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Author Topic: Working with your heroes / legends  (Read 2611 times)

RMoore

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Working with your heroes / legends
« on: September 21, 2004, 06:36:02 pm »

Recently I have been working as 'coordinator' on some projects with artists who were big heroes of mine when I was kid and / or legends in their genre.

All the artists have been very cool and professional to deal with so far - no diva attitudes, so no problems there. And while the clock is ticking , the work is fast and furious so there's not generally much time to think about anything other than getting the job done - so I rarely think to myself during the session  'wow,I can;t believe this..pinch me am I dreaming etc.'...

Yet,when I think back about the the flow of the sessions I think I am grappling with a subtle sense of insecurity / being nervous at times due the 'hero' factor, which I think impacts on my ability to communicate with all the participants  as effectively as I normally may.

I was curious if other people have been in that situation & how they dealt with it.

?

Thnx,

RM
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People's Republic of Ryan

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Dan Kennedy

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2004, 07:41:24 pm »

Like the press release party last year at AES where I had to
talk about a new equalizer with GM standing 4 feet in front of me?

I dealt with it by sweating, stammering and then having a couple of margaritas...
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pipelineaudio

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2004, 08:38:34 pm »

Just dont punch them after a show, with a setup camera rolling like the dumbshit band from my town did

Loco

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2004, 08:09:09 am »

Ryan Moore wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 18:36

I was curious if other people have been in that situation & how they dealt with it.


Acting like if you don't know them. Actually, it has happened to me that I don't know them and the assistants gave me that look...
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Carlos "El Loco" Bedoya

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Jan Folkson

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2004, 11:48:20 am »

I've been very lucky in the fact that I've gotten to work with several of my heroes.  I just deal with them as if they're regular people, after all...they are.
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RMoore

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2004, 12:02:16 pm »

<'ve been very lucky in the fact that I've gotten to work with several of my heroes.  I just deal with them as if they're regular people, after all...they are. >

Thanks for the feedback so far folks,
Indeed,thats my difficulty - I am trying to deal with people on a normal basis but somehow my own awareness of the hero factor creeps in causing me to get nervous...I guess I just need to count to 10 and take a big breath..
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People's Republic of Ryan

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By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

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chrisj

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2004, 02:03:42 pm »

Treat them like they are GOOD people. Like they have already earned a measure of friendship. That way, the person you are will come through (good bad or indifferent!) Don't hold yourself back out of fear.
That's what I do (of course, I'm a freak, but a nice and unfearful one). The only time I haven't was when George Massenburg suggested I call him and chat. It wasn't that I was afraid- but I had no idea what I was expected to chat about, so I never did. If he was interested in anything specific it'd be different, but I'm lousy at doing social unless I have a topic.
I'm starting to get people nervous about talking to/working with ME, which is completely insane since I'm a disabled nerdly freak in a one-room apartment in a small town in Vermont and have absolutely no credentials to speak of (yet). I'm not afraid of THAT either, but it does sort of underscore how foolish being scared of hierarchy is. Supposing I was also a godlike instrumentalist, or some kinda brilliant audio designer, and only THOUGHT I was a plucky loser. I'd still be in Vermont (no dire fate!) and I'd still feel weird about people trying to put me atop some hierarchy and behave like I was important.
The only people who will need to be treated like they are better than you are either posers, or people you can tolerate for their skills but their ego will cause problems. There is NO point in treating most people that way, unless you yourself are nasty and mean to peers and inferiors. And if you are, cut it out Wink
It's all about how you think about hierarchy. Most people need to look for a pecking order. Most people aren't inherently anarchists Smile

Bill Mueller

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2004, 10:36:05 pm »

I have been working with major acts for over 30 years, and the one and only time I have been treated badly (Genesis) was when I asked for an autograph. Act like you belong just as much as anybody at the gig and you will do fine, (as long as you are damn good at what you do).

Here?s a good hero story. I recorded Aerosmith for the Armegedon Movie release party at Cape Cannaveral, NASA base. I was in heaven. No kidding, kill me now cause this is it, my heroes. The setup was a bear because Florida was on fire and it was about 100 degrees and 90% humidity. Smoke, sweat and heat. However the sound check went well, so I expected the show to go well. Not so fast.

