Gary "Hoppy" Hodges, June 5 - 18, 2000
Hi Gary, How did you initially get involved on the Buckingham Nicks sessions? How long did the whole project take? Were the songs pretty much worked out when you did your parts? Thank you. (Timothy Kee, North Huntington, Pennsylvania, USA)
Hello, I met Stevie and Lindsey in LA , around 1972. I was slowly getting into session work as I like the hours and the pay was appealing to me, and it was just fun to record music to track rather than just play it into the air and it never would be heard from again, you see. They were writing and Lindsey was recording in the basement of a very interesting little house in Studio City. I would go over and take a drum kit and he would let me lay a track or play with him in the little basement room on his four track, we called it Quality Sound Recorders, and when we had Jorge Calderon and Waddy Wachtel over to work out songs and track we went by the valley Beatles, we had a lot of fun back then in LA. Yes, we did do preproduction work together to save time in the studio cost, so we would rehearse and sometimes jam out songs and experiment with sounds and arrangements prior to tracking something. I believe that record took a month or two to do. I was only there for a few tracks and overdubbing. By the way, on the track "Frozen Love" the drums were put on last after everything was already on, including the orchestra, so I was handed a set of headphones and this awesome track was coming through, and off I went into creative drumland. We worked up a lot of songs, as we later traveled and toured around playing together prior to the Mac thing. Thank you for your question; I hope this answers it completely for you.
Hi Gary, Thanks for taking your time out to answer our questions. What was it like for you, working with Lindsey and Stevie? Will we ever see a video of any Buckingham/Nicks show in the future? I'm sure that it would be a big seller. I've always wondered what a Buckingham/Nicks show was like. Well, Take care. (Sharon Bos, Sterling, Virginia, USA)
You know to the best of my recall no one ever filmed us, this is a very good point, Sharon. I wish someone had taped us or turned on a video camera during rehearsals or those live shows in Alabama especially; those were very hot shows as I recall them now. Sharon, I loved working with Stevie and Lindsey so much, it was like family and we became close, too. I guess it was like having a brother and sister out there in the world that was extremely talented and loving, too; I miss them very much and have not had any contact for many years now- my heart longs to see them and have a musical reunion of sorts. Wouldn't it be fun if we all got together and sat at our instruments and played something and you taped it and filmed it, I sure would want a copy. Thank you for your question, Sharon.
Hello Gary, I have two questions I'm sure everyone here is gonna ask you so forgive me if I'm repeating the questions. What are your memories of the Buckingham Nicks album sessions. Was it just another session for you ? Were you involved with the BN concert that happened just before Lindsey & Stevie joined Fleetwood Mac ? Do you have any contact with Lindsey & Stevie ? (Steve Elliot, Arlington, Virginia, USA)
Yes , they were very special sessions and great care was taken to make them very pleasant. Also, I sensed a special magic at those sessions, they were not like a regular session call,the sounds were so inspiring to play to that I got a little excited about it. I thought to myself , this is some special material here, and it had an interesting energy about it. You know Lindsey is quite a guitar player and writer and he was back then, too. I was with them on the concert dates you speak of and played with them right up to the day that Mick took over with them. As a matter of fact we had started tracking some new songs proir to them joining the Mac. Thanks for your question and your interest in this .
1. What state of completion (or incompletion) were the demos of the songs in that Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks brought to the "Buckingham Nicks" sessions? Had the two of them worked out most of the basic instrumental and vocal ideas before the sessions (for example, string charts), or did you and the other musicians have the chance to really get creative?
2. How many weeks or months did it take to record the "Buckingham Nicks" album? Do you remember the specific dates for the sessions? Do you remember which tracks specifically you played drums on?
3. Compare the Branson music scene to the scene in Nashville. I've heard that there is less of an "Old Boy" network in Branson.
4. Gary, what are some of your interests outside of professional music? Have you found music to be a satisfying profession overall? Does the rock industry nowadays seem dismal to you or attractive?
