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Jan 18, 2000 at 01:20 PM
Q&A Sessions
Todd Sharp, January 18 - 31, 2000
Page 2

Hi Todd!! I love Who's dreaming this dream too...my favorite off of Chris' 84 album...My question is how did you like recording with Mick in Africa??? Was it pretty wild??? Did you get to meet George Harrison or Peter Green? I love the version of Walk a Thin Line on the Visitor. Whats your favorite song from the Visitor?? O'Niamali and the Visitor are awesome tracks...Not Fade Away rocks too...Did you ever get to meet Eric Clapton or Steve Winwood when you did Chris' album?? Thanks A Bunch...and is your new group comin down to the southwest anytime??? (Joshua, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA)
Hi Joshua,

Recording with Mick in Ghana was an incredible experience for me. Partly because of Mick and partly because Ghana was for me a profoundly spiritual and really deep and wonderful place. I unfortunately never got to meet George Harrison though I did meet Peter Green back in 78. Yes got to meet both Eric and Steve during Christine's LP. Spent about a week at Steve's place in England, and an afternoon just pretty much hanging in the studio w/ Eric while he listened to the record and chose a song to play on. Both really great people. Hope to come southwest sometime. Keep an eye out for Delbert McClinton. Been gigging with his band a lot and it's SMOKIN!.

Hi Todd! Thanks for being so kind in answering all of our questions..it's really appreciated! I believe Christine once stated that she really doesn't like to be in the limelight as a solo artist..she much prefered being part of a group. Did you get this sense from her when you were on tour? Also, what was playing (or was it synching?) on Bandstand like? Seemed like Christine was edgy or something there...or maybe it was related to the "limelight" thing I mentioned??? Lastly, would you tell us how you like to write songs...is it usually lyrics first or music first? Thanks again and good luck! (Diane)
Hi Diane,

I can't really answer that question about Christine. I think that's for her to say. I will say though that she is a very generous and ensemble oriented musician, a rare quality these days. Bandstand.......I don't remember it too well. I guess we lipsinked it. Those sort of things are a little awkward to do frankly. You basically show up real early in the morning and rehearse camera angles, makeup and lipsinking to your record for hours. It is a little strange but you get to call your mom and say "Look Mom, we're gonna be on American Bandstand!"

Hi Todd,

Me again, yer cuz. Yeah, it's really true. My grandfathers' sister was your mother in law. He was married to Ethel Lipnicky, my grandmother. I spoke to her yesterday and she's doing well. Back in the days before VCR's were in every home, I used to take my Fleetwood Mac Betamax videos over to her house to watch.She was the only one I knew who had a VCR. I can't say she really liked my tapes though. It's no Patsy Cline. You worked with Rod Stewart for a while. Did you have any writing credits with him? Is he available for parties? Looking forward to your next album. God bless. (Timothy Kee, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA)
Never did any writing with Rod. Maybe next time. Sure did have some fun though. He's available for parties, weddings and barmitvahs I'm sure. God bless you too.
 
tsharp2_1

Christine McVie - Christine McVie

Hi Todd! Thanks for doing this. I've been a huge fan since I heard you on Christine's '84 album and just a few questions:

We've all heard Christine is supposedly a good cook. Did she make any great meals for you? (Ali, Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania, USA)
Yes, there has been home cooking at McVie manor. Not for me, (I wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea) but for friends.
Who is your favorite musician that you've ever worked with? (Ali)
That's hard cause I've been lucky to work with some phenomenal people. But Christine would have to be the one if it had to be one.
What was making the video for "Love Will Show Us How" like? (Ali)
I recall being on a lift about 30 feet up with an exploding guitar. It was loaded with a flashpot. The pyro guy and I had it timed like somewhere in the song and then count four beats and then throw the guitar and we'll set the charge off just as you let go so you don't get burned!. I am no good at heights and even worse with explosives. There was a medic and fire marshall on hand. It was a long day.
Which city is your favorite to play in? (Ali)
Hmm............. The one with the most die hard fans I guess. Other than that I'd have to say my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio or maybe London or Paris or Verona, Italy or San Fransisco or ....... [Montgomery Township, PA]

Thanks so much for taking the time to do the Q&A. I know you wrote "I'm The One" for Christine's solo album in 84, and it, along with "One In A Million", is my fav song from that record. What was that song written about and was it written about anyone specific? (Josh S., Blairsville, Georgia, USA)
Oh yeah, very specific, but I'm sworn to secrecy. You'll just have to wait for the book.

