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Friday, June 11, 2010

David Crosby's P.E.R.R.O. Sessions.... WOW!!!





P.E.R.R.O. - aka Planet Earth Rock'n'Roll Orchestra... what a stoned name;-)!

This seldom read acronym defines The Holy Grail and the mother of all the sessions.

Imagine: between Nov. 70 and Apr. 71, the best heads of S.Francisco's musical scene gathered at Wally Heider's Studios in S.F. on a free-form basis, to produce what would have been the seminal David Crosby's solo "If I could only remember my name"!

Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Neil Young, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzman, Paul Kantner, David Frieberg, Grace Slick, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, Laura Allan... and David Crosby, these stellar musicians, some friends and the right amount of dope, BUT also discipline, love for details and empathy, without forgetting the young Stephen Barncard's great studio work and a definite "let tape roll" mode for weeks... all the above created a recording and a disc which became a legend.

From The Perro Sessions downloads (yes... the Mule;-) you enter from those narrow staircase which makes the "cover" for (part of) the disks, which possibly was the main entrance of Wally Heider's in S.F.... and you, literally, "see" the guys having good time, chatting, smoking, kidding, trying a new tune, loosing a chord change, humming an idea and sharing it, before the sessions reached, in few months, their status as songs and anthems to a generation.

Amazing!

Stephen Barncard, the sound engineer, used for these endless recording sessions, a non-standard master-tape format and speed - i.e. 2 inches on 30 i.p.s.!!!

The mighty tape reel boxes, 3M brand, I guess, are several dozens, as a 2 tracks 2 inches wide at 30 i.p.s. is worth about 15 minutes recording per reel...

It's like the producer (David Geffen) and Atlantic's E. Ertegun, the Boss and Stephen Barncard were WELL aware of the importance of the recording happening and weren't costs shy or technically saving, per se... as everyone into recording know, there's nothing bad like looking at the clock in the studio = thinking about studio wages, instead of music.

So, let tape rolls!!! ... and so they did...

... on PERRO sessions you're into the beautiful world of unedited alternate takes, only guitar and voice first appearance of famous songs, owning an algid trueness which production and editing, in worst or better, changed...

Perfection, the first David Crsoby's solo, at a price... long, long rehearsing, faulty beginnings, endless hours, weeks, spent in the studio...

The polished beauty of the final product is far to come... BUT those young geniuses are positively "ON" and producing something...

You can hear echoes of "Blow against the Empire" by Jefferson Starship, Crosby and Nash's first disc, still unheard songs... Jerry Garcia AND Jorma Kaukonen improvising in the studio...

From Crosby's bio "Long Time Gone" I learned this wasn't the best moment for David himself... his girlfriend, Christine Gail Hinton, untimely death and some dopes, heavy dopes, abuses marred a perfect West Coast dream and David's temper... BUT, nonetheless, what we music lovers had, almost 40 years ago, was a soundtrack to our dreams of America... freedom, open spaces, freewheelin', peace...

Dreams? Sure they were... on my part, humbly, I suggest to everyone to bother enough, like I did with my friend Daniele, to obtain those three disks...

Planet Earth R'n'R Orchestra... what a stoned name;-)


... but what an Heavenly music, too...

2 comments:

Mario said...

totally agreed. Do you have any links for the Perro Sessions? I have a few tracks from jerryradio.com but you mention three disks...are there others as well?

Mario said...

totally agreed. Do you have any links for the Perro Sessions? I have a few tracks from jerryradio.com but you mention three disks...are there others as well?