The Peanut Gallery
A&M - The Last Waltz

My moment of shining glory.
May - June - 1989
After Stan Getz, we went on to Herb Alpert's next record, "My Abstract Heart", and he hired some of the best session guys there were. The way it worked, Herb and Eddie Del Barrio would work out the arrangement via MIDI in Studio H. Then we'd lock up both Sony's and record the live stuff on the other machine. The end product was a combination of the two.

Shorty Rogers was there for the whole deal, and there wasn't a nicer guy. He was one of the father's of the "West Coast Jazz Scene" in the 50's, and was a little intimidated by Herb (who wasn't). Shorty got to blow Flugelhorn "live" on one take, and I kept on Niko to "keep Shorty up on that mic". With the heavy vibe on this gig, Shorty thanked me from the heart for "being so nice to him" when it was done. It was definitely a pleasure. Herb had class, but I think Shorty had a little more.

Niko and Herb had gotten pretty tight, and after 2 years of hanging tough with this guy, watching him kind of "sell out" pissed me off pretty good. He'd broken the A&M hierarchy and talked Herb into buying his own Sony 3324's, and the guy's in the shop were pissed. On the first day using Herb's machines, Mikey must have said the word. Normally everything was tech overkill, but this time they didn't lift a finger. I had to hook everything up myself. I went back in the shop to say something, and Gary Mannon just blew me off. It was pretty bad at the time. After all, it was Herb's gig.


There was a party on my last day. Herb tricked me into Studio B by needing a tape copy or something, and then a pretty embarrassing moment passed on a stool in front of 30 guys and a stripper. We also had a final jam that night with just the boys bashing out some garage rock one last time.

My weekly record check
I remember an old Ted Nugent quote where the Nuge uttered the classic after a real shitty gig with Bob Seger - "Shit or get off the pot Seger, there ain't no cry babies in rock and roll". Well pushing 30 and tired of the 75 hour weeks, my studio tan was looking pretty good by now, and it was time to get out and get some air.

I  stayed on as Herb's engineer in Studio H for a spell and was around the day he got the check for $500 mil for selling A&M to Polygram. It was a pretty weird scene. The end of an era I guess.

 

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  Bob Vogt - Recording Engineer
A&M Studios
The High Bias Years  1986 - 1996

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