L-R, Tommy Tedesco, Elvis, Mike Deasy
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Burton and Mike Deasy
I am an extremely blessed man to have as my producer, the one and only Mike Deasy. I first met Mike in 1986 or so. I only knew him at that time for his involvement in Contemporary Christian Music, I had no idea whatsoever about his secular career. I was producing a record for a good friend of mine, Lynn DeShazo. We needed a guitarist for the basic tracks session, and I asked Buck Herring for a recommendation, and he mentioned Mike to me. Got it all set up, the day comes and we do the session at Star Song Studio in Pasadena, TX. The engineer that day was Paul Mills, who has also become quite the award winning composer of movie soundtracks. At one point, I played a piano intro and Mike came in with a smoking lick on top. We were listening back and I said, “that reminds me of ‘Hot Fun in the Summertime’, and Mike immediately says, “I played on that record”. It was literally the last thing I thought I might hear from him. I wasn’t sure how to react, but I believed him, and kinda went on with things. As we were leaving the session, Mike looks me right in the eye and says, “brother, one day we’re going to work together”. I think, okay...
Flash forward 30 years. I’m looking for a producer for my dream album. The one I’ve always wanted to do. I get a quick impulse that suggests to me, “what about Mike Deasy”? I hadn’t thought about him in at least 20 years, it was a distant memory of a one day session. I started doing a Google search to find out where he was these days, and got a huge shock. Not because he was a pastor of a church now, but I saw his bio page and was completely blown away! Then to find out he played on just about every hit record I loved all through my Jr. High and Sr. High School days. He was a member of The Wrecking Crew, it’s a phenomenal group of session players, there’s even a documentary you can catch on Netflix about them. He is also prominently featured in another Netflix documentary, “Sample This”.
Mike and I worked out all the preproduction in his home studio. I drove there every Tuesday for weeks on end until we would reach the point where we were ready to go in the studio with the band and lay down basic tracks. It was during this time that I developed a strong friendship with Mike and his wife Kathie. I even attended his church as often as possible. That was not so easy, as I lived in Houston and he was almost 2 hours away. We had some great sessions together and we would most always finish up the day at a great Italian restaurant he introduced me to. I got to hear first hand stories about Little Richard, Ray Charles, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, Ry Cooder, Elvis, , The Association, Johnny Rivers and more. What’s more, the man doesn’t just rattle off names, the stories are all related to a point he is making, and he weaves the tale in a manner that is totally mesmerizing.
Although I had been around studios and studio musicans for over 30 years, I learned more in the last 3 years that we’ve worked on this project than all the years combined otherwise. It’s also worthy to note that I’ve never spent more than a few weeks on recording a project until now. In fact, often we cut everything in three days, three more to mix and master, then there’s your record. As you listen to this album, you will be taken on a journey. Couldn’t have ever been possible without Mike.