fish jumps off
the hook. Damn, the fish jumps off the hook. Who's
When I'm writing this down, this is how she talks
for real. So I got off the phone call.

Speaker 2 (01:10:11):
I called my buddy, Preston Glass said, Press, we gotta
take her the way she talks.

Speaker 1 (01:10:14):
Make a song out of this. Here we did.

Speaker 2 (01:10:17):
I go back to Detroit and I start working with Aretha,
and then I realize how tender she is because her
dad just died. Her dad died from the colma being
shot in the church, so she's very tender. But she
sings her ass off two songs Who's Them? And who
and Until You Say You Love Me my favorite of all.
And then when I come back home back to California,
Preston says to me, what about that song Freeway of Love?

Whyn't you give her that the thing you're working out
for yourself, Preston, I would have never thought of that.
So we reshape Freeway of Love for Aretha and that
becomes a major hit for her, and on the same sessions,
I how will I Know? For Whitney Houston. It all
kind of snowballed, it all kind of snowballed because I
said no to Whitney Houston. It was Jared Griffith called
me for Whitney said, no, I can't do that. I'm

so focused on Aretha. I can't do anything else. He said, Yeah,
I have a hold on man. This is sister Houston's daughter.

Speaker 1 (01:11:06):

Speaker 2 (01:11:07):
You want to be on this project, he said, And
I think, He said, I think I have a song idea.
He sent me the course of how will I know?
But there was no verses. I said, I gotta write
some verses of those things. He said, then let me
ask the writers.

Speaker 1 (01:11:20):
If you can do that.

Speaker 2 (01:11:20):
You call the writers and the writer said, okay. So
I jammed out on the same section for Aretha.

Speaker 1 (01:11:26):
How will I know? Bang on the piano, sing the thing,
bang it out, call it Whitney. Can you sing high?
I'm the other thing with the high? Yeah, I can
sing Hi. That's how I'll just start a snowballing.

Speaker 2 (01:11:36):
Don't forget ant the ballfield came before that too, Philips Hymon,
Patty Austin. There was a whole lot of work in
there building me up that I was doing different different people,
different labels and things.

Speaker 1 (01:11:47):
Okay, Clive has got a reputation for meddling with the music.
To what degree did he meddle with the record?

Speaker 2 (01:11:55):
You made different degrees on different different things early on,
for as the book feel he may want me to
do a song or something. He might choose a song
or two, but then beyond that he wouldn't. He wasn't
that crazy. He was always cool, you know, feel the time.
He was always cool. How will I know I did
that for Jerry Griffith never even talked to Clive about that,

But there was then when I brought it to the
office after I cut it and mixed it, he said, well,
did you ever know about another lyrics for that song?
A sa A No, No, I did not, and then
he just dropped it. But I saw him ask me
about that now. On next album, he chose all the
music for Whitney. He chose I Want to Dance, Somebody
Loves Me where Brokerheart's go so emotional. He chose those songs,

even shows like the Olympic theme song One moment in time.
It was my job to bring him to be it
sounds like hits, so I did, And all he would
ever asked for was really making sure that he can
hear the vocal background vocal. He would to meddle with
me too much. Only one song the third album he
went crazy, love her for life. I wanted to cut
that song four different ways for different ways. Wasn't like

I need a baker, were like this one like that?

Speaker 1 (01:13:02):
Whatever? Because the demo the baseroom pattern was wrong to me.
It was a four a five bar pattern, the base
from going around wrong to me? Were it never really grounded.

Speaker 2 (01:13:15):
And when I couldn't make Clive happy about the thing,
he just so much loved the demo, I said, well,
what is I said, you know the baseroum pattern is
a five bar pad and he says, well, maybe that's
what I love about it, the floatings of it. I said,
all right, So I cut up with the floatings that
he liked from them, and then he was happy. But
I haven't had like a lot of battles with Climb
about that kind of stuff. He's normally loving what I
give him, so I gotta I have to give him

a lot of credit that we've had a long, along
running streak of him having success. How did you feel
about his song choices? I got it that the choruses
we were strong. That's the main thing. He wasn't trying
to dictate how funk you had to make him to
make to make them hits. So I could dig his

song choice. If I knew if I could take his
white pop hook and blacket funk it, put James Brown
on it, put the problem of funking that look on it.
Whatever was hot at the time, it'd be all right,
That's what.

