BGO Records, the label that released the long overdue remastered Hook reissues a while back, has just done the same great job on Shel Silverstein's Freakin' At The Freaker's Ball album.
Dr Hook (and The Medicine Show!) were Shel's studio band for much of that album and it was a blast to do.
If I remember correctly we'd just finished recording Sloppy Seconds at CBS Studios, on Folsom Street, in San Francisco.
The studio was in a small building that sat in the middle of a rather bleak industrial area.
Paul Simon was recording his first solo album with his producer, Roy Halee in Studio A.
I loved sneaking a listen whenever it was possible.
CBS 'label mate' Barbra Streisand showed up one day to check out the studio for an upcoming project and I was spontaneously introduced to her in the hallway.
She, in her white fur and nose, and me, in my old overcoat and beard.
The pained and truly disgusted look that flashed across her face when she actually had to shake my grubby little hand was priceless and unmatched to this day, tho I've had my share of dirty looks.
I remember so many cool things about our time in that studio.
We recorded two Hook albums there, the next one being Belly Up and our last for CBS.
Right next door to the studio was a tiny, unassuming entrance way that opened up to reveal an extremely narrow staircase going directly up to another floor.
The little copper sign on the wall next to the door said American Zoetrope, which I found out some years later was Francis Ford Coppolla's film company.
He/they may have very well been up there editing The Godfather.
It was right around that period of time anyway.
The sessions for Shel's album began pretty much as soon as our sessions ended.
We just came back into the studio and started recording all this great, funky, hilarious stuff with SS, like Thumbsucker and All About You, both of which went right into our 'live' show.
It's tempting to say we all knew now but, at the time, none of us had a clue where any of that was going to lead us, but it was a whole lot of fun and that seemed enough.
The band's and then later my relationship with Shel was always something special.
I was presented with opportunities I would have never had otherwise.
From the great 'timeless' songs I still carry around to the exciting experience of performing Shel's play at Lincoln Center in NYC.
I was in over my f8cking head a lot of the time and loving every terrifying second of it.
Shel and I were talking about doing an album together when he died.
Some of his stuff, some of mine and a few new, still to be written collaborations.
I haven't recv'd a copy of Freakin' yet, but I'm looking forward to hearing it again.
It says it contains new notes.
They didn't come from me.
Wonder who wrote 'em.
I'll let you know.
Or you can buy your own copy.