Thanks for your thoughts, Gary. (David, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Well, let's see to answer your first question- they had worked out the songs and arrangements prior to going in as Keith Olsen did not want to waste studio time on rehearsal things, and they wrote specifically for that album those songs (very good ones I thought). Richard Hallagan , I believe, was contracted to do the strings and things; he was with Blood,Sweat andTears at the time. I played on "Frozen Love",drums and percussion, and did some overdubbing on "Races are Run","Long Distance Winner"and various other tracks. We used a pair of plyers striking a small mic base for an anvil sound on "Races are Run" and I used some latin instruments, I believe it is called a gwero. Anyway, it makes a yattatttaaa sound when you scrape it with a wooden stick, I forget what it is called... guess I will have to watch a little more Ricky Martin, huh? I drummed on a bunch of tracks that never got released, as they joined Mick and his crew. A lot of the tracks that went on to be hits, we had cut already in studio b and they probably still have them. The sessions them selves were well planned and well thought out, and as I have said before they were very creative and we were allowed and encouraged to be creative on them. Lindsey guided me through "Frozen Love" as I was overdubbing on to a finished idea and he wanted certain effects from the drums, emotion mainly I think; that track is very emotional. As far as how long it took to do the album, it was probably a month or so. It seems like they took the longest time on guitar overdubs and strings and stuff, the basic tracks were done rather quickly. Tutt was in one day, Keltner a couple times and me a couple days is all on tracks for rhythm anyway, so I think basics were done in a week. Branson is not like Nashville , I still do sessions here but it is not a real recording town, like Nashville; a lot of the shows here are going to tracks or prerecorded tracks and I did a session recently where I did tracks for the Wild West Show here, and then they do the show to the tracks, kind of like karioke,or how ever you spell that.
Hi Gary - thanks for being here! Did you spend any time outside of the studio or sessions with Lindsey or Stevie, and can you share any of that with us? Also, I think I speak for many of the fans when I ask you to please get in touch with them and ask them to get on with releasing BN on CD. (Phillip Greene, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
Hi Philip, Yes we spent time together doing other things outside the studio, and had a very good relationship as friends, almost like family. We would go out to eat together and hang out together. At one time I lived with Stevie and Lindsey in a small house in Studio City. I eventually helped them move across town to live with Richard Dashut, and I took over the house in Studio City and lived there for quite a while. We used to get together at the house and record with Lindsey, as he had a four track machine, and we would ping pong tracks to put stuff on them. It was fun; he was a good friend to me and I do miss him a lot. I agree with you about getting that BN cd on out; I, too, have been waiting to see and hear it in the digital format, and I understand it has some extra tracks on it-- "Without You" I have heard is on it, an obscure track Stevie wrote, I believe. You know, Phillip, we had a lot of fun the three years I spent with Stevie and Lindsey prior to them joining up with Mick and all. It would take a lot more room than this brief format could hold to describe all that fun, making music and all. I will tell you this, though, Stevie and Lindsey were very much in love during all that time and they were a sweet couple to be associated with--warm and caring. Stevie used to babysit my boy Shawn for me sometimes, too. I really miss them and I think of them often. I watched them soar to super stardom. Thank you for your interest in all of this, Phillip.
Gary, what were the then new BN songs that you played on after, the BN album was released and prior to Lindsey & Stevie joining Fleetwood Mac ? We're all hoping that Lindsey & Stevie will finally reissue the BN album on CD for the first time sometime soon. Wouldn't it be great to have all of those unreleased songs tagged on as a bonus cuts ? You should give Lindsey & Stevie a phone call. Thank you for answering my questions. (Steve Elliot, Arlington, Virginia, USA)
Steve, if I had a phone number that would reach them, I would sure call. I have not seen them in a long time and would love to see or hear from them, believe me. Some of the tracks I cut with them were these-- a song called "The B rock tune "Lady from the Mountain," a blistering track of "Rhiannon" that was a lot like the tempo of the Stones tune" Paint it black"-- you know, "I see a red door and I want it painted black "--with a driving 'boom a boom a boom' up tempo thing. It was great. They later slowed it down to what came out on the FM album, but we used to kick the heck out of it. "I Don't Wanna Know"( the reason why love keeps right a walkin on down the line) "I've Got Nothing on you "--I forget the title but I think you know which one I mean. "Monday Morning," Blue Letter", "Frozen Love," "Races are Run"....oh there were a bunch of them that we cut in the three years we worked together. It was a long time ago so it is hard to remember all of them. I wish they would go back and remix them and release them...there were probably twenty or more that later came out on FM stuff.
Hi Mr. Hodges, thank you for answering our questions. It's nice to hear that you have such fond memories, and it's great of you to share them with us. I have a few questions (please skip any that you've already answered):
How many live shows did you play with Lindsey and Stevie? Do you remember who else was in the band that played live gigs with them? Do you recall what their live set was like -- did they play all of their songs? did they do any cover songs?
