The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Month: March 2015

The class of Darlene Love plus the comedy of Cheech & Chong equals vinyl magic

Lou Adler was looking for some help. He was producing Cheech & Chong’s third comedy album, Los Cochinos, in 1973 and the duo was in the recording studio ready to make the song “Basketball Jones.”

Since it was an actual song and not a comedy bit, Adler needed some real musicians to sit in on the recording session, which was being done at A&M Records on North La Brea Avenue near Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

In addition to managing the careers of Cheech & Chong, Adler also managed a veritable All-Star lineup of other artists: Sam Cooke, Carole King and The Mamas and The Papas, among them. So Adler started making calls to some of those artists asking them to come on down to the studio and participate in the recording of “Basketball Jones.”

The day of the recording session, Adler also went through the A&M studio seeing who else … Read more

Ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder welcomes us to his own ‘Hotel California’

In a an interview with Don Felder to preview his March 21, 2015 show at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J., I mentioned to him as someone who grew up in the 1970s, it’s difficult for me to stand up for an entire concert at this age.

“That’s why we’re playing theaters, so you can sit down until it’s time to get up and start rockin’,” said Felder, who will be featured in The Vinyl Dialogues Volume II talking about the making of the Eagles 1975 album “One of These Nights.”

That Don Felder – known as “Fingers” when he played lead guitar for the Eagles – can play guitar is not breaking news. He’s among the best guitar players in the world.

Felder wrote the music – with lyrical help primarily from Don Henley, with contributions from Glenn Frey – on a 12-string guitar that features several distinctive … Read more

Coming of age with a wardrobe malfunction and the band America

An interview with Dewey Bunnell of the band America about the album “Hearts,” which will be featured in The Vinyl Dialogues Volume II, reminded me of one of my favorite coming-of-age stories from my youth: my first experience with a “wardrobe malfunction.”

It was the summer of 1975 after my sophomore year in high school, and I hung out quite a bit with my pal, Dan Brewington. Dan lived in one of the higher-end neighborhoods called Sunset Hills in our central Illinois town. It had its own country club with a swimming pool, restaurant and 18-hole golf course.

One had to be a member of the country club to use the swimming pool, and Dan’s parents were members. And the children of members could invite friends over to swim during the summer. There was a two-visit limit for any non-member, but Dan knew the kid who manned the entrance to … Read more

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