Speaker 1 (01:14:08):
That was my combination of how to make that stuff swing,
and we did. So what's your magic in the studio?
What is it that you had that makes the song
go over the top?

Speaker 2 (01:14:23):
Oh, honey, I love you. Thank you if you asking
me something like that. I'm very dedicated to work quickly.
I don't take a long time to do stuff, and
I use my gut. I always think what's the hot
what's gonna be hot on the jukebox at the black
ghetto joint in Kalamazoo on the jukebox, what's gonna make
them chicks when they get that little drink on feel good?
I think about that, And I also think about on

NASA's boat, what's gonna sound good for the rich people.
I think about all about it, but I want to
really make sure I get the people in the ghetto.

Speaker 1 (01:14:51):
And what does that mean.

Speaker 2 (01:14:52):
That means the rhythm. The rhythm gotta be right. When
the rhythm is right, everything's right, then you're gonna make it.
The little pop up sound good. Oh I want it
with somebody. Uh, I want to feel o the hey
with somebody.

Speaker 1 (01:15:08):
Huh d. It's all the rhythm. How you do it.
If it sounds too straight, no, you gotta put that
thing on it. So that's what it is. Put it.
Put a thing on it with the rhythms.

Speaker 2 (01:15:20):
The musicians, the bass player, Randy Jackson's guitars, put the rhythms.

Speaker 1 (01:15:25):
Okay, there are a million different musicians with a million
different attitudes. Do you find people are amenable to you saying, hey,
let's do it this way that way, or do they
come and say, no, we got to do it my way. No.

Speaker 2 (01:15:39):
I work at cats who do it my way, and
they'll take my way and make it even better. I
take I take cats. We'll start with my way. If
they bring something better to the pie, I'm cool. But
if it's not better than no, no, no, it's.

Speaker 1 (01:15:49):
Gotta be this. You got to have a leader. You
gotta be a leader, Bobby, you gotta be a leader. Well,
sometimes that causes friction, doesn't it.

Speaker 2 (01:15:57):
Well, I don't care about friction. If if I'm the producer,
that's my job. On the director, that's my job to
put lay down the law. Try try your idea? Is
it either good as not?

Speaker 1 (01:16:09):
Sometimes it is? And the ideas you have like some
things like the rhythm you know, or part of your DNA.
But did the other thing just come out of thin air?
Like you're standing in the shower or you walk into
the bathroom in the studio and all of a sudden
you have an idea? Where do the ideas come from? Oh?

Speaker 2 (01:16:29):
I got an inspiration. It's with this twenty four hours
a day. You're right, Grew taught us. Just reach your
hand up and grab the birds inspiration and bring them
down anytime.

Speaker 1 (01:16:38):
So I know that trick.

Speaker 2 (01:16:39):
I can write hit anytime if I really focus or
write something. I think it's strong if I really focus
on it, pray on it, and you ask God to
come through. God can come through, you.

Speaker 1 (01:16:49):
Know, and you say you work quickly. Yes. It's one
thing to get the sounds lay them down. It's another
thing to mix any cute To what degree do you
labor over the mix? Very good.

Speaker 2 (01:17:01):
I got you, So I'll cut something quickly if I can.
I work with a team of people who understand my tempa.
Because what it is, Bobby, when you sweat and you're
and dirfor it's kicking in, you want to grab that
while it's happening, even a ritha. I'll have her get
the ending of the record first, sing all the soul,
get all that first, before we ever get too technical
in the verse.

Speaker 1 (01:17:21):
I don't.

Speaker 2 (01:17:21):
I want to go so fast we go beyond the
mind because you break the mind up. The mind's gonna
start judging and criticizing now that and you can ruin it.
So then I go quickly on that stage. But then mixing,
now I can say they phraser my main cat. Will
take your time, take a couple of days and get
it together. I'll give them a rough mix what I love,
the balance of what I love. Then you can take
another couple days where refine it. That's fine, that's fine.

