Peter, Paul, and James Brown: My First Day in the Recording Studio

Peter Max LoveThe year was 1972. I had just turned 17. I stood in my 5th floor apartment at Lefrak’s Hollywood Park in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York. My small room was in bad need of a paint job, but I tried to bring it to life by hanging Milton Glaser’s poster of Bob Dylan with rainbow hair and Peter Max’s commercial love psychedelia on the walls. The elevated subway growled out our front window, and cars thrummed by on the Belt Parkway to the left. The noise got so bad when the trains and cars were happening at once that you couldn’t hear the T.V. set.

I was stuck.

I couldn’t decide if I should wear my Keds sneakers or my blue platform shoes with the cork soles. I’d already put on ripped jeans, a cream-colored sports jacket with brown piping on super-giant lapels, and a polyester striped shirt with three buttons open. At least the rest of my outfit was done.

I had to choose if I wasn’t going to be late.

I went with the sneakers. Maybe I’d have to move fast. I had no idea what would be asked of me. I looked in the mirror on the way to the apartment door. My long, brilliant, red hair cascaded over my shoulders in huge banana curls. My gold-rimmed glasses with orange lenses added a distinctly John Lennon-ish vibration. Was I ready? I blew out a big breath and left, whether I was or not.

Glenn at 16About four months before, anticipating the end of high school, my mom and I had a conversation about what I wanted to do with my life. I had told her that my dream was to work in  a recording studio. Unbeknownst to me, and being the stage-door mom that she was, she immediately contacted a family connection, and within days I was interning at Herman Edel Associates, a jingle house, the biggest and best supplier of music for advertising in New York.

My job there was to walk the giant malamute dog, Mendl, and run the tape machines. I must have done alright, because after an appropriate amount of begging, the brilliant producer who ran the place, Susan Hamilton, called the studio manager at A and R Recording Studios, where Edel cut all their tracks. Since Susan was one of their biggest clients, they had to do whatever she said. They agreed to take me on as an intern.

It was hard to fathom. Months earlier I had been bored in High School, with a dream in my head, and now I was on my way to my first day of work at the greatest studio in the world!

subway graffitiTo get there from my apartment, I first had to traverse the trestle over the Belt, an enclosed overpass that was a popular place for muggers to steal the fifty cents I carried in my pocket for a couple slices of pizza. Having survived that trek, I plunked my 35-cent brass token with the “Y” carved in the middle into the wooden turnstile, and zoomed up the stairs to the elevated train platform where I barely snuck through the closing doors of a graffiti emblazoned D train.

As I sat on the rattling car, I gripped the little piece of paper that said: “A and R Studios, 799 7th Avenue, 52nd Street, 7th floor. See Tony in the main office.” I kept staring at it over and over again, holding it so tightly my hand hurt. I was afraid that if I loosened my grip or stopped looking it would fly onto the tracks, I would forget where I was going, and my one and only chance for stardom and an escape from Brooklyn would be gone forever.

As much as I wanted to go, I was equally terrified to get there. With each stop, my chest vibrated more heavily, in sync with the rumble of the subway car as it descended from its elevated track and blew into the black tunnel that would take me into Manhattan.

I got off at the 47th -50th Street Subway stop in midtown. I followed the grid of New York’s streets to find my way to 52nd Street and 7th Avenue, zipping my sinewy, amped-up Jewish kid’s body between the worker bees on 6th Avenue, winning a race that only existed in my mind.

A and R signI stood in front of 799 and saw the metal plaque that read, “A and R Recording.” I was in the right place. My legs started to ache, and I was breathing a little fast. This was my big chance. Would I fuck it up?

Getting to the studio was made all the harder by the crush of teenagers in the front lobby. The first six floors of 799 7th Avenue were home to Manhattan Community College. I stood amongst the throng watching the numbers light up above the elevator doors. The elevators stopped at every floor, and seemed to stay at each forever. With every passing aeon the lobby got more packed. By the time the elevator arrived, I had to hurtle myself into a car with so many African-American and Hispanic students I was sure we’d never survive the climb up the seven stories. I plunged my arm through a passel of torsos to get to the buttons. 2 through 6 were lit. I was the only one who pushed the number “7.”

