Q&A Sessions
Todd Sharp, January 18 - 31, 2000
Page 3

Thank you for participating in the Penguin Q & A. I have two of Christine McVie's solo albums (The Legendary Christine Perfect and Christine McVie). How does one write songs together? Does one person focus on the musical composition and the other focus on lyrics? (Susan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

There is no particular technique to it except to get to it. The action of doing it leads you to the next step, sort of like driving blindfolded. There were no divisions of who writes lyrics and or music.

Please give a hint of how you did some of the arrangements that you and Christine did. Christine has said she is a "simple" lyricist, reminding me of Paul McCartney . . . "some people fill the world with silly love songs . . . what's wrong with that!?" How do you see Christine as a song writer? Did you both have lyrics written before you co-laborated? How did you come to work on songs together? I love the song "Got A Hold On Me." Can you tell a bit about how that song came about and what you each brought to the song? (Susan)

Christine had the first verse as a stand alone piece. Words and music. I had a little tape recorder and It caught my ear very strong. She also had another piece of beautiful instrumental music which became the bridge. My contribution was firstly to recognise the potential of that first piece. Then I came up with the chorus and made an intro out of the bridge and we just sort of pieced it together with 2 4track tape recorders literally by splicing the tape!


Children in Ghana, Africa while The Visitor was recorded; Photo donated by Todd Sharp.

Another question, what was it like to tour with the legendary Rod Stewart!? He is an absolutely amazing performer! It is hard to imagine actually being on the road with him! Please share anything you would want to about that experience. Thank you for taking the time to read my questions and for any answers you might share. (Susan)

It was usually great big fun. Rod is an amazing performer as well as a pretty good guy with an outstanding sense of humor, I hold the sense of humor in high regard in this life.

Hi. Thank you for participating in this Q&A. I've got a few questions. I was wondering if you might be able to tell us anything about Richard Dashut? He produced Mick's Visitor album and was in Ghana with you, wasn't he? He's been such an integral part of Fleetwood Mac and seems quite loved by all members. (Les, San Diego, California, USA)

Yes and yes again. A great guy-- an excellent "laugher", and he seems to possess just the right quality for supporting the creative flow. I tried to get him to produce me at various times but it just never came together. He has also been a great friend to me over the years ....he has loaned me his studio to write and demo in and even put me up at certain very lean and shall we say strange times. Richard is one of my favorite people.

Do you still keep in any contact with Mick? (Les)

Yes but I wish a little better.

Lindsey ended up playing on a fair number of tracks on Christine's solo album. Do you remember if he was present at those sessions over a long period, or was it just easy to decide where he would make his contributions?...did Christine have specific songs she wanted him to appear on? I've always loved their vocal collaborations and thought that their voices together on "Who's Dreaming This Dream?" were fantastic. It's easily one of my favorite songs that Christine has ever recorded. (Les)

Lindsey is obviously pretty brilliant and I seem to recall him doing his stuff on Chris's record over a casual period of 2 or 3 days. I suppose I should say thank you as I (and Danny Douma) wrote it for her. Christine's producer Russ Titelman deserves some credit here for arranging who did what and where


Three Hearts - Bob Welch

Christine once said that it used to terrify her to write songs with other people because (unbelievably!) she felt sort of embarrassed to share her work, however working on her solo album turned out to be a great experience because she enjoyed collaborating so much. I'm curious though . . . at the beginning of those sessions, did you get any sense that she was nervous about sharing her material? (Les)

Not at all. We had a very nice friendship established beforehand.

I've really enjoyed reading your responses and I've learned so much about your career. I'm on a quest to find your solo album! It's great to get first hand accounts about all of these musicians we love so much, and the music you created with them, so thank you again for doing this. Best of luck to you. (Les)

Same to you. Thanks and God Bless.

Hi Todd; As a Clevelander myself, your Dad (Fred) and I were very good friends and guitar Buddies. We took lessions from same teacher in downtown Cleve. in the late thirties. We are keeping in touch, (e-mail). (Bill Levison, Mansfield, Ohio, USA)

Guess that would put you at what 35 or 40 now?

Did you happen to buy an old Gibson EH-150 Amp. from Gruhn Guitars last year? It was mine, orginally. Great Biography. (Bill Levison)

I didn't buy an EH150 hut I have restored a few.... Maybe one was yours.