In fairly recent interviews, Lindsey has talked very fondly of those Alabama gigs, so they seem to be something very special for him (and probably Stevie too) all these years later still. Thanks again and best wishes to you. (Lesley, San Diego, California, USA)
Hi Gary, I don't want to take up someone else's chance to ask a question but I must say that it would be alot of fun to film Buckingham/Nicks. Hey you never know! If someone give me a few lessons on filming and wanted me to be it. I'd gladly accept the invitation! Anyway very briefly, There is a bootleg circulating around of some Stevie demos that were supposedly Fritz demos. When Javier was asked he said they were not and that they might be B/N deoms. Does Amber, I Need You, Anybody There, See the World Go By, Cecelia ring a bell with you? These demos only have Stevie on piano or guitar. Everyone is trying to figure out where these songs come from. (Sharon, Sterling, Virginia, USA)
Sharon, these titles do not ring any bells with me. These sound like some of the things Stevie has mentioned as demos she made at home that someone might have made off with.... one of her friends (or so called friends). I have heard her speak of how it upsets her that people come into her life and take her tapes-- this may be some of this stuff. The right thing to do would be to return them to her so she could remember them and finish them, and then we could all enjoy them in their finished condition. Some of them might just be ideas that were not quite done yet. It is her material and should be returned, really. She labors hard over her songs; I know this first hand and they really shouldn't take them and exploit them. She would love to have them back... let's just say they will find their way home to her. She really is a sweet gal, you know; she helped me out in times that were a little rough, too. I love her and would love to see these go back to her. The demos I did with Stevie and Lindsey were in the studio of Lindsey's basement house in Studio City- we called them the basement tapes-- he even cut a track of a beautiful rain that came down one evening when I was there with him and Stevie. Man, I miss them, such creative and kind people. Heck they made me a little famous. Love, Gary Thanks for your q&a, Sharon.
Hello! I was reading some of your answers and was wondering what songs Stevie and Lindsey had already recorded with you that never made a second Buckingham Nicks album. In Javier Pacheo's Q&A wrote about a song that he couldn't get out of his mind. He wrote this:
"In fact, one song in particular I have sung over and over again for the past thirty years--country and simple, but right on the mark. The lyrics go thusly: "Well there's a deep sense of a funny kind of love, ...when you look back on the way it really was. Kind of like a marriage after it has broken up; Well, there's a deep sense of a funny, ...kind of love."
Do you know if this song was brought into the Buckingham Nicks sessions? Was it recorded? It is very lovely. Thank you! (Jensen, Larksville, Pennsylvania, USA)
Hello! I was hoping you could tell us about your very first session work assignment. Who was it with? What were your impressions? Do you have any particular track and/or album that you consider THE best? Why? Thank you! (Jo, Larksville, Pennsylvania, USA)
Jo , Hi-- my first experience in the studio was when I was 14. I wrote and drummed on the Kenner Toy commercials for a promo they did for new toys in the 60's. I think I made $818.00 and was hooked from then on to the recording process. It was a frightening experience at first; I had no idea what to do but I had some good guidance, I guess. I still love to record whenever possible,a nd know a few more tricks now than when I started. My favorite project was the BN album; I am on "FROZEN LOVE" and various other tracks on percussion, and creative little instruments we came up with for sounds on that album--like a pair of plyers striking a mic base for anvil sound on " Races are Run." I have played on a lot of sessions in thirty five years, but I still recall Lindsey's guitar playing as very hot in and out of the studio. I have a lot of great session memories, though, it has been fun to play both in the studio and live all these years. I would love to play music with Lindsey again so badly; I wish he would call and say, 'Hey you wanna play on some tracks for me? How about going on the road ?' That would be kewl !!!
I saw where you got in a question on Keith Olsen's Q&A last month. I sensed a slight animosity; or was it an "inside joke"?? How DID you get along with Keith Olsen? You mentioned playing "Frozen Love" live...I just can't hear in my head how that could be played live with the sparse instrumentation you mentioned. Was it majorly rearranged? How it was arranged to play live? Did Lindsey play the whole thing with an electric? AND...Lindsey's been quoted as saying that Fleetwood Mac somewhat forced him into playing a Gibson Les Paul when his favorite guitar was a Fender Telecaster. Did he mainly play the Tele with BN? Or did he do his usual switch guitars every other song? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)
Do you think any of the Fritz or B/N demos will ever be released? If they are do you think they will have changed much? Thank You. (Bridgette, South Carolina, USA)
Hi- I was wondering if you remembered anything about when they shout the cover shot for Buckingham Nicks- Stevie has lately said that she hated the idea and was really upset by it, but Keith Olsen said that they both thought it was a good idea- do you remember any more information- or can you corroborate one of the stories? There's also a lot of talk about how Stevie and Lindsey were always fighting - did you have any firsthand experience of any of that ? Thanks! (Laura)
Hi-- well, there was a little controversy over that, it is a good cover but it might have caused some trouble for her with her family, I think. It really isn't a nude shot, it was airbrushed a lot, you see, but I think it did cause a little upset and concern at the time, as I recall. It is a famous picture now. Stevie and Lindsey were very much in love; they had their disagreements just like any couple would. She was a very beautiful girl, you know, and Lindsey was kinda of possessive of her…hey I would have been, too. No, I don't recall any fighting; you know, I believe "Life in the Fast Lane" is written about them, as a matter of fact, it is. We were a little frustrated when Polydor shelved them and said it was to folky…this was upsetting to me, I recall, and I am sure it upset them, but everything worked out for the best in the end now, didn't it?
