A Few Words From Bill Halverson 
- Producer of New England Days -

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Bill Halverson - producer of Cliff's album 'New England Days' - who, during his surfing of the net, had come across this site (see his messages in the Guest Book). Bill related several of his recollections of the time he and Cliff were working on the album at Longview farm over in Boston. One of his most prominent memories was how they created the 'squeak' in Waterwheel: he writes:
 
' . . . Now about the squeak. We had to have a squeak and couldn't find one. I told the band to find something at Longview that would work. They tried doors and drawers and etc. Finally Michael Easley, (guitar player) found one we thought would work. Out in the yard was a swing hanging from a large limb of a huge tree. Great Squeak. What to do, it was before samples. Also I didn't want mechanical I wanted organic. One nite - late - 2 or 3 a.m. - got my 2nd engineer to string the microphone and headphone cables 100' out in the yard to the swing. Michael had been practicing sitting in the swing and swinging in time and tempo of the song. As we were recording in the quiet country nite, u-87 mic. wide open (soft squeak), we were suddenly disturbed by a loud "re-bit, re-bit, re-bit". A loud bullfrog down by the pond. My assistant engineer thinks I'm nuts by now, but I tell him to go out and shut up the frog. 20 minutes later - quiet again. We recorded Michael swinging in time and achieved a wonderful effect. Later my assistant finally got back, wet and muddy. The frog had been on an island in the middle of the pond and he rowed a small boat out to stop the croaking, lost the oar and had to hand paddle back to shore. . . . '

Bill later wrote:

'A little more about New England Days. The cello player Jessie Erlich also played the cello part on the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations". The arranger is "the" jimmie haskell. See his web site for credits. Clifford had MUCH input when he and I sat down with jimmie to go over arrangements. More later. bill '

I asked him about the photograph on the front of the New England Days album sleeve - and if the farm in the background was the one where the album was recorded: Bill replied:

'The picture was staged by Justin. I've always thought Cliff looked uncomfortable on the horse. The picture does show the Longview Farm barn which also housed the band that I brought from L.A. I have recently spoken with Martie Echito and he reminded of the band's flight home to L.A. Mid-flight Gene Holmes said "oh no I played the solo in the wrong key." Gene was a little weird but a great player. I didn't fix the solo because I thought it detrimental which fit the song. Bill '

 

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