It feels like forever since I last posted, but it’s really only been a couple of days. A couple of really busy work-filled days. But there’s been a bit of end-o’-year cheer, too.
Saturday night was fun. We went to a DC house party for FMC‘s departing Executive Director Jenny Toomey. Drank a bit, engaged in interesting conversation with some very sharp people. Ian MacKaye was there. I so wanted to take a time machine back to 1991 or so and tell my teenage friends that I was at a intimate gathering with the leader of Minor Threat and Fugazi.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really get to talk to Ian. Why not? Because I was engaged in heavy duty conversation with Sandy Pearlman. A huge deal for me. Pearlman is one of the original rock journos who got his start writing for the cardinal rock magazine, Crawdaddy. He’s also credited with applying the term "heavy metal" to the harder edged sounds that emerged from the ass-end of the ’60s. (This is a somewhat contentious claim, however.)
Perhaps more importantly (to me anyway), Pearlman is the mastermind behind Blue Öyster Cult. From the band’s website:
"Sandy Pearlman’s contributions to Blue Öyster Cult are innumerable. He was there from the beginning, groomed the formative band for label-readiness, became their manager, produced their records, supplied lyrical content and concept, and more."
Billboard once called Sandy the “Hunter Thompson of rock, a gonzo producer of searing intellect and vast vision.” Sounds about right to me. He also managed Black Sabbath and produced The Clash and The Dictators. Later, he was one of the first 25 employees of eMusic, and served as their vice president. These days, Sandy is an adjunct Professor of music theory at McGill University in Montreal, where he educates on subjects ranging from the remonetizing of digital music to the history of heavy metal.
We spent the majority of our conversation talking about the aesthetics of sound recording in rock, and I got to hear all the arcane details of BOC’s studio process. Sadly, I’m not at liberty to reveal anything, lest the Agents of Fortune take me away.
How’s your holiday action going?