Sunday, November 11, 2012

Squid Barret & The Floyd Experience

Dave "Squids" Kerzner and Alan Parsons at a previous recording session in LA

It all starts with the work I've been doing with Alan Parsons on what we call the "Alan Parsons Sample Project" where we've been recording various samples for Sonic Reality that he's recorded over the years starting from the early 70's on. We've recorded iconic sounds from Dark Side such as deluxe grand piano miked the same way he did on the album through an old EMI TG console just like he used at Abbey Road back in the day to sessions with various musicians and singers who have contributed to the Alan Parsons Project over the years and more. We've been doing it on and off for years now. But then an opportunity came up to work on something else that's particularly related to Pink Floyd specifically... and it just so happens that by chance Alan was on vacation in England the day I wanted to do a session with Guy Pratt and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd! What are the chances? Pretty amazing synchronicity. 

Amazing bass from Guy Pratt

Enter Guy Pratt. Despite the fact that Guy and I both played with the incredibly talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Kevin Gilbert (Guy with Toy Matinee and me with Thud) we actually never met in person until a session I booked with him at "State of the Ark" studios in Richmond Surrey England on October 29th, 2012. There is a certain affinity the people who played with Kevin have that's hard to explain. But Guy said to me "any friend of Kevin's is a friend of mine" and that set the stage for some good hang time in the studio and more. Besides Toy Matinee, Guy is best known for playing bass in the post-Waters Pink Floyd (Momentary Lapse and Division Bell tours). Although he's played with a long impressive list of artists ranging from Coverdale/Page to Robbie Robertson to Brian Ferry to Madonna and many more. Not only does he have some incredibly interesting music industry stories he is also a stand up comedian who has written a hilarious book called "My Bass and Other Animals"  So, we had a great time recording and sampling his basses. There's so much more to that story but I'll save it for later. For now though I'll show you a moment where we were talking about what's on his iPhone. Here's Guy telling me how IK Multimedia's AmpliTube app and iRig helped him get the effects for "One of These Days" in a pinch situation. 

Enter Nick Mason. On October 30th we had another session at producer/songwriter Terry Britten's studio "State of the Ark". This time it was with Nick Mason, drummer of Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons who originally engineered Dark Side of the Moon. Here I am directing the session and conducting interviews with all of them and I'm in 'the zone'! I was really getting some great stuff! The energy was fantastic. Nick was really nice. I never met him before but he was a total pleasure to work with. He also has a great sense of humor and I have to say that, being one who likes to laugh and make people laugh, this is something important when you're in the studio. Music and recording can take long hours and it's way more fun if there's some comic relief... even if it's subtle. Graham Collins was there again to help out with the drum kits. Manon was the staff engineer there and she pulled some late hours with us... all went extremely well! 

If you would have told me as a kid that I'd be in the studio with the rhythm section of Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons just after playing a gig with the guitarist of the original 5 man Genesis I'd insist on seeing your crystal ball and make sure it was working properly. But, the novelty and fantasy aspect of it is just on the surface. These guys didn't all come together so Squids could live out his childhood fantasies. There was a strong purpose and genuine reason for all of these things to happen. One thing leads to another and there's a trail behind it and a path moving forward that puts everything into its right place.

Alan Parsons, Dave "Squids" Kerzner and Nick Mason

Alright so, as you can imagine, there must be a whole HUGE story behind how this happened, all kinds of details on what exactly happened in the studio with these guys, what they said in the interviews etc. I'll have to save most of that for later. But, the UK trip blogging would not be complete without showing you something from the session so here is just a little 'fly on the wall' teaser video for now. Then all will be revealed at a later date. Needless to say it's very exciting and I'm thrilled and honored to be working with all of them. This trip was off the charts and full of incredible moments I will never forget... and to think this is just the beginning! Wait until you see what's coming next!!!!

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