Happy Thanksgiving/ThanksTaking everyone.
Here’s another musical memory to share.
Sometime around 2006 I co wrote the following song:
It was the weekend before Thanksgiving I remember that. I was on a bus returning from Phenix City Alabama to Green Bay Wisconsin and a friend of mine, John Heckenlively counted 22 Wafflehouses that we drove by. That was only the ones where you can see their signs from the road or they have a listing in one of the roadsigns along the highway! I’m sure there were many more.
So in between counting we crafted this parody of Arlo Guthrie’s classic hit, “Alice’s Restaurant.” John also called a friend of his at Z Studios in Milwaukee and purchased studio time on a 2 inch master. We did this on almost no sleep the minute we got there. I already had a guitar along for the trip so we walked right in there and recorded it. I’d say unrehearsed but we probably went over this song several dozen times on the bus instead of trying to sleep!
The last big memory I have of that session was that the song was almost exactly the time length of a 2 inch master tape. The engineer said afterwards he was stressed out at the very end because he was thinking any second now he would have to stop us and back up a tiny bit, then continue on trying to punch that in without too many noises between takes. He figured he’d just let us finish to not ruin our momentum and then just ask us to do the last part one more time. You see a traditional reel or spool is set for just a little bit more than 16 minutes. And this song came in at 16 mins and 40 some odd seconds. Back in the analog days they gave you 30 seconds or so of extra tape just to be safe but you shouldn’t count on it.
I held the last G chord out for a sustain and natural fade, and just then tape machine started slapping that last piece of leader tape around and around at the first part of complete silence.
Here’s the whole audio as an mp3 if you’d like that:
pps: John sent it to Arlo Guthrie and he liked it!