But with the almost sason I made back of that time,
we're over a week's time. I'll take about one week
to do a song and be from starting to finish
as powerful.

Speaker 1 (01:18:00):
Okay, you're in the studio night and day. You're not
doing drugs, you're not drinking. No, no, no, no, it's music.
It's all music, okay. And now the money's starting to
roll in. What do you do with the money? Hm hmm.

Speaker 2 (01:18:20):
Well, you know, money's funny, man. Money comes in, money
goes out quick too. You got to careful, you know.
I had a good time. I was married back then,
married married and did nice things. And now I have three,
three children, and money comes in and money goes out.
So it's funny, man. Hard hard to keep keep a

hand on it. But I've had some wone of the
times in my life. One of the times my life.
I'm very very happy with my life. But money, money, money,
money is tricky.

Speaker 1 (01:18:53):
Man. Money's tricky. That's why I ask about it. Now,
you gave up fifty percent of your action in Atlantic,
the songs, in the producer royalties that you have. Do
you still own those or did you sell them?

Speaker 2 (01:19:07):
I have sold some publishing of a few of my things,
and I have the publishing of some other things, so
it's kind of a mixed bag. I own the writers,
writers share and all my points as a producer. So
I'm like like like like that, and so why did
you sell the publishing?

Speaker 1 (01:19:25):
Oh maybe I went through a divorce and I wanted
to make it all, you know, good for somebody else
like that, I see. But at this point in time,
is revenue's still pretty good from these royals.

Speaker 2 (01:19:35):
Yes, I'm happy to have a good life. I'm happy
to have you know, my studio which I'd love to
come visit. It's called tart Ban Studios. I've had eighty five.
I mean, the molecules in here are just just incredible.
So yeah, I'm I'm able to make it. I'm able
to feel good. I'm able to keep to continue to
make more music, you know, and stay happy.

Speaker 1 (01:19:56):
So how did you meet Q and what influence was Q?
Quincy Jones? Early in my life?

Speaker 2 (01:20:02):
It's funny, I hadn't gotten the tarpen yet. I was
still over the automat studios and San Francisco. I don't
know how we actually hooked up at one point on
the phone or something, but he told me said, we
need we need more helpers in the production world, more helpers, okay,
And I kind of knew he was right because I
was having a hard time finding other helpers in my world,

so I kind of knew he was right. And then
when I started preaching stage letters, own business, just legs
and stuff, I knew he was right, So I kind
of took that more serious, just to be a producer. Yeah,
and then he would teach me things like, don't strangle
the baby in the crib, you know, as a songwriter,
don't strangle strangle the baby in the crib. You know,
love your babies, wash the blood off, cut the ambilical chords,

dress them up.

Speaker 1 (01:20:46):
Okay, okay, not everyone's gonna understand that. Go a little deeper.
Don't strangle the babies in the crib.

Speaker 2 (01:20:53):
Yeah, when you write a song, love it like your baby.
You love your baby, You have a baby, you love
your He goes, oh this trash, Oh theok got cute.
Oh you've washed them, you know, washed the blood off
because think public a chord, put a little hat on
some little clothes. It smells so sweet. It might need
some little mama's milk. Whatever, you take care of it.
That's how Quincy taught me to take care of the songs.

And then he would also say, you know, the chorus,
make the course stand up big and strong. Because I
always knew that, but he kind of reinforced it. So
I always made the course stand up, you know, big
and strong. So Quins is like a guru mentor teacher
for me, and I admire him how he's able to,
you know, do so many things so well, you know,
you talk to him, his mind's like an ex cyclopedia.

He didn't talking about damn everything thing, you know, hanging
out with Ray Charles, hanging out with dog With, hanging
out with Count Basy, hanging out on you know in Europe,
this goes on on on with that cat. There's nobody
he doesn't know. That's what I'm saying. But damn, okay,
So how do you.

Speaker 1 (01:21:58):
End up getting into sound tracks?

