Never Say No to a Rock Star: In the Studio with Dylan, Sinatra, Jagger and more …
By Glenn Berger
An acquaintance and former major record company employee once told me that all rock stars are crazy. As an example, he cited Elvis Costello, who was “nuts” merely insofar as he wanted to do nothing but play and write music, every day, to the exclusion of almost everything else. Never Welcome to the weird, wired world of rock ’n’ roll, here sketched from the perspective of someone who was there – and who was at sufficiently close quarters to the business during the golden age of the 1970s and stars such as Bob Dylan to be able to give more than the same old booze-drugs-groupies account (don’t worry, they’re all here, too).
Glenn Berger was a recording engineer and producer with A&R Recording in New York and from his privileged position (although as a 17-year-old “schlepper” just starting out, it didn’t always seem privileged) he witnessed musical history being made daily. And yes, chronic entitlement and continual craziness propped up the pursuit of musical magic: Paul Simon, notes Berger, was “driven by some mysterious demon that relentlessly demanded perfection”. Berger’s studio revelations can’t help but be enthralling: it’s only rock ’n’ roll, but we still like it.