As I suffered the local ride, stopping on each floor to vomit out multitudes and suck up another crowd, I fantasized the world I would be entering with a melange of dread and excitement. I imagined a glamorous and glitzy world of riches and stars, groovy rockers making crazy sounds, and geniuses who expected me to be the same. Though the fantasy was alluring, with each ascent, my fears overwhelmed my thrill, growing into the certainty that I was doomed. I was sure I had to be perfect and brilliant, when I knew nothing except how to hit rewind and fast-forward. A voice screamed in my head: just hit the lobby button, go back down, and get out of there! No one will ever know and you will have escaped!

As the clamor in my brain grew into a screech, the doors slowly opened on the seventh floor. I told myself to move, but for long moments, I just stood in the car, frozen. Thank goodness the elevator was such a piece of crap. The doors remained open as I inwardly struggled.

Something in me pushed up from my center, an alternate force of desire. I told myself that I was gonna do this. With all my might, against the pull of terror, I leapt out of the sardine can.

When I looked around at where I was, I felt disoriented. I was convinced I was on the wrong floor. Could this be right? I saw a dirty yellow couch with a couple of sleeping messengers on it, who looked like homeless beggars. The décor was shabby, cheap, and worn.

Two guys ran in front of me and then down the hall, one chasing the other with a fire extinguisher held over his head, screaming, “You putz! I’ll fuckin’ rip your balls off!”

So much for glitz and glamour.

Strangely, that made me feel a little more comfortable. This wasn’t as far from Brooklyn as I imagined it would be.

Could this really be the place? I saw an open door to the left, and walked in. A guy hung over a drafting table with a Sherlock Holmes pipe drooping out of his mouth. He had broad 70’s sideburns, and a long, Italianate shnozz.

“Yes?” he said, laconically, with a raised eyebrow. The phone rang. “Hold on,” he raised a finger, signaling me to wait.

“Can’t do it. It’s booked. Look I don’t care if Donnie’s having a baby. Phil’s got it blocked for McCartney. All day and night.” A pause. “I know he won’t use it. But do you want to tell Ramone he can’t have his studio?” Another pause. “All right. Good luck.” The guy slammed down the phone.

He looked at me. “What do these fucking people want from me?”

I wasn’t sure what to answer, but I guessed he must have been talking about Paul McCartney. That would mean I had arrived.

“OK. Who are you and what do you want?”

I was in it now. No time for nerves. I somehow squeaked out, “I’m the new intern and I’m here to see Tony, the studio manager.”

“ You got him. Perfect. Hey assholes!” He called out to whoever was in the room. “We have a new victim!”

The other guys in the room turned to me with a look of pity. I intuited this was all a test. It was time to perform. This was something I could handle, or at least so I thought. Just look tough, I told myself, like I would when approached by a would-be mugger.

He tapped out his pipe in the ashtray, and leaned over so close to me that the tip of his nose almost touched mine, which, in the Jewish variety, wasn’t so short itself. I held my position and stared in his eyes.

“Rule number one. Keep your fucking mouth — SHUT. Do you understand? If I hear that you have so much as said hello to any of the artists, I will rip you a new one and your career in the music business will be over before it began. Get it?”

I nodded, not knowing if this was one of those times I wasn’t supposed to speak.

“Rule number two. You do whatever I tell you to do. You never, ever say no. The only right answer is yes. Do you understand that one?”

Now I at least knew what to say. “Yes.”

“Perfect.”

I hadn’t blown it yet, but inside I was wincing a bit. I felt like I was getting poked in the ribs. I knew I couldn’t show it.

Two hip-looking young guys ambled into the office.

One of them, with a cool gait, a wispy blond moustache and a black and white cowboy shirt, said, “Hey Remsen, Billy, come with us.”

The studio manager, Tony, said, “What are you up to?”

The other guy, good looking with a black shag and beard,  said, “We’re just breaking down from the Foghat session so Blakin can get into A-1.”

“Mathis, Devon, this is . . .what’s your name?”

“ Glenn Berger.”

“Berger here is our new intern. Take care of him will you? This is Dan Mathis and Greg Devon, two of our best assistant engineers. Follow them around and one day you, too, might learn how to be as big losers as they are.”

The guys smiled. Mathis said, “Come with us.”

The five of us walked down the hall. My legs were still shaking a bit, but I tried to affect the same cool these guys displayed. With each step, my initial panic settled, replaced with giddiness. If anyone saw me with this crew, they’d think I was just one of the guys.

At the end of the hall was a blue door with a round window. We opened it.

