before I went freelance, Creedence came in to mix a live album
of their 1997 tour from Canada. They took a huge leap of faith
in trusting my ability to mix without having heard my work,
so there was a little pressure there. They recorded the show
on DA-88’s, which I didn’t know we had to rent,
so there was a little pressure there, too. I was going to be
doing some of my first ever “non-linear” digital
edit on a Sonic Solutions system I didn’t know from Adam
so there was a lot of pressure there. Growing up, I had seen
a “Greatest Hits” commercial for them a million
times with the choruses of all their biggest hits so I knew
all the hooks, but mostly none of the verses. I was now being
asked to mix all of those tunes that outsold The Beatles anew!
There was a lot of pressure there.
Doug Clifford and Stu Cook if they wanted me to buy the Greatest
Hits album so I could get really familiar with the tunes. They agreed
that I shouldn’t so I could give the tunes a fresh ear. OK.
So then I went and sifted though all of my favorite live albums.
I grew up listening to Kiss Alive 1 & 2, Cheap Trick Live at
Budakon, Rush Exit, Stage Left, Kansas Two for the Show and Genesis
3 Sides Live. Those developed my love affair for live albums and
I was about to have a chance to do my own!!!!! Gulp.
came surgery. Thank God they recorded three nights! Between technical
problems, off nights or weird crowds, that gave us three takes of
each song to choose from. If you’re ever going to do a live
recording, do at least two nights. We spent a couple of days selecting
takes, a few fixing some boo boo’s with overdubs. Cutting
bass tracks with Stu was amazing. This guy auditioned for the STONES!!!!!
And I’M conducting him through bass parts. DAMN!!! But he
was great! Everyone was. I feel that John Tristao, the current singer,
does a better Fogerty now than Fogerty did. In fact, on “Have
You Ever Seen the Rain,” Tristao actually hit the high note
himself. (Doug and Stu told us that Fogerty had to vari-speed the
tape to hit that note.)
only person who didn’t come up for fixing was the lead guitar
player, Elliot Easton, formerly of “The Cars,” so with
the Sonic Solutions system that I was learning every night between
sessions, I was going to have to do some heavy editing on the only
usable version of “Born on the Bayou.” Elliot didn’t
cue out of his solo enough for everyone to get back into the tune.
They all vamped for another 16 bars and then went to the third verse.
First, I had to extend Elliot’s last feedback 4 more bars.
I copied the existing 4 bars and flew it over the next 4 bars and
created a nifty cross- fade to make it seamless. This kind of editing
is quite common in today’s Pro Tools world, but it was amazingly
new then. They were amazed I could do that and I was amazed that
I did it. The next edit was to lose the next 16 bars of marking
time. I did the edit in the middle of two different fills that Doug
played creating a new fill altogether. They were thrilled. I was
mix went like any other mix but with a lot of A/B-ing with previous
mixes so it all sounded like the same show. The final step was going
to be the assembly of the record in Sonic Solutions. During mixing,
I had ordered the Greatest Hits which I listened to for the first
time the morning of the assembly. I had missed some serious delays
and effects in the original mixes on mine. I started to panic. These
are mixes people have been listening to for 30 years! They’re
going to notice!!!! But Doug and Stu reassured me that they wanted
it that way. Fresh.
album came out and in a few years, sold 250 thousand copies of a
double CD!!!!! GOLD!!!! Well, not quite. Their manager told me that
RIAA now has a rule for a double CD to qualify: The combined times
must be greater than 100 minutes. Our record was 98:42!!!! Bastards
wouldn’t give us the plaque!!!! They’re still fighting
it. However, at last notice, they were close to 500 thousand, so
it would qualify anyway. But if they would play ball, it would actually
go Platinum!!! This is quite a big deal for me because this is the
first album I’ve mixed that has gone Gold or Platinum.
of 2004, the guys spent a week with me at Imirage auditioning new
guitar players. Elliot was leaving so they spent seven days trying
out seven guys and I had seven private Creedence concerts. Our neighbors
were loving it!!! Doug used my drums with his famous 18” hi
just for the record, Doug Clifford knows more jokes than any other
human being on the planet!
Saturday September, 24th 2005
I just came home from seeing Creedence at John Asguaga’s Nugget.
They and their manager, Steve Polikalas, got me back stage after
the show. Both Stu and Steve told me that they had something for
me so not to leave.
about 20 people gabbing back stage with them, they excused themselves
and came over to me and led me into the Green Room. They closed
the door and John said, “we want to talk to you about the
mix.” The album has been out for 5 years now, I knew he was
pulling my leg.
behind the food table, Stu pulled out my Gold Record Plaque for
Recollection. FINALLY!!! The RIAA agreed to recognize the sales
award! This is my first Gold selling mix! And they said that it’s
almost Platinum! They’ve had the plaque for several months
but waited until they could hand it to me IN PERSON as a band. The
photo with the band and the plaque says it all. I love these guys!