Hi Todd...Glad to read that you are a happily married Musician with children ! You have great love and admiration for Lindsey Buckingham so could you return the favor and help him with tunes or whatever it is that needs done! MAYBE he'll come "out of the house" and make us fans happy with the new album !!! Thanks :-} Todd for anything you can do...my admiration for your good work ! You are a handsome Man ! ere you ever a movie star ?!! Best regards and Blessings to your family !!! Cheers ! (Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Thank you for your compliments. I don't think I have any real pull with Lindsey, so we're all just gonna have to wait him out. I was a movie star once, except I couldn't act, never made any movies and no one ever knew who I was, and the money was terrible. So I gave it up and became a musician.

You've mentioned bootlegging your first solo album. I think that'd be great. Do you know if someone already has? In either case would you let me know the hows and whens? (C.Mark Gomez, Grand Junction, Colorado, USA)
Far as I know no one has bootlegged me. I'll save your email and let you know when I get some new music out there. Thanks.

Hello Todd Sharp. First off, I am impressed with your guitar playing on "One in a Million." It's the most enduring track on C. McVie's record--and you let the guitar rip right through it. The B-side of Christine's solo record (yes, I'm still thinking B-sides!)features three consecutive songs written by people other than her. Did she run out of songs to put on the record, or was she simply being generous enough to include material by lesser-known names? Also, four of the songs on the record are collaborations between her and you. On any of them, did you come up with the "germ" of the song first? Best! :-) (Tony Leuzzi, Rochester, New York, USA)
Thanks for the compliment on the one in a million guitar. It just so happens that I played that live as we were cutting the track instead of playing a "part" and then overdubbing a lead track later. I find it works better that way for me. I'd much rather overdub the rythym. Of course having great people to play along with helps tremendously. That band was really good and everything we did just sort of came together pretty easy. As for the songs, I'm not sure how the B sides got chosen, though in general, most people tend to put something on a B side which would not later be chosen as a single. As for who came up with what first and how I'm sure each one was different. I do remember that Christine had a verse going already for Got A Hold on Me, and she had various parts of the challenge already flushed out, One in A Million came from a guitar riff and a drum groove, Love Will show us How started out very acoustic and soft and some how just formed itself I'm sure Chris started it with her verse. That one really birthed itself and I think surprised us both when it became the song that it did. I don't remember the rest just now but you'e got me thinking. Thanks for your questions.

Hello Todd! I was wondering if you could fill us in on the time table for Christine's solo album studio sessions. How much time was spent in Switzerland and how much in England? In which country did the guest musicians (Lindsey, Mick, and Steve Winwood) participate? Thanks! (Jo, Larksville, Pennsylvania, USA)
Gosh......long time ago. I think we actually recorded about 80% of the record in Montreux in about two weeks. Then we did some serious eating and drinking. Then we took a vacation from the wining and dining whilst certain lyrics were flushed out. I think Chris went to Steve Winwood's then and they wrote Ask Anybody. We went then to England and worked with Steve for maybe five days or so at his place. Beautiful place, beautiful guy. Then we went to London for an afternoon at Olympic Studios where Eric Clapton came in. Eric did his guitar o'dubs in about an hour. James Taylor dropped in for a visit and I don't know why we didn't get him to do something? Ray Cooper came in I think the following day and played percussion. He was amazing. I think we then went back to Montreux to finish little bits and Chris wrote The Smile I Live For. Whew, how am I doing?. I think Mick came in at Steve Winwood's place. Lindsey dropped in for a visit in Montreux I think for a few days. So did John McVie and his parents come to think of it. All told, a comfortable 3 months or so. The amazing thing is we actually got most of it done in the first two weeks! I'd say 3 months Switzerland, maybe two weeks England, 2 weeks mixing in NYC.

What key is that riff Hideaway in. Thats a rockin riff man! Catchy too!! Take care. (Joe, Ridgeway, New Jersey, USA)
Gheez, I'm sure I don't know. I think I did it in A. Bob cut it in a different key maybe. I don't remember and I don't know if I have a copy of it even!
Hello again! Could you give us some detail about how you met Christine and then became involved with her solo work as a guitarist? Thanks! (Jo, Larksville, Pennsylvania, USA)
Well....we met via my association with Bob Welch and really just became very good friends. My wife and I, Chris and Curry. We just started hanging out a lot. I was cutting some demo's at that time (I was constantly cutting demos during that time and getting nowhere with them) and Chris was working on (I can't recall the title just now, it was the follow up to Tusk)and she offered some great encouragement and help with my stuff. We started to write together.....and the rest as they say is history.
 tsharp2_2
The Recording of The Visitor; Photo donated by Todd Sharp.