 Studio A - 1For someone who was interested in how music got made, this was like entering the cathedral at Chartres. Studio A-1. I stood at the threshold and peered in. It was a huge room with a blond wooden floor and a peaked ceiling. Something had just happened here. Microphones hung on huge booms slanted at various angles like giraffes in the veldt. Headphones were tossed on the floor. A huge drum set, behind baffles, was surrounded by a web of mics. Chairs were set up willy-nilly, guitar amps buzzed. The sound of the room had a sweet ring like a bunch of monks chanting “om.” The remnants of a sweet, skunky smell suggested rock and roll.

I didn’t have much time to take in the vibe, as this group hurried to a smaller room, at the back end of the big one. I hustled to catch up. What were we up to? Why were we cramming in this little space? Everyone got into a circle, silent with anticipation. I took my place. Mathis took out a folded piece of paper and carefully unwrapped it. Inside was a small pile of white powder. Devon offered a tiny, metal spoon.

“Where’d you get the shit?” Billy asked.

“The guys from Foghat gave us a little gift on the way out. They instructed us to share with you low-lifes.” (Foghat was a B-level band from that era.)

The group of young men hovered anxiously over the offering, waiting for their toot. I watched each guy dip the spoon into the powder, hold one nostril and snort the stuff into the other one. Then they reversed the procedure, snorting up the other side.

Eventually, the spoon came to me.

“You want some?”

I had done my share of substances in my young life, but never cocaine. Being a kid from the ‘70’s, I was all about taking any drug available. I remembered Tony’s instructions.

“Yes!”

I just wanted to impress with my savoir faire, and do it right. My shaking hand scraped up a few grains of the magic dust onto the spoon. As I brought it to my nose I tried to remember to breathe in, and not out. I feared I looked the novice. Some precious crumbs fell on the artificial carpet. Looks were exchanged. My cool cover was blown. I cringed with embarrassment.

But I learned fast.We went around the circle a few more times and I got enough in to give me a sweet glowing buzz. It was as if someone blew a giant wind through my head, clearing the dust and dirt away. I felt fresh. My head expanded. All the lights got brighter, my anxiety and embarrassment evaporated, and I saw the whole thing from above, wowed by where I was. I had to suppress a stupid grin. My next lesson in the studio. I know knew how to snort cocaine.

If I hadn’t been excited enough getting my big break to be an intern at a recording studio, I was now euphoric. I hadn’t been in this place for ten minutes and I was already blasted. A cocaine-amplified thought went through my head – I was the shit! Yes, indeed!

Mathis said there was a session I might like in the smaller studio, A-2, and I should hang in there until someone could think of something to do with me. We walked back down the hall, the shabby décor glimmering a little brighter. Over the control-room door was a sign lit in red: Closed Session. I hesitated. Mathis walked right in and signalled me to follow. It appeared that I had received carte blanche.

I stood in a dim room lit by colored lights. A blue metal box about the size of a small car glowed in the middle of it all. It was covered with black knobs, white glowing switches and buttons, and red sliding volume controls. This was the machine I was there to play with, someday, the thing that took what came out of the artists and musicians and turned it into that thing we called a “record.” This was the recording console.

Glass covered the front wall. Behind the glass was the recording room. My first session!

Mathis introduced me to the assistant, a black guy named Holley. He smiled. The assistants were cool. He pulled over a stool for me in the rear right hand corner of the control room and patted on it for me to sit down. He whispered. “Do you know how to run a tape machine?”

I nodded and again, said, “yes.”

“When I give you the signal, you rewind this tape to the top and then hit play and record. That’s your job.” Holley nodded, as if to say, I’ll take care of you kid, don’t worry.

I tried to settle my ass on the stool. My first job. Please God, don’t let me hit the wrong button . . .

There were speakers on the wall opposite me the size of small tanks. A relentless funk vamp pounded out of the giant woofers and tiny tweeters. Every time the kick drum popped on the first and third beat of the four-beat measure I felt my viscera lurch to the edge of my throat. Smack between that non-stop deep and hard percussion was the stanky crack of the snare on the two and four. Each time the stick hit the skin I checked my ears for blood. Sinewy guitar licks punctuated the off beats. Honkin’ horns swirled their sexy riffs between the gravelly vocals.

In the front of the control room, underneath a spotlight, a black guy with a high, stiff coiffure held court. His courtiers stood around him in obeisance. He looked familiar. He spoke non-stop, but I couldn’t hear him over the din.

