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November 2012

Eminence Front!

I received a call from Cleopatra records asking if I would consider playing on a Who tribute album. My immediate reaction was one of apprehension; however when I was informed of the artists that were going to be on the compilation any concerns that I had were completely erased. After all a lot of these artists were stars before I had ever played a gig. With the likes of Ginger Baker, Leslie West, Dave Davies, Todd Rundgren and Randy Bachman just for starters, I knew that there was no way I was going to turn this one down.

After saying yes I was allocated the track "Eminence Front" and I knew straight away that this would be somewhat different for me - which is always good as it would be a new challenge and not something that I could just go ahead and wail away doing what I normally like to do. After hearing the track it was obvious that I had a treasure in my hands. A legendary song from one of the all-time great legendary bands in the world and now I had the great privilege to have a connection with it. You can just imagine how nervous but excited that made me feel. The production was tight and precise and I knew it had great performers on it although at that time I did not know who I was playing alongside with.

Later I found out that the excellent vocals were by John Wetton and keyboards by Derek Sherinian. My goal was to focus strongly on the vocal performance; firstly to try and make the best introduction for it that I could and then to interact with it so as to create a working partnership with it throughout the song - creating a kind of duet. This in turn would help to drive the song. At the same time I was always careful not to be over exuberant and interfere with what The Who originally created. I can only say that I am extremely happy with the result and also very happy to have had the opportunity to have been a small part of this giant "Who Are You" album.