Anyone who has spent any kind of time in a recording studio can tell you that even though putting together a record is a blast, it's a whole mess of work. Production is kind of a thankless job sometimes, and yet, there are dedicated producers who take out the guesswork and provide musicians with an invaluable service. That said, for every grateful player who dreams of making their music available to the masses and is interested in collaboration, there are those who just don't get it.
Andrew Click: Andrew Click Productions
"Years ago when I still lived in Los Angeles, I was working for a well-known studio in Hollywood, and everyone in the world wants to be in that kind of facility. I was still in school but also working as an engineer," Click reminisces.
"I was set up with this group of rappers out of Compton—a bunch of large, pretty scary-looking people—and as a greenhorn, I was just taking any work on that I could, but once I looked at these people I knew it was going to be arduous. We dove into the session, and I was just kind of doing what I do, but they started lighting up blunts and drinking and talking about their crystal meth business. I'd been in school all day before work and it was around 2 am when I looked at their leader, this guy named Cash, and I told him my ears were getting tired, so we should pick up the next day. He looks me dead in the eye, pulls out a .45, puts it on my mixing desk and says, 'Motherfucker, nobody is leaving this studio until I say, unless you want a hole in your head.' After getting over the death threat, I was sitting there trembling, and these guys had been drinking so much that one started fighting with another and everything fell apart. The next day, my studio manager insisted on filing a police report, and afterwards I thought these guys would just like, hunt me. It's not every day you're in a multimillion-dollar facility and someone pulls a gun out.
Jono Manson: Kitchen Sink Studios
"I recall one instance in which I was forced to fire my client completely. This particular fellow was a young singer-songwriter who seemed nice enough at first, had a few pretty good songs and was very enthusiastic about the idea of working with me," Manson says.
"It became apparent early in the process that he really didn't know his ass from his elbow in the studio. He tended to show up anywhere between four to 12 hours late, leaving me and session musicians I'd hired waiting and wondering. Once in the studio, he tended to ignore my directions completely, leaving me to wonder why he'd hired me in the first place. Things got really bad when I contracted a string section to play on one his tunes. I'm quite accustomed to working things out 'on the fly,' but there he was, in the middle of the studio howling unintelligibly at these poor classically trained musicians. At this point, it was clear that his meds were not working at all. He had really flipped his lid, and the downward spiral was in full effect. I am a patient man, but when he later revealed that he had run out of money and could not pay his current balance due, I was ready to kill. Still, I held my tongue, waited until he finally sent me my money and then politely suggested that he never come back again."