Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Dave Budin, May 10, 1999

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Recording for the first time

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Partial Transcript: It always has, it always will.

Segment Synopsis: Dave Budin talks about his very first time recording, which was at the Red Lion Coffee House in Chautauqua, New York. He expresses that he's not overly fond of the music, but nonetheless was able to sell about 300 copies of the vinyl. He talks about the "studio" that they used to record, which was really an auditorium for a middle school in Cleveland Heights. He also talks a bit about how long he has been playing and writing music, which started very early in his life.

Keywords: 2-track; Budin at the Red Lion (Album); Century Sound; Chautauqua (N.Y.); Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio); Cleveland Heights High School; Fifth Floor Recording Studios; Flute; Goldman, Richard; Guitar; Harmonica; Mobile recording; Recording; Red Lion Coffee House; Renner, Jack; Saxophone; Studio; Vinyl; Vocals

Subjects: Chautauqua (New York); Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio); Cleveland Heights (Ohio); Cleveland Heights High School (Cleveland Heights, Ohio); Flute; Guitar; Harmonica; Record labels; Saxophone; Singing; Sound recording industry; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing

GPS: Cleveland (Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 41.482222, -81.669722
00:05:20 - Pete Cornell's basement studio

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Partial Transcript: Now, uh, shortly after that I quit high school.

Segment Synopsis: Budin talks about his early music career post-high school. He talks about a couple of different clubs that he played at, and one that he even played at where national acts played. Through working at one of these clubs he was able to meet Pete Cornell, a wealthy young man who had an interest in the music business. Cornell had actually installed a recording studio in his basement and invited many local artists to stay at his house and record music.

Budin talks about the studio, stating that the entire studio was sound proofed, that Cornell had installed his own control room, and that it had a 2-track recording system. Budin also talks about a few of the artists that lived in the house at the same time he did, going on a side story about how one of these artists was able to meet the Rolling Stones. Budin also discusses how he believed that this was the "era of the singer-songwriter", and how it was introduced by Bob Dylan and several others. Budin explains that it was a place that artists would go to if they couldn't afford to go to one of the better studios in Cleveland or the surrounding area. He also expresses that this is where he learned how a studio works, and how difficult it can be to get a sound sometimes, including a story about creating echo by putting a piece of tape on the record.

Keywords: 2-track recording; Amphicar; Audio engineering; Bands; Bellamy, Peter; Blues; Buckley, Tim (Artist); Buddah Records; Cleveland (Ohio); Cleveland Heights (Ohio); Cleveland Recording; Columbia Records; Comedy; Comedy clubs; Cosby, Bill (Comedian); Disc Records; Dylan, Bob (Artist); Echo; Editing; Epic Records; Falhiem, Dorothy; Folk; Hardin, Tim (Artist); Home studio; Kama Sutra Records; Leatherwood and Lisa (Artist); Leatherwood, Al (Artist); Leatherwood, Lan (Artist); Mixing; Mona (Artist); Musical groups; New York (N.Y.); Parayde (Artist); Paxton, Tom (Artist); Recording; Recording techniques; Rock 'n' roll; Rolling Stones (Artist); Shurl, Bob; Singer-songwriter; Smothers Brothers (Artist); Snow, the (Artist); Sound effects; The Grange; WABQ Painesville (Radio station); WJMO Cleveland (Radio station)

Subjects: Buckley, Tim, 1947-1975; Cleveland (Ohio); Cleveland Heights (Ohio); Columbia Records, Inc.; Comedy; Cosby, Bill, 1937-; Dylan, Bob, 1941-; Epic Records; Hardin, Tim; Paxton, Tom, 1937-; Radio stations; Record labels; Rolling Stones; Smothers Brothers; Sound recording industry; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing

GPS: Cleveland (Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 41.482222, -81.669722
00:20:28 - Moving to New England

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Partial Transcript: Um, anyway, I, I left Cleveland. I just sort of suddenly pick up and left.

Segment Synopsis: Budin talks about moving to Boston in 1968, and about some of the venues that he played at when he first got to the city. After Boston, he made his way to New York City, initially as a "pit stop" on his way to Los Angeles. He talks about meeting with another musician that was able to get them both into a jam session that actually turned out to be a band showcase for record companies. Having never met any of the other band members their showcase performance was terrible, but they were able to jam for free.