The repetitive four-bar musical pattern seemed to go on forever. Pop, stomach up, crack, ear-bleed, pop, crack, pop, crack.

Everybody seemed to be enjoying the music that just kept going, but I couldn’t take it. It was too loud.

 I had this overwhelming urge to run out of the control room. It was like someone was screwing a drill into my head. My newbie status was clear. I’ll never be able to handle this, I thought. I held onto my stool to keep myself there.

Over the funky noise, I heard this raspy wail. “Bob, Bob! Stop that muthafucka!” A white guy sitting at the console, the engineer, nervously pushed his long hair back, swung his chair around from his position at the board, and signaled Holley to stop the multi-track tape machine. The silence was almost as deafening as the cacophony that preceded it. Holley gave me the signal, and I hit the rewind button.

“Bob, you gotta listen when I talk!”

“Yes sir, Mr. Brown.”

“Five dollars.”

A short man in a black suit nodded, and marked something on a pad.

Mr. Brown? Wait, I know who that guy is, I thought. It’s James Brown! The Godfather of Soul, Mr. Hot Pants, The Papa With a Brand New Bag! Holy shit!

I hadn’t really thought of James Brown for a couple of years, probably since his hit, “Sex Machine,” and 2 years was a long time back then. His best days, I thought, were behind him, but he was definitely a legend. I was in the room with my first star. 

 

 

“That track is fine,” Brown said. “Now this is what we’re gonna do next. This young lady and I are going to work the bridge on the ballad.”

Mr. Brown put his hand on the waist of a sexy looking woman wearing a tight-fitting polyester dress.“I’ll show you what to do,” Mr. Brown said to her.

He turned to Holley, and said, “Set up the mics.”

Holley ran out into the studio and pushed some microphone stands into position in the center of the room.

James Brown started to speak with a voice that sounded like someone had shredded his vocal chords into a thousand pieces and then poured crazy glue on them to put them back together. “Here is the situation in the country today. The black man is finally beginning to assume his power. The princes of Africa, you know that most slaves were descendents of African princes, right? The princes of Africa are no longer going to play this role of bowing down to the white man. And the white man is afraid, because he knows that when the black man finally wakes up, he will be in a lot of trouble. Now here is what every one of you got to do.”

His coterie of acolytes stood rapt around him, listening to his every utterance, nodding and grunting in approbation. The tape machine I was rewinding was coming close to the top of the tape. I hit the fast forward button to break the speed, and hit stop when it slowed to a crawl. Then I hit play and record.

James Brown continued.

“You must be proud. Say it loud,” he bellowed in that famous rasp, “I’m black and I’m proud! We are not the ones who are going to ruin this country. White men can do that job good enough themselves. We are the ones who are going to save it! It’s time for payback! Get out of my way!”

I wanted to shout out, right on, James Brown! Power to the people! But then I remembered that I was supposed to keep my mouth shut. Also, I was a skinny white kid who was the assistant’s intern. Good idea to keep quiet. But man, this guy could be funky and political. I dug it.

Holley came back into the control room, and with respectful deference said, “We’re ready Mr. Brown.”

“Get up!” Mr. Brown, cackled. “Thank you, Holley.” And then, “Bob, you lame-ass white mother fucker, what are you doing? Put up the ballad and go to the bridge. Let’s go!” And then, with charm, “Come on young lady, follow James into the studio and I’ll show you what to do.”

The engineer fiddled with some knobs to prepare for the new track.

As James Brown walked out of the control room and into the studio, a man with gold-rimmed glasses, a droopy moustache and a scraggly head of hair with a growing bald spot in the back got up from the row of movie theatre chairs that were at the front of the recording console.

He said to no one in particular, “Is this man not the baddest being on the planet?” still groovin’ to a beat that had stopped long before.

This guy looked familiar, too. I rifled through my brain’s memory drive, and up came the cover of the very first record album I bought and loved when I was five years old in 1960. It was called, “Peter, Paul, and Mary.” The scraggly dude, in a somewhat younger version, was on that cover. The man in front of me was Peter Yarrow from this hit-making folk trio. He was the guy who wrote “Puff, the Magic Dragon.”

Now I knew I was a little high, but this was a weird combo: the godfather of soul and the pot-smoking pederast! (Yarrow had pleaded guilty for taking “immoral and improper liberties” with a 14-year-old in 1970, and “Puff” was presumably about weed.)

 

 

I barely had time to incorporate what was going on when Brown commanded, standing in front of the mics with the young lady,“Play the track through the speakers and record this!”

