Yesterday afternoon I was in the studio to put down some guitar tracks for a friend that passed away not long ago. It was very surreal hearing his voice...hearing him talk with the guys in the studio...just as if he was seated right beside me. Some of the things he said made me laugh as it did producer/engineer Jimmy Soard...but it also made us very reflective. I wasn't aware there was another track that had not been released just prior to Doug's death. I thought the vaults were clean and all songs completed and released. Jimmy surprised me with one last gem that Doug had done a stellar vocal on but the guitar needed a little work because by this time in Doug's fight against his cancer...he had lost feeling in his fingers and he simply couldn't hit the notes. As I sat there...holding Doug's old 1965 Gibson Melody Maker guitar...ready to lay down a few leads that I had practiced and learned and could play blindfolded...I kept messing up. Missing notes...going a fret or two off...getting lost...it was frustrating and embarrassing. What was going on? Was this the frustration Doug had felt? Was it Doug's mischievous spirit messing with me? I eventually got through it...not one of my better efforts but at least in scale and tune. I appreciated Jimmy's patience with me. Knowing me...I will probably ask to redo the entire session again down the road...and I will nail it...but...for now...the song is missing Shep's keys and Jimmy's magic...then it will be ready to be heard by friends...and will surely make Doug smile.
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