Day #7 of the 10-day challenge. Is there a Doctor in the house?!?
I have played with several celebrities, which is cool. Some people only care about that.
“Have you played with anybody famous?” is the most frequently asked question I get.
I am more concerned with my workmanship than I am with my resume’ s celebrity list. Still, it’s fun to drop names. I have played with Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Richie Furray, John Denver, Bobby Vinton, Amy Grant and even Barbi Benton. The coolest of these gigs was a studio session I did with the New Orleans legend and icon Dr. John. I was in the right place…
A few years back, a team of Japanese producers came to the US to have Dr. John record a cover of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” for a Hyundai tv commercial. While the tv ad was only a 60-second commercial, the entire song was released as a single in Japan. It was a big radio hit in Japan! They thought they’d be recording in New Orleans, or L.A. or New York. The good Dr. had a girlfriend he was visiting in Denver, so he told the producers to hire Denver players for the session. I got the call along with my brother Dave DeM and we did the session at Rocky Mountain Recorders.
Of course it comes naturally to greet such an icon as Dr. John with praise and telling him what an honor it was to work with him. He said, in his charming heavy ‘Nawlins drawl, “Aw man, it ain’t nothin’ like that. We all just here for the same reason, to make a little money.” It put us all at ease, he was so genuine and easy-going.
We had a chart, meticulously written by the producers, with text in Japanese. We played a first take, then a second. The producers wanted a third take. Dr. John says to us players, “Don’t know why they’re makin’ us do another take, they’re gonna use the second take.” He was right, they used the second take. The bass part I played on this track is pretty ‘meat & potatoes’ and nothing out of the ordinary, like it should be. The world lost Dr. John recently, but his music will live forever. His version of “Iko, Iko” is my favorite version, plus he contributed a lot to popular music culture for which I am grateful. R.I.P. Mack.
As for “Like a Rolling Stone” I found this track on YouTube! Enjoy!
Stay tuned for the next post dear readers! Love you!