Hi Todd....I'm back. I want to say thanks for personally answering (or so it seemed) a fan letter I sent to you in 1985 or so back when I lived in the wonderful town of Warrensburg, Missouri. I remember you answered a few specific questions I had which keyboards were used on your album. Anyway, that has always meant a lot to me. My question: Do you have any stories of any bad shows with Christine or Mick? Any particular funny stories you could share about working with them? (Mark, Missouri, USA)

Not really.

Also, what was working with Don Gehman like? (Mark)

Don is a great guy, brilliant engineer big set of ears.

I saw you and Chris in 1984 in Kansas City. Chris started playing The Smile I Live For...then stopped, saying her monitor was not working. She looked rather pissed. Then you all went to the next song. I was hoping that night she would have tried it again. (Mark)Oops well we all have our rough nights I guess.

Oops well we all have our rough nights I guess.

Anyway, Thank you so very much for your willingness to do this---sorry for our tendency to dwell in the past.

That's cool Mark - it's been fun reminiscing for me. Thanks.

Hello again....First of all, thank you for doing this Q & A!!! I've enjoyed reading all the great questions asked and of course your insightful answers!! A few more Q's before you go....What was it like working with Hall & Oates and how did you join their band? (Christa, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)

They are really great Musicians as well as beefy rock stars!. It was very cool working with them. I heard about an audition via a friend of Daryl's girlfriend at the time, I flew up to NY, auditioned and got the gig!

Would you ever write a book about your musical experiences? (Christa)

It would be a short book I think.

Do you have any siblings? (Christa)

2 brothers , 1 sister.

What guitar did learn to play on and do you still own? Thank you has been fun!!! I hope you had a great time, too!!! Take care. (Christa)

First ever guitar was a Tiesco del Rey. Don't have it anymore. Thank you, I had fun.

Hi! I guess I'll get right to the point- I'm a 14 year old keyboardist (I'm performing Saturday-- wish me luck!!) and I was wondering.. What's it like to work with Christine McVie? She inspired me to keep playing piano and I was wondering what it was like to work with her in the studio/on songs/onstage/etc. Thanks and God bless !! (Kortni, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Hi Kortni,

Christine is the greatest. I think you have good taste. Good luck with your performance Saturday and keep practicing. God bless you too.

Hey Todd, I really liked your guitar work on Christine and Bob's albums, did you ever consider going metal during the big hair 80s? It might have been a nice payday for you. (Andy Bishop, Arlington, Virginia, USA)

If only I could have got the hair right...No, as for metal: that sort of thing isn't my bag baby.

How do you choose who you work with, and what do you think of players like Vai, Malmsteen, Dimeola, and other guitar magazine heroes? (Andy Bishop)

I think they are all extremely accomplished guitarists. I personally don't enjoy listening to that type of music too much.

Hey, Todd! Could you please tell us about the making of "The Other One," especially the song "Love Came 2X"? (John Mauro, Almond, New York, USA)

Love came 2X I think the whole band wrote that one. My only real recollection of the record was that it was fun to make. Bob had made a very cool effort to include his band in the whole process. We sort of all pounded out the arrangements and flushed out the songs in a rehearsal room for about a week then went into Capitol Studio B and carved wax for a couple weeks. It was a fun record to make.

I love the guitar work at the end of "Watch the Animals". Is that you? Thanks! (John Mauro)

Sorry but I can't find my copy of it! I don't remember if it's me. If it's really good then it must be me don't you think? Thanks!

In the picture of the Christine McVie band, there appear to be a lot of people in it. Who was in it? Thank you. (Edna, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

That would be the band and entire crew that was on that tour (1984). I'll never recall all the names.


Top Left: John Courage (Christine's manager), Eddy Quintela, Bob O'Neil (Stage Manager), ?, Drums, ?, Steve Ferrone, (Drummer), Stephen Bruton (Guitarist), Ross Hogarth (Guitar Tech).
Middle Left: ?, ?, ?, George Hawkins (Bass), Trip Kalef (House Sound Mixer), Jim Devinny (Monitor Mixer).
Bottom left: Robert "Spike" Spivak (Tour Manager Assist), Todd Sharp (Guitar), Christine McVie, Wayne Cody (Tour Manager). ?

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