Where it all came tumbling down for Carmen. Longview was a wonderful recording studio set in the countryside near Boston - and the final resting place of Carmen. We should have been reaching a peak but our manager had taken me aside to tell me Visconti had decided not to continue as our producer, we were broke and . . . he was quitting, too. This was after a highly successful 3 month gig opening for Jethro Tull which brought us to the attention of the Stones - they had just asked us to open for their next tour. What the hell happened???
Although I'll never know the full story, too many players are now departed, it mainly hinged on money spent before it was earned.
Despite this crazy turn of events, Longview was an amazing experience for me. I produced our last album there, trying to remember engineering tips/tricks I observed while working with Visconti - fat chance - and learning on the spot.
I also got stoned for the first time. I had never used drugs before 'brownie time' at Longview. After consuming two large homemade brownies that were being offered around one evening, I got the band together to rehearse the track we were planning to record the following day. It was one of Roberto's and I found it increasingly difficult to remember the chords as we tried to arrange it.
Finally, I burst out shouting: "This is the hardest, most impenetrable piece of strange-ass music you've ever written, Roberto! I can't even figure out where the beat is! I refuse to learn this stupid song."
I slowly became aware off everyone giggling to themselves . . . and I began to suspect something was up. Suddenly, I twigged. "You've spiked me! I'm going crazy, might never recover . . . what have you done to me!" I never missed an opportunity to be dramatic. After a few minutes of wild accusations which had the rest of the band in fits, I became so bombed I just went with it - and actually had a great time. Carmen's music has never sounded so awesome to me again as it did that night!