Hi- it seems everyone has asked about your involvement with the FM related people I would ask about, so I wanted to ask about your involvement with Carlene Carter? What is she like? I have only her I Fell In Love albums and Little Love Letters. Did you work with her on her albums in the 80s or just tour with her?
I met and played with Carlene for a short time right after she released Little Love Letters. Only did one short tour with her and an Austin City Limits. I love Carlene. She carries her heritage very well yet she is also an original in her own right. We were talking about starting a band with Howie Epstein, Steve Ferrone, Albert Lee, Me and Benmont Tench!. Then I lost track of her. I'm not sure where she went. . I hope she comes back to us all soon with her beautiful self and her beautiful music. Thanks for your question.

Hi Todd, I was just looking at the albums you've been involved in and I noticed that the record "The Visitor" included Lindsey's "Walk a Thin Line" from "Tusk." Who sang this song on "The Visitor?" How did this come about? Was Lindsey involved? (Chris, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
George Hawkins sang it.
Was Lindsey involved? (Chris)
Not that I recall.
Do you know if he was happy with the final product? Cheers! Thanks a lot!!! (Chris)
You'd have to ask him.

Regarding you introducing Eddy Quintela to Christine - he is Portuguese, what was he doing in Switzerland at that time? (Gail Heaton, Southampton, Hampshire, UK)

I think the secret service works for the Portugese Government.


 Greetings once again!!! Did you have fun doing the Love Will Show Us How music video? (Christa, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)

See previous reply on this. It was not really a fun day for me as I spent most of it on a lift 30 feet in the air. (I'm terrified of heights), had an exploding guitar ( I'm terrified of exploding things) and I'm sure at the end of that long day of inhaling fog juice I went home and, barfed, and went to bed. Tough day at the office.

What inspired you to write Who's Dreaming This Dream (which is one of Christine's best duets with Lindsey) ? (Christa)

Danny Douma and I were looking at writing a song with Christine in mind. He had the title, and sort of said take this and see if you can get something started. Working from the title I went straight to "If you thought that I didn't care no more, than what am I dreaming for?" that's all I remember about how that came about.

You redid I'm The One on your solo album, are there any other songs on the Christine McVie album that you would like to record yourself ? (Christa)

Those songs were really written for Christine. I couldn't sing Got A Hold On Me if my life depended on it. The exeption was I'm The One. If memory serves me correctly I had a demo of that and played it for Christine, She really liked it and was very encouraging to me at that time with my writing and so forth. She told me she would like to record it on her album and I thought "oh yeah, sure She's gonna record my song, right". Lo and behold the time came and she did record it. Some times good fortune really does shine down on you! Matter of fact I have some other demos which Chris helped me with that never made it on to either one of our records............maybe some day.

We were Lonely is another great duet, how did you get Christine to contribute to it ? (Christa)

It just occured to me that she would be perfect for it after we cut the track for my record. It was never intended to be a duet actually. That was an afterthought. So......I asked her, she said.........."Of course darling".


Which do you prefer more: being in the studio or being on the road ?

Tough question it depends with who and what and where and how long etc. I will say this, they both have their extremely gratifying moments. Thanks again!

I notice at the top of the second page of questions here is a photo of "The Christine McVie Band"...I don't see Billy Burnette. Was he IN the band for the whole tour, or just the show that was released on video?? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Billy did only the video with the band and was later replaced by Stephen Bruton.

In most of the recent photos I see of you, you're playing Strats, is that your preferred guitar overall or as of the moment?? (Being a guitar player, I know how fickle we are as to our preferences ;-)) (Steve)

Yeah, pretty much a strat man these days. Really it depends on who I'm playing with and what fits best. But I prefer my strat.

I seem to recall you playing a ES-335 type (either Gibson or Epiphone) with Bob Welch & on "The Visitor". (Steve)

That was an Epiphone Riviera.

What do YOU use for amplification & effects these days? (Steve)

Ampeg VT 40 demeter vibrato pedal. Occasionally an Ibanez classic metal pedal.

Are you hittin' the road with Delbert? Is Southern California on the itinerary?? (Steve)

Yeah we hit the road Weekend style. Don't see any So. cal dates though you could check his site at www.delbert.com.

Hi, Todd:

1) Was the trip to Ghana for "The Visitor" the first time you met George Hawkins? I caught a couple of shows in California from the Christine McVie tour in 1984, including one night in June at Universal Amphitheatre. In the autumn of 1984, Hawkins played bass in an unusual & electrifying series of Rickie Lee Jones shows. Did you happen to see him on this tour? It seemed more like performance art than a standard rock gig. (David, Los Angeles, California, USA)

George with Riky Lee. We first met in 76 when we toured together on the same bill for a summer. He with Kenny Loggins Me with Hall & Oates.

2) Can you recall any tracks recorded for "The Visitor" but not used? It's an inspired collection of originals & covers -- Buddy Holly, Lindsey Buckingham, Peter Green -- & I wonder whether you & the African musicians recorded additional covers, expecting to release them.

