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Derek Ryder ('76)

Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Calgary, Alberta

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:29 am    Post subject: LP's LP Reply with quote

There's an article about LP's LP in the April 2007 newsletter. It asks a bunch of questions, and since I played on the album (and still have my copy -- that's my name on the top right corner), I feel qualified to try to answer some of them.

The album was recorded in the music room after school hours and over lunch over the space of a week or so. The recording engineer sat in Mr. Heathcock's office and band uniform storeroom across the corridor. One or two overdubs were recorded in the small room next to his office. I don't remember who took the photos, but the upper right corner is Mr. Heathcock and the (then) band executive, with Donna Lilly leaning on Mr. H. The rest of the photos were just taken during band practice. Anyone desperate to know who is who in what photo is welcome to ask. I remember most folks, though not all. During the recording itself, there was about 10 mikes in the room, and it was a wiring mess.

The inspiration for the album actually came a year earlier. That was the year LPSS had the greatest Stage Band in history, with Bruce Griffin, Grant Heckman and others just making the most amazing big band jazz music. Mr. H. just really wanted to capture that. It took a year of set up. Mr. H. said it had never been done before at the school.

I believe the pressing was 500 or 1000 copies, but am not sure, though I'm pretty certain it didn't sell out, since I recall in my Grad year that Mr. H. still had about 100 in the back of his office. The album was indeed sold to one and all; I think it was $10 or $15. I remember Mr. H. telling us about the idea in the first weeks of classes, and we recorded it in the spring of '75. Goodness, we practiced those tunes a lot (though listening now, you can't tell) and I still hum sections of the Queen City Suite.

Some stories from the recording:

Max Lewis was 1st trumpet in the Stage Band (that's him on the right of the second from bottom photo on the right), and while he thought he was great -- well, he had troubles. He's the only one who had to overdub his solos. They stand out like sore thumbs. The recording engineer wasn't the best.

How many takes does it take? Well, I rmember recording "Man of La Mancha", a nice short 1:38 track. Took 3 hours and at least 30 takes. We kept making stupid mistakes. We had a perfect take and I knocked a music stand over with 10 seconds left. We had a great take, except the recording engineer thought it was just a level setting run through. I swear Mr. H. was ready to kill us all at the end of that evening.

I mentioned it was a wiring mess. It took almost half an hour just to get everything set and wired every session.

No, it's not yet on my iPod.
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