Post by ekforum on Dec 1, 2009 15:21:41 GMT -5
I had never seen ANYONE record a 2 minute piano solo and then DOUBLE IT EXACTLY without missing a note...except for the time I saw Powell do it during the 1991 sessions. And the action on his favorite piano was HEAVY. You had to have STRONG fingers to depress those keys.
Once Billy Powell sat down to play, he played from the START to the FINISH. No stops! In the studio, you'd just let him go and then mix in the stuff that compliments the guitars, vocals, etc. It'd only difficult when you got too close to Billy's personal monitors in rehearsals. The piano was mixed so loud, it was amazing he could hear anything else in the room except himself. (Maybe that's why it'd be difficult sometimes.)
When it's all said & done, no one played like B.P. His style was unmistakable and that's what counts. Style. Billy was amazing.
I'm quite sure Billy objected to him being excluded at times (by Kooper). But you have to understand...Billy played on EVERYthing and he played on EVERYthing ALL THE TIME. He never laid OUT one single bar. So, in the studio, you'd have to do some pick-and-choosing.
First of all, I have a misunderstood reputation amongst band members for being cold-hearted. Yeah...ME! You need to understand that first so that you may see the humor in this.
In 1990 we were recording a demo for MCA in Muscle Shoals. All of us were together trying to arrange this tune and Billy said "I already hear my piano part." Jokingly, I said "Oh Billy...we'll get to that...don't you know that Skynyrd is a guitar band?!" Billy jumped up and got in my face. "Wait a minute, WAIT a minute!, everybody! I've got something to say!!" Then he started venting about all of the classically inspired instrumental pieces he'd written over the past few years...stuff we'd never heard. Billy said "This music is so inspiring it'd make you guys cry. Well ... all except for YOU, Ed."
ALL of us to a MAN fell on the floor laughing hysterically. It was the PURE BILLY MOMENT!
Q - Did Billy always tote his piano around even in the earliest of days when they were doing the club circuit?
During the club days, Billy only used a Wurlitzer electric piano...the same one that you hear on his solo on WORKIN FOR MCA (from Second Helping). It wasn't until our first album came out that we were able to carry around a real piano and a Hammond B3.
Q - Does a piano hold it's tuning well after getting shuffled in and out of vans from town to town?
You have to tune a piano EVERY DAY if you travel with it! And it's got WAY more than 6 strings, too. You think a 12 string guitar is tough to tune?? (Billy didn't have to do it...had a pro come in every day.)