Our American tour portion of the crisis tour came to a screeching halt when Roger fell off a tree stump somewhere in Washington state, breaking his wrist. We were now all living in and around Los Angeles. Some luck. After years of trying to get out of Los Angeles, these guys want to leave London and live in Los Angeles.
We looked around for a base of operations to rehearse in and gather at, and our manager, Dave Margereson found a house in the hills around Malibu. I know, it sounds grand, but it was a dump. We hired a service to come in and clean it up , and promptly moved our gear in to start demo-ing the new stuff. Manager Dave lived in the guest house. We had great fun there.
There are some pictures in programs and promos of us hanging out in Dave's place. We did all the pre-production work in this place. Worked out all the drum parts [pretty much] bass parts, arrangements... all the nuts and bolts, in this living room that we covered the wall with our stage curtains to soundproof and knock down the outside light. Along the way we made a decision that we didn't want to record in the city. Especially Los Angeles. We checked out a few studios around LA, but nothing felt right. At this time we were still planning on working with Ken Scott, who had done Crime and Crisis. As we got deeper it was decided we needed a change. But for the moment it was still Ken. Ken had worked with Elton John at Caribou, a studio owned by the band Chicago, and a great facility in the mountains outside boulder, Colorado.
Off we went. I took the train from Los Angeles to give myself a chance to shed Los Angeles, and arrived after two days on the train, which was great. It was and still is my favorite way to travel. I like getting out of the pack, out of the air and on the train every chance I get. One of the many reasons I prefer traveling in Europe.
There are a couple of good stories to come out of the experience at Caribou. Some I can tell and some can be told later, and some can't be told at all. The result of one incident involving Dougie resulted in Dougie breaking a knuckle or two after a wild night with me. That left Roger and me to work the next day by ourselves on the backing track for Give a Little Bit.
Roger on acoustic, set up in the freight elevator, because he discovered that's where it sounded the best, and me in the drum booth. No problem. It all went pretty quick. The piano in the snow is another story to be told later.
We moved to the record plant in Los Angeles to finish and mix the record, and that has some side-notes as well. All good stuff. We fired the guy we had originally hired to do the project, and finished it ourselves. It was during this period at Caribou we met Pete Henderson. We had originally hired Geoff Emerick, known for his work with Paul Mccartney amongst others. When we lit out for Caribou he sent Pete in his place because he was tied up in Hawaii recording the band 'America'. Pete was the engineer at Caribou. He was only about 20 years old and looked even younger. But what a classic guy. We got on great. When we went to the record plant to continue, Geoff was available. We didn't get on with Geoff and it was adios pretty quick.
I swear, I should write a book.