Don Was Shares Tales Of Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones With Apple Music

Prolific, in-demand producer and Blue Word Information president Don Was has shared experiences of working with such musical giants as Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and Gregg Allman, on the most recent episode of Southern Accents Radio on Apple Music Nation.

He and fellow producer Dave Cobb cowl many points of Was’ eventful profession within the present, which might be heard in full anytime on demand here. He confides, for instance, that when he fulfilled his ambition to work with Dylan, he was capable of take recommendation from one other of his heroes.

“All my life, I wished to supply Bob Dylan,” he says. “There got here a day in 1989 after I was within the studio producing [him], and George Harrison got here in to play a guitar solo on a music. Bob’s messing with him. He strikes the engineer, Ed Cherney, out of the seat, and he sits within the engineer’s chair. He’s working the distant management. George Harrison says, ‘Don’t let him do what he did to me final time, which is he simply recorded me one take, and that was it. I didn’t get to repair the factor.’ I mentioned, ‘Okay. Yeah. Positive. No downside.’

“Bob, after all, hears that, and he’s going to do the identical factor. George hasn’t even had an opportunity to tune up or to listen to the music. He doesn’t even know what key it’s in. Bob quick forwards to the solo and is like, ‘Go.’ He hits it into file. George figures out what key it’s in. All issues thought of, it was a good effort, but it surely wasn’t the solo that you just wished from George Harrison. Bob shuts the machine off after the solo. He says, ‘Okay. That’s nice. Thanks, man.’ George Harrison turns to me he says, ‘Assist, Don. What do you suppose?’ Bob appears to be like at me and goes, ‘Yeah, what do you suppose?’

“Nicely, the entire room dissolved within the echo. Time slowed down. I flashed on the time I attempted to promote my automobile to get a ticket to go see the live performance for Bangladesh. George and Bob. Right here they’re, three ft away from me, saying, ‘What do you suppose?’ I’m on this powerful bind. Fortunately, a voice got here into my head and mentioned, ‘He’s not paying you to be a fan.’ I assumed, ‘All proper. You bought to inform the reality right here.’ So I mentioned, ‘It was good, man. However let’s tune up, strive one other take. Let’s see if we beat it.’ George was like, ‘Thanks.’ I assume I handed Bob’s check. However that was a pivotal second, realizing that I’m not there to be a fan and that they’re really paying me to do one thing.”

Was additionally spoke about his longtime affiliation as producer of the Stones, which dates again to 1994’s Voodoo Lounge. In 2016, he was with them at Mark Knopfler’s British Grove Studios in London to supervise the group’s return to their roots on the chart-topping Blue & Lonesome album. “It’s completely the proper file for them to make, and I really like that file. But it surely was an accident,” he reveals.

“We had been at some extent the place we had been making a brand new file, and it was getting just a little intense. So simply to diffuse the room just a little bit, Keith mentioned…I can’t keep in mind which one he picked now, however he picked one of many songs. And so they simply did it in a single take. And it was like, ‘Wow, that’s actually good.’ And nobody wished to return to preventing over this different music. So it was like, ‘Eh, let’s do one other one.’ So on the finish of the day, we had six nice blues tracks. All of them first takes. And so we mentioned, ‘Nicely, yeah. Let’s do it once more tomorrow.’ However nobody ever talked about, let’s make a blues file. It was just a little like when a man’s pitching a no-hitter, you don’t deliver it up within the dug up.

“All people knew that, wow, this may very well be an album. However nobody mentioned something about it. So we did it over a pair days. Eric Clapton was within the different room, and he walked in. Keith handed him a guitar. And he performed on a few songs. And he had the identical look on his face that I had. As a result of he’s just a little youthful than them, and he had gone to see them once they had been a pub band in Richmond.”

Was shares further reminiscences of working with an ailing Gregg Allman, the identical yr, for what posthumously grew to become his ultimate album, Southern Blood, in 2017. “He knew he wasn’t going to be round lengthy. I knew that he wasn’t going to be round lengthy. However he and I by no means as soon as talked about it. He didn’t wish to discuss it or acknowledge it, however you’ll be able to inform within the selection. I submitted many, many songs for him. However you can inform within the reflective nature of those we ended up recording that he was actually making an attempt to tie up unfastened ends.

“The final music we reduce was ‘Tune for Adam,’ a Jackson Browne music. And he and Jackson had been previous buddies. They crashed in some condo within the 60s collectively earlier than both of them was well-known. And so they remained good buddies.

“And we bought to the final verse [and] it looks like he stopped singing earlier than his music was carried out, mainly. And that bought Gregg all choked up, and he couldn’t get these strains out. He simply left these strains open. However his well being declined proper after. It was virtually like he was holding out to make this file. So all these vocals on that album are the dwell vocals that we did in Muscle Shoals. He actually stopped singing in the midst of the final music he recorded.”

Take heed to Don Was on Southern Accents Radio on Apple Music Nation.