Bob the engineer hit the talkback and said nervously while playing with his hair, “Mr. Brown, if we play it through the speakers that will leak into the mic, which won’t be great for the sound. Could you put on your headphones?”

“Bob! Just do what I say. You make it work. Wait. Let me explain it to you. It’s not about the sound, it’s all about the feel. Who cares about the leakage?”

Little did any of us know at that time that in a few decades with the advent of hip-hop and sampling, where artists could cadge a few measures from any record and use it to be the basis of their own art, that these nasty, low-tech James Brown recordings, (probably from his album, “The Payback”) as awfully engineered as they were, would become some of the most popular “samples” in the genre.

In exasperation, Bob turned back to Holley and threw up his hands. Holley, always smiling and nodding, leaned over Bob to push some buttons and turn some knobs. He then turned back to the multi-track tape machine and hit the red button. A black velvet, slow groove chugged through the speakers. James directed the girl.

“Now you just follow what I do with what you do. Just do whatever comes to your soul, girl. Just be real.”

The instrumental mid-section of the song began, and James moaned, “Ooo yeah, baby, unh.”

He nooded to the girl. She took it up. “Yeah, I like it like that.”

Then James, “Get it on, get it on, girl, get it on.”

“Sweet, sweet, James, give it to me good.”

This went on for a couple of minutes. It was bad. This was dirty! I started to writhe in my seat, the snaky groove crawling up my chakras. You couldn’t help but get into it.

In a swoon, I was startled to feel my shoulder poked. I turned my head and there was Tony, the studio manager. With his thumb, he signaled me to get up and get out, as if I was being sent to the principal’s office. Was grinding not allowed?

When we got into the hall, he said, “OK kid, here’s your first gig so don’t screw up. See these mics?”

I sighed with relief. I guessed I wasn’t in trouble yet.

In the hallway were two behemoth mics, on Atlas mic stands 7-feet tall. At the end hung a microphone the size of a liter soda bottle.

“Bring the U-47 into A-1. There’s a guy in there named Blakin. He’ll tell you what to do with it.”

Tony turned and walked away. I suddenly felt lilliputian and way out of my depth. I took a breath and tried to push the ginormous heavy metal unit to the big room. I could barely steer it, and the mic swung perilously close to the walls. Inching along, I made it after what felt like a half hour, sweating, relieved that nothing broke on the way and no one was there to see it.

Richard Blakin, impeccably tailored in a black vest, black pants, wireless glasses, and a “patch cord” around his neck, grabbed the mic from me. He flipped a switch on the mic and said, “Wrong one. I need the 47, not the 48. You see, let me show you. This one is figure-8. The 47 is omni.”

“Oh,” I said, not wanting to reveal my utter ignorance of what figure-eight or omni meant. What I did know was that out of the two mics in the hall I picked the wrong one, and now I had to go through the treacherous exercise of getting the other one down the hall without shattering it.

I guess Blakin saw the fear in my eyes, or he knew he needed the mic faster than I’d get it. “Come with me,” he said, with a teacher’s patience.

I followed him down the hall.

“Let me show you how to do this.”

He deftly grabbed the giant stand. He unlocked a big knob on the side, lowered the upper boom parallel to the floor, tightened the knob, grabbed the mic in one hand and the lower part of the stand in the other, and pushed the whole thing into the studio in about four seconds. Ah-ha.

He loosened another knob, lifted the upper stand high in the air, and deftly swung the boom into the middle of a semi-circle of five black gospel singers, being directed by a little white guy.

They sang, in powerful harmony, “Rock, me like a rock oh, baby!”

 Wait. The guy directing them is very short, I noticed. It’s Paul Simon. Paul Simon. Bridge Over Troubled Waters Paul Simon. Of course the first thought that popped into my head was, wow. He is really short. For some reason, when I looked at him I didn’t feel excited. I felt cold. A little scared.

But the singers! The sound of their rich, blended gospel voices in that sweet, big room, was stirring. I got a little teary.

I followed Blakin into the control room where we were alone. Hiding my trembling voice, I asked, “Who are those singers?”

“The Dixie Hummingbirds. Name of the song is, ‘Loves Me Like a Rock.’” (This track, which eventually charted as a number two single, would be released on Simon’s forthcoming album, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.)

