In the Studio for Sailing on Fantasies

Standing from left to right: Mick Orton, Ken Wiles, Paul Staack, Jon Ludtke
Seated from left to right: Art “Smart” Stenstrom (our manager) and Frank Wiewel (of the Hawks – recording engineer)

We started recording Sailing on Fantasies in 1977 (I think). I am going to talk to Jon to see if he can help me with this. He has a great memory. But here are some photos from our sessions at the Otho, Iowa studio where we recorded the album. In the first photo we are between takes clowning around.

Much of the album, after the initial tracks we laid down, was done on the fly as ideas would come to us. This is why the first album (Handle With Care) was recorded in two or three days and the second album (Sailing on Fantasies) was recorded over several months.

The song “Lover” came to me as I was driving late at night to another one of our jobs. I didn’t pick up the guitar to write the song until we hit the motel.

The picture of me playing the guitar was during laying down the first track for the song, “Lover”. The melody came to me while we were driving late one night from job to job and I just imagined the guitar parts. Having learned “Blackbird” by the Beatles with finger picking (which is not how McCartney played the song!), I hummed the tune all the way to our next motel imagining the changes in my head before ever putting them down on paper. Jon and I finished up the lyrics together. The strings were not recorded until much later.

Categories: History, Recording

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