Keywords: Apple Records; Ars Nova; Bass guitar; Beatles, the (Artist); Bluegrass; Boston (Mass.); Broadway; Brooklyn (N.Y.); Cheeta Magazine; Cleveland (Ohio); Club 47; Club Passin; Drummers; Drums; Elektra Records; Guitar; Jam sessions; Keyboard; Los Angeles (Calif.); Motown; Music theory; My Girl (Song); New York (N.Y.); North Carolina; Organ; Performance; Piano; Poverty; Rowan, Peter (Artist); Saxophone; Seatrain (Artist); Showcase; Singer-songwriters; Songwriting; South Carolina; Temptations, the (Artist); The Sword in the Stone; Vocal groups; Vocals

Subjects: Apple Records; Arts and the poor; Auditions; Beatles; Boston (Mass.); Cleveland (Ohio); Electronic organ; Elektra Records (Firm); Guitar; Los Angeles (Calif.); Music theory; New York (N.Y.); North Carolina; Piano; Poor; Popular music--Writing and publishing; Rock music--Writing and publishing; Rowan, Peter, 1942-; Saxophone; Seatrain (Musical group); Singing; Singing Auditions; South Carolina; Temptations (Musical group)

GPS: Boston (Mass.)
Map Coordinates: 42.358056, -71.063611
00:34:15 - Playing with The Storytellers

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Partial Transcript: What was this guitar player's name?

Segment Synopsis: From his jam session he was able to join a band named 'The Storytellers.' He played with this band, who renamed themselves 'The Gift' after the new line-up was finalized, for several weeks. His first gig with the band was in a hotel in New London, Connecticut. He explains that they had to practice without power for nearly two days since there was no one who could let them into the actual venue. After a couple of weeks they came back to New York, and they were able to get a recording soundtrack with a small recording label and recorded 4 songs for a demo. Shortly after this he became homeless.

Keywords: Apostolic Sound; Bass; Berklee School of Music; Bryn Mawr (Pa.); Cleveland (Ohio); Coast Guard; Cooper, Al (Artist); Country Joe and the Fish (Artist); Covers; Demo tape; Drums; E-Street Band, the (Artist); Epic Recods; Equipment; Foxy Lady (song); Gift, the (Artist); Hendrix, Jimi (Artist); Hirsh, Gary "Chicken" (Artist); I'm a Believer (Song); Jersey Shore (N.J.); Joplin, Janis (Artist); Lerner, Larrry; Maybury's Hotel; McCoys, the (Artist); Monkees, the (Artist); Morrison, Jim (Artist); Navy; New London (Conn.); New York (N.Y.); Organ; Performance; Philadelphia (Pa.); Purple Haze (Song); Recording; Springsteen, Bruce (Artist); Storytellers, the (Artist); The Main Point; The Scene; U.S. Navy

Subjects: Berklee School of Music; Bryn Mawr (Pa.); Cleveland (Ohio); E Street Band; Electric organ; Epic Records; Fish (Musical group); Hendrix, Jimi; Joplin, Janis; McCoys (Musical group); Monkees (Musical group); Monkees (Musical group)--History; New London (Conn.); New York (N.Y.); Philadelphia (Pa.); Springsteen, Bruce; United States. Coast Guard; United States. Navy

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7127, -74.0059
00:45:58 - Homeless in New York City / back in the studio

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, so I had nothin'.

Segment Synopsis: Budin begins this segment talking about being homeless in New York. While he was homeless he would play on the street for change, and eventually met with another performer. He and this other performer joined each other in both song and company. He eventually ran into a couple of members from the band Snow, who were recording their album, and they offered the two a place to stay for a while. Budin started going to the studio with the band every day, and discusses how he feels the studio did not record the Snow album well. He also mentions briefly an interaction he had with the engineer's union.

Keywords: Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie (Song); Arrangement; Beatles, the (Artist); British Invasion; Calello, Charlie (Producer); Cello; Clapton, Eric (Artist); Columbia Records; Cream (Artist); Demos; Epic Records; Four Seasons, the (Artist); Girl singers; Greenwich Village (N.Y.); Hollies, the (Artist); Homelessness; Jam sessions; New York (N.Y.); Over-production; Overdubbing; Panhandling; Police; Session musicians; Snow, the (Artist); Street performance; Toad Hall (Artist); Unions; Van Carlton Hotel; Vocalist

Subjects: Beatles; Cello; Clapton, Eric; Columbia Records, Inc.; Columbia Records, Inc.--History; Cream (Musical group); Epic Records; Four Seasons (Musical group); Hollies (Musical group); Homelessness; New York (N.Y.); Poverty; Singers; Women singers

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7127, -74.0059
01:02:30 - Going back to Cleveland, then going back to New York

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Partial Transcript: Any, any idea where Jim and Tom are?