Thank you for answering our questions, Todd. We're looking forward to hearing more of your solo work, & wish you the very best. (David)

There was I think 100 reels of tape recorded. I know there was hours of incredible music recorded. Some of it was just African musicians. I would give anything to get my hands on that stuff. Thank you.

Todd, thank you so much for answering my other questions=:-) I told you I'd have more! How did you all get to know Eddy Quintela? (Vianna, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

We met in Montreux. Like I said before he was a secret service agent for the Portugese government, spying on us in switzerland but we won him over with our charms and talents and he ended up marrying Christine.

Did he write any of the songs on the 1984 Christine album? I know he has collaborated with Christine on lots of her songs since they got married. (Vianna)

Eddy didn't write any thing on that particular record though I know he has written some things on a few of the Mac records.

Is Lindsey playing on any of the songs on the 1984 album? I've heard that he was.. Who's Dreaming That Dream is a COOL song - great work on that one, Todd! I love it. (Vianna)

Yes. He played a great part on Got A Hold on Me He played lead guitar on The Smile I live For and he sang on Who's Dreaming This Dream. Thanks.


Hi Todd! I noticed that you're credited as an additional guitarist on Mick Fleetwood's Zoo album, "I'm Not Me." The credit isn't specific, and I was hoping that you could tell me what tracks you appeared on. Also, do you happen to know how the collaboration between Steve Ross & Lindsey Buckingham on "I Want You Back" came about? I realize that you may not have been involved with this particular track, but it doesn't hurt to ask. The worst you can say is, "I have no idea." (Karen, Newport News, Virginia, USA)

I have no idea.

I also want to thank you for doing this Q&A. You have a great sense of humor and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses. I wish you the best on your new release! (Karen)

Thank you very much.

 tsharp2_3

The Christine McVie Band. Photo provided by Todd Sharp.

 


Thank you for taking the time to answer so many questions! I am a late-comer to your work (as I only just purchased and listended to the CM album this past month!) I wanted to say that I think you have a fantastic style - and I'm happy that you have put your talent back into other players (with your help with amps et all.) As a Clevelander myself, I was wondering what memories you have of the Rock N' Roll Capital, any cool music stores we should check out? Next time I'm in Nash I'll be sure to see if you're playing! Thanks again. (Todd Richards, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

Boy I haven't really pounded the streets of Cleveland for about 25 years now so I wouldn't be much good for those kind of reccomendations. I do come up with my son now and then to see the Tribe though. Thanks for tuning in Todd!

One of my favorite guitar parts of any album is the little acoustic thing right before "Devil Wind" on Bob Welch's "Three Hearts". Bob said in his Q&A that it was mostly your playing on that and he played the "atmospheric pad". Anything you'd like to add regarding that?? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Once again my memory is foggy on that. I'd have to dig it up and have a listen. I think I was sort of hanging around the studio a lot and dying to play and Bob asaked me to come up with a little interlude before that song so I came up with that.

I read your response about Carlene Carter. I remember seeing Howie, Benmont, & Albert in one of her videos, were you in that one too?? (Steve)

I did a live Austin City Limits and a video with a bunch of animals (not Benmont or Albert).

Hi again, I have thought of some more questions: Where was the picture for the cover of the 1984 Christine album taken? I love the pic - with Chris sitting at the grand piano and all. (Vianna, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

Dunno.

Are you familiar with the work Fleetwood Mac did for Tango In The Night? If you are you know there is a song called You and I Part I. I adore this song. Do you know why they did not put it on the album? Do you know how the beginning of this song was made? It sounds like there's bells in it or something - I can hear Chris on keyboards but don't know about the rest of it. You can probably tell I am not a musician and have absolutely no training or I would know these things. (Vianna)

Dunno.

Thank you so much for answering my questions =:-) (Vianna)

My pleasure, anytime.

Hey good lookin', it's me again! Did you tell George "hello" fo me? More questions: 1. Is there any truth in the rumour that "Ask Anybody" was written with Dennis Wilson in mind? (Christine P., Meridian, Mississippi, USA)

Dunno.

Did you spend any time with Christine when she was with Dennis, and if so would you please give us some gossip about the two?
(Christine P.)

Nope.

Since Christine is not one to gossip, can you share some gossip of your own? (about Christine of course). Thanks! You're a doll!
(Christine P.)

Oh beeeeehave you!


Hi Todd...Like the blonde Hair ! Is it snowing in Nashville...we have 7 degrees at the moment ! (Charlotte Ann, N. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Yes it is snowing!

The Christine McVie Band in the photo ...who is the guy she's hugging ??? Keep your honey warm...Cheers ! (Charlotte Ann)

That would be yours truly.

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