Speaker 2 (01:22:02):
They call you when you get hot, everybody calls you.
And when I realized about soundtracks, they're looking for a hit.
They don't really just want an album track.

Speaker 1 (01:22:11):
For example, a movie like even License to Kill, a
James Bond theme, you know, License of Kill.

Speaker 2 (01:22:18):
How do you make a hit out of that? But damn,
I challenged myself. I said, nah, to make a hit
out of License to Kill? So I think I go
to the piano and make a sweet powerful the bottom
of Sweet Melloy and make the theme like I have
lies to kill? Anybody will try to hurt you or
take or take or take you to take you from me.
So that's how I found my success as a soundtrack cat,
just taking different movies and making sure I'm making a

hit for them so they can have, you know, a
bannitter wave for that film.

Speaker 1 (01:22:46):
So every producer has their moment and then it starts
to fall off a little bit. What was that experience? Like?
Have I fallen off? Bobby? Have I fallen off? I'm
not saying you have a phone off, but I'm not
saying you're done. I'm saying that it's sometimes you know,
the phone doesn't doesn't stop ringing, then it rings less.

Speaker 2 (01:23:09):
I got you, well, how my hand and phoning and
rest ringing less. I'm good. I'm good. I have so
many people I love working with still and still enjoy
making the music. I regret that I don't have a
better situation to get the music heard the way I like.
That's what I most regret. People who are unsigned. We'd

love to sign them, but how do we get him
hurt the way? Want to get him a hurt. That's
the thing I missed with Clive and becn day old
day of Rster Records.

Speaker 1 (01:23:37):
You could produce Kenny G, who be nobody but he
Now you're hearing Kenny G every hour, take a catle,
even Jamaine Stewart, We're gonna take our clothes up.

Speaker 2 (01:23:45):
Now you're hearing him every hour, even when he Houston
this year, every hour everything you were hearing, hear and hearing.

Speaker 1 (01:23:51):
I missed that component. That's what I missed the most.
He had all that success behind the board. How did
that aff affect your solo career and do you have
any regrets? No, I have no regrets at all.

Speaker 2 (01:24:04):
I love my life everything I've done, but with a
good feeling of what's good for me, what's what's right
for me.

Speaker 1 (01:24:11):
So I have no regrets about anything. No. No. I mean,
do you have a regrets that you didn't spend more
time on your solo career? No, no, no, Because I
wanted to do many things which I have done. I
wanted to do many things. I can say to you.

Speaker 2 (01:24:24):
You know, I've played with the greatest jazz rock cats
in the world. You know, I played with Ruther Franklin.
I worked with the greatest singers of all time.

Speaker 1 (01:24:34):
So I like that.

Speaker 2 (01:24:35):
I like being versatile and spreading the love around more
so than just doing one thing over and over and
over and over and over again. Yeah, so how do
you end up in Journey? Well, I don't play live
with Journey. I don't do that anymore.

Speaker 1 (01:24:51):
I just did, but you did for a while. Oh yeah,
I did you know? I did? I tough strong. I
did a double album.

Speaker 2 (01:25:01):
First, I did the solo album for Neil Neil and
showing the guitar player, called the Universe, which is a
hell of an album. Then during COVID, it overspills and
it well, let's make a Journey record. It was became
a double album during COVID.

Speaker 1 (01:25:14):
Here I'm.

Speaker 2 (01:25:16):
Writing songs with Neil or you know, in letting him
do his thing because he's missed a journey. And then
you bring in Jonathan Kan to do his thing. Send
tapes to Randy Jackson for bass, get on the zoom
skype for RNL in the Philippines, get his vocal you
know that way put it all together. Maybe give some
stuff to Bobby Clemon and mix it up. Bobby's doing

a good job doing that. So he made a double album.
And then it came down to play some live shows
and had to relearn that material. Not the double album
as much, but all the it's that's where it's hard. Oh,
it's so much because they don't want just like the records,
they want you to play with Steve Smith played live
on every song, every bar, so it's a lot of memorization.