Segment Synopsis: They talk briefly about a couple members of The Snow they both know, and then Budin talks about traveling back to Cleveland. After his friends went back to New York, he stayed in Cleveland to play in some of the coffee houses and ended up getting a call from Sire Records in New York. Sire offered Budin a job as an arranger for the label. They discuss the owners and founders of Sire Records, Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer, mostly talking about Gottehrer's musical career as a member of the Strangeloves and his taste in rock music. They also talk about Stein's uncanny memory using a personal anecdote.

Keywords: 12-string guitar; Australia; Biogenetics; Blondie (Artist); Bow Wow Wow (Artist); Brooklyn (N.Y.); Buckley, Tim (Artist); Chicago (Ill.); Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio); Colorado; Corn beef; Deli meats; Democratic National Convention; Denver (Colo.); Folk; Gottehrer, Richard; Greyhound; Greyhound buses; Guitar; Hendrix, Jimi (Artist); I Want Candy (Song); Jam session; King Records; La Cave; Louie Louie (Song); Memorial Day; My Boyfriend's Back (Song); New wave; Otto's Grotto; Punk rock; Roches, the (Artist); Rock 'n' roll; Rock n' Roll Music Hall of Fame; Ronstadt, Linda (Artist); Sire Records; Stein, Seymour; Stone Poneys, the (Artist); Strangeloves, the (Artist)

Subjects: Australia; Bow Wow Wow (Musical group); Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.); Buckley, Tim, 1947-1975; Chicago (Ill.); Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio); Colorado; Democratic National Convention; Denver (Colo.); Gottehrer, Richard; Greyhound buses; Guitar; Hendrix, Jimi; King Record Company; Memorial Day; Roches (Musical group); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; Ronstadt, Linda; Sire Records Company; Stone Poneys (Musical group); Strangeloves (Musical group)

GPS: Cleveland (Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 41.482222, -81.669722
01:16:01 - Working at Sire Records

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Partial Transcript: And, um--

Segment Synopsis: Budin talks about his time as an arranger for Sire Records, starting in August of 1968. He talks about working with an artist named Charlie Jones, who recorded a couple of the songs that Budin himself wrote. He also talks about arranging strings for a band named The Dolphin, which was also his first time composing a group of musicians. He talks briefly about overdubbing, and then explains how he got his first job as a producer at Sire.

He talks about going on the road to produce groups in other parts of the country. Budin explains that Gotterher would tell stories about the producing tricks that people would use to achieve certain sounds. He also tells another story about a producer who worked on a Bob Dylan album who just didn't know what to do with it.

Keywords: Arranging; Baltimore (Md.); Bennett, Tony (Artist); Billboard Magazine; Buckley, Tim (Artist); Conducting; Control room; Dancing in the Street (Song); Dion (Artist); Dolphin, the (Artist); Dowd, Tom; Dylan, Bob (Artist); Engineering; Friedman, Bart; Gotterher, Richard (Producer); Jones, Charlie (Artist); Kelley, Peter (Artist); Martha Reeves and the Vandelles (Artist); Minneapolis (Minn.); New York (N.Y.); Overdubbing; Producing; Roulette Records; Sire Records; Spann, Otis (Artist); Streisand, Barbra (Artist); Strings; The Wanderer (Song)

Subjects: Baltimore (Md.); Bennett, Tony, 1926-; Billboard Publications, Inc.; Buckley, Tim, 1947-1975; Dion, 1939-; Dowd, Tom, 1925-2002; Dylan, Bob, 1941-; Gotterher, Richard; Minneapolis (Minn.); New York (N.Y.); Roulette Records, Inc; Sire Records Company; Spann, Otis, 1930-1970; Streisand, Barbra

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7127, -74.0059
01:30:11 - Producing with Sire Records / strings in rock music

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Partial Transcript: Now were you guys in the studio together and working together as producers?

Segment Synopsis: Budin goes in depth about how he was involved in producing at Sire. He explains that since he was a musician he had insight that his partner (a friend of Gotterher and Stein) didn't. He also explains the origins of strings in rock, and how it began with The Drifters. Budin also talks about other artists he was able to produce, and producing at Roulette.

Keywords: Arrangement; Boogie Nights (Motion picture); Born on the Fourth of July (Motion picture); Civil rights; Dolphin, the (Artist); Drifters, the (Artist); Jay, Ricky; News; Production; Protests; R&B; Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants (TV Special); Rock 'n' roll; Song writing; Strings; TV News; The Tonight Show (TV show); This Magic Moment (Song); Up On the Roof (Song); Video production; Vietnam War; Woodstock (N.Y.)

Subjects: African Americans--Music; African Americans--Music--1950-1970; Boogie nights (Motion picture); Born on the Fourth of July (Motion picture); Civil rights movements; Civil rights movements United States; Drifters (Musical group); Jay, Ricky; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Woodstock (N.Y.)

