Thank God for the Potholes on Memory Lane

Greg Calbi

Gill took Mordecai out for an early run, then we both worked from the apartment for the morning. Around 12:30, we walked over to Chelsea Market looking for some lunch. Had a truly awesome meal at Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina. Came back to the apartment really just wanting a nap, but bravely soldiered on to complete the workday.

Fifteen years ago, I was right here in New York to have Greg Calbi master my album Last Great Alibi at MasterdiskI don’t remember much of it – I was awestruck by the experience – but I do remember most of one part very clearly.

Greg was working on the fadeout for You Know I Would (a song written for my daughter Jesse). He was taking one bar with a cool little Beatlesey bass line and dropping it into a spot earlier in the fade so it wouldn’t be lost on the final recording. The phone in the studio rang, and he asked me to answer it. It was Paul McCartney. We talked for a bit. I think I was shaking. I know I was giggling like a schoolgirl inside. I have no idea what I said. Eventually, grudgingly, I handed the phone over.

I was fortunate enough to be able to choose Greg to master my record. He was one of my musical heroes. Greg had mastered John Lennon’s Walls and Bridges, Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, Paul Simon’s Graceland, and now Corey Ellis’ Last Great Alibi. The downward spiral. Greg’s career survived working with me, and he continues to work his magic, now as the owner of Sterling Sound (where he began his career) in Chelsea Market.

Today, we got together at Greg’s studio, and spent some time getting caught up after 15 years. We both decided that the next visit will be in Toronto for dinner, and it’ll be sooner than the 30th anniversary of the day we worked together. Or, rather, the day he worked and I listened. And talked with Paul McCartney.

Early evening, Gill, Mordecai and I walked down to the Village to get the kids a small gift. Kids, if you’re reading this, don’t get too excited. Emphasis on small, not gift.

Tonight we ride. See you in Oakville.