The Inside Story of Mockingbird with Carly Simon and James Taylor
SC – Hard to imagine in today’s music a song like this would ever make the top 100 much less hit #1. What was about that era that made songs like this have the ability to chart?
GS – The talent of the artists and musicians. Now they can polish a turd by Justin Bieber all they want but at the end of the day it will like the life that songs of that era did. Funny how this korean youtube rapper becomes a celebrity overnight for coming out with what is essence, a novelty song.
SC – You said that the take featured below that went to #1 was originally the first take run through, were there any overdubs at all? The Saxophone for instance, was that done live with others in the band there in the studio or was that overdubbed later?
GS – Richard Perry always did a lot of Overdubs and was kind of what he was known for, the basic track was a first take. James Taylor came in to Carly’s session with the idea to do the remake and Richard let him run through the song with the musicians Carly was using at the time. I don’t think anyone could have thought it would be a big hit or at the time thought it was anything else but a spur of the moment idea done for fun and most certainly done on the fly.
SC – What other popular musicians played on this track?
GS – The musicians at the time were Jim Kelter on drums, Klaus Vorman on bass, Niki Hopkins on piano, and Robbie Robertson on guitar.
SC – Once again, almost a dream team of legendary musicians. What Studio was this recorded at?
GS – Producers Workshop on Hollywood Blvd.
SC – What was your role in getting this song onto tape and were you given an official credit?
GS – I was the tape OP at the time and decided to hit record button during the first rehearsal, this was the take that was used that ended up being a huge hit for Carly. I think I got credit as the 2nd engineer. Carly and I got along really well. She was very, very talented and I really nice lady to work with. I think towards the end of her run she had some issues with her management team or something and ended up becoming disillusioned with the business much like I did. When you look back at some of the great stories in Rock and Roll history, the Carly Simon, Heroin Addicted James Taylor will probably go down as one of those “what ifs” in that if he stayed clean and had they stayed together what might have been. When I think about those sessions though, nothing but great memories with a bunch of great, talented people.