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DL13

DL~
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When Hook was recording our Sloppy Seconds album at CBS Studios on Folsom Street in San Francisco we were always blown away by all the artists we would see in the corridors.
From Barbara Streisand to Carlos Santana.
Some were recording, some were visting those who were recording, some were just checking out the facilities for a possible project of their own.
One of the artists who was recording at the time was Paul Simon.
He was finishing up his first solo album in the aftermath of the unbelievable success he'd had with his partner, Art Garfunkel.
The man at the console was Roy Halee, as he had been on the Simon and Garfunkel records and would be again soon for Art Garfunkel's solo debut.
I was just a kid and stunned to even glimpse these people as they went about the business of being legends.
Roy was a really sweet man.
There was something very cherubic about him.
Mischievous and quick to break out in a big grin or, even better, a loud belly laugh.
I can't say I spent a lot of time around him, but he seemed like a pretty joyful, soulful guy.
At some point I heard that Roy liked my voice and had asked if he could do a one-off recording with me of Randy Newman's Sail Away.
Wow!
The idea was immediately rejected and shit-canned for one unexplained reason or another.
I was, and am, a big Randy Newman fan, especially of his Sail Away album, and working with a musical genius like Roy was a thrilling prospect.
I was understandably disappointed it didn't happen.
But, let's face it, I was young and resilient and at the very beginning of what unbeknownst to me would became a long career.
Absolutely nothing felt like a setback then.
Knowing that the Sail Away idea even came up seemed like a major step forward to me.
At 22 years old, recognition from people you admire in your profession is essential.
So, all in all, it was more fucking cool than not.
Many years later, when I'd decided to record some tracks with a view to releasing my first solo album but didn't have a clue how to get started, I thought of Roy again.
Out of the blue.
I can't recall how but somewhere I got an address, took a wild shot and sent a tape of several songs that I had written along with a little note and my contact info.
I wasn't sure he'd ever get it.
I might as well have put it in a bottle and thrown it into the sea.
Or so I thought.
Not so terribly long later, I actually received a call from the man himself.
He began by telling me how much he loved the songs he'd heard (which shocked as well as tickled the hell out of me) and asked what I was thinking about doing with them.
I told him I thought it might be time I put something out under my own name.
We briefly touched on our previous missed opportunity back in the day and agreed it would be nice to finally work on something together.
We spoke another couple of times, mostly to acquaint ourselves a bit better.
He said that he was just finishing up a project on a 'new band' and would have some time after that to think about doing something with my songs.
His one caveat was that if Paul Simon called and said he required his services for any reason whatsoever, he would drop whatever he was doing and accommodate his needs.
Fair enough.
I mean what the hell else would I expect?
That Paul Simon would be told he had to wait because the guy from Dr Hook was TRYING to get back in the business?
Of course not.
Anyway, as fate would have it, that's exactly what happened and then, for me, didn't happen.
PS had written a musical that was due to open on Broadway in the not so distant future and he wanted to go into a studio and record his versions of the songs from the play.
The Capeman album.
And guess who he wanted behind the glass?
Can you blame him?
Life and time moved on and Roy and I never spoke again.
So, that was my second near miss with Roy Halee, the second being a lot closer than the first.
But, just as it was when I was a kid, the very idea that he listened to my tape, called me, said he loved the material and even considered getting involved was enough of a boost for me to take a deep breath and forge ahead.
I absolutely love the album that Rod Smarr and I did that became Out Of The Dark.
But I can't help but wonder.
You know?
Great to see the old partners have caused a stir in the music business again with their new album.
Talent like that only dies if you kill it. ~

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