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 '
'Live Chat' Web Site
||Words From Bill Halverson
||CTW - The Horse
Clifford T Ward
February - 01