I got this gig
because Bob Clearmountain was co-producing the record. I was at
Power Station in Studio A with Tom Dowd doing Meat Loaf’s
record, and Bob and Bryan were in Studio B. Bob had always loved
the background vocals that I sang on Melanie Cries, a great song
from the David Werner Epic album, and had played it for Bryan.
When they were working on Straight From The Heart they both thought
that the middle could use a vocal treatment like that, and since
I was next door. . .
My session with Meat ended around 6, right when theirs started,
so I went over and Bryan, Tommy Mandel and I did the vocals. I
would teach them each part, then we all would sing unison. We’d
do the next part the same way. It went so well that they asked
if I was free for the rest of the night. I said okay, so we proceeded
to do Cuts Like A Knife. Then they said “We’d like
to do Keith’s guitar on this, can you hang around?”
I said okay (assuming that I was still “on the meter”).
They took a while to get the guitar part, then we did the gang
vocals on “This Time”. Next, Bryan wanted to add a
guitar to that – would I mind hanging around? I thought,
“this is great, I’ve done a double session (6 hours)
with Meat Loaf and now this is turning into a double session.”
I could feel my bank account getting fatter. So I hung around
til the wee hours, doing some more vocals, waiting around, more
A few weeks later I heard from Bob that Lou Gramm came into Power
Station one night, and since Bryan had always dreamt of singing
with Lou (Foreigner were riding high at that time and Bryan was
just beginning to catch on), they ended up re-doing all of the
background vocals except Straight From The Heart with Lou and
Bryan. And that “fat” session check I was expecting?
When I got down to the union to collect it, after deductions I
ended up clearing $100. I could’ve protested, but let it
go. Which was good because years later I got a call out of the
blue from Peter Wolf, who said “I’m sitting here at
the bar in The Four Seasons (Boston) with Bryan Adams and he tells
me you’re a great guitar player. Can you come to Boston
tomorrow and try out for my band?” And the credit on the
record was a great thing to have.