Updated: 3.15.2014: I sang lead on this Foreigner cover of “Feels Like The First Time”. It is obviously at the top of my range and was challenging to sing… on key. But I think it’s a pretty good rendition. There are some misses, but that is to be expected in a live performance where anything can happen! What makes me curious is that most of the songs we did for this recording in Port Byron I am singing lead. This was not the case most nights. Jon and I traded lead vocal responsibilities and Ken did his fair share as did Kim when he was with us.
If you have ever been on stage, you know the challenges a singer has to hear himself or herself over the blare of the instruments. We had monitors, but sometimes we just outplayed them. This is not an excuse for the flat notes on this song, just that the “rockier” we got, the harder it was to hear ourselves sing! This is definitely one of the harder rock songs we did. As Ken did the descending guitar riff in the middle, Jon is playing the lead fills. He is also double tracking my vocal in the “slow down” part of the song.
Back in the 70’s people were still allowed to smoke in bars and nightclubs. Maybe in some places they still are. As I have mentioned before, many times the air was so thick we would lose our voices, and it would be days before we could recover. None of us smoked, so it probably added to the problem! This was really a problem when we had a bunch of jobs lined up, and Jon and I lost our voices. Fortunately, I cannot remember it ever happening when both of us were out of commission!
Jukebox Recordings: As a side note, many times we did not want to buy albums to get lyrics. Besides, not all groups put their lyrics on the sleeve. So often we would record from a jukebox and then “play, stop, back up, play, stop” until we could write down all the words. In some cases we had to guess when the artist did not sing clearly. For rehearsal we would tape the sheet to our mic stands and learn the song. But for performances, I do not remember too many times we had to do this, probably because we went over a song so many times in practice thanks to Jon’s work ethic!