01:36:59 - Leaving Sire and moving back to Ohio

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Partial Transcript: Um, and that kind of signaled the end of my time with, with Sire.

Segment Synopsis: Budin talks about working with a group from Columbus, and how he felt as though Sire was more interested in pushing him as a songwriter. He was one of the few people asked to submit a theme song for the move "Midnight Cowboy." Budin talks about moving to Columbus to perform and work with one of the members of the group previously mentioned, and how by 1972 he didn't have the group anymore so he moved back to Cleveland to pursue his music career there.

He then talks about a young boy who would constantly ask him and others (before he moved to New York) about instruments and music theory, whose album he produced when he moved back to Cleveland. Budin explains that he felt as though he didn't have a lot of opportunities to work in music while living in Cleveland. He also has an aside about working with Gotterher, where they went to watch the James Gang play in Cincinnati. They began discussing possibly recording with the band, and they were sent an album where the drummer dropped his sticks and Gotterher insisted they continue recording. Because of this the James Gang decided to record elsewhere.

Keywords: Arrangement; Bevan, Alex (Artist); Chillicothe (Ohio); Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio); Columbus (Ohio); David and Denise (Artist); Drummers; Everybody's Talking (Song); James Gang (Artist); Midnight Cowboy (Motion picture); Mother of Invention (Artist); Neil, Fred (Artist); New York (N.Y.); No Truth to Sell (Album); Performance; Production; Recording; Rhinoceros Records; San Francisco (Calif.); Sire Records; Springboard (Album)

Subjects: Bevan, Alex (Vocalist); Chillicothe (Ross County, Ohio); Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio); Columbus (Ohio); James Gang (Musical group); New York (N.Y.); San Francisco (Calif.)

GPS: Cleveland (Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 41.482222, -81.669722
01:46:50 - Going in-depth about producing and recording

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Partial Transcript: Well, Dave! You haven't told me enough studio stuff!

Segment Synopsis: Budin returns to talking about producing with Sire, this time talking about a kid who wanted to record from upstate New York. The artist was able to remember all his songs just from the lyrics, and compared him to Elton John. Budin explains that the artist's band wasn't particularly good and he had to play for them.

He talks about the process of "mixing down" and overdubbing. Mixing down is the process of only having a limited number of tracks available and having to choose what to mix on a single track. Budin goes into detail about recording his own album and that he was grateful that he was recording at Suma Studios, who had a 24 track mix. He talks briefly about how he's impressed by the versatility and efficiency that computers give modern producers. He explains where the money for recording at Suma came from, and that they were hoping to get some more money from a label. Budin talks about an experience where the people he was recording with played on instruments they weren't totally familiar with, and had people talk over the avant garde sound they were recording. He explained that they decided to call it "Mugic" after a person asking them if they were "mugicians" on the subway.

Keywords: 24-track; 5th Floor Sound; 8-tracks; Album; Bass; Bishop, Michael; Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio); Computers; Digital recording; Drum machine; EDR Beachwood Studios; Echo; Efficiency; Experimentation; Gotterher, Richard; Guitar; Jazz; John, Elton (Artist); Mixing; Multitrack; New York (N.Y.); Organ; Overdubbing; Percussion; Producing; Publishing; Recording; Rock 'n' roll; Rock 'n' roll class; Sire Records; Song writing; Studio; Suma Records; Vocals

Subjects: Cincinnati (Ohio); Cleveland (Ohio); Drum machine; Gotterher, Richard; Guitar; John, Elton, 1947-; New York (N.Y.); Organ (Musical instrument); Singers; Sire Records Company; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--Digital techniques; Sound--Recording and reproducing--Equipment and supplies; Sound--Recording and reproducing--Problems, exercises, etc.

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7127, -74.0059
02:04:14 - Problems with Sire

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Partial Transcript: So, that's the only thing I'm sorry that I did that never came out.

Segment Synopsis: Budin explains that nothing he recorded ever came out, but a friend insisted that it may have been released in Europe. He also explains that he wasn't entirely satisfied with the singing on the album. He explains that he learned to produce from listening to Gotterher and being in the studio, and that when he got back to Cleveland he was able to make a living by producing demos. After this, they take a look at an unnamed demo tape and the interview ends.

Keywords: Albums; Buckeye Biscuit Band (Artist); Chess Records; Demos; Dixon, Butch (Artist); Dixon, Willie (Artist); Europe; Gotterher, Richard; Intellectual property; Lawyers; Newman, Randy (Artist); Producers; Publishing; Rose, Biff (Artist); Singing; Sire Records

Subjects: Dixon, Willie, 1915-1992; Europe; Gotterher, Richard; Intellectual property; Newman, Randy; Rose, Biff; Singers; Sire Records Company