I met a guy once at an AA meeting, Tony M. We got to talking afterwards and it turned out he had been an extremely successful record producer at one time. He’d earned his first Grammy at age 23 for Herbie Hancock’s Rocket. He had managed and produced the Fine Young Cannibals. He had had a house in Long Island and staffs in New York and London. By the time I met him around 1998, he had lost everything due a thousand-dollar a day heroin habit and was living back at his parents home in early sobriety. Even so, it was quickly apparent he possessed the kind of personality traits necessary for that level of success in the music business. We jokingly called him The Force.
He and I got to be fast friends, obsessed as I have been with the music business for my entire life. I had recently finished my first cd of electronic music, the strange and beautiful Flight of the Atom Bee, a technicolor journey through otherworldly realms of analog synthesis. It had taken me years to produce, because I had had to learn everything involved with analogue and digital synthesis, arranging, recording, as well as building the studio itself over a couple of years. Nonetheless I was very happy with the resulting album, and still am. Needless to say, I wanted to share it with Tony. I finally asked him if he would listen to it. He said yes. I gave him a cd.
We didn’t talk for a week. I finally called him up. After a few pleasantries, he said,”I listened to your cd.”
I said,”Yes, and … ?”
He said,”What were you thinking?”
I look at this weird picture and, as much as I like it, I want to ask the same question.