My assistant did not roll tape in time and missed the top of the first song. CRAP! I stopped hyperventilating just in time for the band to roll into the second song. About ten seconds into the second song, (Walk This Way), the very famous and powerful John Kolodner, who was in the truck for the show, heard something he did not like. He came down to the console, tapped me on the shoulder and told me to stop the band and have them start again! I looked back at him and he was dead serious. Oh man. I called Steve Weincam (the best stage guy on the east coast) on the com and said, ?Steve, Mr. Kolodner wants you to stop the band?. Steve laughed and said, ?Right?. I said, ? No really, stop the band?. I can?t say what he said next.

After he recovered, Steve walked over to the stage manager and told him to stop the band. The stage manager turned to him and without a word, threw his headphones down and walked off the stage. In the meantime the band was about a third of the way through this song. Mr. Kolodner was getting tense, so I told Steve that he had to do it himself. In one of the bravest actions I have ever seen, he walked out into the middle of that stage, tapped Steven Tyler on the shoulder and when Steven turned around in amazement, told him to start the song again!

Steven stopped the band, told the audience that we were recording and they were going to do the song again. Just like that, totally professional. When they came to the truck for a playback, I thought they were going to kill me but they were great. We told them we had a ?technical? problem with the first song and they said, ?No problem?. I couldn?t believe it.

I guess the moral to this story is that you would be hard pressed to put your famous musicians out more than we did, and we lived. No worries man.

Best Regards,

Bill

Bill
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Sahib

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2004, 09:03:29 am »

This is an experience that my wife had when she worked for Citizens Theatre here in Glasgow as a marketing/pr manager back in 89. Glenda Jackson ( she became a politician ) was appearing in Mother Courage and obviously every newspaper was after a photo. So my wife organised an entire afternoon for the shoot and lined up all the photographers. After a while one local paper's photographer takes his turn but it is obvious that he has a hang over from a previous nights heavy drinking session. Anyhow, he staggers in front of Ms Jackson, points the camera and before hitting the shutter he goes whhhoooaauurgghhh and throws up right in front of her. My wife is completely frozen and in shock. Ms Jackson steps over the pool of sick on the floor and says to my wife' O.K. Roberta let's go to your office for a while and give him some time to wake up'. Yet I remember so many no body local actors giving her such trouble for 2 minutes interview because they are above it all. So I suppose it must be a bit of luck when it comes to working with heros/legends.

Cemal Ozturk
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Signal

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2004, 09:57:27 am »

BEST STORY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok so check it out- i was working with a hero of mine, Andy Lemaster, who was producing our band a couple years ago.

First day (night) we met him at the studio,  said hello, and then i proceeded to track shit from my shoes through every room in the place as i moved equipment in ...

apparently a dog frequently hang out right outside the entrance door.  I spent my first few moments with said "hero" apologizing and scrubbing the carpet with soggy napkins and hand soap.

needless to say, the session was rough.

-Sig
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Barish

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2004, 09:59:28 am »

I remember me getting very excited to the degree of being stunned when I first met my childhood hero, the late Baris Man
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M Ozturk

RMoore

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2004, 06:12:03 pm »

Great stories folks - this has helped me out,

When I think about it I realize that most people I have seen being difficult in the studio were amateurs / inexperienced and obviously the difficulty stems from their own insecurities getting multiplied out of control in the studio environment.

In the case of legends, one would assume that they have the self confidence level of an Olympic gold medalist who just knows they are going to come in and *ace* that high jump..

Its an attitude thing all the way.

So I just have to build up my own confidence level, know I can pull it together
& get on with the job..

FWIW - the prominent artists I've been lucky enough to work with in this recent work cycle have all been easy to work with - very relaxed and professional.

Perhaps I'd be singing a different song had it been say a certain balding piano player or large nosed 'funny girl'..

Anyway...

One funny thing is that I notice persons of 'legend' status still appreciate positive feedback in the session like 'Hey great take, loved that line there.' etc..

Good luck out there,

RM
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People's Republic of Ryan

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By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
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PP

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Re: Working with your heroes / legends
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2004, 08:20:26 pm »

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