By Rich Steve Beck
I learnt to play guitar when I was 12 years old and eventually by the age of 14 I wanted to learn all the songs my parents didn't want me listening to.
Big problem..I had no money...it was the 1990's and it was near impossible to sneak a grunge CD into my bedroom without my Dad going..."hmmmm let me read the lyric sheet....give me a few minutes".
Picking another song at random out of my guitar teachers tab book I asked to learn Pearl Jam "Alive". I loved the riff but had never heard the actual song until my French teacher overheard me talking about a cool new song I found. A couple of weeks later he handed me over a casette tape. Side one was Pearl Jam "Ten", side two was "Vs". I've no idea how many times that tape got played in my walkman but eventually it died!
Thankfully my Dad never watched the music video to "Jeremy" or listened to the track "Leash" on Vs (still one of my favourite tracks to blast out the car!).
Fast forward to 2020 I was just about to interview legendary Hip-Hop Engineer Steve "Steve B" Baughman for Produce Mix Fix and Conquer and he suggested I get in touch with his friend, another producer/mixer legend Tim Palmer.
Tim told the story of an unknown band at the time back in the early 90's he worked with called Pearl Jam. The album he mixed (that also changed my guitar world) was Ten. Things really had swung round full circle.
But the story doesn't quite end there....
A year later lockdown had lifted in the UK and I booked my client and friend singer song-writer Luke Raddon-Jackson in the studio along with Manchester drummer/engineer ace David Dickie.
Knowing I was going to master 3 out of 4 tracks I acted as Lukes guitar tech for the session dialing in most of his tones until I got the nod of approval (not the normal thing for a mastering engineer to do...but I wasn't turning down a few days in a £500000 studio!)
Many takes later the session was over...a few weeks passed by...
After mulling over multiple options for mix engineers, Tim Palmers name was the final decision. We honestly thought we were just going to send back an awesome rock mix and that was it, that would have been more than enough.....
...but...Tim had other plans!
What came back was not only an awesome mix but also extra guitars, extra keys.....Tim had fun with the track so much so he wound up playing on it!
Then it got sent over to yours truly to master. Epic!
If only my 14 year old self knew that the chap who mixed Pearl Jam on my tape, the tape that changed my taste in music forever...that one day I would wind up mastering a track that was mixed and co-produced by him...well....I would have probably said...
"Woah that's awesome dude...nice...but what exactly is mastering?"
Afraid of Your Love - Available Now