Wow you have told some amazing stories! Thanks so much for telling us so much! You seemed to have had a lot of fun with Stevie and Lindsey- i was wondering if you or they had fun with practical jokes? What types of things did you guys do for laughs? any favorite jokes? hehe thanks for this and for your wonderful work on Buckingham Nicks! You seem like an awesome guy! (Jessica Leigh Badten, Camarillo, California, USA)
Jessica- Hello! Yes, we had some fantastic times together-- one in particular is this: I ran into Lindsey and Tom Montcrieff (and I think Bob Aguirre might have been in on this…) anyway, we all ended up at this real nice Chinese restaurant, and they took us all into a private back room to enjoy their cuisine. Well, we all sat down at a round table, and it had a what I call a 'lazy susan' on it that rotates and you get what you want off of it. Little did I know that they had been coming here regularly, and I was about to find out why. So we are all eating, and I am sitting next to Lindsey, and suddenly Tom Montcreiff (our bass player in BN) spills a cup of hot jasmine tea in his lap. Suddenly there is food going everywhere, and Tom is in the middle of the table acting out a convulsion of sorts, and food accidents are just happening all over the table-- and these nice waiters are just bringing more food and standing by if we need anything, five or six of them around us in this very ornate little decorated room. I just couldn't believe it, I was laughing so hard that I could not eat. Well, the meal ended and most of it was on Tom and everyone else there; the check came and Lindsey picked it up! I don't have any idea what it cost but man it was the most interesting dinner I have had to date; as you can tell it really stuck in my memory. We had some wonderful close times, especially the creation of the music part, and little social gatherings we had. A wonderful spirit of camaraderie and creativity was in those blessed times; I miss those days so much sometimes. Thank you for reminding me, and for the sweet compliment you gave me on being an awesome guy, that makes me feel good. I am glad you enjoy my work with these wonderful people. I wish the CD would come out, don't you, Jessica?
Hi Gary! You spoke about how sweet Stevie is, and what a loving couple that she and Lindsey were in the early days, so did it surprise you to hear about their nasty break-up and all of the heartaches that followed? What is your opinion of how they have changed as people over the years? Were you surprised that Stevie has also achieved so much success as a solo artist, or was it something you could have foreseen? (Carol, Palo Alto, California, USA)
Carol, wow you live in the area where Lindsey came from. I love that guy; he has been an awesome friend to me, as it broke my heart to lose them. We were close to real success I believe together. Well this question is so personal but I will say this-- I hate to see break ups and the Love they shared was so special-- very special-- those two were meant for each other and they loved one another and stuck with each other through a lot of tough times. Carol, I knew them closely and loved them both at the time. I was glad to see someone break out of the struggle of the music business and succeed and I always wished them well. Stevie came to see me play at a gig one time and it just shocked me when she came through the door at this small club. I am not at all surprised by her success as she was working on this back in the early seventies and Lindsey told me one time that she was working hard on doing her own thing. I just wish I could have been more a part of it with her. I believe Russ Kunkel got that duty. To sum all this up, what a love affair and what a story those two have had. I am sure there will be a book on it. Every once in a while this phenomenon happens and it did to them because they intended to do it their way and did-- they are rich and famous and the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say. Thank you for your question I hope this is some what of an answer for you. Much Love, Gary
Hi, Thanks for answering our questions. "Rhiannon" went on to become a huge hit for Fleetwood Mac. You must have heard some of the earliest versions of it. Did you think it had the potential to become the big hit that it did? Have you heard "Forest of the Black Roses"? or did Stevie write that later? (Vianna, Alexandria, Virginia, USA)
Awwwww "Frozen Love!" Dear Gary,
The only way to play "Frozen Love" is cranked all the way up so that the guitar and drums alternately ring in your ears! Very creative drumming indeed. You wouldn't happen to have any of your other work with Stevie and Lindsey from that time on audio tape to share, would you? (concerts, jam sessions, etc.) That would be the only thing even more kewl than Lindsey calling you up to work on his album. :-) Great answers so far, by the way. (Jo, Larksville, Pennsylvania, USA)
I will ask you something more profound later...but, before I forget...here is a question you might, or might not, be able to answer. On "Lola, My Love," just what is it Lindsey says at the end....some have said it's just the name, "Waddy Wachtel," and others have thought it was something more profound. Can you shed some light on this mini-debate we once had? Thanks a lot. (Regina, Bronx, New York, USA)