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Mike Randle


Producing 101 (Part 3)
June 15, 2005

Jillian Wheeler

Ok, I got the dates mixed up for the CoachHouse and Cancelled Spaceland shows. See, even I can’t keep track of that nonsense. The Coachouse show, I think, was right before (or after?) Xmas and the cancelled Spaceland show was late Feb maybe. Oh, I dunno. All I know is Jillian flew in with her Dad and we started recording about Feb 3rd or 4th. She blew through the first 3 songs like nobody’s business. We had figured 10 days recording for her but after the 4th day she’d knocked out about 8 songs. And remember, we were working on 5/6 hour days. The vibe was cool and relaxed too. Eventaully her dad had to fly back east and her mom flew out for the last few days of recording. Rusty, Jillian and myself sat in one of the other rooms with a few acoustic guitars and bashed out 2 originals that the 3 of us co-wrote, THE BLUE and WHAT’S THE DEAL. Rusty and me had sent Jillian musical ideas and she went to work on it on her own and we all sat down and cut out the fat in the studio. After about an hour Jillian cut her vocals to WHAT’S THE DEAL. It was brill.

While Rusty was cutting the last few days of her vocals I was over at Steve’s studio finishing up some guitars and drums with Nolte and Malcolm. On one of the last days of recording, we had Cars’ guitar God, Elliot Easton, come down and put some guitar on REAL LIFE. By Valentine’s day we were ready to mix. Ryan Freeland (Aimee Mann, Christina Auguilera, Jewel) had the mixes and me Rusty and the label guy (ok his name’s Gary!) worked with his on what the idea was to capture in the mix. We listened intently, there was quite a bit of debating.no arguments that I can recall but a few disagreements. But certainly nothing unhealthy. And after each session, we’d all go to this cool redneck bar in Psalms. Can’t remember the name but it’s on Barrington and National. Next to Blockbuster. It was a funny place but the perfect atmosphere to cool our heels. On the last day of mixing, Rusty and I were in favor of a certain reverb effect on one of the song’s guitars. Gary felt it wasn’t right for the song. We three really disagreed over it. And although it never came down to “I’ paying for this” from Gary, Rusty and me figured it was best left without the effect and be done with it. It we would have felt strongly about it I no doubt Gary would have gone with it because he just wanted the best everyone had to give. Of course, him being the A&R guy, and me having a wicked sense of humor I took the piss of him every chance I got! And he got to calling me his ‘wife’ cause he said I nagged him non stop!

After we finished the mixes, Gary took us and Ryan (and Ryan’s lovely lady) out to Sushi on the Sunset Strip to one of the best friggin’ places ive ever been to. They had these sushi rolls the chef made especially for us called OH MY GOD ROLLS but I renamed them OH MY F*CKIN*OD ROLLS cause they were heavenly without a doubt. The next day I made a huge mistake and went to Tower Records and bought a really bad big selling pop record. I was told Jillian sounded like this girl singer. I didn’t see the similaristies plus I thought Jillian’s lyrics were much better and fairly mature for a (at the time) 13 year old. I took the cd back and begged for my money back and I was pretty surprised when they gave it back. I took the dosh to Record Surplus on Pico Blvd. And bought THE BEST OF THE JAM, which I couldn’t pass up NEW for only $6. A week later Rusty was on a plane to see his gal, Lucy, in Sheffield and a week after that I was off to London to see Hannah and then we all were at Ringo’s not long after, but well before that last UK LOVE tour. But that’s how my January, Febuary and March were spent in 2005. Very memorable and it was my first real job as a record producer. And even though the record did come in a few thousand dollars over budget, it was worth every penny.

all the best,

Mike Randle


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