When Steve Fossen and I simultaneously agreed to learn how to play guitars and start a band back in 1965, there were no credit cards. People had to carry money around all the time. Cell phones? Forget it. Computers? Sure, the size of a refrigerator.
One thing there was? The BEATLES. That sound that ignited one’s spirit upon first listening, that gave the feeling there was new hope in the world, that made most of a planet fall in love. Their influence changed the world, not unlike when flowering things emerged all over the planet, millions of years ago.
What there wasn’t included the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, at that time not even a sparkle in Jann Wenner’s eyes. Thank you, Jann Wenner. I think it’s a good idea, though impossible to ever be perfectly fair or just.
Mike Fisher, Steve Fossen, Roger Fisher 1968
Sitting here in the Delta Airlines emergency exit seats provided by the Rock Hall, Linda, who got the window seat for a change, catches up on the latest style-oriented magazines on her iPad, another thing that didn’t exist back in ’65.
She’s a guitar player’s dream girlfriend: a rocker chick who adores electric guitar. Acoustic is allright, too, as long as its sounds are genuine and well-played. I often marvel at her quick wit and keen intelligence, wondering why she’s with someone as wacky as me. Then I remember: Back in 1965 I vowed to become what I had seen in a vision – a major dude musician.
Roger Fisher’s ability as a guitarist is specialized – it’s only rock and roll. He’s no Tommy Emmanuel, no Steve Howe, no Django Reinhardt. But he is Roger Fisher, and almost certainly the best one on the planet. He’s a wacky player and a wacky person, as anyone who knows him will tell you. Maybe that’s why Linda likes me. One-of-a-kind. Being me is to be caught in a world of wonder. I always wondered why all the kids at school told me I was weird… crazy. I obviously didn’t fit, except with a few, like Steve Fossen. Always wondered why there was so much cut-throat ruthlessness that created hostility and division. Wondered how people could be so mean and stupid.
Music! Our savior. Our door out of a room of doom. Our vehicle to the heights of joy. The planet’s sage teacher. The hidden government of all people. Music – my life!
And so began a new diet, one that nourished the soul, one that demanded many courses day after ravenous day. A diet of Louis Armstrong with his impossibly high, strong trumpet notes and radiant smile which revealed a beautiful spirit; a side dish of Elvis Presley, whose youthful energy and sexy swagger disarmed and discarded any doubters; a good portion of Aretha Franklin who sent tingles up the spine; and for dessert – the BEATLES. Thank you, God, for the Beatles.
Bro Mike and myself were busily wending our way through the myriad steps it takes to reach the goal of finishing a great album. The date was December 11, 2012.
Mike is sitting to my right, using the digital audio workstation, Studio One to mix that song of the day, the title track to our new project – ONE VISION. I’m just to his left, working on a music video in a different computer.
We’re in a new world now. Mike and I both remember having to daily clean and demagnetize the two-inch tape, 16-track tape recorder we used back in the ’80’s. In today’s world there are much more complicated ways to enmesh one’s self in tediousness.
I hold Michael Chester Fisher – aka the Magic Man – in the highest esteem as an audio specialist. He hears detail that, even after I’m shown, takes me days or weeks to clearly perceive. We can spend weeks making something right, only to discard it and start over with a new tack, seemingly on a whim. No wonder we’ve been working on the same album – ALL TOLD – since 2009. But it has to be right! You, our beloved audience, must be thrilled to the core, magically manipulated, deeply moved, changed forever.
I notice on Facebook a post that says, “Heart has been chosen as one of the class of 2013 to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” I show Mike. We smile at each other and get right back to work. After a couple hours I check Facebook again and it has lit up like a wildfire. PEOPLE ARE EXCITED! Then I start getting excited. Wow, this is damn cool!