|November 17 - December 1, 1988 -
Studio B - Neil Young
Note: Niko Bolas had been working with Neil Young for a couple years and this whole era is pretty confusing because Neil recorded everything. I found a little explanation that you should read (see sidebar). As for what mixes actually went where, I forget, but Niko worked on all three mentioned records in '88/'89. Tim didn't get a credit on "Eldorado" and was pissed, and I only got credit on "Someday". A lot was done at The Hit Factory - NY and at the ranch (Niko's Room), but some of each was mixed at A&M. "Freedom" mixes were edited and assembled at A&M .
As I said before Niko hated SSL's, (the $300,000 monitor board), and only used them when he had to. I think it was partly because they didn't sound good, and also he didn't know how to work the damn thing (or automation in general). He's done some great mixes his way, so who cares.
We setup the whole deal in Studio B and he did some practice mixes the first day. Mulligan was back and Pancho was there, and we all went to the Baked Potato the second night to see somebody. It was a little weird being in public with a legend.
After about 4 days, mutual agreement was the SSL sucked, so out came the orange box and every Neve module/sidecar I could get my hands on. With Niko's API's and a lot of patch cords, we bypassed most of the SSL. The joke was "Niko should be facing the other way". We broke camp for Thanksgiving, and came back and finished. A lot of the songs were pretty long and once Niko got the balance, they kind of mixed themselves. I remember a great live take of "Tonight's the Night" where the bass had one string out of tune pretty bad, and when he would hit a note on that string, we'd all laugh.
Most of these mixes went in the vault, except for "Someday" and "Crime in the City" which ended up on "Freedom", and "Ain't it the Truth" which ended up on "Lucky Thirteen".
Here's some pictures from the end of "Freedom" up at Neil's ranch.
Some good ones:
Niko said he did a vocal on a song where Neil sang in the cab of his old truck, cause it "sounded good in there".