Sunday, January 23, 2011

Greg Adams Short Story Replay From last week.

November 2006. Taylor Hicks had won American Idol in May and I got the call to arrange the horns and strings.  A killer section of my favorite guys: Eric Marienthal, Johnnie Bamont and Mark Hollingsworth on saxes. Nick Lane on trombone. And Lee Thornburg and yours truly on trumpets. Okay, so I drive out to the studio in Calabasas to meet with the producers and get the rhythm tracks that I will write to. When I got there they asked me to block my calendar for the next month and be "on call" because this project was going to be released December 12th!! Oh boy...

So I am literally driving out there every other day to get more tracks and consult with the producer what my ideas were on each song before I started writing. This was truly "a work in progress". I'd listen there and by the time I'd walked in the front door of my home there would be mp3s for me to burn on CD and start writing. After the chart was finished, it was off to the copyist to separate into the individual parts for the section. This was crazy but the record company didn't want the Christmas season to be missed with a release by the new Idol winner.

I enjoy a little pressure sometimes when it comes down to a deadline, but I'd never been in this big of a time crunch. So I'd finished the first set of tunes. Three charts for the first session. The tracking dates were still going on and the section was set up in the same studio as the rhythm section. Drums, keys and amps everywhere because they were still recording songs for the CD. Which I still had yet heard to arrange for. At this date, I finally met Taylor...What a nice guy. Truly. Soft-spoken and very humble. And after winning the contest, it could have all gone to his head. But it didn't.

He told me the record company had rented him a house on the beach in Malibu, just over the hill from the studio. Nice digs, but the paparazzi were everywhere and he was kind of a prisoner there. Couldn't go out. Just back and forth from there to the studio. Anyway, the session came off without a hitch and I was now onto my next set of tracks to arrange. Bank and forth. Back and forth to the studio I went...Okay, by now I've rounded third base and I'm headed for home base. Finished the second horn date, (the guys are on fire!) and the strings are done. This has been an exhausting experiment in terror LOL.. but I feel real good about it. But when things are rushed, some things suffer, and it's an extreme disappointment for me not to be able to hear the strings on "Places I've Been". They have disappeared! Oh well. Oh boy. So, nine arrangements later, and one cover of Rod Stewart's "Young Turks" that didn't make the cut, session checks are starting to come in the mail...I get my first payment for my writing. Exciting. It's going to be a very Merry Christmas in the Adams' house. But wait...the payroll company along with some numb-nuts at the record company has made an "executive decision" to withhold taxes of nearly 50% of my writing invoices, as if I was an employee of the record company for yearly wages. What the F%#!? Time to send in Andrea!! It took a little doing, but all's well that ends well. And they quickly re-issued the checks. I wonder if numb-nuts is still at that record company. Hope to work with Taylor again someday.

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