Speaker 1 (01:25:55):
Oh it was so hard, but I loved it. But
it was just hard. Care who you are. You don't
want to step into that gig and just learn nothing.
You got to know it.

Speaker 2 (01:26:04):
So then we brought in Dean Castranova, who knows that
from twenty years playing that book, and that helped me
a lot because now we can play a lot of
the different pieces they wanted to get into and we
could rock it together and that was great. I think
about nine shows live, some big ones like Lollapaloo's and all.
That was really a lot of fun.

Speaker 1 (01:26:21):
Yeah, okay, you know, the music changed certainly in black music.
It became more of a hip hop world. What's your
viewpoint on hip hop?

Speaker 2 (01:26:35):
You know, I'm a student of all the music. I
try to learn from it, whether I like it all
no or you know, like or love. I just try
to learn from it so I can be competitive if
I want to be competitive. That's where I come from
I missed the lack of melody and music. I missed

the lack of bridges. I missed the lack of what
I learned from Motown when I learned from all the
great songs, an you won't can hear no Burt Backright
tape songs no more unless I maybe it's Golden Hour,
which Golden Hour is genius. But you don't hear a
lot of music, not necessarily anymore.

Speaker 1 (01:27:08):
So I missed that.

Speaker 2 (01:27:09):
I can't lie about it, you know, but as being
a producer, if you hire me as a producer, then
you're hiring me to be competitive with what's going on.
So I got to know what's going on. So I
learned from it and I used parts I like and
then mix it with But I think it's some good music.
That's what I've always kind of done, really mix good
music with the thing of the day.

Speaker 1 (01:27:30):
Okay, this is audio only and people can't see. But
you're wearing jewelry around your neck. What is that jewelry represent? Oh?

Speaker 2 (01:27:37):
I have a cross today I'm across my wife gave me.
I want to make sure I'm telling you the truth,
nothing but the truth. I got a little hook from
that grit, great film, Well the Maana the hook Man.
I got some beautiful beads from my son Michael. He's
five years old, Keep me youthful happy. I got some

beets from Hawaii the Aloha love Spirit. I want to
break tround bringing everything to you for your interview because
I heard all about you.

Speaker 1 (01:28:09):
Two things.

Speaker 2 (01:28:10):
When I did a concert with Jeff Beck at the Grammys.
You said something that was very kind about my work
at the Grammys of Jeff Beck. I don't know, I
don't even know what it was now you said, but
it was just something that was kind, and I thought,
this is very nice, and I have wanted to find
out more about you. Then I realized, you know, you're
you're not spoken cat. So then I say, well, you
want to do, like, you know, an hour and a
half podcast. I'm like, okay, you know, I want to

bring the best to you because I know you you
want you want to know what's going on.

Speaker 1 (01:28:36):
So here while you're doing you've have brought the best.
So just tell me a little bit. You know the
other thing people can't see. They can't see your studio.
Tell me about your studio. Oh, it's the best.

Speaker 2 (01:28:47):
Tarpan Studios it was first Tres Virgo, a pre existing
place where they've done Greg Grateful Dad, Stuart Copan, your
big guest. I heard that show you're recorded in here
for Rumblefish right out there. It's just a massively beautifully
built room with great wood at each room is isolated

with iron steel, so it's really like the gooda one
of isolation going on.

Speaker 1 (01:29:13):
What about equipment, are you equipment geek?

Speaker 2 (01:29:15):
I'm not a geek. No, those are those my engineers.
I've got the SSL console from the day we used
to have tried and console. Now it's SSL. I have
to have my tape machines over here if I want tape.
But we're mainly pro tools. Can't lie about it, mainly
pro tools, you know. And got great microphones quite frankly.
My favorite microphone is a cheap microphone, the SM seven.

That's why I used for a wreathing for Whitney because
it cauld handle screaming and tender at the same time.
So I got some good, good mins ic got my
drums here. I got some keyboards and things. But I'm
not like equipment geek as much as I am song.
I love songs, and.

