Which is your favorite Beatles album to play?
The White Album is my favorite Beatles album, probably the album that changed my life the most. It's a perfect double album with a little bit of everything. Some people say that The White Album started entire genres of music.
It's not just one style all the way through; there's rock, great pop, there's some experimental music, there's some tongue-in-cheek comedic numbers, and then there's just some stuff that is purely emotional. It really showed the entire spectrum of what the Beatles could do, more than any other album, and proves that they are pretty much one of the most ground-breaking bands in the history of rock and roll. If it wasn't for them, I think music would be completely different.
It's amazing how from song to song, the album shifts genres; it starts off with a rocker, "Back in the U.S.S.R.," then goes into "Dear Prudence," which is completely unique folk psychedelia -- psychedelic but without the bells and whistles. The album also has "Revolution # 9," which might be the first music to use concrete beats and is completely out of this world. Then it has really beautiful tunes like "Goodnight Tonight" and "Martha, My Dear," which are almost old-fashioned, and extremely beautiful rock ballads like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Sexy Sadie" -- unique.
All four Beatles got a chance to shine. Ringo has two of his best songs on this record ("Don't Pass Me By" and "Goodnight"). It's fun to play live, a double album that doesn't feel like a double album, where most double albums feel tedious, this one doesn't -- it flows.
Which Beatle are you?
I'm a combination between George and Ringo. Chris Alvy will be singing most of the George parts, but I will be playing most of his guitar parts.
Tell me about your recent collaborations with Beathose bandmate Jim at Capitol Studios and Reseda Ranch Studios?
We are working on a new Jim Camacho album, and it's going to be his best by far. He is so inspired and is recording the definitive version of his fan favorite song "Ophelia" on this record. That song calls for a robust grand piano sound and since my studio only has a spinet piano we looked around L.A. for studios with grands. We ended up getting a great deal from Capitol and we recorded the song with Nat King Cole's Steinway grand and Frank Sinatra's Neumann U47 mic. We even had some time left over to do vocal takes for some other songs from the record. What a rush this was!
What drove you to bring Linda Perhacs out of retirement?
I'm extremely fortunate to be around people that are older but extremely inspired. Even though Linda took 44 years to release her second record, The Soul of All Natural Things, she was extremely inspired and making music with the energy and spark of a twenty-something.
It's amazing and great because I want to be like that when I'm her age. Andy Pratt (the obscure but influential '70s singer-songwriter) is the same way. It's been incredible though. I've worked with so many artists as a producer, both Linda and Andy are the only ones who have signed international record deals and they are 71 and 67 (respectively). It's a real amazing thing about the record industry today, where you don't have to be 20 anymore to get nationwide exposure; you don't have to retire. It's all about how inspired your are.
Right. But it seems like if there is no Fernando move to L.A., there is no Linda follow-up album.
It helped. She was already making some new music, but it was a really amazing coincidence that I moved five miles away from her. She's going to be working on a collaborations record with Sean Lennon, Jonathan Wilson, Animal Collective, Vanessa Carlton, and more, and the co-producers will be Chris Price and I. (Perdomo and Price produced Perhacs' 2014 comeback record).