is a very cool and talented guy. He and his crew first came to Sierra
Sonics in 1999 to work on a disc for the artist King T. Sadly, that
never got released. However, Dre discovered that he liked working
up here because he did not have all of the distractions and got
a lot of work done.
in Dre’s crew must have a nickname, usually based on appearance
or personality. I was named “Stern” right off the bat
because of my resemblance to Howard Stern - based on height and
hair, NOT personality! Almost every time I’d walk into the
studio, they’d quote “Private Parts” with a very
heartfelt “w N b c!” I had never seen the film so Dre
actually sent someone out to buy it for me!
three of the four times he’s been here, I’ve been a
second engineer or setup tech. They brought up almost 40 songs on
2” tape that they were working on every time. And there would
be a crew of usually 15 people that came up with him: writers, players,
security, guest artists and management.
artists included King T, Hitman, Melman, DOC, Glove, Butta and not
forgetting a new Aftermath artist that was about to be released
named Eminem. They were all hot on this guy and knew the Slim Shady
LP was going to blow up when it got released. I also waited a couple
of times for Snoop Dog at the airport, but he always missed his
flights. However, my picture did end up next to his in the photo
collage in the CD booklet. I’m the guy cutting tape.
best story, though, is just before Halloween the third time they
were here. Melman revealed that they were fans of the Halloween
films. I said “Oh really. I just may have a wee Halloween
surprise for you.”
two days before Halloween, just after cutting vocals, Dre was running
a rough mix in the control room and I went to the bodyguard, Searge,
and told him what I was about to do so he wouldn’t kill me.
With his blessing put on my Michael Myers costume, I headed to the
dimly lit tracking room. I stood behind the pseudo voice booth baffles
for over ten minutes, motionless. Dre was at the helm pushing faders
while everyone else was in back and couldn’t see me. When
Dre spotted me, he looked forward, turned around to tell someone,
looked back and I was gone! The bait was taken.
I headed to the control room. Just outside the door, I could hear
muffled voices from within exclaiming, “Michael who???”
“Whatchu talkin’’bout, man?!?” Bliss.
well behind the door and opened it so from within it looked like
it had opened all by itself. The room fell silent. I right-faced
into the room and the bass player flipped out!!!! He tossed his
bass (fortunately into the quick arms of the guitar player) and
tried to run away from me. Of course, with the room being full of
people, it was like running through molasses, just like your worst
nightmare! So I did the logical thing, I chased him!!!!
snaked his way through the people on the back couch, through the
racks of keyboards and eventually through a straight away between
the console and the outboard gear. I kept up with him with no effort
until the straight away. By the time I got there, Dre, who is a
big boy, had stood up to see the activities. Mike got away right
when I was approaching Dre. I did a right face directly to Dre and
stopped, face to chin.
was here that Dre said the line I will take to the grave: “Aw
a left face and left the room. I removed the costume and returned
to the control to discover that they had just written a beat with
the “Halloween” theme in it. I thought that was totally
cool, but I figured it would never make the record since there were
already over 40 songs. Well, it did! It’s track 15, “Murder
Ink.” Go figure.
of all is that Dre and his manager, Larry Chatman, were the first
to remember me when the plaques were given out. I love those guys!