Back-up Vocal~ Over the years, I’ve developed a genuine fascination for tales from the “Golden Years” of the session musician. Nomadic folks who often ran from one recording studio to another all day every day, laying down tracks for music used on tv shows, soundtracks, commercials, or albums. They would make history, then move on to another studio and do it again. Or, perhaps they were members of a studio band playing for just one artist. If they didn’t tour, then they’d stay in New York, L.A. or Nashville and move on to more session work on other projects, while a road band learned what was done on the album and played it live. Those session tales hold a real place in my heart because these are creative and often eccentric personalities working on a deadline. When creative eccentrics are given deadlines, wacky things can happen and that’s when the stories get especially fun to read. The jobs would vary from day to day, and so would the treatment of the parties involved.

That being the case, it just may be that the boys bit off more than they could chew in their current adventure. At the very least, they really should have asked a few questions before jumping on board. Stipulations such as no guitar solos, not being given a physical copy of the finished record, or even getting to see the cover, all speak to a change in the regard their client holds for them. He seems to have forgotten from whence he’s come. The Pago Pago Privateers cut their teeth as Bo’s back-up band on his first solo album. After the critical acclaim the outing received, perhaps a mixture of time and inflated egos from excessive “attaboys” left the duck in question with a warped grasp of his own importance. I have to imagine that one can only be called “the Reb Beach of bassoon” so many times before such lofty praise begins to color their worldview. If left unchecked or at least given no tempering, such a grandiose sense of self can’t help but alter how the recipient treats those around them, from family and friends all the way down the line to the studio musicians who brought the album to life in the first place. It may be viral, too. Because it only took playing on one record and the kazoo collective hired for the duck’s project has already penned a deal for an album of their own. They really must that good, since a record label “suit” heard their contributions, got dollar signs in his eyes, and made with the contract so fast. More bloated egos could be born out of their project, too. Let them release an album exorbitantly lauded by the press and see how many of them start believing their own hype. No amount of duck shakes will calm the storm from that much self-admiration.

Marillion said it best: “A state of mind is a contagious thing.”