So I was just searching around YouTube for some music by Drive-By Truckers or J.J. Cale or some other awesome shit to listen to at work and came across something interesting.
It's a one-hour interview with legendary Vancouver record-producer, mixer, and engineer Bob Rock that was posted by Gibson TV a couple days ago.
On a strange-looking set that's like a library with a bunch of amps, Rock—looking healthy and tanned, befitting his current residency in Hawaii—fields questions about the career that's made him fabulously rich and able to do whatever the funk he wants. He clutches a beautiful sunburst Les Paul in case you forgot his name was Rock or who was sponsoring the clip.
My favourite parts of the video are when Rock talks about his mom taking him to see the Beatles arrive at Winnipeg airport, and about him getting his idol, Mick Ronson, to produce his band the Payola$.
He also talks about meeting fellow producer-to-the-stars Bruce Fairbairn, who first contacted Rock about working on the second Prism album. Rock credits Fairbairn—who died suddenly from unknown causes in 1999—for giving him his first shot, and offers some interesting insights into the producer behind massive hit albums by Loverboy and Bon Jovi and Aerosmith.
"He wasn't really like a big fan of rock music so to speak, obsessed like I was," recalls Rock. "And there's something beautiful about what he did... Like when we did Permanent Vacation, Mike Fraser—who was my assistant at the time—we were in the studio and Aerosmith was on the other side of the glass, and I'm recording Aerosmith, which is another huge for me. And you know, Bruce Fairbairn says, 'Well, I gotta go for dinner', and he just says 'See you guys' and he walks out of the studio. And I'm goin' like, 'He just walked out on Steven Tyler and Joe Perry'.
"He had this method where he could just get the job done," adds Rock. "And that's what of course Aerosmith needed. So he was a very matter-of-fact kinda guy. And, luckily, I filled in the gaps that he needed filled. We made a lotta great records."
Rock goes on to chat about working with Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, and Metallica. It's pretty cool to see him, in rare studio footage, putting a whining Lars Ulrich in his place, before angrily declaring that he's done arguing with the band. "No you're not," counters James Hetfield, kicking off a Monty Python-style back-and-forth.
Guitar freaks should also find the part where Rock talks about the unusual makeup of Peter Green's famous Les Paul "Greenie"—now owned by Metallica's Kirk Hammett—most interesting.