Above and Beyond The Call of a Pro Session Guitarist

Some current groups I'm recording with, are hinting that while my playing may be to their liking, they would feel a lot better recording with me, if I at least got a tattoo or a nose ring!

Now hold on, friends! As a studio pro, it has always been my code to please whoever hires me, but this is taking it too far!

It reminds me of a time when I was doing a session for Bob Crewe on a Four Seasons date.... I believe the song was "BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY." It was popular at that time to record the sound of the session players stomping their feet in time to the music, and recording that certain sound. That wasn't enough for Bob Crewe. He wanted more. After trying the foot-stomping thing, he then asked us to drop our pants as well, to record us all slapping our thighs WHILE we stamped our feet!    I DID IT!!!

Once I was on a Frank Zappa date for a "Mothers of Invention" record. Zappa noticed that I was the only studio man outside of the group who was wearing a shirt, so he kindly asked me "Vinnie, would you please play the guitar bare-breasted, so that the group wouldn't feel awkward?"   YES, I DID IT!!

None of the great leaders I worked for: Angelo Badalamenti, Al Caiola, Tony Mottola, Ralph Burns, Billy Byers, Johnny Mandel, Charlie Calello, Al Capp, Hugo Winterhalter, Dick Hyman, Cy Coleman, Bill Conti, Les and Larry Elgart, Billy Goldenberg, Nick Perito, Don Costa, Joe Gershenson, etc., etc., etc... --- none of them EVER asked me to take off my pants during a session.
But if any of them WOULD'VE asked, I respect them so much that I probably WOULD HAVE!

Friends, you might think there is some form of levity in this, but sure as I know my name is Vinnie, I SWEAR to you that it really happened!

And if you have a year to spare, I could fill you in on many more occurrences that you yourselves might have encountered in this business we know as music!

BUT, I'm drawing the line, that inasmuch as I continue to love studio work, there will be NO TATTOO'S OR NOSE RINGS ON ME!


- Vinnie
January 24th, 2005

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