 

 

Blakin gave me my now familiar seat next to what I was to find out was called the “echo machine.” The machine added a delay to the reverb, giving the effect a rich depth. I felt slick at my job of rewinding that tape back to the top when it got to the end, and hitting the play and record button. Also, I felt safe and secure hidden in this corner of the room with something to do.

Blakin pointed to a fat guy with a beard who played with his fingers as he hovered close to Simon out in the studio.

“That’s Ramone. Phil Ramone. The guy who owns the place. Look, steer clear of him. He’s a genius, and he can be a little volatile on occassion. Your job is to be invisible. If you can manage that, you’ll survive. Don’t do anything unless I tell you to.”

So that was the legendary recording engineer, Phil Ramone.

It was perfect being invisible. I could watch these greats at work. What were they like? I still had a little buzz on, and I thought this enhanced my powers of perception. I imagined I could see more deeply into things. Plus, as a teenager, I was sure I knew it all.

Ramone seemed an inexplicable combination of sensitivity, strength, confidence, and anxiety all rolled into one. He followed Simon around, hanging on his every word. I was shocked to see this giant of the studio treat Simon with such deference. I could see their whole relationship in a flash. It was as if Phil was simply an excellent butler to the lord of the manor. This bugged me. I felt a resistance in my working-class liberal-hippie belly. I couldn’t do that, even for a superstar like Simon. Judgments came up: Ramone is acting like such a poodle. And look how Simon expects to be treated this way.

Blakin turned a knob on the V-shaped console, and we listened in to Simon’s work through the mic Blakin had placed in front of the singers. Simon rehearsed the choir relentlessly, singing the same few lines over and over. He must have heard something different each time they did it, but it all sounded the same to me.

Suffused with an intolerable boredom from the tedium of the whole thing, my mind wandered. As I looked out into the big room, I traveled back to 11-17-70. On that day, sitting in my room in Brooklyn, I listened to a radio broadcast of a concert by Elton John. It had emanated from this studio, with Ramone at the helm.

That was the day my father died. I listened to that concert as I waited to put my father in the ground.

A few weeks before my dad died, I came home from school to find him in his wheel chair in our living room, crying. I had never seen my father cry. I felt a tightness in my jaw that made me want to lower my eyes and not look. I asked him what was wrong, sitting opposite him, on a plastic covered chair. He said that he had never achieved anything in his life except have his children.

Hearing those words, my head tightened, and I felt a rising panic. How horrible. A shadow descended around me outside of my awareness. The blackness was fear, and the outline was anger. I told myself in that moment that I would never, ever find myself in that position. I would start doing something with my life, now.

 

 

Little did I know that 2 years later I would be sitting with Phil Ramone in the very room where Elton played the night my father died. The coke was wearing thin. I started coming down. The shadow emerged. My euphoria was now mixing with melancholy.

Simon started recording the background singers over the pre-recorded rhythm section. He kept doing take after take. I rewound my echo tape over and over again. The dregs of the coke were leaving me feeling edgy. What with the volume, the repetition, and all that had happened that day, I hit overload. I told Blakin I had to go. He grunted, preoccupied, at the ready, his eyes on Ramone and Simon, his fingers on the buttons. I slinked, invisibly and silently, out of the control room and down the hall.

I crammed back into the front elevator, relieved that I had survived, glad to be out of there, and excited that I would be coming back again. 

Going down, I looked at all the students, unaware of what was going on right above them, oblivious to what had just happened to me. I felt strangely apart from everyone whose bodies shoved against mine. Somehow, I was different. I had gone through the very first steps of an initiation that had already transformed me in ways I still don’t completely understand.

As I made it into the street, back in the real world, surrounded by the chaos and grandeur of the city, revived by a blast of oxygen, what I had just experienced hit me. James Brown, Peter Yarrow, and Paul Simon. Day one. I could confidently say I was doing something with my life. I remembered my first lesson. I jumped up, and, pumping my fist in the air, said, yes.

For more chapters from the memoir about my days with Sinatra, Jagger, Dylan, Phoebe Snow, Arif Mardin, Judy Collins, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Solomon Burke and others, click here.

Dr. Glenn Berger is a psychotherapist, relationship counselor, business coach, artist’s coach, music producer, and young person’s mentor. To make an appointment, click here.

Contact Dr. Berger Here

One Response to “Peter, Paul, and James Brown: My First Day in the Recording Studio”

  1. James Bergin says:

    Really enjoying this, Glenn! I remember when you looked like that!!!

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