Bruce Gaitsch interview part 2

Here you find part 2 of the interview with Bruce Gaitsch:

Thank you for digging so deeply.

Here we go..

Your session career started, if my research is correct with Jim Peterik (Don’t Fight the Feeling) before he formed Survivor. It is a hard to get album, can you tell us more about that album and how you met Jim Peterik (besides Survivor, he wrote songs for e.g. 38 Special and Doobie Brothers). I saw you both worked on the new Fergie Frederiksen album Any Given Moment. How was it working in the studio with Fergie?

Yes I met Jim Peterik back in Chicago in 1975. I auditioned for his band and got in with Terry Fryer on keys, Dennis Johnson on bass and Gary Smith on drums.

We rehearsed a lot and played clubs and then did a record for Epic records.

We toured as the opening act for Boston, Heart and Eric Carmen. It was fun but Jim was not very focused and I told him he should do the Rock and Roll thing he does. I quit, he took my advice and formed Survivor. Good for him.He is still working hard and is a big talent.

Fergies record was recorded in separate band sessions. I got the tracks from an Italian producer friend of mine Alessandro Del Vecchio. I play guitars for him on Lionville and other projects as well.

Fergie is a great guy and I’m sad to say, very very ill right now.

I read an article of Steve Lukather working with Barbra Streisand and that she has an amazing voice. What is your experience working with Barbra Streisand?

My first recording session in LA was at Capitol Studios A, with Barbara and an 80 piece orchestra. All was played live and she sang live as well.  It was quite good and it was the first platinum record on my wall.

I didn’t mention La Isla Bonita in our first interview. I guess this is the biggest hit you (co) wrote. First it was intended for Michael Jackson, but it ended up with Madonna. That song went huge. I am trying to picture how this writing process goes. Are you writing songs every day or just when someone asks you to write a song?

I do not write songs every day. Only when I’m inspired.  La Isla Bonita has made me very spoiled.  I now only do what I want to do musically.
I am no longer the session side man every one wants and that is on purpose. I can pick and choose now and do more of just what I want to do. I have a studio here at home and my life is sweet.

You also worked with another session giant: Jay Graydon. You (co) wrote You’re Not Alone on the Airplay For The Planet album. In the 70s and 80s Jay Graydon is quite present as a session player. How was working with Jay Graydon?

Jay Graydon is a good friend and one of the hardest producers to please. He and Mutt Lange take the longest to do everything because it must be absolutely perfect.
He is a genius guitarist and a complete nut. I love him.

What was your most remarkable session you ever did in your career?

My most remarkable session I ever did? Hmmm, let me think on that one. There were many but maybe it was my first song with Richard Marx for his debut record. The recording date was at Capital Studio B…(My favorite place to record)

Mike Omartian, Richard, Nathan East, John Keane and I did the track for “It Don’t Mean Nothing” in one take…the first take…it was complete magic in every way and it went to #1.
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That one was hard to beat. I always strive for that type of situation every time I produce and with Ilse and Waylon it has worked out very much like that magical time.

You are still doing sessions, however it is not like the old days. How different are the sessiondays nowadays comparing to the 70s and 80s?

Today most sessions I work on are here at my home studio. Producers and friends send me files to play on and I can do them at my leisure.
In the old days I was always driving to the studios at early times and staying late.
In Chicago I recorded 3000 sessions…from 1975 to 1984. When I moved to LA in 1984 I wrote more and played less but made a much better living because of the writing.
I still love to put together a band and record a project all together but most of the time we can’t get the funding for that.

Thank you Bruce Gaitsch for this interview.