Speaker 1 (01:29:57):
Tell me about the racism experienced in the business. Say
it again, what is it? What racism? Yeah, you said racism, right, racism?
A racis what you want to know? Man, what do
you want to know? What you want to know? Well,
you're an interesting cat because, first and foremost, whether it
be racism or not, a lot of rock music was white, okay,

and you played in jazz and rock and you know
it's listen, we live in a racist country and I'm
sure it's something you've experienced. Yeah. I have.

Speaker 2 (01:30:36):
At the same time, I learned how to how to
how to get through it. And the way to get
through is just keep being bad ass and don't worry
about it.

Speaker 1 (01:30:42):
You know you don't.

Speaker 2 (01:30:43):
You can't crack you in on a rolling Stone magazine.
You're gonna ever be on a rolling Stone magazine, you
know what I'm saying. You learn to live with the
reality of what it is. At the same time, you
keep kicking ass.

Speaker 1 (01:30:54):
That's what I do.

Speaker 2 (01:30:55):
No matter who I am with, I kick ass. If
I'm with Jeff Bett, kicking that ass, he loves it.
Whoever it is, whatever, kick the ass in the studio,
kicked the ass. Don't worry about the thing, just do it.
Put it down, Put it down. You talked about.

Speaker 1 (01:31:09):
When you first went to see Mahavi shu to Orchestra,
you were in a bad place and you thought the
world was in a bad place. What do you think
about the space that the world's in today.

Speaker 2 (01:31:20):
I think we're gone. You go two steps forward, one
step back. I think we're still going one step back.
We're still kind of requestioning. What we did when we
went two steps forward was really good. Now we're step
back to kind of reassess everything and then doing so,
we're getting caught up in the quicksands.

Speaker 1 (01:31:35):
The quicksands are catching us.

Speaker 2 (01:31:38):
So I'm praying we can kind of get the quicksand
off our boots and be able to step a little
bit forward now on the light. Keep what we were
searching for, what Martin Luther King tried to put down
the sixties, feeling good about each other, feeling good about
trying to bring love to the situation.

Speaker 1 (01:31:54):
Even the hippies smoking the little grass Hendricks, the flower power.
Keep that love going, the flower power, keep the love
for the family, for yourself, for each other. It's important
America thrives on the best of all of us coming together.
What will the world will be with that little Richard
and the music came.

Speaker 2 (01:32:11):
Out out of New Orleans and Louis Armstrong and Ray
Charles and all that music came down.

Speaker 1 (01:32:16):
So we have to love America. That's what I'm saying.

Speaker 2 (01:32:19):
Let's not go back, Let's go forward. Let's not let
anyone like divide us. All that dividing thing is bullshits.
We got to see it together, you know. And when
I watch sports, I see a lot of black cats
playing the football and white's cats are embracing that. That's wonderful.
Let's keep it going. Let's keep it all going. We
need each other and music brings us together, which is
what I love the most.

Speaker 1 (01:32:39):

Speaker 2 (01:32:40):
Our racist might can go to inn in the country
and play the music and they love it. So I
found a secret how to get above it. Just play
the music and bring us all together.

Speaker 1 (01:32:50):
And you've accomplished so much. Anything that you're reaching for
in the time you have left, hopefully thirty years or so.
But anything you want to implic sure, doom. I want
to accomplish that. I'll make you happy today. You're a
smile makes me happy because I know if I make
you smile, because I know you've heard a lot of music.

Speaker 2 (01:33:08):
Then you've been and you're a Taurus. You're born at
the April twenty first, like that April twenty second. A second, Yeah, yeah,
you're born David, David before you, but a year later.

Speaker 1 (01:33:16):
Well okay, see if I can make you happy. Shoot, man,
I'm doing I'm doing something. I'm doing something. Well, you
really have made me happy. This has been a wonderful surprise.
You're a great rock and tour fascinating stories, Nord. I
want to thank you so much for spending time with
my audience.

Speaker 2 (01:33:36):
Oh, thank you, Bob, and do come and visit us
to tarp Insidios. You know I'd love to and anything
I ever do with you. I'm down with you now.

Speaker 1 (01:33:44):
Thanks so much. Till next time. This is Bob Left
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