|The jam sessions started on The Voices
record, because their gear was always setup until the record was about done. Just about
everyone at the studio played something, so it was easy to get a guitar, bass, drums deal
Niko Bolas it turned out was somewhat of a drummer, and could play a basic beat with perfect time. I mean perfect time. That's all he could play, but it was perfect. When we got bored mixing we'd head out to the room and bash out some garage rock, then go back in and mix. One day I was doing something while they were going at it, and I heard Niko do a simple "tom fill" through the door. I don't think he realized it at the time, because he'd been in the booth so long it was all autopilot. I took the LA Times front page and made a fake headline "Bolas Does First Fill" on the copy machine and hung it on the wall.
Guys in the other rooms would hear it and pop in to see what was going on. Thinking about it now, with all that big money going down and all the seriousness, it appealed to the kid inside who started playing rock and roll because it was fun. We had Stephen Stills in there, Kenny Aronoff, Warren Zevon. The front office thought we were nuts, and it was a time waster, but who cared. When The Voices left, Joe Vitale gave Niko one of those blue sparkle "beginner's" kits, and Mo usually brought it when he brought all the other gear.
Opie setup this mega-jam on the soundstage one Sunday that was probably the best we ever
had. The whole backline was there with 2 kits, and probably 25 people got in on this one.
We played all the standard bar band songs about everyone knew, Stones, Aerosmith, Hendrix.
My personal favorite was "Gonna Raise Hell" by Cheap Trick, a perfect 20 minute
guitar basher with only 2 chords. It had a bridge, but we never played it.