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Idiot Boy is my first commercial production as producer, recording engineer and mixer. From preproduction to final mix-- Long story short, I heard the demo for the first time years after it was recorded at my house in Murfreesboro, TN. You see, at the time -- 1996 -- there weren't many folks in the Recording Industry program (some of you may know as RIM) that could afford their own gear. I had my own adat studio even before I started MTSU... this coupled with a nice size house I rented with two other guys made a nice recording environment for demo work. I was hard up for cash as a full-time student and put an offer out there to other RIM students to bring their own projects in and split the studio fees. I think the going rate back then was 20/hr... I met Bill Harper as I was headed out for class... His band was called Over Joy. "Nice to meetcha. Gotta run..." In 1999 I landed a fulkl-time gig at East Iris Studios in Nashville. The big time. The major league. I was assisting on Elton John tracks, working with producers like David Leonard, Peter Collins, and Charlie Brocco in the A room, and bringing my occasional first engineer gigs and testing my chops in the B Room. I don't know how it happened, but Bill Harper and I met up again, and he asked for some studio time with me to update his vocals on that demo he tracked back in 1997 in Murfreesboro. I hooked him up with a U87 an Avalon Mic Pre and snagged the Focusrite Red 3 compressor from the A room and away we went. When I heard Idiot Boy, I thought "How did I miss this?" You see, I was no dummy. Even back in the Murfreesboro days I would have killed to have a shot at working on a song with true commercial potential. All that wasted time! Can we say Rob Thomas, anyone? Same period of time: Yourself or Someone Like You was released in 1996. We tracked vocals for the other tunes on his demo and I told Bill, "Wait. I've got something special in mind for Idiot Boy." You see, I had permission to use the control room in Studio A when we were down. And, I had some really talented friends who already had a production deal with East Iris and were around the studio a lot using the available downtime as it lined up with their schedule. These guys are pro. A guitar god. An incredible drummer who could kill a ribbon mic just sitting on a shelf across the building in a mic closet... he made those drums speak! The bass player was one of those guys with superior technique that made a bass guitar look like it was wound with rubber bands... he made playing seem effortless. That's it for now. Forget those first words, "Long story short..." This is a long story and I want to include every detail. Meanwhile, check out the tracks in my player: Bill Harper - Idiot Boy is the final mix. Idiot Boy - demo is where it all started in 1997. I hope the contrast interests you. Check back as I will add the rest of the story in intervals.

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Comment by Chris Merritt on June 7, 2007 at 11:22pm
Awesome! Can't wait for the rest of the story!

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