Producer Bruce Fairbairn brought Randy Raine-Reusch in to record with the following groups. With Bruce's passing, Randy has been asked to list what he played on these projects and tell about the experiences.
What I Played
- Water Song: Glass Harmonica, wind gong, bullroarers
- Dulcimer Stomp: Appalachian Dulcimer
- Don't Get Mad Get Even: didjeridu
- Hoodoo: Thai naw
Randy giving Steve Tyler
a khaen lesson
|AEROSMITH - Pump
In 1989, producer Bruce Fairbairn called me on the phone and said that he had heard a national radio interview that I had done the year before and if I would be interested in doing some session work. He said that he had a rock group in town that was needing something a bit different on their album and could he bring them over to look at my instruments. I said sure bring them over.
A few days later Steve Tyler and Joe Perry walked of the stairs of my East Vancouver loft. They sat down on a couple of chairs in the middle of my studio room surrounded by 500 world instruments. And they politely described the songs they were working on and what they wanted for the album. I played a couple of instruments for them and they sat quietly listening and asking to hear others. I played about a hundred instruments for them and they chose thirty, which we took into the studio a couple of weeks later.
We first added the two tracks of didjeridu for "Don't Get Mad Get Even", and then started to create a small intro (Water Song) for "Janie's Got a Gun" on glass harmonic (a 19th Century instrument made from specially made musical wine glasses). That's when the fun really started as Bruce then asked me to start creating little pieces, which Bruce, Steve, and Joe would add things to, and these became the 'musical interludes' for the album. Hence Water Song, Dulcimer Stomp, Hoodoo, and a surprise piece at the end of the album were created. I especially remember creating Hoodoo as I picked up a Thai naw and started a kind of Appalachian thing on it and Joe jumped off his seat in the control room and joined me in the studio on the piece!
Bruce agreed to give me writer's credit for the pieces, as I wrote the main part of them, but the record company (Geffen) never labelled the pieces as mine and I never received any royalties from these pieces! Upon hearing about this the band sent me a small Christmas card and a cheque for $3000 as a gift and an apology, although it was not their doing. I also got a call from Steve one day asking if a had an instrument called a waterphone. When I said no, but I always wanted one, he said great, that he was with Richard Waters - the maker- and he would send one up. A few days later it arrived with a short note from Steve.
A couple of years later I did finally win the rights to Water Song, as the band used a recording of it in performance, but this was long after all the money was made.
I performed with the band twice, once in Vancouver and once in Winnipeg. I must say that the big stadium shows are not my idea of fun, I am much more comfortable performing on a concert stage in a soft seated theatre. Yet, being on a big stage with the guys was a great experience and one that I will never forget.
For all those New Music fans out there, I ran into Steve and Joe at a restaurant in Vancouver a few years later and introduced them to Stuart Dempster and Pauline Oliveros (who I was doing a concert with that night). I wish I had a camera to capture that moment!!! Unfortunately, none of them knew who the others were!
I still see the guys when they come through town as we have become friends over the years - and good friends to have.
|THE CRANBERRIES - For the Faithful Departed
I was in Tokyo doing some musical research on the ichigenkin, a rare Japanese one-string zither, when I got a call from Bruce Fairbairn. He was bringing the Cranberries to Vancouver to put the final touches to an album and wanted to bring me so they could get 'Reusched" (his words!). I had almost finished my work in Japan and was coming back early anyway. (I told Bruce I would be back in a week, as I was arranging and interview with Japanese composer Toru Takamitsu. Unfortunately Toru had become quite ill again after coming out of cancer treatment, and we postponed our interview till later. Tragically he died shortly thereafter)
Arriving home in Vancouver, I called Bruce and asked what he wanted and he said just bring in a lot of instruments, and anything I wanted. So I brought a bunch of things that sounded interesting. I met Delores briefly as Bruce was teaching her a couple of guitar licks, but worked mostly with percussionist Fergal Lawler who was the person overseeing most of the mixing.
Basically I just played a bunch of stuff, and they chose what they wanted. Once the album came out followed by the videos, it was nice to hear the khaen played regularly on TV at the end to "Will to Decide" and I would often see the video while channel hopping.
What I Played
- Free To Decide: khaen
- Joe: angklung, zaphoon
What I Played
- The Ladder: Kenyan mat rattle and elastic
bull roarer (quick effects)
- Can I: didjeridu, Kenyan mat rattle
- To Be Alive: Chaozhou zheng (sped up)
- The Messenger: ching
- Nine Voices: tambura
|YES - The Ladder
Returning home from lecturing at a conference in Cairo, Egypt in the Spring of 1999, I heard that Yes were in town working with Bruce. About a week later I got a call from Bruce asking if he could bring Jon Anderson and Alan White over to my house (I had moved from the loft a few years before, as too many guns, hookers and drugs had started to invade my previously quiet wharehouse district), and a few days later they were in my small but amply equipped instrument gallery. We spent a delightful afternoon, singing, twanging, percussing and jamming, as we chose the instruments, and a few days later I arrived at the studio with literally a truck load of instruments.
They were just starting a final pass at all the tracks, fixing vocals and adding incidental percussion. We started working very quickly completing two or more songs a day. Billy Sherwood handled all the tambourine and shaker parts as Alan was sick for the first few days, and Billy was a virtual one take wonder, sometimes putting shaker on a six minute section without a single flaw!! I recorded quite a few instruments, sometimes with Jon sometimes alone. Steve Howe was around for most of the sessions even though all his work was done. I could see sometimes the band wondering how what I was doing was going to fit, but I knew Bruce always had some tricks up his sleeves from working with me in the past.
We finished up on a Thursday as a number of the guys were going to a computer convention in LA. or somewhere on Friday. I packed up the truck and went home with Bruce saying we would finish up the paper work the following week. On Monday, when Bruce hadn't shown up at the studio for a number of hours, Jon and Bruce's Office Manager went to Bruce's house to find that Bruce had died in his sleep the night before.
Even though it was a very difficult time, the band continued to mix the album with Bruce's crew, and with the spirit of Bruce in the air. It must of been very hard emotionally on all of them, but they did a wonderful job. As Bruce was not there to add his special magic to the mix, much of my work was mixed way down and some may even have disappeared. But it ended up to be a beautiful project that I was proud to work on.
It was always and honour and a pleasure to work with Bruce and a very special honour to work with him in his last days. His passing is a great loss, yet we are fortunate to be able to still hear his magic in all the wonderful works that he left behind. Miss you Bruce.
I did another project with Bruce that is worth a mention. He called me in to work on an album for Jackl that we recorded in Brian Adam's basement studio. I put a few gong and jaw harp tracks down and after listening to the tracks for awhile, I suggested putting a big gong on the opening of "Chinatown". They said sure and I came back a second day for another session. Setting up in the laundry room, I hit the gong once for a sound check, then I was counted in and played it again for the recording. It was a keeper, but it had only taken a few minutes of the session to do. Bruce asked jokingly if I could do some laundry for the remainder of the session. So far that has been the only time I was paid in the hundreds of dollars per note!