You Can’t Do That!
Back in 1998, I engineered You Can’t Do That, the only solo record by Chicago bluesman Dave Myers (who along with brother Louis, Fred Below and Junior Wells formed The Aces and were a key ingredient in the mid 50s Chicago blues sound, backing legends like Junior Wells, Little Walter, Otis Rush and various artists on the Cobra Records label). My buddy Rusty Zinn, with whom I had recently finished two records, and ace blues harmonica player Kim Wilson convinced New Orleans based BlackTop Records owner and producer, Hammond Scott to do a record.
You Can’t Do That was recorded in the big room at the old Coast recorders on Harrison Street in San Francisco (thru Dan Alexander’s sweet Neve console). It was cut live with the exception of a few vocal overdubs that Hammond felt were needed. Overdubbing was not something Dave had much experience with or a fan of, but he was game to give it a go.
Things were progressing okay, but then one tune, Stone Cold Fox simply bedeviled Dave and the whole thing degenerated into a hilarious half hour. After ten minutes of belly splitting stuff, I instructed the 2nd engineer to roll a dat tape of the overdub session so we could capture it (the 24 track master tape machine that I was operating was constantly recording over the bad vocal takes). Dave is front and center with Rusty, Hammond and myself off mic. Until now, only a handful have heard this recording, so without further ado:
What a sweet, funny man. Unfortunately, Dave passed in 2001 and I am – we all were – privileged to have been a part of it. He was such total gentleman – in fact, the man kept calling me ‘sir’ and thought I owned the studio…shit I woulda been happy to have been responsible for his coffee cup.