Al Kooper Dec 1, 2009 14:19:15 GMT -5
Post by ekforum on Dec 1, 2009 14:19:15 GMT -5
Al Kooper was ok in my book. He got Skynyrd on the Right Road. He got them a contract not a very good one, but at least he helped their feets in the door. For that I am grateful, without him we may have never had a Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I may as well have written that entire quote.
Yeah, the contract wasn't good but it got all straightened out. Honestly, if it hadn't been for Al Kooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd might've never seen the light of day. Ronnie and the guys were working on the Kooper deal before I joined the band. So I guess it took a while to work out. I believe after the disappointment of not getting the Shoals tapes sold to a label, Ronnie was glad to be signed by the 'yankee slicker'.
I always got along great with Al. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye on everything but we liked each other. I'm not sure many of the others did. Particularly Billy. The icing on that relationship was when Kooper had L.A. producer David Foster play piano on "Whiskey Rock A Roller". Billy's part just didn't fit.
Anything he added usually helped the track (with a few exceptions on NUTHIN FANCY that you'll never hear because I insisted they be taken out!).
I'm quite sure Billy objected to him being excluded at times. But you have to understand...Billy plays on EVERYthing and he plays on EVERYthing ALL THE TIME. He never lays OUT one single bar. So, in the studio, you have to do some pick-and-choosing.
I think having the audience hear some new piano parts on stage is a good idea. As someone suggested here, his part on NEEDLE & SPOON is a nice surprise, if you've never heard it.
When we signed with Rudge in Nov. '74, we also had our record deal changed. As a result Kooper became a 'hired hand' instead of an owner in the project. Recording NUTHIN' FANCY was a nightmare for him, so he decided to back out after that.
The funniest story Kooper tells is the one where we showed up at the studio one day and Koop had his old Stratocaster on the couch. One of us (I'll call him Mr. X, you can guess who he is) picked it up and started playing it.
"Hey...be careful with that guitar. That belonged to Jimi Hendrix", Kooper said.
To which Mr. X replied "I'd better put it down then. Wouldn't want to get any ("n"-word*) on me."
Ronnie said "Maybe you'd better KEEP playing it and get some MORE of that ("n"-word*) on you!"
*Hey...sorry about the "n" word. But you gotta use it to tell the story! I promise never to utter it again!